Although I can’t claim I saw Jesus in a dream as our friends in the More Than Dreams videos did, my saving encounter with Our Lord was a “direct divine intervention.” That being the case, my early Christian formation didn’t get as much help from family and church as one would like. But one of the instructions I did get was to read the Bible. Even that was problematic: Bible studies weren’t a part of our home life, and scrounging a Bible wasn’t easy. But eventually I found one suitable for the task.
Always one to look at charts and maps, the ones in the back intrigued me, especially the one above. It was the mid-1960’s. Where was the state of Israel? And Jordan?
It took a long time to connect the dots, but I eventually realised that this Bible of mine dated from the turn of the twentieth century, and that the provincial structure shown above was that of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, thus the name for Jerusalem (el Kuds.) It wasn’t long before British General Allenby would enter the city on foot and change everything. But the map has historical value and thus it’s worth presenting, along with two others below.
Jerusalem at the same time. Note the “quarters” in the city, reflecting the millet system the Turks used to divide their various ethnic and religious groups. The Armenians were soon to suffer grievously at the hands of the Turks, and the Jews were soon to arrive in large numbers preparing for the State of Israel a half century later. The “Mosque Al-Aqsa” is the place after which the Martyrs Brigade is named.
The area around Jerusalem, obviously a more populous place now than then.