Saturday, April 28, 2012

BS Fundraising

Alternate title: Receipts for the First Expedition to Beth Shemesh

About a week ago, I had the great fortune of adding yet another extremely rare autograph to my LMLK VIP collection, which I plan to feature in a future volume of my book series.

In this particular case, the bookseller was aware of a 2-page letter written by the author, Elihu Grant (who directed the second major suite of excavations at Beth Shemesh), but apparently didn't read the letter, or this portion of it:

"You [Dr. Field] asked me about the income for such adventures & I append a statement."

He wrote this letter May 2, 1929 shortly before his second excavation season, which was followed by 3 more in 1930, 1931, & 1933.

As much as I would enjoy simply showing you the ALS (autographed letter, signed), I'm still in a riddle mood, so I'd like to encourage readers to guess how much money Grant raised to excavate BYT SMS in 1928 (he received the donations between Oct. 27, 1927 & Jan. 1, 1929).

I need to receive guesses by 2 readers before I'll reveal the amount. No time limit!

G.M. Grena

Sunday, April 22, 2012

King Jesus Is His Name

I had the pleasure of attending my 5th Heritage Singers concert (in as many months) yesterday at the Loma Linda Campus Hill Church. As this was a special fundraising event for an orphanage in Haiti, their set lasted only about 45 minutes instead of the usual 60 or 90. They performed the best of their current repertoire in rapid-fire succession:
  • O Happy Day / Nothing But the Blood (featuring Tim Calhoun)
  • Child Forgiven
  • Holy Spirit Rain Down (featuring Melody Davis)
  • Yes I Am (featuring Cindy Haffner)
  • I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary (featuring Max Mace)
  • Strike Up the Band (w/ "LMLK" & "King Jesus" in the chorus)
  • Song of Glory (featuring Marcelo Constanzo)
  • What a Day That Will Be (featuring Val Mace-Mapa)
  • My Lord & I (featuring Tim Calhoun)
  • There's Always a Place at the Table (featuring Tim Calhoun)
  • I Will Glory in the Cross (featuring Marcelo & Tim)
After a collection for the cause, Larnelle Harris performed. I had never heard him before, but was tremendously impressed by the power of his voice. He has a unique technique of suddenly waving the microphone away from his mouth during crescendos. I noticed that in some of the live performances available on YouTube, the audio fluctuates during these moments, but in person the volume remains level because of how he projects volume from within. During some sustained endings, he kept the microphone at waist level! It's really impressive to behold! He sang for about 45 minutes, & these are the titles I recall, though he definitely performed others, particularly in medleys:
  • I Can Be Glad
  • Were It Not for Grace
  • I'd Rather Have Jesus
  • A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
  • Amen
  • (unknown title for encore)
In the following clip, you can see what I mean about the microphone wave during segments 0:42-0:46, 1:02-1:05, & a particularly wild one from 1:51-2:01! G.M. Grena

Friday, April 06, 2012

Biblical Archeology Returns to TAU

From about the time Israel Finkelstein rose to prominence for promoting a chronology that minimizes the Bible's reliability, Tel Aviv University students have been known more for their critical scholarship than for their illumination of the Bible via scientific excavations, a.k.a., Biblical archeology (at ASOR 2007, the late Anson Rainey lamented that he wasn't exactly proud to be affiliated with TAU over this point). In fact, for the past couple of decades, the term has been going out of academic fashion.

For the most part, Dr. Finkelstein has appeared in popular media as an objective, mild-mannered reporter, assuring readers that if Kings David & Solomon existed, they amounted to nothing more than "tribal chieftains ruling from a small hill town". If it had been something grander, Dr. Jekyll/Finkelstein, being for the most part disinterested in any correlation between historical facts & the Bible, would surely teach & report it.

After the verdict was published in the Golan/Deutsch trial, an L.A. Times editorial by Nina Burleigh (loud & proud promoter of murder & adultery) allowed Dr. Finkelstein's Mr. Hyde to take the stage for a change, prophesying about what we should expect as the result of the trial:

"Inscriptions from the time of Solomon, from the time of David, the T-shirt of Moses, the crown of King Solomon, the sandals of Abraham. That's the future, if there is an acquittal."

Notice that he considers the possibility of discovering inscriptions from the time of Solomon & David equivalent to finding "the T-shirt of Moses" (assuming Ms. I'll-Have-Sex-With-You-If-You-Let-Us-Kill-Babies quoted him accurately).

I was reminded of all this while reading Todd Bolen's blog this past week, in which he emphasized the name change ASOR gave to its Biblical Archaeologist journal.

Coincidently, last weekend I received a copy of the 2012 issue of Tel Aviv University's Review magazine, which includes a wonderful article about their new international study programs. Look what appears twice on the very same page (11):

"International MA in Archaeology and the History of the Land of the Bible: Taught by some of the biggest names in the field of BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY, this program offers a unique window into the Land of Israel’s perplexing and complex past, while introducing students to issues of theory and methodology, and giving them fieldwork experience in the most important excavations conducted in Israel by TAU scholars. The program provides the most up-to-date scientific context for archaeological, historical and biblical studies. Program head is Prof. Oded Lipschits."

"Now, I finally have the chance to study BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY in the land where it all happened and not just in class!"--George Mavronanos, 22, Greece

I just feel like something good has happened!

G.M. Grena