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NRB Chronicles 2016 - Magdala in The Holy Land

The Christian Car Guy / Robby Dilmore
The Truth Network Radio
October 17, 2021 6:00 am

NRB Chronicles 2016 - Magdala in The Holy Land

The Christian Car Guy / Robby Dilmore

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October 17, 2021 6:00 am

Take an adventure into one of the Oldest synagogues ever found and even an image of the Temple Curtain from Jesus' Time.


I just am blown away sometimes.

I get a chance to be here at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention and the people that God has called into service all over the world and doing all sorts of cool things, but I just got my mind blown this week as I had an opportunity to share with our next guest. It's Father Eamonn Kelly. I got that right, Father? Perfect.

Perfect, Rob. You're doing well. You won't be fired.

You'll be still on your job after this interview, hopefully. One of the really amazing things that's here at this particular convention is this exhibition of what people would get if they went to the Holy Land to see sort of a synagogue that's been restored and a church. It's called Magdalena. Can you kind of give our listeners a sense of where you work every day? Most of my work is actually in Jerusalem. I run the Vatican guest house called Notre Dame of Jerusalem.

This is a beautiful place for 280 people. We have about 30 percent Protestant visitors who stay overnight with us. We have beautiful restaurants. We have Greek Orthodox coming, Russian Orthodox. We have Armenians. We have Jews for Shabbat. We have Muslims for NGO meetings.

We have the whole world. It's like Noah's Ark. And so we thought we would do something like this in Galilee, so I also work in Galilee. And the place is called Magdala. Magdala.

And if anybody's listening now at their computer, they can just – if you're driving, don't do this, okay? But if you're at your computer, just go to the website, M-A-G-D-A-L-A dot org, and you'll see the pictures as we talk. And you can see the synagogue we discovered from the time of Jesus. So we go to Magdala. You ever hear of Magdala before?

Anybody you know, first witness of the resurrection, Mary Magdalene. Right. So this is her town, and Providence took us there, and we found a beautiful piece of land, actually four different pieces. Providence also made that possible.

It's pretty unusual to be able to get four contiguous pieces. And we're right beside the Franciscan site that's over 100 years in their property, and they've found 1,700 years of archaeology. And we prayed, Lord, don't give us archaeology.

This will delay our program and make it more expensive. But of course, you're in charge, Lord. If you want to give us archaeology, give us something worthwhile. And what do we find? A synagogue from the time of Jesus. Wow. There are seven from that time, but this is the first one excavated in Galilee where he walked. So what does that mean? Well, it's very likely he was there. So we have a synagogue, and it says in the Gospels that Jesus preached and healed in the synagogues. And now you guys have restored that, and actually what I got to see here at the NRB is they have a stone.

Exactly. Well, the synagogue, first of all, before we get to the stone, Robbie, we have inside the synagogue there are mosaics, just plain geometric patterns, no figures of animals or plants or people. And then there are frescoes, same deal.

It's geometric. And just like in Pompeii, same contemporary period, and also the same quality and style. So this synagogue turns out then to be the most beautiful of the seven first century synagogues that have been excavated. And that's interesting that there are seven synagogues because there were some scholars claiming there are no such thing as synagogues after temple destruction. And now we have seven. So if you didn't have synagogues in the Gospel story, well, you do have them in the Gospel story. But if the archaeologists say there's no such thing as synagogues or the academics, then we're in trouble because we don't have synagogues in the Gospels as we do. But now we have seven of them. So the Gospel was right.

Absolutely. That's putting it a little bit too simply because maybe synagogues also changed their function somewhat after the temple was destroyed. Because now the Jewish people no longer have a temple in Jerusalem for worship. So the synagogues maybe acquire a new significance in the daily identity, in the cultural identity and cultural process of the Jewish people. So this synagogue then, as you said, Robbie, has a beautiful stone about knee high carved on all sides except underneath, standing on four legs in the center of the synagogue. And this has a lot of different designs. Like you can see here, you can see the menorah on the front of the stone between two columns and an arch. Yeah, that was one of the things that just grabbed my attention immediately was, from what I understand, the oldest known carving of the menorah that was in the temple. Exactly, Robbie. You have good memory here.

After all the people you've met these days at the NRB. So this is the oldest one. The oldest one up to 2009 when we found it was in Rome on the Titus Arch commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem. But now we have one that's at least 15 years older.

Maybe 30 years older. And this menorah is also the first menorah found outside of Jerusalem. And it's also the first menorah in a religious context. So this is pretty significant.

But this is not the only thing. In fact there are more important things on the stone. For example, on the top of the stone you have this rosette design. And if you go to the website you can actually see the pictures right now.

Go to the page where it says visit. And go to the synagogue and you will see all of this, the Magdala stone. Or even Google Magdala stone and it will come up for you. So this rosette design is considered by the specialists now to be associated with the veil before the Holy of Holies. And then you can see here at the back of the stone on the opposite end from the menorah we have two arches. And inside on the top of the arches we have two wheels.

One on each. And then underneath we have these six triangles of stone that the archaeologists tell us are signifying flames of fire. So put wheels and flames of fire together.

What do you have? Chariot of fire. And you know Robbie how many chariots of fire have been found in Israeli archaeology?

Zero. This is the first one. And now what's very important is what's the meaning of the chariot of fire. And we remember the story of Elijah at Jericho. He crosses the Jordan and Elisha goes with him and he's taken up in the chariot of fire. And then we go to Ezekiel chapter one and there we read how the wheels are leaving the temple. Wheels of the chariot. The chariot of fire. Because it's the symbol of the divine presence.

So when the first temple was being destroyed at the time of the Babylonian exile God's presence has left the temple. So the chariot of fire then is of extraordinary significance. And actually what it really means here according to the specialists now who are speaking up about this is that we have the menorah which is before the space where the Holy of Holies. The veil before the Holy of Holies and the chariot of fire inside the Holy of Holies. The divine presence inside the Holy of Holies. So this is an extraordinary composition of ideas. And here's the, and unfortunately we've run, I mean he was, you could see the father has a passion for this.

It's unbelievable. We didn't have all that much time to get to this today but I want you to think with me a minute about that moment with Elisha and Elijah depending on how you say their names. Which I've always found very fascinating to hear how different people pronounce those two different names of those two particular prophets. But in both cases as the men passed away there were people standing by quoting saying the horses and chariots of Israel.

Lord the horses and chariots of Israel. Well those are a place where you can go. You can go visit this magnificent Magdala and also in Jerusalem. You go to their website find out you can go on an adventure to see the real thing.

I got to see the copy that was here at the NRB but you can go to Israel and see the real thing. And when you get there you get to meet one of the characters of Israel that I've discovered. It's Father Kelly.

And be careful when you're shaking his hand because it moves all over the place. But Father Kelly what a joy it is to have you on today. And to just give our listeners a taste of what they would discover were they to visit you there in Magdala. It's not about visiting me folks. Please come and walk where Jesus walked. And in Magdala you can walk where Jesus taught. It's the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history. There we have a synagogue from the time of Jesus. Jesus himself probably visited for sure. Part of it is to see you.

Because I'll tell you why. I was down at that exhibit. I bet I studied that stone for the better part of 45 minutes. And I looked at it and I looked at it and I looked at it. And I thought about it and I prayed about it and a lot of things. And then you come up here and in five minutes share with me so much more that I could have been enjoying had I known. But see because of your passion for what God gave you, you can now share with other folks.

So they get to not only have a blast at Magdala but they get to find out so much more about it because God has taught you along the way. Thank you, Father, so much for being with us today. God bless you, Rabbi. God bless you.

We didn't talk at all about the Duke and Altom. We didn't, but we will the next time when you come on my show live. Okay, God bless you. Say, what would you do if you were a new Christian and you didn't have a Bible?

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-08 01:06:52 / 2023-08-08 01:11:44 / 5

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