Petra Chosen as One of the Seven Wonders

Jordan celebrates Petra’s pick as one of 7 wonders of the world…             

Associated Press – July 8, 2007

Jordanians rejoiced Sunday over the inclusion of the ancient city Petra in the new seven wonders of the world, celebrating their victory with a fireworks display in the capital and dancing in the early morning hours.Petra came in second behind the Great Wall of China in a massive global online poll and phone campaign in which more than 100 million people chose the world’s top architectural marvels among 20 entries. The contest was launched by the Switzerland-based NewOpenWorld Foundation – a group that aims to promote cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments…

“This will really put Petra on the map of choice tourist destinations,” said taxi driver Bassam Kabbalani, who was among the early morning revelers at the King Hussein Gardens, a popular family spot in Amman. “Before Petra was known to some, but now it’s known to all.”“I’m sure Petra’s win means that even more tourists will visit Jordan,” said shopkeeper Farouk Tanhammi. “That’s exactly what our economy needs right now.”

Petra – most recently popularized by the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” – is known for its dramatic tombs and temple facades, including one that served as a church during Byzantine times. The city’s inhabitants, Nabataean Arab nomads, carved the structures into the soft sandstone some 2,000 years ago.

The rose-red rock city was hidden behind an almost impenetrable barrier of rugged mountains for centuries until it was rediscovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burchhardt in 1812…

The event was broadcast live on screens set up on hilly Amman’s highest point, the Citadel, as well as at Petra’s striking Treasury, the site’s signature monument.

Jordan Television ran continuous programing from Petra, where thousands gathered to hear the results and enjoy a night filled with Arabic music and traditional dancing.

On Sunday, Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit presided over a conference in the ancient city entitled Petra, the Center of Human Culture to honor its new title…

The campaign for the new seven wonders was begun in 1999 by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber, with almost 200 nominations coming in from around the world.

The list of candidates was narrowed down to 21 by the start of 2006, including Egypt’s Pyramids.

From a COG perspective, Petra has often been mentioned as a possible “place of safety“–the place in the wilderness that the Philadelphian remnant will live at during the Great Tribulation.

Interestingly, some Protestant theologians believe that during the Great Tribulation, Jewish Christian converts will be protected in Petra (since the COGs keep practices that the original Jewish Christians did, in that sense this particular Protestant understanding may be correct).  It should be noted that it is not absolutely biblical certain that Petra will be that place.  Also the more popular Petra becomes, unless world events change in particular ways (which they may) it may be that the Philadelphian remnant will simply be near, not in, Petra.

However what is certain from a biblical perspective is that there will not be a “pre-tribulation rapture” of Christians, even though many (but not all) evangelicals seem to prefer to believe otherwise.

Two articles of possible interest may include:

There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and HWA on this subject,
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach?

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