The man behind the projector was embarrassed.
His trip to Israel had been one of the most exciting experiences of his life. But now
as he was showing the slides he had taken to his friends, he was unable to identify many of them. "This
one I think was taken in Jericho-No, that isn’t right-Oh, I know now, it was taken in Bethlehem-If only
Marj were here! She kept a diary…"
As he spoke, a hollow place formed in his stomach.
It was a painful evening and everyone was glad when the lights were turned on. Unfortunately,
this was not an isolated case. The solution to such tragedies is extremely simple. Travelers should
read about the sites before they get to them! And that is one of the purposes of this book.
Another purpose of the book is to make the New Testament come to life for the ordinary
reader. One of the great scenes in the New Testament is when Jesus stood as a prisoner before Herod
Antipas. This was God in the hands of a man! Ah, but the drama increases for the reader when he learns
that this Herod was the son of the Herod who tried to kill the infant Jesus. And the drama gets a further
nudge when we realize that this Herod had also had trouble with the Sanhedrin. Indeed, he had had so much
trouble with that august body, he had ordered forty-five of them put to death.
Or let us take a look at Paul as he stood bound before Felix. Here, again, the drama
tightens when we learn that Felix was a former slave; and that even during the trial he was in such trouble
with the Roman Government he feared for his life.
To many, such places as Tarsus, Ephesus, and Antioch are just vague names with no real
meaning. But if such people could visualize an eager messenger carrying an epistle along the Via Egnatia;
or if they could think of Cleopatra, dressed like Aphrodite, sailing up the Cydus to Tarsus, those cities
would leap into life and demand to be studied.
The rulers and the cities and the events of the early Christian times were extremely
interesting. This book will help lift them out of the forgotten past into present reality.
Formerly, this work was published as two books: Rulers of New Testament Times,
and Cities in New Testament Times. In this larger volume new material has been added as well as
valuable information provided the reader in the two appendixes.
Charles Ludwig, Tucson, Arizona
"This handbook is a banquet of tasty delicacies from New Testament times. The author spreads
before us the kind of useful and interesting information about Roman rulers and cities that will season
our personal Bible study and add spice to any Sunday school lesson or devotional. Just reading it is a
delight." Dr. Woodrow M. Kroll, President, Practical Bible Training School, Bible School Park, New York