Black Spirituality Religion : Archaeology and the New Testament

cherryblossom

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Feb 28, 2009
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What about stuff relating to the new testament, any new archeology finds other than the 'Shroud of Turin'? ..lol.

Good Question!


Nazareth
Many Christian were probably not aware that skeptics have been saying for a long time that Nazareth never existed during the time of Jesus' lifetime....
(Note: Nazareth does exist NOW, it's quite big even - that's because Emperor Constantine built a church there in the 4th century and became a center of Christian pilgrimages.

The skeptics were saying that Nazareth did not exist when Jesus was alive - so they are saying that Nazareth was built later !!!)

This is an indirect claim that the New Testament is nothing more than a fairy tale, because if Nazareth did not exist, Jesus never grew up in Nazareth.... so Jesus never existed.... In other words, Jesus is just as real as Peter Pan....

Surely, you know that the New Testament mentioned Nazareth (Jesus is often called "Jesus of Nazareth" because He grew up there)
However, no acient historians or geographers before around 400 AD mentioned Nazareth....

The earliest appearance of Nazareth in Jewish literature was in a poem written around 700 AD

Source: Case for Christ, pp 102
Obviously, this give the skeptics lots of ammunition in discrediting the New Testament....

It is no wonder that Nazareth was not mentioned by historians:
John 1:46 -- And Nathaniel said to him (Philip): "Can there be any good thing come out of Nazareth ?"
This implies that Nazareth is a lowly, poor and backward place where it will never produce any person of significance....

Historians write about kings and emperors; not about people in rat holes...

The evidence that Nazareth [DID exist] in Jesus' time came from the finding of a list in Aramaic (Jewish language) describing a number of famlies of priests that were no longer needed in 70 AD.
It is the custom to select priests from every town and city to serve in the temple.

When the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the priests were no longer needed....

Archaelogists have discovered a list of 24 families of priests who were relocated after the temple's destruction and one of the family was registered as having moved to .... you guessed it.... Nazareth !

So Nazareth [did exist] in 70 A.D!

http://www.ichthus.info/CaseForChrist/Archeology/intro.html
 
New Testament Papyri

A New Testament papyrus is a copy of a portion of the New Testament made on papyrus. To date, over one hundred and twenty such papyri are known. In general, they are considered the earliest and best witnesses to the original text of the New Testament....


We now have early and very early evidence for the text of the New Testament. A classified list of the most important manuscripts will make this clear. Numbers preceded by a P refer to papyri, the letters refer to parchment manuscripts.

ca. A.D. 200 250 300 350 450

Matthew P45 B Sin.
Mark P45 B Sin. A
Luke P4,P45,P75 B Sin. A
John P66 P45,P75 B Sin. A
Acts P45 B Sin. A
Romans-Hebrews P46 B Sin. A
James-Jude P72,B Sin. A
Apocalypse P47 Sin. A

As you can see, from the fourth century onwards the material base for establishing the text of the Greek New Testament is very good indeed. The manuscripts Sin. (Sinaiticus), A (Alexandrinus) and B (Vaticanus) are almost complete parchment manuscripts. With the help of the earlier papyrus manuscripts we have been able to establish that the text of these three great manuscripts is to a large extent reliable. The papyrus manuscript P75 was the latest to be published, but it showed a virtually identical text to manuscript B. This settled the vexed question whether we have in the parchment manuscripts of the fourth and fifth centuries a safe guide to the original text of the New Testament....

It is to be noticed that all the manuscripts listed above come from Egypt. The papyri were found there in the twentieth century.... We owe the early Egyptian Christians an immense debt....

http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html
 


The Pool Of Bethesda

... The pool was 350 feet long and 200 feet wide and was a part of Herod’s grandiose plan to augment Jerusalem’s short water supply. The pool was decorated with porches and porticos and was 25 feet deep. The colonnades were visible at the time of Christ, but the pools would not have been enclosed as they now are. At that time, the floor level was much lower.

BETHES'DA Heb. beth Chesda" (house of mercy) Gk. from Aram. Beth hesda, "house of grace"). A spring-fed pool with five porches where invalids waited their turn to step into the mysteriously troubled waters that were supposed to possess healing virtue (Jn 5:2-4). The historicity of this site was once in question. Scholars like Dr. Alfred Loisy, claimed the detail of the five porticoes was invented. But recent archaeological discoveries confirmed the Biblical account. In 1956, digging at the ancient Biblical site of Bethesda, archaeologists unearthed a rectangular pool with a portico on each side and a fifth one dividing the pool into 2 separate compartments...

http://www.bethesda.med.navy.mil/visitor/pride_of_place/pop_committee/pool/pool.htm


John.5

[1] After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
[2] Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
[3] In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
[4] For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
[5] And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
[6] When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

[7] The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
[8] Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
[9] And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked
: and on the same day was the sabbath.
 
I. A CENSUS, AND QUIRINIUS GOVERNOR AT THE TIME OF JESUS' BIRTH?
- Lk 2:1-3


A. IT WAS ONCE ARGUED THAT LUKE WAS IN ERROR...
1. In other words, that there was no such census
2. Also, that Quirinius was not governor of Syria at that time
3. And that people did not have to return to their ancestral home

B. BUT ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES HAVE PROVEN OTHERWISE...
1. We now know that the Romans:
a. Had a regular enrollment of taxpayers
b. Held censuses every 14 years (begun by Augustus Caesar)
2. An inscription found in Antioch tells of Quirinius being
governor of Syria around 7 B.C. (evidently he was governor
twice!)
3. A papyrus found in Egypt says concerning the conducting of a
census:
"Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all
those residing for any cause away from their home should at
once prepare to return to their own governments in order that
they may complete the family registration of the enrollment..."

II. WHO IS THIS LYSANIAS? - Lk 3:1

A. THE ONLY LYSANIAS KNOWN TO ANCIENT HISTORIANS...
1. Was one who was killed in 36 B.C.
2. This caused some to question Luke's reliability

B. HOWEVER, AN INSCRIPTION WAS FOUND NEAR DAMASCUS...
1. It speaks of "Freedman of Lysanias the tetrarch"
2. And is dated between 14 and 29 A.D.!

III. WHOEVER HEARD OF "THE PAVEMENT" (GABBATHA)? - Jn 19:13

A. FOR CENTURIES THERE WAS NO RECORD OF THE COURT CALLED "THE
PAVEMENT" OR "GABBATHA"...
1. This caused many to say "It's a myth"
2. And, "See, it (the Bible) is not historical"

B. BUT WILLIAM F. ALBRIGHT IN "THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF PALESTINE" SHOWS
OTHERWISE...
1. This court was the court of the Tower of Antonia
2. The court was destroyed in 66-70 A.D. during the siege of
Jerusalem
3. It was left buried when the city was rebuilt in the time of
Hadrian
4. And was not discovered until recently!

IV. ICONIUM A CITY OF PHRYGIA? - Ac 14:6

A. ARCHAEOLOGISTS AT FIRST BELIEVED LUKE'S IMPLICATION TO BE WRONG...
1. That Lystra and Derbe were in Lycaonia and Iconium was not
2. They based their belief on the writings of Romans such as
Cicero, Strabo, and Pliny
3. Who indicated that Iconium was in Lycaonia
4. Thus, archaeologists said the book of Acts was unreliable!

B. BUT IN 1910, SIR WILLIAM RAMSAY FOUND A MONUMENT...
1. Which showed that Iconium was indeed a Phrygian city
a. Two inscriptions in the Phrygian language found at Iconium
in 1910 prove that the Phrygian language was in use there
for 2 centuries after Paul's visits
b. Cofirming the interesting topographical detail in Acts (see
Jour. Hell. Stud., 1911, 189).
2. Xenophon, who marched with Cyrus’ expedition through Phrygia
into Lycaonia, calls Iconium the last city of Phrygia
3. Other ancient authorities who knew the local conditions well
speak of Iconium as Phrygian until far into the Roman imperial
period

V. WHOEVER HEARD OF "POLITARCHS"? - Ac 17:6

A. CONCERNING THE TERM "RULERS OF THE CITY" (GREEK "POLITARCHS")...
1. Since the term is not found in the classical literature of the
Greeks...
2. ...it was assumed that Luke was wrong to refer to such an
office

B. HOWEVER...
1. Some 19 inscriptions have now been found that make use of this
title
2. Five of these are in reference to Thessalonica!

http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/ca/ca_05.htm
 


Pool Of Siloam

The Pool of Siloam is the ancient termination point for King Hezekiah’s famous tunnel that brought water from the Gihon Spring at the floor of the Kidron Valley into the City of Jerusalem. The 1,750 foot tunnel was dug by two separate teams that miraculously met in the middle. The famous Siloam Inscription commemorates the engineering marvel that brought water to the Pool of Siloam and protected Jerusalem’s water supply in the event of siege....

...in 2004, archaeologists stumbled upon the true 1st century Pool of Siloam when sewer engineers uncovered ancient steps during pipe maintenance near the mouth of Hezekiah’s ancient water tunnel. The bulldozers were immediately stopped, and by the summer of 2005, archaeologists carefully revealed the actual Pool of Siloam from the time of Jesus....

http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/pool-of-siloam-faq.htm
John.9

[1] And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
[2] And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
[3] Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
[4] I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
[5] As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
[6] When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
[7] And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
[8] The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
[9] Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
[10] Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
[11] He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
 

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