Ancient Rome & the Bible

The Bible records a number of ancient civilizations. Perhaps the most famous of these is ancient Rome.

By the time of the New Testament, Rome was the major world power, and it was in control of the Holy Land during the entire earthly life of Jesus and during the lives of his immediate followers.

Jesus was born during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus. He was crucified during the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius. The book of Acts records the Roman emperor Claudius by name. And both St. Peter and St. Paul were martyred at Rome by the Emperor Nero.

It is clear that the Romans were extraordinarily important to the world in which the New Testament was written.

All that makes it worth asking: Who were the Romans, and where did their civilization come from?

Read on here.


Bible Archaeology

See the Holy Land

Günther Simmermacher, who is the editor of The Southern Cross, kindly sent me a link to the site See the Holy Land. It caused me to have less sleep than I would have liked to have had last night… I simply got lost in looking at all the sites in the Holy Land, and thus make the recommendation that you too go have a look-see:

Welcome to We hope it will encourage you to go as a pilgrim to this place where three faiths believe God entered into a relationship with the human race.

For our purpose, the Holy Land encompasses the places in the Middle East that are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. It includes Israel and the Palestinian Territories, western Jordan, the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and southern Syria.

Three points of explanation should be made:

• looks at the sacred sites from a Christian perspective but with respect for the beliefs and traditions of all faiths. In the interests of modern Christian pilgrims, the focus is mainly on sites of the New Testament.

• We seek to be factual rather than pious. We aim to present well-researched articles written in a down-to-earth style that avoids the hype and — to coin a word — sanctimentality that descriptions of holy places sometimes employ.

• The development of this website has been prompted by a desire to inform and encourage pilgrims to the Holy Land, especially from the southern hemisphere, rather than by commercial interests. Travel agents who organise pilgrimages to the Holy Land are offered free listings, but without endorsement…

More here. Enjoy. And long for the next time to get to go to the Holy Land!


Fr Anthony Chadwick on Blogging

… We need to choose our subjects well. This blog, as its predecessor the English Catholic, had tended to become dissipated. Too specialised, a blog will attract few readers, and it will never have dynamism. If you want to write about academic subjects, it is best to write books and articles for publication using the methodological rigour we were taught at university. If not, we write at a more popular level, and have to diversify a little. As the Sun in its Orb was primarily about a specific liturgical tradition in European Catholicism, but inevitably, it took on the more generalised characteristics of the former English Catholic. Indeed, every time it enters the polemical fray about continuing Anglicanism and the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus, it runs into trouble with the more hostile of the commenters. With the demise of the Anglo-Catholic, the only two blogs dealing with this matter are Fr Stephen Smuts’ blog and Foolishness to the world by the professional journalist Deborah Gyapong. The former is already battling with “troll contamination”.

It is certainly better to write sparingly but with real expertise in matters…

I often receive encouragement to continue blog writing by those who say that they appreciate my out-of-the-box thinking and my challenging certain soi-disant orthodoxies that in my opinion stifle the meaning of Christianity. Thus I continue as a service to those who seek that kind of expression. I therefore definitively discontinue discussion of the TAC and the Ordinariates, and these subjects are now off-topic. I must be as firm with myself as with commenters, and the temptations are often overwhelming. I therefore refer readers to the two sites I mentioned above or do things like in the 1970’s – go through the printed church magazine and call a priest by telephone or write him a letter. I believe post offices still sell stamps and do mail delivery services in most countries!

Do read the post in full here.

And if you care to comment on the above subject, either here or there, please do be charitable in your contribution.


This Auckland Anglican Church is Sick

St Matthew-in-the-City.

The Auckland Anglican church is a progressive church and, as such, supports same-sex marriage.

St. Matthew’s has a reputation for erecting strange billboards, so it is no surprise that it is at it again with this declaration of support for same-sex marriage plastered on billboards-in-the-city – what the church should really call itself.

As St. Matthew’s says: Welcome to a church like no other: a church of vertical inclusiveness: