Gordon Franz

Text and Tell: The Excavations at Bethsaida

Where is Bethsaida? Bethsaida is mentioned more times in the gospels than any other city with the exception of Jerusalem and Capernaum, yet scholars still are debating the exact location of this site. The name “Bethsaida” means either “house of the fisherman” or “house of the hunter.” Both names fit well the geographical context. Bethsaida was the birthplace of at least three of Jesus’ early disciples – Peter, Andrew and Philip – and Philip apparently still lived there whil...

Jesus in the Region of Tyre and Sidon

JESUS IN THE REGION OF TYRE AND SIDON Gordon Franz Introduction During the summer of 2005, while standing on top of the dump of Area A-5, I had a conversation with the director of the Hazor excavation, Dr. Amnon Ben Tor. He asked me why most Christian pilgrims and tourists visit Megiddo, but not Hazor. I responded that there were two reasons. The first reason is logistics. The pilgrim / tourist lands at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and spend the first night in either Tel Aviv or Nat...

"Divine Healer: Jesus vs. Eshmun"

Introduction How well I remember the traumatic experience of composing my first book report in third grade. The teacher instructed us to list the title and author of the book, and then describe the main theme, or purpose of the book. I must confess my reading skills were not well-developed yet, so I struggled even with the help of my parents on that first book report. The most difficult part of the report was defining the theme. Why did the author write the book...

Temple Tax

“Does Your Teacher Not Pay the [Temple] Tax? ” (Mt 17:24-27) Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “… in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” What was said in 1789 is still true today. Franklin, however, was not the first to address these issues. The Lord Jesus spoke of the certainty of death (Luke 12:20; cf. Heb. 9:27; James 4:14, 15) as well as the certainty of taxes. ...

Greatest Fish Stories Ever Told

As the calm waters reflected the slowly rising sun over the Sea of Galilee, a lonely figure walked from Capernaum along a path near the rocky shore of the lake. On this spring day, He noticed the flowers, with their hue of diverse and plentiful colors, in full blossom along the shore and delighted in the birds flying overhead, singing their melodious songs. Yet His heart was still heavy. A few weeks before His family and friends rejected Him in His hometown o...

Earthquakes: On The Increase? Or Warning Of Judgment To Come?

Earthquakes are awesome natural phenomena that intrigue geologists who study them and terrorize victims who experience them. People caught in an earthquake often refer to it as one of the most terrifying experiences of their lifetimes. An earthquake, with its epicenter at Northridge in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles, California, jolted people awake in the early morning hours of January 17, 1994. The quake rumbled for 30 seconds. This earthquake was the second-costliest natu...

Romans 16: A “Grocery List” of Names Or the Heart and Focus of the Apostle Paul’s Ministry?

Part 1 Introduction Romans 16 is a chapter that we usually skip in our Bible studies or devotional reading because it appears to be a “grocery list” of names that we think are unimportant. Several years ago, I was attending a Bible study that was going verse-by-verse, in detail, through the book of Romans. When we came to chapter 16, we spent one night on this chapter looking at a couple of names, and then the teacher said we were finished with the book! But in actuality, we were n...

The Feedings of the Multitudes - When, Where and Why?

All four gospels record the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 (Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:1-13), but only Matthew (15:29-39) and Mark (8:1-10) record the feeding of the 4,000. Are these feedings actually the same event as some critical scholars suggest, or are they two separate events? When did they take place and why does the Lord Jesus perform the same miracle twice? Who are the recipients of Jesus’ miracles? What actually took place on the hillside of Galilee a...

David, Goliath And Tabloid Archaelogy

One day a friend sent me an invitation to a church meeting and asked me if I knew anything about the subject. On the flyer was a picture of a human skeleton with crooked teeth and a rock embedded in his forehead. The title above the skull read: “They’ve Found Goliath’s Skull!” Needless to say, that caught my attention. I read with great interest what was written on the flyer. It reported: “Diggers in Israel believe they’ve made a giant discovery. For they’re convinced they

Silas: A Faithful And Fearless Man

Silas: A Faithful and Fearless Man Gordon Franz Profiles in Missions Introduction During the last week of the Lord Jesus’ earthly ministry, He spoke a parable on faithfulness while He and His disciples sat on the Mount of Olives overlooking the city of Jerusalem (Matt. 24, 25). This parable is called the parable of the talents (25:14-30) and was given in the context of the Olivet Discourse. In this parable, Jesus describes a wealthy man who was leaving on a long trip. He gav...
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