Church Chronology

1895-1900Tent missions arranged by Miss Watney and The Evangelization Society.
Miss Watney had Mission Cottages built (82/84 High Street)
1900Mission Hall, Manor Rd opened (Corrugated steel church building)
1900-1913First Ministers: Mr Bellchambers, Mr Price, Mr London and Mr Bray
1913-1919Pastorate of Rev R. Wright-Hay helped by Mr John Wood of TES
1919-1923Pastorate of Rev A. Brambleby
1923Death of Miss Watney. Trusteeship handed over to ‘The Evangelization Society’
1923(?)-1930Pastorate of Mr C. Swallow
1931-1936Pastorate of Mr W. H. Wheeler (first to live on site)
1936(?)-1945(?)Pastorate of Mr E. Blyth. First recorded marriage:  (Arthur Chapman and Dora Ellsey) 18th September 1943
1948(?)-1957Pastorate of Mr Plowman.  Mr Plowman was later killed in a road accident shorlty after finishing his ministry.
1957-1965Pastorate of Mr Ball.
1958Church became known as Horsell Evangelical Church. Basis of membership agreed. Membership 22.
1959Church accepted full financial responsibility for its affairs. Membership 28.
1965-1973Pastorate of Ray Murden.
1965/1966Trusteeship transferred to the FIEC.
1971Church constitution adopted
1973Revd Murden moved to Tenby, Manor Road
1977-1980Pastorate of Revd Sanders
197886/88 High Street and ‘triangle’ purchased
1982New Church Hall completed
1982-200?Pastorate of Revd Ian Childs
198382/84 and 86/88 High Street sold to a developer and demolished
1984New Church building completed and opened in September. Membership 64
1988, 1993Attempt to sell Tenby but no sale realised
2000Church Centenary June 24/25. Membership 34.
2001Final phase of rebuilding completed
2005-2012Pastorate of Revd Jim Winter
2013-to datePastorate of Revd Andrew Bents

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Winter Bible Club – Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Winter Bible Week is fast approaching. Join us for a week of activity and book your place on Saturday 17th February as we watch the film, ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ with Fish n’ Chips.

Food needs to be ordered and paid for by Wednesday if you are planning to attend the film on the Saturday. Food at 6:30pm. Film showing at 7:00pm.

 

Biblical Archaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2015

Biblical Archaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2015

Gordon Govier / posted December 30, 2015
Biblical Archaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2015,  Courtesy of Seales’ Research

Below are the top findings from the important excavations taking place in the lands of the Bible. (This list is subjective, and based on news reports rather than peer-reviewed articles in scientific publications.)

10. Beit Shemesh idol head
An Israeli boy enjoying a picnic with his family in mid-November at the ruins of the biblical city of Beit Shemesh found what appeared to be the small head of a statue and showed it to an Israeli tour guide. The guide encouraged the boy to take the find to the Israel Antiquities Authority, which he did. They determined it was the head of a fertility goddess, probably Asherah, dating to the 8th century B.C.

9. Horvat Kur Byzantine menorah mosaic
The 2015 excavation of a Byzantine synagogue at Horvat Kur, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, revealed a mosaic depicting a menorah with a unique oil lamp design. This project is one of several synagogues being excavated near the epicenter of Jesus’ ministry, providing new insights into worship communities in the centuries after Jesus.

8. The site of Herod’s palace
Early in 2015, archaeologists announced the excavations of a former Turkish prison near Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate would be open to the public via guided tours. The site is believed to have been the location of Herod’s palace 2,000 years ago, and possibly the site of the trial of Jesus before Pilate.

7. Iron Age gate at Gath
Excavators of Tell es-Safi (the Philistine city of Gath) have made many discoveries over 20 years of excavations, but in 2015 they found the monumental gate of Gath from the time of Goliath (its most famous resident). It is one of the largest city gates ever found in Israel, attesting to the importance of the city 3,000 years ago.

6. Rare 3,000-year-old seal from Jerusalem
Found in Temple Mount sifted dirt. Ten-year-old Matvei Tcepliaev, a tourist from Russia, participated in the Temple Mount Sifting Project during his family’s visit to Jerusalem. Amidst the dirt that is the focus of this project—illegally excavated from the Temple Mount in 1999—he discovered a seal dating to the time of King David and the Jebusites, 3,000 years ago. Archaeologists called it a rare find from that period of Jerusalem’s history.

5. Eshba’al name found at Khirbet Qeiyafa
This year, excavators announced their discovery at Khirbet Qeiyafa in 2012 of a 3,000-year-old jar inscribed with the name of Eshba’al. This is not the same Eshba’al who is referenced in 1 Chronicles 8:33, a son of King Saul, but that’s the only other mention of the name in ancient records, both from the identical era.

4. Canaanite ostracon from Lachish
Excavations at Lachish in 2014 turned up an ostracon (clay potsherd with writing) dating to around 1130 B.C. The meaning of the nine-letter Canaanite inscription is unclear, but the excavators say it provides significant information about the development of the Canaanite alphabet, and ultimately Hebrew, Greek, and Latin alphabets.

3. Hezekiah seal impression
In 2009, excavations in the Ophel, an area adjacent to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, uncovered the clay impression of the seal of Hezekiah. “It is the first seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king ever exposed in situ in a scientific archaeological excavation,” Hebrew University reported. This was one of 34 bullae (seal impressions) turned up in this particular excavation. It took many additional months before it was accurately read, to state, “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah.”

2. The venerated home of Jesus from Nazareth
University of Reading (UK) professor Ken Dark analyzed the results of long-neglected archaeological work done in 1936 and earlier at the convent of the Sisters of Nazareth. While it’s impossible to say that the remains of the home at the site belong to the home of Jesus during his childhood, Dark says it is clearly the place that Christians of the Byzantine era believed was the home of Jesus.

1. Carbonized scroll of Leviticus from Ein Gedi synagogue deciphered
In 1970, archaeologists discovered the charred remains of a parchment scroll in the ruins of a Byzantine synagogue at Ein Gedi, along the western shore of the Dead Sea. It was inconceivable, at the time, that this cigar-shaped charcoal briquette could reveal its contents.

But last summer, University of Kentucky professor Brent Seales used digital imaging software he developed to analyze the x-rays from a computer tomography scan of the scroll. Israeli archaeologists were amazed to see the first 8 verses of the book of Leviticus, making the 1,500-year-old Ein Gedi scroll the oldest known book of the Bible outside of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Seales’ ability to decode CT scans of ancient carbonized texts may open the door to recovering many more ancient documents, including an entire library of a Roman villa destroyed in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 73 A.D., as well as discarded papyrus documents used to create Egyptian mummy casings.

The Scroll of Isaiah was found in Perfect Condition

Article sourced from Bible History Online

Among the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 was found the “Scroll of Isaiah” inside of a clay jar and well preserved, dating to the 2nd century BC. The entire Hebrew text of the prophet Isaiah was found in “perfect” condition. When compared with the oldest biblical manuscript of Isaiah at the time (around 980 AD) it was astonishingly accurate. This is because of the arduous process of scribal transmission and the numbering of letters and words. Old Testament scholars are unanimous that the Scroll of Isaiah is “word for word identical” with the modern Hebrew text we have today except for minor variations in spelling. The Scroll of Isaiah was discovered at the city of Qumran in Cave 1 about 7 miles south of the city of Jericho. The discovery of the Scroll of Isaiah revealed that the many prophecies in the Old Testament book of Isaiah regarding Jesus Christ were written before the events actually happened.

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

“Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:16-21)

The Scroll of Isaiah Cave

Has Christianity plagiarised from Mithraism?

Mithras

You may have seen some pretty sensational claims on the internet regarding Christianity apparently stealing from Mithraism.

Claims such as, Christianity borrowed heavily from Mithraism which existed over 200 years earlier. Claims such as, Mithra died for the sins of humanity and had 12 apostles. That most of the tenets of Christianity were copied from Mithraism.

Such claims and videos on YouTube would be enough to shake a young Christian’s faith a little and perhaps even allow satan (or stan as I like to call him), the opportunity to pounce on these doubts.

But these claims are all based on heavily biased and quite frankly, disingenuous motives.

So here is why, Mithraism cannot be used as an objection to Christianity.

Mithraism developed in Persia approximately 500BC and then further evolved within Zoroaster’s movement around 200BC. Mithraism was at its height around 300AD which coincided with Christianity’s massive growth.

Many people think Christianity shares common features with Mithraism that were simply plagiarised by the church. If these features were indeed almost identical with Christianity then one could claim that Christianity was not as unique as its followers believe.

But there is a problem with the sensational claims that Mithraism’s beliefs came before Christianity.

Early references to Mithra come from ancient Hindu writings. However, the origin of the cult and its belief system that maintained strict secrecy about its teaching and practices which were only revealed to followers. In reality, the ancient form of Mithraism, looked nothing like Christianity, and the very little that is known about it make no mention of the later 2nd century additions. Hence, constructing the belief system and teachings is difficult because there is no early literary evidence about the beliefs of Mithraism. The small body of references that do refer to the cult come from the Church Fathers.

A Mithraism website stated the following, “It is not possible for the ancient Mithraic Mysteries to live again in their exact ancient form. Too much  information has been lost. Even if it were possible that somewhere, somehow, Mithraism had survived as an “underground” secret brotherhood, after so many centuries it would be vastly different from Mithraism as known by the Roman Empire from the 1st to 4th Centuries CE. ”

Mithraism, didn’t start to expand and evolve greatly until after Christianity and the Christian tenets were wildly circulated. Mithraism changed drastically from its Persian roots and became a Roman cult and in so doing, added similar features, indeed, plagiarising from Christianity. Mithraism’s teaching evolved and actually added a Christian familiarity to it in the 2nd century AD.

In the ‘Religions of Rome Volume I’. – Cambridge university Press. New York NY. 1998 p.279, Beard, North and Price state, “The form of the cult most familiar to us, the initiatory cult, does not seem to derive from Persia at all. It is found first in the west, has no significant resemblance to its supposed Persian ‘origins’, and seems largely to be a western construct.”

Because there is no evidence for the so called plagiarism, the claims of those who want to use this to attack the foundations of Christianity is ‘wishful thinking’ for the sincere and downright falsehood for the vindictive.

Ronald Nash believed that, “instead of Christianity borrowing form Mithraism, it was the other way around. Mithraism tried to make its pagan rituals look and feel more Christian.”

The clue to Mithraism is the pronunciation. Myth-raism.

Mithra was supposedly born when he emerged from a rock; he was carrying a knife and torch and wearing a phrygian cap. He battled first with the sun and then the primeval bull, which then became the ground of life for the human race.”

Mithraism was a cult developed from a myth that evolved over time and adopted into its system, the more popular Christian beliefs to give it appeal – to increase the ‘weekly offering’ – no doubt.