In the book Walking Israel, Martin Fletcher calls the Israelites a "bundle of contradictions." With that in mind, today did not disappoint!
Some of today's more interesting contradictions to me were:
1. Jesus was not a carpenter, he was a stone mason. This confusion stems from the struggle to translate the original text of the Bible correctly. The picture to the right shows the remains of a Jewish community about the time of Christ. Not a stick of wood in sight but plenty of stones and rocks.
2. The Transfiguration did not occur on Mount Tabor. Again, this confusion is attributed to the struggle to translate the Bible as some believe Jesus did not separate his favorite three disciples but chose to take his disciples to a separate mountain that was different (taller) than the others.
3. There is a place called Megiddo, which is supposedly the place of the second coming yet the Jews of today still request to be buried in the Mount of Olives as the Messiah will place his feet there when He comes (Zechariah 14:4).
There were many, many more contradictions today. Some of it stems from the fact that we had two tour guides. One is a secular Jew. It is the law in Israel that all tours must be accompanied by a certified guide from the nation of Israel. The second is a Christian, who teaches as an adjunct at Judson University. They chose to politely disagree at times. The contradictions do not stem from any point of ignorance or misplaced motives. It is just our most recent understanding of the land, the Bible, the people, and the context is always evolving.
Key Takeaway: While I wish there was one narrative, the multiple narratives remind me this is a place of rich history and much significance making the journey more intriguing to be upon. it also reminds me to note that any errors in contradictions listed above are mine to own as there is much for me to learn - more than I can possibly understand in a day or even a lifetime.
1. We started the morning at Mount Carmel where the Elijah battled the prophets of Baal.
2. We then drove to Megiddo where we walked through an aqueduct CHISELED by hand deep underground.
3. We toured an ancient Jewish town and learned a bit more about the dos and don'ts of excavation.
4. Finally, we ended our day by entering the town of Jerusalem which we will spend the next couple of days exploring.