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Atlanta, 27 July 2016

Hello from Atlanta, Georgia! I've just returned from an amazing Caribbean teaching tour on the islands of Jamaica, Trinidad, and Tobago. Many more watched the streaming classes in the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Vincent. In the photo at the right I'm with Patrick Caesar (Tobago) and his wife Donna (Jamaica) -- a great couple and also an apt symbol of Caribbean unity!

In Homiletics we explored how to move from text to message. Through the course of the weekend, the group became increasingly alert, involved, and excited, appreciating the power of expository teaching and preaching. What responsive hearts for Christ our Caribbean brothers and sisters have! I'm home for 6 weeks now, not only to catch my breath, but also to do some writing, as well as local teaching and preaching. Next trip: Central America (5-12 Sept).

Biblical Words Series:

                    N.T. Greek    O.T. Hebrew  –  O.T. Aramaic


The Bible features hundreds of place names unfamiliar to unbelievers. It's important to appreciate these words if we are to fully "get" the biblical message. If you're a frequent reader, you have (at least partially) entered this world, and already know many Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic terms -- even if you aren't aware of it.

Today let's zoom in on the Aramaic Golgothâ, the place where Jesus was killed (Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17). Gulgatā (cp. Heb. gulgōleth), means skull. In Latin (the language of the Romans who crucified Christ) the word is Calvarius, meaning place of the skull.

Perhaps Golgothâ resembled a skull, or the skulls of the crucified were piled up there; these are the two major suggestions. I lean to the idea that the location resembled a cranium. However, because of erosion, warfare, quarrying, and other human activity, the shapes of landforms in modern Jerusalem don't always correspond to their ancient counterparts. It can be difficult to make identifications. Either way, Golgothâ is a place of death. Surely what's important isn't the location of Golgothâ, but the significance! Through His death we have life (2 Cor 5:15).

Further Aramaic place names
Here are some more familiar Aramaic place names (Greek transliterations -- how these words appear in the Greek N.T.):
  • Gabbathâ (Γαββαθᾶ), stone pavement
  • 'Akeldamá (Ἀκελδαμά), field of blood
  • Bēthesdá (Βηθεσδά), house of mercy
  • Gethsemanê (Γεθσημανῆ), (olive) oil press
The next newsletter features one of the best known Hebrew words of all time. (Can you guess which one?)

Internet purity

One of the commonest strategies the Evil One employs to destroy the effectiveness and joy of believers is to lure them towards lustful thoughts. In Job 31:1, falsely accused Job affirms his integrity: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman." With this thought in mind, Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability and Filtering provides a superb tool for helping us maintain sexual purity. Check it out. Just click on the logo, using promo code Jacoby for the first 30 days free.

Douglas & Pharaoh's Cupbearer

I recently pointed readers to a podcast on the Dead Sea Scrolls. As some of you pointed out, there were only notes -- no podcast. My bad! I believe a few years ago I created the lesson and intended to record but, as the cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings" (Gen 41:9). At last, here is the link.

Until next week!
Douglas Jacoby

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