Tabitha’s story begins in Joppa, an ancient seaport along the Mediterranean. You and I might remember this harbor city as the place Jonah fled to when he heard God’s call to Nineveh. Joppa’s international anchorage was so well represented, Jonah knew he could board a ship to the farthest reaches of the west—in the opposite direction of Assyria—as soon as he arrived. Further back in its history, Joppa represented the territory allotted to the tribe of Dan in the book of Joshua. When the Danites lost their territory, they were only able to reclaim Leshem.
Centuries afterward, when Solomon built his palace and the temple, the massive cedar logs he conscripted had to come through Joppa’s port, the only natural harbor between Egypt to the south and Akko to the north. Again, a thousand years later at the rebuilding of the temple, the lumber needed to come through Joppa.
Imagine a bustling metropolis, with thriving import-export trade, merchant families living in impressive homes, the sounds of creaking ships, gulls, languages from around the world, temples and houses of worship representing dozens of religions, wine bars and inns with an overflowing clientele of travelers and seafarers, an easy place to get lost in, to start over, to begin an adventure. Joppa also represented the meeting of many cultures, for though it was one Palestine’s most important port cities, and certainly Jerusalem’s most important, Joppa also bordered Samaria and occupied the Phoenician region.
Which brings us to the unique and intriguing story of a woman with dual citizenship, as it were, a woman known for her good deeds, the only woman who was actually called disciple in the entire Christian Testament, whose death rocked her Christian community to its core, and her deliverance by being raised back to life generated widespread belief in the Lord.
Each video is designed to offer background scholarship on the topic, including setting, culture, original language, and archaeology, as well as a theological study.
The “Broken, Searching, Trusted, Powerful” series is a companion to the book, available on Amazon, and published by Wipf and Stock.