Monday, November 02, 2009

From Jerusalem to Greenvile, stop 1

Well, it's been far too long away from the blog! I've gave a few cards out, and worked on a few websites, but generally, I have just not been into the blogging scene lately.

Here is a "rabbit trail" I got on the other day. Using Googe Earth I traced the "Great Circle" from Jerusalem to Greenville. A great circle is a straight line drawn on a globe which is equally distant from the center. It is shorter than the line along the latitude east-and-west. The longitudes north-to-south are great circles. So, while heading west from Jerusalem brings you to the coast of Georgia, the great circle to the same point, or rather one close to it, goes across Europe and the North Atlantic.

The great circle to my house from the temple mound, then, goes from Israel, to Greece and Croatia, then through Italy, Switzerland and France, over the the channel to southern Wales, and then across the North Atlantic to Canada and the East Coast of America. I was surprized how this route somewhat traces the spread of the gospel to upstate South Carolina.

And so, I am going to attempt a "travelogue" of some of the villages (very few cities are in the path) that I found along the "rabbit trail." I will especially be looking for evidences of the church in these places.

The first village outside of Jerusalem is Bayt Surik. This is a Palestinian village subject to much controversy due to settlement of Jews outside Jerusalem. It is also spelled "Beit Surik," and supposedly means "Springs village." A security fence was built near here in 2006 which upset the native Palestinians greatly. The village is just over the 1949 Armistice Agreement Line in what is considered "occupied territory" popularly called "the West Bank."

A good site to visit concerning this village is

This is a site ran by some Britons who formed a friendship forum with the Palestinians. I borrowed the picture above from them. It seems that American Evangelicalism is very biased in favor of Israel, I would recommend that conservative Christians read both sides of what is happening in the "holy" land. The sin nature is alive and well in the homeland of Christ!

The nearest church that Google Maps pulls up is the Church of the Visitation, commemorating the site where Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, lived when Mary visited her (Luke 1:39). This is about eight miles away via curving road in a southern direction.

Biblical Ramah is three miles to the east, but the Google maps will not route you down the roads between the two places (both in the West Bank). The trip down into "Israel" and back up looks to be around ten miles. Keeping travelers off of dangerous Palestinian controlled roads seems to be a feature that Google wishes to provide. Mapquest, my other source for directions, is only for the US and Canada.