The Bible and Culture

The Bible and Culture


Chronicles of Middle Earth– Forewords

posted by Ben Witherington

Long, long ago, in a land far, far away, there lived Hobbits and dwarfs and elves and orcs and ents and humans altogether.  To visit this magical land today still requires that one arise and go away into a far country, traveling many hours in metal angels known as aeroplanes.  Of course what one sees today is not quite the same as what one would have seen in the age of Hobbits. Like visiting the sights of mighty battles from days of yore, to visit Middle Earth today is to see the shards and shadows of what once was.  Yet still there is stunning beauty and troubling evidence of the shadow that fell upon the land.  For example, in a land which once beheld Ring Wraiths and Dragons in the sky, today the national bird is a small brown nocturnal flightless creature that eats bugs.  How the mighty have fallen.  And today the land has a modern name reflecting the zeal of its inhabitants no doubt — so for the record New Zeal-land = Middle Earth, as we will soon see. 

Middle Earth is such a different place that for a modern person a guide is required so that one may see with old eyes the wonders there.  One possible guide would be a native Wellingtonian who is indeed a cinematic wizard, though sadly trapped in the body of a troll.    I speak not of Andrew Jackson or Michael Jackson, but rather Peter Jackson.

peter-jackson-halo.jpg

Here below is his home in Middle Earth, by the bay in Wellington.  You will see it does not much look like Rivendell or Hobbiton.
NZ 444.jpg

Actually I am reliably informed he spends most of his time in a Cave, Weta Cave to be specific, where he works his magic.
NZ 410.jpg

Upon entering Weta Cave, I found a guide who promised not to be ‘tricksy’ — whatever that might mean.

NZ 413.jpg

But you need a more reliable guide. No, that’s not Gimli the Dwarf,  its Benli the Prof!

NZ 569.jpg

So come away with me to Middle Earth over the Misty Mountains,

NZ 472.jpg

to a land of light and revelation, yet within the shadows of Mordor. I promise you will not be disappointed.

NZ 461.jpg


Long, long ago, in a land far, far away, there lived Hobbits and dwarfs and elves and orcs and ents and humans altogether.  To visit this magical land today still requires that one arise and go away into a far country, traveling many hours in metal angels known as aeroplanes.  Of course what one sees today is not quite the same as what one would have seen in the age of Hobbits. Like visiting the sights of mighty battles from days of yore, to visit Middle Earth today is to see the shards and shadows of what once was.  Yet still there is stunning beauty and troubling evidence of the shadow that fell upon the land.  For example, in a land which once beheld Ring Wraiths and Dragons in the sky, today the national bird is a small brown nocturnal flightless creature that eats bugs.  How the mighty have fallen.  And today the land has a modern name reflecting the zeal of its inhabitants no doubt — so for the record New Zeal-land = Middle Earth, as we will soon see. 

Middle Earth is such a different place that for a modern person a guide is required so that one may see with old eyes the wonders there.  One possible guide would be a native Wellingtonian who is indeed a cinematic wizard, though sadly trapped in the body of a troll.    I speak not of Andrew Jackson or Michael Jackson, but rather Peter Jackson.

peter-jackson-halo.jpg

Here below is his home in Middle Earth, by the bay in Wellington.  You will see it does not much look like Rivendell or Hobbiton.
NZ 444.jpg

Actually I am reliably informed he spends most of his time in a Cave, Weta Cave to be specific, where he works his magic.
NZ 410.jpg

Upon entering Weta Cave, I found my guide who promised not to be ‘tricksy’ whatever that might mean.

NZ 413.jpg

In the end I figured you would want a more reliable guide, so I called upon the following chap. No, that’s not Gimli the Dwarf,  its Benli the Prof!

NZ 569.jpg

So come away with me to Middle Earth over the Misty Mountains,

NZ 472.jpg

To a land of light and revelation, yet within the shadows of Mordor. I promise you will not be disappointed.

NZ 461.jpg



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