I had a disappointing day today. The details I am trying to track down about the Bethlehem Shepherds proved even more elusive. I am basically trying to find some evidence for a preaching point that I came across a couple of years ago–that the Bethlehem Shepherds were raising the livestock to be used in the temple sacrifices. I was unable to find evidence for this in days of digging at the library here at Ecole Biblique, and yesterday at Bethlehem my very well informed guide also did not know about this detail.

Today I met with a scholar from the Hebrew University who answered some questions I had about the Mishnah and Tosfeta–these are Jewish rabbinical writings from the 2nd and 3rd centuries and beyond that some believe outline the rules and regulations for Jews to live by including the rubrics for temple worship. He did not know of any Jewish temple rules that stipulate where the animals should come from or the regulations for monitoring their birth and nurturing. I have a few more channels of enquiry–including a day trip to Hebron where there are families who still live in caves and some of these folks are shepherds. So maybe I will find what I’m looking for.

I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the Old City again. I love just wandering through the streets and alleyways. In the Armenian section I took a picture of a doorway with a nameplate of the family: “The Aslanian Family” So pleased to see that Aslan and his family actually live in Old City Jerusalem! (T&I)

This evening the priory hosted a classical music concert for Holy Week–just a piano, cello, violin and soprano. The highlight for me was Mozart’s Ave Verum.

Last evening I finished the final revision and review of the ms. of my novel Renegade Priest. I hope to get this out as a serialized podcast through the blog on my return in June. However, the editor who I hired to look at it thinks it is pretty good and I should seek a conventional publisher! Well gawrsh! I’ll be darned! It started as a hobby and an idea. Maybe it’s worth pursuing!