Scripture leaves us with the command to “take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.” Last week, after a great deal of work, we launched the Logos Bible Study mobile app!
The app operates on Apple, Android and Microsoft devices, smart phones and pads, featuring the “One Year Bible,” 80 lessons covering the entire Bible, Genesis through Revelation. It also serves as a portal to the in-depth series that I’m currently teaching, as well as offering links to Logos teaching tours, my blog and a variety of social media.
This is truly a great opportunity to take world-class Bible teaching to the entire world in a convenient, inexpensive and engaging format, a remarkable opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission.
Please forward this to your friends, fellow church members, pastors and Christian media.
LET’S GO VIRAL!!!!
Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee, Israel.
We arrived on Monday November 3rd for my 55th teaching tour of Israel. After landing in Tel Aviv about 3:00 in the afternoon, my group of 39 Logos students traveled directly to Galilee in time for dinner at 7:00—breakfast in California; dinner on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Amazing!
The climate in Israel is very much like the climate in southern California, so on Tuesday morning after a good night’s sleep, we made a 15-minute drive to the Mount of Beatitudes under clear blue skies and crisp weather. The Mount of Beatitudes is where Jesus taught the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7), and a place that he often went to spend time alone. On such a clear morning the Sea of Galilee sparkled in the morning sunlight, flecks of light dancing on the surface of the water. I always start a teaching tour here, speaking about Jesus’ masterful teaching and his 3-year public ministry in Galilee. It’s the beginning of a narrative that will build with each passing day, ending in Jerusalem at the empty Garden Tomb. After a half-hour or so of teaching we have an hour of free time to find a quite place for prayer, contemplation and appreciation, fully realizing the significance of the place we’re visiting.
Chapel of the Beatitudes, Mount of Beatitudes, Israel
We then moved on to Capernaum, where Jesus lived with Peter and his family. Capernaum was an important fishing village at the time of Jesus, with a population of around 1,500 people. Peter and his brother Andrew, along with James, his brother John and the father of James and John, Zebedee, were partners in a commercial fishing business. All of them were from Bethsaida, another village a few miles northeast of Capernaum. James and John were Jesus’ cousins; James and John’s mother, Salome, was Mary’s sister (or sister-in-law), so when Jesus relocated from Nazareth to Capernaum he had friends and relatives there who became his first disciples.
Entrance to Capernaum and the 4th-century synagogue at Capernaum,
built over the 1st-century synagogue where Jesus taught.
Capernaum today is an archaeological site, first excavated by the Franciscans in the 1930s. They’ve done a great job presenting their finds and bringing the village alive for visitors. The 4th-century A.D. synagogue, built over the remains of the 1st-century synagogue where Jesus taught sits at the center of the site, and a mere 37 yards away are the archaeological remains of Peter’s house. Today a church perches over the remains, and from inside the church you can look through its glass floor to see the remains clearly. It’s a lovely site, clean, orderly and blooming with flowers.
Looking down at the remains of St. Peter’s house from inside the “glass-bottom” Church.
After lunch we headed to Bethsaida, the original hometown of Peter, Andrew, James and John, Jesus’ “inner circle.” The University of Nebraska has excavated the site and it is one of my favorites. Archaeology is an expensive, time-consuming task, and the Bethsaida site is “in progress,” so it is a good teaching opportunity to explain how such primary research is conducted in biblical studies. It also dramatically illustrates the massive amount of work involved in the excavation process and the final results that work achieves.
The city gate of Bethsaida, home of Peter, Andrew, James & John.
Later in the afternoon we continued on to Migdal, the town of Mary Magdalene. This is a fabulous site, and it too is in the process of being excavated. A few years ago the Roman Catholic Church bought property on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee to build a retreat center for Catholic pilgrims. The first few weeks of construction revealed the remains of a 1st-century synagogue, a synagogue that Jesus would certainly have visited. Construction work stopped immediately, and excavation began. The site is not yet opened to the public, but thanks to my friend Fr. Eamon Kelly, Vice Charge of the Pontifical Institute, Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, we were able to snag a private tour that included seeing the stunning church that was only recently completed.
The newly dedicated Church at Migdal, home of Mary Magdalene.
The Church is dedicated to the women of the Bible. The altar is stunning, with the Sea of Galilee in the background.
Our day ended with a wine and cheese reception at Nof Ginosar, our home on the Sea of Galilee, and an excellent dinner in the dining room that evening.
. . . more to come, as our adventure continues!
All photography by Ana Maria Vargas
As most of you know, I’m teaching verse-by-verse through the entire Bible, Genesis through Revelation, one last time. This is the “NEW Revised 3rd Edition” of The Bible, my flagship course for the past 20 years. The previous edition of The Bible met all the standards for undergraduate academic credit at both UCLA and the University of San Diego; it is available on Amazon and Audible.
For the new edition, I’ve upped the bar to a graduate-school level course.
I finished teaching Exodus last quarter, and the course is now available online. It includes 20 audio lectures of 50-60 minutes each; 20 Power Point presentations, one for each lecture; a 40+ page syllabus; an “Introduction to Exodus”; Outline; and Bibliography.
Have a look . . . and join me as I’m teaching Mark this quarter!
Watch Introductory video to “The Bible, Revised 3rd Edition!”
Fall quarter Logos classes begin on Monday, September 22nd, one week from today! This promises to be a great quarter, as we begin the Gospel according to Mark, the most dramatic of the four gospels. Written in the early to mid-60s, on the bleeding edge of the first state-sponsored persecution against the Church under the Roman Emperor, Nero (A.D. 64-68), Mark delivers an urgent message, a dramatic call to action: “there comes a time in life,” says Mark, “when a man or woman must take a stand, must step forward and be counted . . . no matter what the cost.” This is a particularly relevant Gospel today, as ISIS militants systematically behead and slaughter Chaldean Christians and aid workers throughout Syria and Iraq.
You can register for the live classes or attend online by clicking here.
Whether attending the live classes or following online, be sure to download the complete 40-page Mark Syllabus and PowerPoint presentations.
I look forward to seeing you in class, as we start the 2014-1025 academic year with this fabulous gospel!
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be traveling to Rwanda, Africa on August 18th with my brother Don Creasy, who is Director of Missions for Memorial Park Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. The mission team consists of: Don Creasy, Betsy and Roger Rumer, Lori Hoffman, Kevin Steele, Laura Roy, Terry McKaveney, Corky Semler and me.
I’m the lone Roman Catholic of the bunch!
We will spend most of our time at the Umuryango Boys’ Home in Kilgili, a ministry of Dr. Yohani Kayinamura and his family. The above video tells the story of Unuryango, a home founded to care for the desperately poor street boys orphaned in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
We will all need a great deal of prayer to support us on our journey.
Here are specific requests, day by day:
Sunday, 8/17 Please pray for me as I fly from San Diego to Washington, D.C., where I’ll have dinner with one of my Logos students, Capt. Dipak Nadkarni, USN. Dipak lost his wife, Capt. Lorraine Nadkarni, USN, to cancer earlier this year, so please pray for him, as well; Lorraine was buried a few months ago with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. I’ll overnight in D.C., meeting the rest of the team on Monday morning at the airport.
Monday, 8/18 Please pray for safe travel as the team makes its way to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and from there onward to Kigli, Rwanda—a VERY long flight!
Tuesday, 8/19 Please pray for the team and our hosts as we spend our first day together. Today we meet the boys, so pray that we begin to build friendships and trust with them.
Friday, 8/21 – 8/22 Please pray for the team as we meet boys from the neighborhood, students at Umuryango. We’ll be telling stories, doing arts and crafts and generally fooling around. Pray that friendships and faith deepen as a result. Sometime during the week we’ll also be visiting the National Genocide Memorial. Please pray that we learn from it and pray for the victims and survivors of the genocide.
Saturday, 8/23 Please pray for Betsy as she preaches on Rwandan National Radio Saturday evening.
Sunday, 8/24 Please pray for me as I preach on Rwandan National Radio Sunday morning. Pray also for Betsy, Don and me, as we preach later in the day at three different churches in the capital city of Kigali.
Monday, 8/26 Please offer prayers of thanksgiving for the past week, thanksgiving for ministry opportunities, for new friendships and for continued good health.
Tuesday, 8/27 Please pray for the families in the neighborhood, 1,200 desperately poor people who struggle to get by on next to nothing.
Wednesday, 8/28 Please offer prayers of thanksgiving for the opportunity God has given us to share our time, talent and lives with the families and children of the Umuryango Boys’ Home. May we learn as much from them as they learn from us.
Thursday, 8/29 Please pray for our safe travel from Africa back home.
On August 17th I’m off to Rwanda, Africa.
Immediately, scenes from Hotel Rwanda, the 2004 film directed by Terry George that chronicles the brutal Rwandan genocide of 1994, spring to mind. From April to July—a brief 100 days—members of the Hutu ethnic majority murdered as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority. Begun by Hutu nationalists in response to the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, the slaughter began in the Rwandan capital of Kigali and spread like wildfire throughout the countryside, fueled by local officials and government-sponsored radio stations urging Rwandans to murder their neighbors and butcher their neighbors’ women, children and infants, “cleansing” the nation.
As the slaughter gained momentum, the international community—including the United Nations, the United States, Great Britain and France—stood by passively, doing nothing.
2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide, with efforts being made toward reconciliation during that time.
Today the Hutus comprise about 84% of the population of Rwanda; the Tutsis about 14%; and the Twa, a Pygmy group that were the indigenous population of Rwanda, make up the rest.
My brother Don Creasy is involved in missionary work in Rwanda, and I will be traveling with him and his team.
Stay tuned for updates!
Here is a timeline leading up to the genocide:
1858 British explorer, Hanning Speke, is the first European to visit Rwanda
1890 Rwanda becomes part of German East Africa
1916 Belgian forces occupy Rwanda
1923 League of Nations grants Belgian mandate to rule Rwanda indirectly through Tutsi kings.
1957 Hutus issue manifesto calling for a greater political voice commensurate with their numbers
1959 Interethnic violence forces Tutsi King Kigeri V into exile in Uganda
1961 Rwanda proclaimed a republic
1962 Rwanda gains independence with a Hutu, Gregoire Kayibanda, as president; Tutsis flee the country
1963 Some 20,000 Tutsis killed following an incursion by Tutsi rebels based in Burindi
1973 Gregoire Kayibanda ousted in a military coup led by aristocratic Hutu, Juvenal Habyarimana
1978 New constitution ratified and Habyarimana elected president; he quickly becomes a totalitarian dictator with a small circle of Hutu supporters
1990 Tutsi rebels invade Rwanda from Uganda
1993 Hutu President Habyarimana signs a power-sharing agreement wit Tutsis
1994 President Habyarimana killed when his airplane is shot down over Kilgali International Airport, almost certainly by Hutu extremists; Tutsis blamed
April 1994 Rwandan genocide begins
The Gospel according to Mark is the most dramatic of the four Gospels. Exploding from the starting blocks with a proclamation–“Beginning the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God . . .”–Mark sprints forward with breathless action, gripping tension and shattering speed, skidding to a stop when the women who witness Jesus’ resurrection “do nothing, for they were terrified!”
This is REALLY good material, and I hope you can join us in the live classes, September 22-December 16, 2014.
If not, you can follow along online at logosbiblestudy.com.
As I teach through the Bible, verse-by-verse, you can catch up on what you miss by downloading previous lessons.
Few people on earth have read through the entire Bible, and fewer still have studied the entire Bible, verse-by-verse. Now you can be one of them.
Join us for this great adventure!