News and Notes -- By: Anonymous
BSP 1:3 (Summer 1988) p. 7
News and Notes
Caesarea Seaport Uncovered
The city where Peter preached to Cornelius, and where the first Gentiles became Christians (Acts 10); where King Herod (not Herod the Great} was struck down and “eaten of worms” (Acts 12:19–23); where Paul preached to Felix, Festus and King Agrippa before embarking on his last trip to Rome (Acts 24–26); where in 66 AD the Jews began a revolt against Rome which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem; this city named in honor of Caesar was one of the grandest in the Mediterranean area.
Herod “the Great”, with all his building projects outdid himself here. In only 12 years (22–10 BC), a complete Roman-style city was established, as well as a seaport made on a bare coastline. At the harbor, Roman technology was applied to build huge concrete breakwaters, including pouring and hardening cement under water. Herod sought to rival Alexandria in grandeur and influence.
After two decades of digging and underwater archaeology, scholars concede that Josephus’ description of Caesarea was correct. His description of the unique harbor enabled them to find details that otherwise would have been unnoticed.
All this is the subject of a new book, King Herod’s Dream, and of a display, first at the Smithsonian Institution, then a traveling exhibit. The authors wrote, “Herod wanted a monument to ensure his fame, a great city that would flourish far into the future. That essentially was King Herod’s dream.” Although it never quite surpassed Alexandria, it did prosper for 12 centuries. [Des Moines Register, 3/31/88.]
“Discovering the Jerusalem of Jesus” is a striking article with beautiful photographs and drawings. It is found in the very first issue of Bible Times, produced in Israel. This new magazine could well surpass others on archaeology with its articles like: “Who is My Neighbor?”, “Life in Ancient Nazareth,” “John the Baptist, Jesus and the Jordan,” “A Visit to Kinneret,” and still others. The colored photographs are absolutely stunning.
In the article we first mention there is a review of the archaeology surrounding the temple area. The need for ritual purity before entering the temple is emphasized. This was “Jewish Baptism”. Almost 50 mikva’ot - Jewish immersion pools - surrounded the temple area. (See premiere issue of A&BR for ABR’s find of a mikveh at Khirbet Nisya.)
These mikva’ot (plural) make it clear that the first-century Jewish practice of ritual cleansing was by immersion at the foundin...
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