Keyword:

The Bible Comes Alive in Thanet

The Thanet district lies at the most easterly point of Kent. In the past, the 2,000 feet wide River Wantsum separated Thanet from the mainland but today ‘the Isle of Thanet’ is part of Kent.

The concept of putting on a Bible exhibition there was born about eight years ago when the Society received a small legacy to conduct an ‘outreach’.The Thanet Jewish community numbers 500, most of whom live in Margate, where two synagogues serve the spiritual needs of the community. It seemed that a Bible exhibition might attract Jewish people and afford an opportunity to evangelise by education. Alan Murphy, who began conducting meetings for us a few years ago, has an extensive collection of biblical artefacts and from 30 March to 6 April he and I took The Bible Comes Alive exhibition to St Philip’s Church in Margate. The week started with Alan donning Roman military armour for the morning family service at  St Philip’s, and speaking on the armour of God.

 

A Roman soldier in full armour was a hard act to follow but from the following Tuesday to Saturday the exhibition was open from 9am to 9pm each day and during the five days five hundred people, including about seventy schoolchildren in four groups from three schools, visited the exhibition. Alan and I presented six talks each day on the various exhibits, including the Tabernacle, the Temple, the Bedouin tent, the scribes’ materials, the potter and the plough. In the evening we delivered longer talks on the High Priest, Jesus the Rabbi, the Passover and the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.


Attendance at the evening meetings was encouraging, with between fifty and sixty visitors each night. The response to the exhibition and the talks was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic.

 

On Saturday afternoon David, an extrovert Jewish academic and author, made his presence felt and began to speak at length  on his knowledge of the Bible and Jesus, implying that we, by comparison, knew very little. David was about to begin writing a book on Jesus from a Jewish perspective and after our hour-long conversation he gave me (and others) a great bear hug and asked if I would be willing to comment on each chapter of the book! The week concluded with another Sunday service, at which I spoke on the subject, ‘What the Bible is all about.’  

Mike Moore

 

Over fifty people left written comments about the exhibition, or wrote afterwards. These are a few of things that were said:

 

‘I keep hearing of people who said that the Presence of the Holy Spirit was among us in a ‘felt’ way. His pleasure was surely on the coming together of believers from all over Thanet and beyond to learn of Him from the Scriptures that Jesus read.’

 

‘It is such a blessing to see the Bible come alive. I feel inspired. The talks were amazing – thank you so much. I’ve been so blessed.’

 

‘Overall an excellent exhibition. Our group were very impressed. I didn’t hear one negative comment! All of us learnt a lot, found the day enjoyable and were entertained too!’

 

‘Speechless! I haven’t heard a talk in such spiritual depth since my

husband died.’

 

‘People are still talking about this, two weeks later! You have a ‘winner’ here!’

 

‘Excellent exhibition. You should go on the road.’

This article first appeared in the summer Herald 2014

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