Royal Scribe Report

Royal Scribe, a student-run publication on the campus of Johnson University ran a video news report on our recent trip to Israel/Palestine. The interview was arranged, conducted and filmed by Ariel Porter. 

In the video Jody Owens, Professor of Bible and Pastoral Ministries, and I discuss some of the high points (and one of the lows!) from our experience with Johnson University students. 

Royal Scribe is produced by the School of Communication and Creative Arts. To access this online publication, see the link here.


Dr. Mark Ziese, Dean of the School of Bible and Theology at Johnson University, manages the website Bible Land Explorer and teaches regularly in the Biblical heartland. You are invited to join Mark and Vicki for a Mediterranean Cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection in October, 2018. See the link here for details.

An exceptional experience

An exceptional experience

While not the excursion that we had planned, the Johnson University study-tour to Israel/Palestine turned into a real-world exercise. And the team responded magnificently.

Serengeti Chicken

Serengeti Chicken

Safari operators often speak of the "Big Five." This is a linger-longer from the blood-sport days. The phrase does not identify Africa's largest species, but rather the five most difficult/dangerous animals to hunt on foot.

Like a patch ripped off

Like a patch ripped off

Two kinds of cut stone doors used to close tombs in old Jerusalem. One is shaped like a flat disk. The other like a stubby plug. Both can be rolled.

Noah's Ark (sortof)

Noah's Ark (sortof)

In the story of Noah's Ark, a portion of the living world finds sanctuary in a pinch. I thought about that as our rig bounced down the steep track into Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

Tarangire

Tarangire

Zebras and wildebeests drank the muddy water, flicked their tails, rolled in the dust, and fussed with each other. It may have just been in my head, but somewhere I could hear the soundtrack of "The Lion King" playing.

Taking a Safari

Taking a Safari

We pitched our duffels and then ourselves into Saidi's knobby-wheeled truck. Saidi found the gear and we lurched forward. Our aim was to encounter the wildness of East Africa, God-willing, in a bloodless way.

Fingerprints on a frosty pane

Fingerprints on a frosty pane

Great sheets of ice flanked our walk on Kibo's rim. Aside from the fact that we were tripping along a corridor that was 19,000 feet in the sky, it could have been someone's gravel driveway. Or one of Jupiter's moons.

Kili's Flattop

Kili's Flattop

We beat the sun to Stella Point, but not by much.

I found a comfortable rock and sank into it like a sofa. A local appeared out of nowhere and extended a plastic cup my way. I couldn't remember his face. Was he from our group?

Then I let myself believe it

Then I let myself believe it

I caught her in my headlamp. She might have pretty in another place but she was beyond defeat here, maybe even beyond consciousness. She was draped between the wings of two laboring guides. Her head was lolling. Her toes were dragging. That little Piper had stalled.

The Big Push

The Big Push

Three other members of the team had walked out of camp an hour earlier. We assumed they were already pressing the envelope on the ridge above us. It was now our turn.

They were resilient

They were resilient

The weather threw the book at us, But this cadre of pastor-teacher-professionals was up to the challenge. They were determined to the see the land of Jesus with their own eyes.

A Nick Visit

A Nick Visit

Local tradition suggests that the real St Nicholas (of Christmas fame) lived for a short time in the Bethlehem area. I pulled on my coat to visit someone who could tell me more.

The Most Interesting Man in the World

The Most Interesting Man in the World

Ernest Hemingway dangled a riddle of death at the front end of his short story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." But what kind of epigraph is this? A freeze-dried window decoration? A chewy historical tidbit? The most interesting man in the world may have solved the riddle.

It has an Odd Ring

It has an Odd Ring

The old king climbed into the icy womb of Kilimanjaro. On his finger was the ring of Solomon. His porters carried a vast treasure. None of it has ever been found, of course.