Seminary Chicago Trip

Last Thursday, January 16, the Seminary faculty (minus Prof.B.Gritters who was leaving for home from India), registrar and students filled a large passenger van and headed to Chicago for the day. This trip had actually been planned for Tuesday of the week before, but a near blizzard along the Michigan lakeshore took care of that. But we were able to reschedule, thanks to Mr.Rich Ryenga of our Bethel PRC and Dr.Ralph Klein at the Lutheran School of Theology.

We had planned this trip, in part due to the fact that the Seminary interim had been postponed and partly because we had wanted for over a year to arrange a trip to this Lutheran Seminary to view the rare books in the Gruber collection. This we did in the morning, as Dr. R.Klein from the LST gave us a glimpse of the wonderful collection they have. We had asked in advance to see especially the books from the German Reformation collection (the students had just taken Reformation church history last semester) and in the Bibles/ Greek NT manuscript collection (Rich R.’s passion and ours too!).

Dr.R.Klein showing the group some rare German Reformation items.

Dr.R.Klein showing the group some rare German Reformation items.

More of the rare Gruber collection's German Reformation items for our viewing.

More of the rare Gruber collection’s German Reformation items for our viewing.

A copy of Luther's 95 theses printed in Latin, dated 1517.

A copy of Luther’s 95 theses printed in Latin, dated 1517.

Dr.R.Klein explains the rare Greek NT mss., 1 from the 9th century, 1 from the 12th.

Dr.R.Klein explains the rare Greek NT mss., one from the 9th century, one from the 12th.

 

Dr.Klein proved to be an informative and entertaining host, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there viewing the incredible rare books, including a copy of Luther’s 95 theses published in 1517 (Yes, you read that correctly!) and a Greek NT written on vellum from 850 A.D.! We have already decided we want to return, since these two collections are only a small part of the Gruber collection (and you can see a lot of it online too – be sure to visit that link!).

From that visit we walked the three blocks or so to the Oriental Institute Museum on the University of Chicago campus. In its own words,

The Oriental Institute Museum is a world-renowned showcase for the history, art, and archaeology of the ancient Near East. The museum displays objects recovered by Oriental Institute excavations in permanent galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the ancient site of Megiddo, as well as rotating special exhibits.

Some of us had been here before but most had not, and for that reason this visit too proved to be profitable and enjoyable. As you will see from the above description, “Oriental” does not refer to the Far East but to the Near East, encompassing those nations and lands that played such an important role in OT history. The University of Chicago has had archaeologists working in this region of the world since the 1920s, and they have gathered a fine collection of artifacts relating to all aspects of the culture of these peoples and places.

From these remarkable displays we learned much about the history of these nations and how God used them for the good of His OT church. You may also browse these collections on the OIM website linked above.

Students check out the Mesopotamia displays at the Oriental Institute.

Students check out the Mesopotamia displays at the Oriental Institute.

A large portion of the displays is devoted to the religions (pagan and false) of the Near Eastern nations, such as this one.

A large portion of the displays is devoted to the religions (pagan and false) of the Near Eastern nations, such as this one.

Part of a wall to a Persian palace on display.

Part of a wall to a Persian palace on display.

20-foot statue of King Tut, with our much shorter Prof.R.Cammenga :) .

20-foot statue of King Tut, with our much shorter Prof.R.Cammenga 🙂 .

 

Since we were so close to the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on the UC campus (directly behind the museum), we took a tour of this remarkable structure as well. As you will see from the pictures, this added to the great experiences of the day.

The front of Rockefeller Chapel at the Univ. of Chicago.

The front of Rockefeller Chapel at the Univ. of Chicago.

The rear of the Rockefeller Chapel, with the organ loft.

The rear of the Rockefeller Chapel, with the organ loft.

Two students in the organ loft - can you see who they are?

Two students in the organ loft – can you see who they are?

A distinguished student in the main pulpit - Jon Langerak.

A distinguished student in the main pulpit – Jon Langerak.

And another distinguished student in the smaller pulpit/lectern. If only the chapel could hear Reformed preaching!

And another distinguished student in the smaller pulpit/lectern. If only the chapel’s audience could hear Reformed preaching!

 

There was one more stop on our itinerary: the original Aurelio’s Pizza restaurant in Homewood, IL, where we enjoyed a delicious supper of Chicago-style pizza! What a treat! All in all, it was a great day.

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