Friday, 11 April 2008

passing away of another great biblical scholar, david noel freedman

David Noel Freedman

May 12, 1922 – April 8, 2008

David Noel Freedman, biblical scholar, passed away on april 8th 2008. According to associate, Dr. Dorothy Wagoner, Dr. Freedman was “still sharp.., but his health had deteriorated rapidly the past few days.” A scholarship fund in his name has been set up. Condolences may be sent to the family at 39 Meadow Glen, Petaluma, CA 94952.

Dr. Freedman is best known for his work on the Anchor Bible Dictionary, and several other scholarly works. As an ordained Presbyterian scholar, Dr. Freedman wrote many influential books, and edited the Leningrad Codex.

see the wikipedia entry on him below:

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

oldest arched city gate restored

The oldest arched gate in the world, located in Ashkelon, has been restored, nearly four thousand years after it was first built.

Ashkelon's Canaanite gates date from 1850 BCE
Photo: Danny Biran/IsraelTG

The Canaanite gate, which was constructed around 1,850 BCE as part of the port city's fortifications, is believed to be the most ancient arched gate in the world. The mostly brick and limestone gate is 15 meters long, more than 2 meters wide and almost 4 meters high.

Its base was uncovered in 1992 during a Harvard University archeological dig led by Prof. Lawrence Steiger, said Ra'anan Kislev, director of conservation at the Antiquities Authority.

The authority has now finished reconstructing the gate, after eight years. Three wooden arches were rebuilt to restore the complete figure of an arch and to provide support for the structure, Kislev said.

"We wanted to give visitors a feeling of walking through a gate that brings you inside a city," he said.

The $700,000 project, which was carried out with a donation from the Council for a Beautiful Israel and in cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, is part of a long-term plan to convert the history-rich area to a more extensive archeological park, said Zeev Margalit, head of the authority's conservation and development department.

"The idea is part of a conceptual change from a park that is used for picnics and holiday barbecues and bathing to a park that is also a park of values and content," Margalit said.

Ashkelon, whose history is filled with alternating periods of construction and destruction by invaders, was a major trading center due to its location on the Coastal Road, the main thoroughfare between Egypt and Syria.

A small city shrine was also discovered outside the gate, on a slope descending toward the sea.

Inside the shrine, a bronze figurine of a calf overlayed with silver was uncovered.

The calf was a symbol of the Canaanite deity Ba'al and the shrine may have served for worship

Scholars believe the shrine was located on the way to Ashkelon's port so that those embarking on a sea voyage or returning from one could pray or give thanks to the deity for the success of their journey.

The park, which includes the city's Roman Basilica, its ancient city walls, statues of Roman and Greek goddesses, an ancient waterwheel and well, and the remains of Byzantine period church - all of them located amid lush vegetation - is open to the public throughout the week.

peter enns' suspension from westminster

Peter Enns's book Inspiration and Incarnation created a two-year theological battle that resulted in his suspension.
Sarah Pulliam posted 4/01/2008 04:05PM

Westminster Theological Seminary's board voted to suspend tenured professor Peter Enns last week after a two-year theological debate over his 2005 book, Inspiration and Incarnation.

[Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament
by Peter Enns
Baker Academic, 2005
197 pp. $17.99, paper]

The board chairman, the president, and the secretary of the board addressed a standing-room-only group of students for about 30 minutes Tuesday morning to discuss the board's decision.

The board voted 18-9 to suspend Enns, an Old Testament professor whose book created controversy on how to interpret the Westminster Confession of Faith, a 1646 document that the faculty must affirm.

Read below link for the rest of the article from Christianity Today:

Westminster Theological Suspension

what is the westminster confession of faith? see the link below:

westminster seminary explains its beliefs:

for reviews of enn's books:


Update (20/5/2008):
some more links to the debate. see tyler williams' response at:

and dr jerry shepherd's email to the canadian evangelical theological association:

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

pastoral group on mission trip 2

The WuJung pastoral group posing for a photo before leaving for kuala lipis, raub and bentong on the weekend mission trip. from left: desmond kok (sitiawan), kok thang (myanmar), yuk soo (sarawak), anthony (seremban), daniel (johor), elizabeth (germany), wity (sarawak), and joshua (korea).

the pastoral group leader, joshua chang, from korea, sharing the word in kuala lipis wesley methodist church.

part of the congregation and pastoral group in raub wesley methodist church.

father wity preaching the word in wesley methodist church raub.

part of the congregation in bentong christ methodist church.

pastor wong yuk soo preaching in bentong christ methodist church.

joshua and elizabeth leading in an action song during the worship service in bentong christ methodist church.