Saturday, June 13, 2009

First Day of Class at JETS

Today we met our class and started to teach our course in 8th Century Prophets. Our class in made up of 14 Bachelor-level students and 5 Masters-level students. This is a great number for our class since due to some legal restraints the total number of students at JETS has come down from almost 150 to 60 over the past two years. Our class has 6 females and 13 males. They come from the countries of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Sudan. A few speak English but most are only conversant in Arabic. Our translator is a young man Hanna Hattar (the picture on the right shows Steven Anderson teaching while Hanna translates). He has done a great job although in my passion I sometimes get carried away and speak for too long and he needs to interrupt before he forgets what I said!
This afternoon I took Steven Anderson out to a place called Iraq al-Amir, a 2nd century Hellenistic pre-Roman country villa. This site is about 10-12 miles outside of Amman in the valley facing towards the west (Jordan Valley). It has some amazingly large stones (up to 25 tonnes!) but is still is a state of disrepair. One interesting inscription found above a cave is the name "Tobiah." This name is preserved as an Ammonite family name from the time of the 5th century Tobiah in the Bible (Nehemiah 2:19). Tobiah the Ammonite was one of the men who opposed Nehemiah in the building of the wall of Jerusalem.
In the field next to this site grain gathering was going on. Some women were cutting the grain (and another was watching the goats), some young people were loading the grain, and the men were sitting down resting from all the supervision they were doing!
On the way back to Amman I stopped to take a picture of a young man with his donkey bringing some grain home.
Tomorrow is Sunday and we are off to church. I'll let you know tomorrow night how the service was compared to my normal worship service at Waterbrook!

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