Thursday, May 21, 2009


We were up on the Temple Mount today, a place where the first and second Jewish temples stood. The first temple was Solomon's Temple, erected around 960 BC, and destroyed by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. Then the Jewish people were deported to Babylon until they were able to come back to the land and the second temple was completed around 516 BC. After that there was some further expasion of the hill on which the temple sits both by the Hasmoneans in the 2nd century BC and by King Herod around 19 BC. This second temple is sometimes referred to as Herods Temple, and was the temple that was standing in Jesus' time.

There are several theories regarding the precise location of the temple on top of this hill called the Temple Mount. Instead of rehashing all of the archaeological information and theory pros and cons I will let someone who is an expert answer these questions for those who are curious. I found a website that has some good links. The guy that does this website is a professor at "The Master's College" here in Jerusalem, which runs a Bible teaching program that is similar to the one I am taking at Jerusalem University. See the following site at for way better research information than I can provide.

One item of personal response is that the Muslims have fairly adamant opposition to archaeological research up on the temple mount. A part of that opposition has to do with Muslim/Jewish tension since many Jews long and pray for the day that the temple is restored up on the temple mount. And, since one of the theories places the ancient temples directly over the Muslim Dome of the Rock you can imagine how they would get a bit nervous when Jewish archaeologists show up with their pick axes, shovels, and measuring rods. But, on the other hand, in my western mind there is way too much in your face kind of tension here. From my viewpoint let's get out our scientific tools and get to work discovering the truth. It feels somewhat like a denial of truth to not allow research to progress. It's the same feeling I have when I interact with a Mormon. Their mind and will so committed to a certain world view that they stubbornly refuse to look at any other position.

Of course Christians never do this :). Seriously, the sinful nature is so deeply embedded within any one of us to the point that we can become strident, intransigent, and stubborn as the proverbial mule in our own ideas and positions. "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up"(James 4:10). Stay humble. Keep learning and growing, and I will do the same.

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