ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my library, where I collect information and present arguments developed by myself that lead, in my view, to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation for the origin of the physical world.


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The decree of the 70 sevens

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Daniel10

JOHN F. WALVOORD (2011): According to Daniel 9:24, six major events characterize the 490 years: (1) “to finish transgression”; (2) “to put an end to sin”; (3) “to atone for wickedness”; (4) “to bring in everlasting righteousness”; (5) “to seal up vision and prophecy”; and (6) “to anoint the most holy” (v. 24). As none of the six achievements were explained, it leaves the expositor to find a plausible explanation.

The accomplishment defined as “the finished transgression” most probably refers to Israel’s tendency to apostasy, which must be brought to a close as Israel is brought to restoration and spiritual revival at the time of the second coming of Christ. The objective to “put an end to sin” may be understood either as bringing sin to its point of forgiveness or it could mean bringing sin to its final judgment. The third achievement, “to atone for wickedness,” refers both to the death of Christ on the cross, which is the basis for all grace, and the application of this, especially to Israel, at the time of the second coming. The expression to atone literally means “to cover.” The death of Christ deals with sin in the final way that the sacrifices of the Old Testament could only illustrate temporarily. When Christ died on the cross, He brought in permanent reconciliation for those who would turn to Him in faith (2 Cor. 5:19). The fourth achievement, “to bring in everlasting righteousness,” was made possible by the death of Christ on the cross. The application of this to Israel individually and nationally relates to the second coming. As stated in Jeremiah 23:5–6, “‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.’” The time of this is the second coming, the same time that David will be resurrected to be a regent under Christ (30:9). Righteousness is one of the outstanding characteristics of the millennial kingdom in contrast to previous dispensations. The fifth objective of the 490 years is “to seal up vision and prophecy.” This expression refers to completion of the inspired Bible with the writing of the New Testament. The figure of “seal” refers to the sealing of a letter after it is completed and closed and then rendered safe by the seal. In like manner, God has completed the inspiration of the Bible, and no additional books will be written. The sixth achievement, “to anoint the most holy,” has brought a variety of interpretations. Some relate it to the dedication of the temple built by Zerubbabel (516 BC); others relate it to the sanctification of the temple altar in the Maccabean period after it had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes (165 BC) (cf. 1 Macc. 4:52–56), or in the distant future to the dedication of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1–27). Still others refer it to the millennial temple described by Ezekiel (Ezek. 40–42). Because the prophecy is not entirely clear, probably the best conclusion is that its complete fulfillment refers to the New Jerusalem, which will be God’s temple in eternity. Because the other items of prophecy concluded with the second coming, there was no clear event at that time relating to the temple. The anointing of the Most Holy will, however, be in keeping with other facets of the 490 years that have to do with judgment of sin, atonement, forgiveness, and spiritual restoration.

First Seven Years:  The 490 years is divided into three parts: First, seven times seven, or a forty-nine-year period, then sixty-two times seven, or 434 years, and then the final seventieth seven, or the last seven years. According to verse 25, in the first seven sevens the streets and a trench will be built in times of trouble. This period of forty-nine years described the aftermath of Nehemiah’s building the wall of Jerusalem and requiring one out of ten in Israel to build a house in Jerusalem, which was fulfilled in the fifty years after the building of the wall. This was in complete fulfillment of the first seven times seven years. 

Next Sixty-Two Sevens, 434 Years: The second segment of sixty-two sevens, or 434 years, was added to the first forty-nine years, bringing the total to 483 years.

Events between Sixty-Nine and Seventy Sevens In this period the Anointed One, or the Messiah, is born and is cut off after the conclusion of the 483rd year as stated in verse 26: “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing.” A further prophecy is given of an event after the sixty-ninth seven and before the seventieth seven: “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed” (v. 26). Two major events mark the difference between the ending of the sixty-ninth seven and the beginning of the seventieth seven, meaning that the Messiah would be cut off approximately AD 33 and that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed in AD 70. Obviously, if the fulfillment of the last seven years immediately followed the preceding period, there would be no time in which to consider the destruction of Jerusalem as part of the fulfillment, which would precede the last seven years. Again, a literal interpretation, as held by premillenarians, is preferable to the amillennial explanation that this has already been fulfilled in one sense or another. The end came for Jerusalem in its destruction in AD 70, and following that, war continues with its desolations as history has confirmed.

Seventieth Seven: Is related to end times and events, that have yet to happen, and will not be treated closer here. 30

Daniel was next told by Gabriel that the 70 sevens are to accomplish six purposes.
1. The first is to finish transgression. The Hebrew word translated “to finish” means “to restrain firmly,” “to restrain completely” or “to bring to completion.”
2. The second purpose of the 70 sevens is to make an end of sins. The Hebrew word translated “to make an end” literally means “to seal up” or “to shut up in prison.”
3. The third purpose is to make a reconciliation for iniquity. The Hebrew word translated “to make reconciliation” is “kaphar,” which has the same root meaning as the word “kippur,” as in Yom Kippur. The word “kaphar” literally means “to make atonement.”
4. The fourth purpose of the 70 sevens is to bring in everlasting righteousness. More literally this could be translated “to bring in an age of righteousness,”
5. The fifth purpose is to seal up vision and prophecy. Here Daniel used a word that means “to shut up.” So “to seal up” means to cause a cessation or to completely fulfill. Thus, vision and prophecy are to be completely fulfilled.” Vision” is a reference to oral prophecy, while “prophecy” refers to written prophecy. Both oral and written prophecy will cease
6. The final purpose of the 70 sevens is to anoint the most holy. A better translation here would be “to anoint a most holy place.” This is a reference to the Jewish temple which is to be rebuilt when Messiah comes.

DAVID J. HAMSTRA (2018): For Christians who interpret the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24–27 by correlating the coming of the messiah with the arrival of Jesus Christ, the question of whether Jesus could have been identified as the predicted messiah at the time of fulfillment is theologically significant given biblical claims of prophetic intelligibility. There is a consensus among scholars affirming the view that interpretation of the seventy weeks prophecy led to a climate of messianic expectation among certain sectors of first-century Jewish society. This position is supported by the explicit connection of the seventy weeks to the anticipated arrival of a messiah in Melchizedek (11Q13). Josephus provides an independent line of circumstantial evidence that dates this expectation to the first century. This warrants the theological conclusion that the prophecy was, in principle, intelligible to those among whom it was fulfilled.7

A. Fruchtenbaum (2018): Daniel 9:24a:  The angel Gabriel’s prophecy to Daniel began with the words, “Seventy sevens are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city…”

Many English versions have translated the phrase to read “seventy weeks.” But this translation is not totally accurate and has caused some confusion about the meaning of the passage. Most Jews know the Hebrew for “weeks” because of the observance of the Feast of Weeks, and that Hebrew word is shavuot. However, the word that appears in the Hebrew text is shavuim, which means “sevens.” The word refers to a “seven” of anything, and the context determines the content of the seven.

Here it is obvious Daniel had been thinking in terms of years—specifically the 70 years of captivity. Daniel had assumed that the captivity would end after 70 years and that the kingdom would be established after 70 years. But here Gabriel was using a play upon words in the Hebrew text, pointing out that insofar as Messiah’s kingdom was concerned, it was not “70 years,” but “70 sevens of years,” a total of 490 years (70 times seven).

“Times of the Gentiles”

This period of 490 years had been “decreed” over the Jewish people and over the holy city of Jerusalem. The Hebrew word translated “decreed” literally means “to cut off” or “to determine.” In chapters 2, 7 and 8, God revealed to Daniel the course of future world history in which gentiles would have a dominant role over the Jewish people. This lengthy period, which began with the Babylonian Empire to continue until the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom, is for that reason often referred to as the “Times of the Gentiles.” Now the prophet was told that a total of 490 years was to be “cut out” of the Times of the Gentiles, and a 490-year period had been “determined” or “decreed” for the accomplishment of the final restoration of Israel and the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom.

The focus of the program of the 70 sevens was “thy people and…thy holy city.” The “people” were Daniel’s people, the Jewish people, and the city was Daniel’s city, Jerusalem. Though he had spent the vast majority of his life in the city of Babylon, Jerusalem was still Daniel’s city. For Jews, whether they are in the land or outside the land, their city is always Jerusalem and not any other.8

Neverthirsty:  The Hebrew word for “weeks” is sabua and it means a “period of seven” and can refer to seven days, weeks or years. In this passage sabua refers to “seven years” or a heptad. Today there is wide agreement among many scholars that this is the correct interpretation of sabua. This interpretation is supported by Daniel 9:2, where we are told that Daniel was reading the scroll of Jeremiah and discovered that the time was approaching for the Jewish captives to return to Canaan. Daniel 1 it tells us that Nebuchadnezzar had taken a group of Jewish captives from Canaan to Babylon in 604 B.C. Daniel 9:1-2 reveals that almost 70 years had elapsed since then, and it was about time for them to return to Canaan. God had allowed the captives to be deported because of the sins of their kings. The length of the deportation was determined by the number of sabbatical years that the Israelites had failed to observe (2 Chronicles 36:21; Jer. 34:12-22). God had commanded them to allow the land to be dormant every seventh year (Leviticus 25:4-5, 27-46). But they had failed to observe the command for seventy sabbath years, or 490 years. Consequently, God decreed that their captivity would last for 70 years. Consequently, Daniel would have understood the reference to “seventy weeks” in the prophecy to be 490 years.

Also, Genesis 29:20-30 makes it clear that it was customary among the ancient Jewish people to refer to a “week” as another way to refer to seven years. Genesis 29:20 tells us that Jacob served Laban for seven years in order to marry Rachel. Unfortunately, Laban was dishonest and refused to give Rachel to Jacob on his wedding night, even though she was the one for whom he had labored. Instead Laban gave Jacob his oldest daughter Leah. Jacob did not discover the problem until the morning. If we look at verse 30, we discover that Laban offers Rachel, his younger daughter, to Jacob if he will serve another “week.” Then at the end of the verse we are told that this “week” is “seven years.” This example demonstrates that the term “week” did mean “seven years” in the proper context.

Therefore, we conclude along with many others, ancient and modern, that the expression “seventy weeks” refers to “seventy periods of seven years” or “490 years.” Therefore, Daniel 9:24 tells us that 70 weeks or 490 years had to elapse before sin would be eliminated and everlasting righteousness would occur. That means the end of the world. 

Sixthy-Nine Week Prophecy

The prophecy of 70 weeks contains three prophecies. The first prophecy is the focus of this study. It refers to a period of 69 weeks. The last two prophecies are about the tribulation and the end of the world.

Daniel 9:25-26a (NASB): So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing . . . 

In order to understand this prophecy, we will perform three calculations starting with the end date and concluding with the start date. That is, we will determine the end date or the fulfillment date of the prophecy. Next, we will determine the length of time predicted by the prophecy between the start and end dates. Then we will determine the start date of the prophecy. 6

Neverthirsty: Daniel 9:25b: The 70 sevens are divided into three separate units—seven sevens, 62 sevens and one seven. During the first time period (49 years) Jerusalem would be “built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times.” The second block of time (62 sevens, a total of 434 years) immediately followed the first for a total of 69 sevens, or 483 years.

It is at this point that we are told what the ending point is of the 69 sevens: “unto Messiah the Prince.” As clearly as Daniel could have stated it, he taught that 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem had been issued, Messiah would be here on earth.

The obvious conclusion is this: If Messiah was not on earth 483 years after a decree was issued to rebuild Jerusalem, then Daniel was a false prophet and his book has no business being in the Hebrew Scriptures. But if Daniel was correct and his prophecy was fulfilled, then who was the Messiah of whom he spoke? 6

Start Date of The Prophecy

At this point we have determined the end date of the prophecy and the time between the start and end dates of the prophecy. Now we want to determine the start date of the prophecy. This will be done in two steps. First, we will examine three decrees in the Old Testament, one of which is the official start date of the prophecy. Second, we will examine the month given in one of those decrees to determine the precise time of the decree.

Which Decree Is Correct?

The first step in determining the start of the prophecy is to determine which decree Daniel 9:25 refers to.

Daniel 9:25 (NASB): So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.

G.Gunn (2010): Jesus referred to the abomination of Daniel 9:27 as the primary sign of the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:15), thus harkening the nearness of the ―Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory‖ (Matt 24:30). There is nearly universal agreement among conservative interpreters that שִי ח ???? is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. Assuming that the author of the book of Daniel is the same as the literally historical ―Daniel‖ described in that book, the conservative interpreter understands this prophecy from the perspective of someone living near the end of the Babylonian captivity before the return from exile. From this perspective, Daniel is seen as receiving a message from God that entails genuine predictive prophecy. The future deliverance envisioned in the prophecy focuses on the coming of Israel‘s Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. If the terminus ad quem of the sixty-nine heptads is to be found at some point in the life and ministry of Jesus, the terminus a quo should be found some 483 years (7 x 69) before the first advent. This is the basic reasoning followed by nearly all conservative interpreters.  Four Persian decrees have been identified as potentially meeting the requirements of this terminus a quo:

1. Cyrus‘ Decree, 539 BC – 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-5
2. Darius‘ Decree, 519/18 BC – Ezra 5:3-17
3. Artaxerxes‘ Decree to Ezra, 457 BC – Ezra 7:11-26
4. Artaxerxes‘ ―Decree‖ to Nehemiah, 445/4 BC – Nehemiah 2:1-8 11

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Prophe13

Cyrus’ Decree of 538 B.C.

Neverthirsty:  The decree of 538 B.C. was issued by Cyrus, the first king of Persia, during his first year as king (2 Chronicles 36:22-23). It should be noted that the decree as described in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 does not include a directive to rebuild the city but only the temple. To believe that the city is included assumes facts not stated in the text.

Some advocates claim that Isaiah 44:26-28 supports the view that Cyrus’ decree in Ezra 1:1-2; 6:3 included the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

Isaiah 44:28 (NASB): It is I who says of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd!
And he will perform all My desire.”
And he declares of Jerusalem, “She will be built,”
And of the temple, “Your foundation will be laid.”

But a careful examination of the verse reveals that Isaiah 44:28 only says that God refers to Cyrus as “My shepherd” and He will rebuild the city and the temple. The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) translated this verse more accurately,

Isaiah 44:28 (HCSB): Who says to Cyrus, “My shepherd,
he will fulfill all My pleasure”
and says to Jerusalem, “She will be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Its foundation will be laid.”

Note that God is declaring His actions and not the actions of King Cyrus. There is ambiguity in some translations.

Isaiah 45:13 is probably the strongest passage supporting the concept that Cyrus’ decree may have included the rebuilding of the city, but the questions must be asked: What does “rebuild the city” mean, and when was the rebuilding to occur? At first this might appear to be an attempt to avoid the obvious; but it is very clear in Nehemiah 2:11-17 that the temple was built first and not the city of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:11-17 is important since it describes the city during the reign of King Artaxerxes who ruled after Cyrus (Nehemiah 2:1). In the passage we are told that the city is desolate and the walls are “broken down.” The Hebrew text in Nehemiah 2:13 states explicitly that the walls and gates were in utter ruin. Nehemiah 2:17 is also very significant since it states that Jerusalem is desolate and the gates were burned by fire. The Hebrew word for “is desolate” can also be translated as “to lay waste” or “to lay in ruins.” If Cyrus’ decree included rebuilding the city and the walls, why is the city in ruins during Artaxerxes’ reign? It is very possible that Isaiah 45:13 simply means that during the Persian rule the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Therefore, Cyrus’ decree is rejected.

Artaxerxes’ Decree of 457 B.C.

Artaxerxes I reigned after Cyrus from 464 to 424 B.C. He was the sixth Persian king. Artaxerxes’ decree of 457 B.C. as given in Ezra 7:11-27 does not refer to a rebuilding of any city but to a decree allowing Ezra and others to return to Jerusalem for the purpose of worship. Some have claimed that Ezra 9:9 indicates that the 457 B.C. decree did include the rebuilding of the city, but once again a careful examination reveals that Ezra had a thankful heart for the Persian kings allowing them to rebuild the temple.

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Time-o10

Artaxerxes’ Decree of 444 B.C. is the most plausible date

JOHN F. WALVOORD (2011): The most plausible explanation is the 444 BC date because this works out precisely to the fulfillment of the prophecy and also coincides with the actual rebuilding of the city. This interpretation provides the most literal explanation without disregarding some of the specifics of the prophecy. If 444 BC is accepted as the beginning date of the 490 years, the 483 years would culminate in the year AD 33 where recent scholarship
has placed the probable time of the death of Christ. In interpretation the Bible authorizes the use of the prophetic year of 360 days. The 360 days are multiplied by 483 years, or the 490 years minus seven. The computation comes out at AD 33. The concept that the prophetic year is 360 days is confirmed by the 1,260 days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6), with the forty-two months (11:2; 13:5), and with a time, times and half a time, or three and a half years (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:14). This interpretation permits the 483 years to run their course. The intervening time between the 483 years and the last seven years was provided in the prophecy itself as would be seen in examination of Daniel 9:26–27.30

Artaxerxes I issued another decree in 444 B.C. which is given in Nehemiah 2:1-8.

Nehemiah 2:1-8 (NASB): And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes . . . And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” . . . And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house to which I will go. And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.

Only Nehemiah 2:1-8 and the following verses within the book of Nehemiah provide solid evidence that this decree was issued for the purpose of rebuilding the city and the walls. Notice that Nehemiah 2:17 clearly states that the city was desolate.

Nehemiah 2:17 (NASB): Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.”

Nehemiah 3 indicates that the Fish, Old, Valley, Refuse, Fountain, Water, Horse, East, Inspection, and Sheep gates and walls were all rebuilt. The rebuilding activity of the gates and walls are mentioned one by one. Nehemiah 4 describes the rebuilding of the wall and Nehemiah 6:15 says that the wall was finally completed. Then Nehemiah 11:1 tells us that the rest of the people were to be brought to the city so that it could be repaired.

Why would Artaxerxes issue another decree in 444 B.C. if one had already been issued in 538 B.C. or 457 B.C.? This implies that the 538 B.C. and 457 B.C. decrees were not edicts to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Therefore, we must conclude that Nehemiah 2 and following chapters refer to the rebuilding of the city and the wall. In summary, Nehemiah 2:1-8 documents the decree of interest, the utter ruin of the city and dilapidated walls, and the rebuilding of the city and its walls.

What is the date of Artaxerxes’ decree recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8? To answer the question, we will start by noting that Artaxerxes started ruling Persia in 465 B.C. Since Nehemiah 2:1 indicates the time is the 20th year of Artaxerxes we might assume that the date is 445 B.C. In reality the date is 444 B.C. since the Babylonians and Medo-Persians referred to a king’s first year as the ascension year. The date of 444 B.C. is correct since 445 B.C. was actually the king’s ascension year and should not be counted as part of the official reign of Artaxerxes.

Therefore, when Ezra says the decree was issued in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes, it is actually the 21st year in which Artaxerxes ruled the Persian empire or 444 B.C. It is also important to note that when the day of the month was not mentioned, it was customary to assume the first day of the month. Therefore, Artaxerxes issued the decree that Daniel 9:25 refers to for the restoration and rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem as 1 Nisan, 3317, in the Jewish calendar, or March 28, 444 B.C. in the Gregorian calendar or April 2, 444 B.C. in the Julian Calendar.

J. E. Walvoord (2012): Nehemiah 2:1–6. In 444 B.C. King Artaxerxes sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem. Nehemiah asked permission to go because he had heard that “the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire” (Neh. 1:3). Nehemiah specifically asked permission to go to “Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it” (2:5). This is the first and only royal decree granting permission to “restore and build Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:25). Accordingly, the best explanation for the terminus ad quo in Daniel 9:25 is the decree relating to the rebuilding of Jerusalem itself given in Nehemiah 2:1–6, about ninety years after the first captives returned and started building the temple. Many commentators identify this reference as the royal edict of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who reigned over Persia 465–425 B.C., and who not only commanded the rebuilding of Jerusalem in 444 B.C. but earlier had commissioned Ezra to return to Jerusalem in 457 B.C. (Ezra 7:11–26).54 The date 444 B.C. is based on the reference in Nehemiah 2:1.

Anderson has made a detailed study of a possible chronology for this period, beginning with the assumed date of 445 B.C. when the decree to Nehemiah was issued and culminating in A.D. 32 on the very day of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem shortly before His crucifixion. Anderson specifies that the seventy-sevens began on the first of Nisan (March 14) 445 B.C. and ended on the tenth of Nisan (April 6), A.D. 32.1

Dr. Thomas L. Constable (2022): The years of history that this book covers are 445-431 B.C., or perhaps a few years after that. In 445 B.C. (the twentieth year of Artaxerxes' reign, 1:1), Nehemiah learned of the conditions in Jerusalem that led him to request permission to return to Judah (2:5). He arrived in Jerusalem in 444 B.C. and within 52 days had completed the rebuilding of the city walls (6:15). 2

There is general agreement that Nehemiah reached Jerusalem in 444 B.C. during the twentieth year of Artaxerxes I. Archeological evidence has confirmed the Biblical information.

Frank M. Cross (1975): The dating of Nehemiah's mission to 445, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes I, has not been in serious dispute since the appearance of Sanballat in an Elephantine letter of 407 B.C. (The Elephantine Papyri and Ostraca consist of thousands of documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan) The new list of Sanballatids further confirms the fifth-century date, and finally the discovery of a silver bowl inscribed by "Qaynu son of Gasm [biblical Geeem, Gasmu],20k ing of Qedar," would appear to settle the matter finally. The script of the bowl cannot be dated later than 400 B.C., placing Geshem, Qaynu's father, precisely in the second half of the fifth century B.C 3

Nathan Jarrett (2021): Since Gabriel states that the Messiah will be cut off 69 weeks after “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” (v. 25), a significant variable that must be established is the date when said commandment took place. Historically, there has been competition between different dates as the starting point to Gabriel’s countdown. One  possible option for the terminus a quo for Daniel's prophecy is the decree given by Artaxerxes I to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, which is recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8:

And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king… And said unto the king, Let the king live forever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchers, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make a request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchers, that I may build it… Moreover, I said unto the king, If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

The text is transparent that the decree granted to Nehemiah by Artaxerxes I had the sole purpose of rebuilding the physical structure of the city of Jerusalem. This decree is impressively congruent with Daniel's prediction, as it notes that the building project will specifically pertain to "the wall of the city" (Neh. 2:8; cf. Dan. 9:25). Nehemiah even goes into great detail about the wall's construction and how enemy nations tried to hinder the builders' success (cf. Neh. 4:6-17). Nevertheless, “the wall was finished in in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days” (Neh. 6:15). The Hebrew word translated as “wall” in Daniel 9:25 in the KJV, which is “וץּחר ,is more difficult to define. It is a passive participle of חרץ meaning ‘to cut, to sharpen, to decide.’”  Regardless if one adheres to the popular scholarly position that וץּחר should actually be translated as “moat,” this decree is still the only option which corresponds with Daniel’s prediction. The other two decrees focus solely on the temple, hence the city of Jerusalem “was certainly not refortified, as the prophecy requires (‘with plaza and moat’). The first official decree for refortifying Jerusalem and building its walls was issued by Artaxerxes I… (Neh. 2:4-8 ).” Though proponents of the 457 BC date may claim that Artaxerxes' decree in 444 BC is an extension of his former announcement, this argument is simply unfounded. In fact, it is irrational to believe said claim because Nehemiah had to personally ask Artaxerxes for permission to rebuild the city 13 years after his former decree. Two noteworthy arguments commonly used in opposition to the 444 BC date concern (1) the use of 360-day years and (2) the insertion of a gap between the 69th and the 70th week. Proponents of the first objection must provide a reason as to why Genesis and (especially) Revelation would seem to incorporate 360-day years but Daniel would not. Until a valid argument is presented, the most hermeneutically consistent position is to infer that the prophetic years in Daniel are congruent with those in Revelation. Furthermore, adding 483 prophetic years to the one decree that actually references the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls and overall structure results in a miraculous conclusion. The mathematical and textual support for using 360-day years is simply too overwhelming to ignore. Concerning the presence of a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks, it should be noted that there are other instances of prophecy which contain gaps that would be unable to discern if it were not for Yahweh’s progressive revelation. For example, Luke records that near the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He went into a synagogue and read Isaiah 61:1-2 (cf. Luke 4:16-20). The passage in Isaiah discusses a character whom “the Spirit of the Lord God is upon” (Isa. 61:1) and Jesus identifies Himself as said character. However, Jesus did something remarkable while reading from Isaiah – He stopped mid-sentence of verse 2 and then “he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down” (Luke 4:20). Instead of stating that it was His job “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isa 61:2), Jesus stated that His purpose was only “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19). Though a plain reading of Isaiah 61 does not imply a gap of time in the middle of verse 2, Jesus’ foreknowledge allowed Him to make such a distinction. Hence, Jesus deliberately cut the verse in half because while His first coming was concerned with God’s love and forgiveness (cf. John 3:16-17, 12:47), His second coming will execute God’s judgment and wrath (cf. Matt. 24:30; 2 Thess. 1:7-9). New Testament scholar David Garland acknowledges that “the reference to the day of vengeance in Isa 61:2b is absent… Jesus heralds that now is the time when God’s long-awaited promises are being fulfilled.” There are also other examples of these types of prophecies (cf. Isa. 9:6; Zech. 9:9-10), demonstrating that it is not unfounded to interpret a gap of time between the 69th and 70th week if the evidence supports such a view.

Artaxerxes' decree in Nisan of 444 BC is the only option that truly fits the description of Daniel's prophecy. Though Nehemiah did not state the exact day in the month of Nisan when the decree was issued, his description at least provides a narrow range of dates that can be established. Aramaic papyri which were excavated from the city of Assuan appear to indicate that in 446 BC, the Jewish months Tishri and Kislev began on September 19 and November 15, respectively. In 1942, historians Richard Parker and Waldo Dubberstein attempted to reconstruct the Jewish calendar of the fifth century BC by extrapolating data from the materials they had available to them at the time. However, they mistakenly assigned Tishri and Kislev of 446 BC as occurring one month later than what the ancient papyri from Assuan indicate.  If the calendar constructed by Parker and Dubberstein is adjusted to correlate with the Aramaic papyri by being shifted backward one month, Nisan of 444 BC would begin on March 4. This is consistent with astronomical calculations which show that a new moon would have been visible after 10 PM on March 4, so a Jewish month would have begun on or shortly after this date. Hence, both lunar and historical data support a start date for Nisan of 444 BC to be approximately March 4.  4

Critical Issue With Hebrew Calendar

Now we must discuss a critical issue related to the Jewish calendar. That issue is how was Nisan 1 determined in the Babylonian and Hebrew calendar? The heart of the issue depends upon how the calendar was corrected to remove inaccuracies in the calendar. Since the Jewish calendar was based on the orbit of the moon and not the orbit of the sun, the Jewish calendar was a lunar calendar. What follows next is a necessary and important brief history lesson on the Jewish calendar.

Hebrew Calendar Before Babylonian Invasion

Before the Babylonian invasion of the Kingdom of Judah in 605 B.C. the Jewish calendar had twelve months and the first month of their calendar year was called Abib (Exodus 12:2; 13:4; 34:18; 40:2; Deuteronomy 16:1). The second month of the calendar was called Ziv (1 Kings 6:1, 37). The seventh month was called Ethanim (1 Kings 8:2). Bul was the eighth month of the calendar (1 Kings 6:38).

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I, Jesus Christ, will demonstrate in this video that I am the long-foretold and prophesized messiah in the Old Testament. 

1. The nations will be blessed through Abraham’s lineage

Prophecy: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).
Fulfillment: “And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways” (Acts 3:25–26).

The first chapters in Genesis expose how the world devolved into a pattern of sin and judgment. The fall of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the flood, and the tower of Babel demonstrates this vividly. God set in motion His pre-ordained plan for a new creation where the eternal Son of God would become the last Adam - through Whom all the families of the earth would be blessed. The messiah would come to earth as Emmanuel which means 'God-with-us' and would be born into the human race as the Son of Man. The eternal Son of God would be given, by God, to be born as the perfect, representative Man - in order to become the federal head of a new creation. And unlike the first Adam - as the last Adam would not fail. In Genesis 12, “God addresses the problem of sin and plan of reconciliation of humanity to himself starting with the person of Abraham and the promise given to him in Genesis 12.3: And I will bless you, and through you, all families of the earth shall be blessed. This promise of spiritual blessing will extend to the Gentiles; they are the ones to whom Abram will also be a blessing. This is a promise that goes beyond Israel and is reaffirmed in the Abrahamic Covenant more than once: to Abraham in Genesis 22.18:  

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. 

To Isaac, Abrahams's son, the Lord said in Genesis chapter 26.2-5: 

Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. 

And further, to Jacob, in Genesis 28.14, God spoke: 

And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 

This blessing to the Nations is to be accomplished through the Messianic Seed of Abraham because it will be through me as the Messiah that the Gentiles will receive their spiritual blessings, as pointed out in Isaiah 42.6: 

I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 

and Isaiah 49.6:  I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. 

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. As my apostle, John,  reported in John chapter  8.56, when I responded to the Jews: 

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.' 

And the apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians in  3.8: 

What's more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, 'All nations will be blessed through you.' 

And Galatians  3.27-29: For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

2. God’s covenant with Isaac’s ancestors

Prophecy: “Then God said, ‘Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him'” (Genesis 17:19).
Fulfillment: “Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned’” (Romans 9:7).

3. The nations will be blessed through Jacob’s offspring

Prophecy: “Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring” (Genesis 28:14).
Fulfillment: Jacob is part of Jesus’ genealogy. “the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor” (Luke 3:34)

4. The scepter will come through Judah
Prophecy: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his” (Genesis 49:10).
Fulfillment: Judah is part of Jesus’ genealogy. “the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah” (Luke 3:33)

5. David’s offspring will have an eternal kingdom
Prophecy: “When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12–13).
Fulfillment: “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1)

6. A virgin will give birth, and he will be called Immanuel (God with us)
Prophecy: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Fulfillment: “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

7. The Messiah will end up in Egypt
Prophecy: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1).
Fulfillment: “So he [Joseph] got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son'” (Matthew 2:14–15).

8. The Christ will be born in Bethlehem

Prophecy: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2).
Fulfillment: “When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” (Matthew 2:4–6).

Prophecies about Jesus’ ministry: It was God’s plan that Jesus would have a profound ministry during his time on earth. This collection of prophecies focuses on particularly specific elements of Christ’s earthly ministry.

9. Christ’s ministry will destroy the devil’s work

Prophecy: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
Fulfillment: “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8 ).

10. Jesus will have a sinless, blemish-free life and ministry

Prophecy: “The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats” (Exodus 12:5).
Fulfillment: “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:14)

11. The Messiah will be humbled in order to serve mankind

Prophecy: “You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet” (Psalm 8:5–6)
Fulfillment: “It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: ‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.’ “In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:5–9).

12. Jesus would become the perfect sacrifice

Prophecy: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened—burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:6–8 ).
Fulfillment: “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.’
“Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.’” “First he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:5–10).

13. Jesus would preach righteousness to Israel

Prophecy: “I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know” (Psalm 40:9).
Fulfillment: “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near'” (Matthew 4:17).

14. Jesus would teach in parables

Prophecy: “My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old” (Psalm 78:1–2)
Fulfillment: “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: ‘I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world'” (Matthew 13:34–35).

15. Christ’s parables would fall on deaf ears

Prophecy: “He said, ‘Go and tell this people: “Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed”‘” (Isaiah 6:9–10).
Fulfillment: “This is why I speak to them in parables: ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘”You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them”‘” (Matthew 13:13–15).

16. The Messiah would be a stone that causes people to stumble

Prophecy: “He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare” (Isaiah 8:14).
Fulfillment: “Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and, ‘A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ “They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for” (1 Peter 2:7–8 ).

17. Christ’s ministry would begin in Galilee

Prophecy: “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:1–2).
Fulfillment: “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near'” (Matthew 4:12–17).

18. Jesus would draw the Gentiles to himself

Prophecy: “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10).
Fulfillment: “Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!’
“Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we would like to see Jesus'” (John 12:18–21).

19. Jesus would have a miraculous ministry

Prophecy: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5–6).
Fulfillment: “When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’ “Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me'” (Matthew 11:2–6).

20. The Messiah would be preceded by a forerunner 


Prophecy: “A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain'” (Isaiah 40:3–4).
Fulfillment: “John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Make straight the way for the Lord”‘” (John 1:23).

21. Jesus will be a gentle redeemer of the Gentiles 

Prophecy: “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope” (Isaiah 42:1–4).
Fulfillment: “Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
‘Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.'” (Matthew 12:15–21).

22. Jesus would be despised and rejected

Prophecy: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:3).
Fulfillment: “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff” (Luke 4:28–29).

23. Jesus will set the captives free


Prophecy: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1)
Fulfillment: “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing'” (Luke 4:16–21).

24. The Messiah will have a throne that is everlasting

Prophecy: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13–14).
Fulfillment: “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31–33).

25. The Messiah will bring an end to sin

Prophecy: “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place” (Daniel 9:24).
Fulfillment: “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed” (Daniel 9:25–26). “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:3–5).

26. Jerusalem will rejoice as the Messiah comes to her upon a donkey

Prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).
Fulfillment: “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?'” (Matthew 21:8–10)

27. He will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver

Prophecy: “I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. “And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord” (Zechariah 11:12–13).
Fulfillment: “The chief priests picked up the coins and said, ‘It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.’ So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me'” (Matthew 27:6–10).

28. Christ’s forerunner would come in the spirit of Elijah

Prophecy: “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction” (Malachi 4:5–6).
Fulfillment: “This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear” (Matthew 11:10–15).

Prophecies about Jesus’ death and resurrection


The death and resurrection of Christ are the most significant events in human history. It’s no surprise that there would be plenty of Old Testament prophecies pointing to this remarkable event.

29. Christ will be our Passover Lamb

Prophecy: “Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. ‘None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. ‘Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, “What does this ceremony mean to you?” then tell them, ‘”t is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.”‘ Then the people bowed down and worshiped” (Exodus 12:21–27).
Fulfillment: “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

30. Like the Passover Lamb, none of the Christ’s bones will be broken

Prophecy: “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones” (Exodus 12:46).
Fulfillment: “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken'” (John 19:31–36)

31. The Messiah’s blood will be spilled for atonement

Prophecy: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” (Leviticus 17:11).
Fulfillment: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

32. Jesus will be lifted up, and everyone who looks on Him will live

Prophecy: “So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived” (Numbers 21:9).
Fulfillment: “‘Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’ “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:14–18).

33. Christ’s resurrection prophesied

Prophecy: “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever! I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:23–27)
Fulfillment: “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:24–29).

34. The Messiah would be forsaken

Prophecy: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” (Psalm 22:1)
Fulfillment: “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” (Matthew 27:46).

35. The Messiah would be scorned

Prophecy: “‘He trusts in the Lord,’ they say, ‘let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him'” (Psalm 22:Cool.
Fulfillment: “‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, “I am the Son of God”‘” (Matthew 27:42–43).

36. The Messiah’s suffering would include thirst

Prophecy: “My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death” (Psalm 22:15).
Fulfillment: “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty'” (John 19:28).

37. They would pierce Christ’s hands and feet

Prophecy: “Dogs surround me a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16).
Fulfillment: “These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken,’ and, as another scripture says, ‘They will look on the one they have pierced'” (John 19:36–37).

38. They would cast lots for Jesus’ clothing

Prophecy: “They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment” (Psalm 22:18).
Fulfillment: “When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
‘Let’s not tear it,’ they said to one another. ‘Let’s decide by lot who will get it.’ “This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, ‘They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.’ “So this is what the soldiers did” (John 19:23–24).

39.  The Messiah will cry, “Into your hands I commit my Spirit”

Prophecy: “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God” (Psalm 31:5).
Fulfillment: “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46).

40. Everyone will abandon the Messiah

Prophecy: “Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me” (Psalm 31:11).
Fulfillment: “Then everyone deserted him and fled” (Mark 14:50).

41. They will plot to kill God’s anointed

Prophecy: “For I hear many whispering, ‘Terror on every side!’ They conspire against me and plot to take my life” (Psalm 31:13).
Fulfillment: “Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed” (Matthew 27:1).

42. The Messiah will be quiet before his accusers

Prophecy: “Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they scheme and lie. I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak” (Psalm 38:12–13)
Fulfillment: “When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor” (Matthew 27:12–14).

43. God’s anointed will not see decay

Prophecy: “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:9–11).
Fulfillment: “Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay” (Acts 2:31).

44. The Messiah would be abandoned by those closest to him

Prophecy: “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me” (Psalm 41:9).
Fulfillment: “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me’” (John 13:18).

45. The Christ will ascend into the heavens to distribute gifts

Prophecy: “When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious— that you, Lord God, might dwell there” (Psalm 68:18).
Fulfillment: “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: ‘When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.’ “(What does ‘he ascended’ mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:7–16).

46. The Christ’s thirst will be quenched with vinegar and gall

Prophecy: “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst” (Psalm 69:21).
Fulfillment: “There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it” (Matthew 27:34).

47. The Messiah’s resurrection predicted

Prophecy: “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death” (Psalm 118:17–18).
Fulfillment: “In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again”‘” (Luke 24:5–7).

48. The Messiah will conquer death

Prophecy: “On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tear  from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 25:7–8 ).
Fulfillment: “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory'” (1 Corinthians 15:54).

49. The Messiah will be mocked and abused

Prophecy: “‘I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering.’ The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious,  I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting” (Isaiah 50:3–6).
Fulfillment: “Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:27–31).

Prophecies about Jesus’ role in the church

What kind of presence would Jesus have in his church? These prophecies consider how Jesus would rule and judge the world.

50. God will raise up a prophet like Moses

Prophecy: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die'” (Deuteronomy 18:15–16).
Fulfillment: “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:45–47)

51. God will raise up a faithful priest who does God’s will

Prophecy: “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always” (1 Samuel 2:35).
Fulfillment: “For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). If you’re interested in learning more about what Scripture says about God’s will, check out 20 Bible Verses about Discovering God’s Will.

52. The Messiah will judge the world justly

Prophecy: “The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:7–10).
Fulfillment: “For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

53. The Messiah will have all authority over judgment

Prophecy: “I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Isaiah 22:22).
Fulfillment: “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Revelation 3:7).

54. The Messiah will pour out his Spirit

Prophecy: “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants” (Isaiah 44:3)
Fulfillment: “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

55. The Messiah will usher in a new covenant


Prophecy: “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah'” (Jeremiah 31:31).
Fulfillment: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog/old-testament-prophecies/

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Otangelo


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Are the Gospels historically reliable?

ChatGTP: There are a number of reasons to consider the Gospels to be historically reliable:
Eyewitness Accounts: The Gospels were written by eyewitnesses or those who had access to eyewitnesses. For example, the Gospel of Mark is thought to have been based on the teachings of the Apostle Peter, while the Gospel of Luke is said to have been written by a physician who traveled with the Apostle Paul. This means that the authors had firsthand knowledge of the events they were describing. Archaeological Evidence: Archaeological discoveries have repeatedly confirmed the historical accuracy of the Gospels. For example, the discovery of the Pool of Bethesda, mentioned in the Gospel of John, confirmed the existence of this location, which had been questioned by some skeptics. Consistency with Other Historical Sources: The Gospels are consistent with other historical sources from the time period. For example, the Jewish historian Josephus corroborates many of the details about the life and ministry of Jesus found in the Gospels. Early Writings: The Gospels were written within a few decades of the events they describe, which means that they were written while many eyewitnesses were still alive. This makes it less likely that the events were fabricated or exaggerated, as there would have been many people who could have challenged the accuracy of the accounts. Multiple Witnesses: Each of the four Gospels provides a slightly different perspective on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is consistent with the idea that they were written by different authors who were drawing from different sources. This also suggests that the authors were not simply copying from one another or collaborating on a single narrative.

N. Geisler (2013): The discovery of cities and landmarks described in the New Testament has firmly secured the historical-geographical reliability and setting for the New Testament narratives, which supports the believability of the doctrines that grow out of them. For as Jesus said to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” ( John 3:12 esv). If the New Testament had said that Jesus went “up” to the waters of the Dead Sea from Jerusalem, we would not consider the text a credible geographical description, since Jerusalem is nestled in the hill country and the Dead Sea is nearly 1,300 feet below sea level (it is the lowest place on earth). Whenever the Bible mentions mountains, hills, rivers, wilderness, valleys, cities, lakes, and seas, archaeology has in many cases confirmed them. Cities such as Capernaum, Caesarea Philippi, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Philippi, Corinth, Thessalonica, Athens, and a multitude of others have been excavated sufficiently to offer us corroboration of biblical place names and a glimpse of everyday life in the first century and earlier. Second, archaeological data has helped limit the critical theories that dismiss the New Testament as mythological; instead, the data has placed the biblical text squarely within a historical framework. Discoveries such as the Pool of Siloam ( John 9) and Pool of Bethesda ( John 5:2), the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives; inscriptions of the names of various biblical rulers such as Tiberius, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Quirinius (Luke 2:2), Gallio (Acts 18:12), Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:6-7), and Erastus (Romans 16:23); and Emperor Claudius’s expulsion of the Jews from Rome (Acts 18:2) continue to be facts that keep the New Testament anchored in a historical-geographical setting. No longer can the fertile imaginations and theories of critical scholars run unchecked by the archaeological data.

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The Megiddo Mosaic Inscription

In 2005, inmates at the maximum security prison located at Megiddo, Israel, accidently unearthed an ancient church-floor mosaic measuring 16 x 32 feet. Its inscription describes a table offered to Christ by a female worshipper named “Akeptous.” 

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The ornate Greek inscription, laid out in small mosaic tiles, makes reference “to the God Jesus Christ” and that the table was offered to Jesus “as a memorial.” The phrase “God Jesus Christ” has been over-lined (instead of the traditional underlining) for emphasis, and confirms the notion that early Christians affirmed the deity of Christ. This find has also attested to the spread and acceptance of Christianity within the borders of Israel and the surrounding Mediterranean regions. Astonishingly, the mosaic floor with its inscription has been dated to the third century AD, making it part of what many believe to be the oldest church yet discovered in the Holy Land. 14

J. L. Reed (2009): Archaeology’s contributions to the study of the Gospels and the historical Jesus cannot be overestimated. Archaeological evidence is particularly valuable since it is independent of the literary texts typically used to reconstruct the historical Jesus or the world of the Gospels. 1

Josephus’ Contribution to New Testament Backgrounds

G.Herrick (2004):  Josephus was born in Jerusalem in A.D. 37/38 and became a historian writing principally about the Jewish people up until his death ca. 100. Four of his works are extant: 1) The Jewish War; 2) The Jewish Antiquities; 3) Vita (life) and 4) Against Apion. These works provide us with knowledge of the New Testament era which we otherwise would not possess. In short, Josephus has contributed to our understanding of the social, political, historical (incl. chronological data), and religious backgrounds of the New Testament. Josephus has a great deal to say about the antecedents of Herod the Great as well as he and his family after him. According to Josephus, Herod was installed as King of Judea by the decree of Caesar Augustus.  (War 1. 20). The linking of Herod with the reign of Caesar helps us also in dating the New Testament events described by the Gospel writers. For example, generally speaking Herod died after 33 years of service to Rome in 4 B. C. and Christ was born right around the same time. Herod was increasingly more tyrannical near the end of his career (Ant. 16. 11. 8; War 33). This may provide the background to the slaying of the children recorded in Matthew 2:16. Herod was certainly, according to Josephus, not only capable of such a horrible crime, but was indeed disposed toward such evil acts. 

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Claudius: Claudius reigned from A. D. 41-54 and is mentioned twice in the book of Acts. Luke records the prophet Agabus’ prediction that a famine was to come upon the land during the reign of Claudius (11:28). He also says that an edict was passed by Claudius expelling all the Jews from Rome (18:2). This occurred in A. D. 49-50 due to riots arising within the Jewish community over a certain Chrestus which may refer to Christ or to some other person.2 Josephus discusses Claudius and his relations with the Jews. He mentions a favorable pronouncement upon the Jews during a crisis involving them and the Greeks in the city of Alexandria (Ant. 19. 5. 2, 3). This edict, due to the fact that Herod Agrippa I was still living and king of Palestine, was sometime between A. D. 41-44, thus some 5 or 6 years before the expulsion. Again, we learn valuable information about the kind of world in which the early church grew and developed.

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Nero: Nero reigned from A. D. 54-68, the time in which Paul was carrying out his missionary journeys and the church was really starting to grow and take on a distinctively Gentile flavor. According to Josephus, Nero was a barbarous individual (Ant. 20. 8. 3) who we know from other historians persecuted the church in Rome most severely (i.e. after the great fire) and was responsible for the death of the apostles Peter and Paul.3 Josephus’ report adds yet another witness to this time period in which Nero reigned over the empire and made an impact upon the church and N. T. writings (cf. Romans 13; 1 Peter 2; the background to Hebrews).

Pontius Pilate: Josephus describes many of the Roman prefects and procurators including Pontius Pilate, Antoninus Felix and Porcius Festus. Pontius Pilate was a Roman prefect who ruled Judea and Samaria from A. D. 26-36. Josephus describes how he slaughtered many Jews (Ant. 18. 3. 1, 2) and indeed passed sentence on Christ (Ant. 18. 3. 3).

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Antoninus Felix: Felix was a Roman procurator who ruled over Judea and Samaria from A. D. 53-60. According to Josephus, Felix was so overwhelmed with passion for Drusilla, the wife of Azizus, that he went so far as to send a magician to her in order to convince her to marry him. So, Drusilla divorced her husband and married Felix, thus “transgressing the laws of her forefathers” (Ant. 20. 7. 2). Luke tells us that Paul discussed such things as righteousness and self-control with Felix (and his wife together) which caused him much fear (Acts 24:25). No doubt that Felix was afraid due to his wife and the many other vile crimes he committed against the Jews. In this case it is probable that Josephus gives us pertinent background information that enlightens our understanding of this particular N. T. text.

Porcius Festus: Josephus also mentions Fetus’ rule (A. D. 60-62;Ant. 20. 8. 9) after Felix. The fact that Festus replaced Felix, according to Josephus, seems to be in agreement with Luke in Acts 24:27

SEVERAL OTHER AREAS OF CONTRIBUTION

Josephus also provides insight and background to several other figures or institutions as seen in the New Testament. He speaks about the Jewish religious sects of the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essenes (War 2. 8. 2 ff.) as well as the institution of the Sanhedrin (Ant. 14. 9. 3). Josephus also fills in details about the tetrarchy of Philip (War 2. 6. 3; cf. Luke 3:1) and the institution of the High Priest (Ant. 5. 11. 5, etc.). He speaks about Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, and James the brother of Jesus. 2

C. A. Evans (2009): The writings of Josephus (ca. 37–100? CE) are probably the most important writings outside of the Bible itself for understanding the world of early Christianity. Four of his works survive: Jewish War (seven volumes), Antiquities of the Jews (twenty volumes), Against Apion (two volumes), and Life (one volume). In these works we hear of Pharisees and Sadducees, of scribes and priests (including Annas and Caiaphas), of familiar rulers and political figures, such as Herod, Pontius Pilate, and Agrippa. Many of the very places mentioned in the New Testament are found in the narratives of Josephus, including Galilee, Caesarea, Jericho, the Mount of Olives, and, of course, Jerusalem. Josephus has much to say about the Temple, about Israel’s biblical and postbiblical history, and about various nationalities and ethnic groups, such as Greeks, Romans, Nabateans, and Samaritans. In a few places, Josephus actually mentions figures who play an important role in the founding of the Christian movement. These include Jesus, his brother James, and John the Baptist.

Although scholars from time to time have expressed doubts about the authenticity of Josephus’s accounts of Jesus (Ant. 18.63–64) and James (Ant. 20. 200–201), his account of the preaching and death of John the Baptist is widely accepted as authentic. Most scholars believe that this account is independent of the tradition found in the New Testament Gospels. What Josephus says about John is important not only because it offers us an independent perspective but also because it places John into a broader political and historical context. Part of this broader context involves other public figures who attracted crowds and ran afoul of the authorities. John the Baptist is familiar to readers of the New Testament Gospels. The public ministry of Jesus begins with the Baptist, who calls on the Jewish people to repent and be baptized (i.e., immersed) in the Jordan River (Mark 1:4–5), and, according to material found only in Luke (3:10–14), the Baptist urges people to be honest and generous. In the Gospels the message of John is given a distinctly eschatological orientation. The prophecy of Isaiah 40:3 (“Prepare the way of the Lord”) is linked to his ministry.

Moreover, he warns of coming judgment, and he predicts the coming of one “mightier” than himself, who will baptize the people in spirit and fire (Mark 1:7–8 ). The New Testament Gospels go on to say that John criticized Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee (r. 4 BCE–39 CE), for divorcing his wife (the daughter of Aretas IV, the king of Nabatea to the east) and marrying Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Philip (Mark 6:18). Incensed, Herod imprisoned John (Mark 6:17). Later, to make good on a boast before distinguished guests, Herod has John beheaded (Mark 6:16, 27–28). Some of this story appears in Josephus’s account, though the emphasis is different. The Jewish historian and apologist focuses on the tensions between Galilee and Nabatea, which reached a crisis when the Nabatean king, in response to Herod’s treatment of the king’s daughter, attacked and destroyed Herod’s army. The destruction of Herod’s army, it was widely believed among the Jewish people, was divine retribution upon Herod for putting John to death. A few paragraphs later, Josephus refers to Herodias leaving her husband and—in violation of Jewish custom—marrying his half brother Herod (Ant. 18.5.4 §136); thus, at a very important point, the account in Josephus coincides with the account in the New Testament Gospels. 1

L. Mykytiuk  (2021): Josephus’s references to John give him the unusual epithet “the Baptizer” or “the Baptist” (Antiquities 18.116) and place him in Roman Palestine until his death during the latter part of the rule of Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (r. 4 B.C.E.–39 C.E.). In fact, John’s imprisonment and execution by Antipas is the most specific of several points of identification in common between Josephus and the Gospels (Antiquities 18.119; Matthew 14:10; Mark 6:17, Mark 6:27). Only Josephus provides two details: that the imprisonment was in the fortress called Machaerus (which has been excavated, just northeast of the Dead Seac) and that Salome was the name of the daughter of Herodias, Herod Antipas’s second wife, whom she had with her first husband. Only the Gospels point out that the method of execution was beheading.

The dramatic context in the Gospels (Matthew 14:3-12; Mark 6:17-29) differs from Josephus’s comparatively vague, general statement about the motive for the execution, in that they describe in detail how the execution came about. Herodias, the second wife of Herod Antipas, had deserted her husband, Herod Philip, who was not a ruler at all, to marry his half-brother Antipas, who ruled the whole of the provinces of Galilee and Perea. Because the brother she had married first was still alive, the second marriage violated Mosaic law (Leviticus 20:21), and John the Baptist had publicly denounced it. Herodias wanted to kill John, but she was unable. Antipas, hesitating to kill a righteous man, instead had thrown John into prison.

Antipas’s own birthday banquet provided Herodias with her opportunity to kill John. Her daughter Salome danced, much to the pleasure of Antipas and the many dignitaries who were his guests. With an oath, Antipas promised Salome whatever she wanted, up to half his kingdom. Coached by her mother, Herodias, the daughter requested the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Antipas did not want to kill John, but because of his oath and to save credibility as a ruler with his guests, he sent the executioner to the prison to behead John. When Salome received the head on a platter, she gave it to her mother—bringing the drama to a grisly end. 13

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James K. Hoffmeier (2008): Only Luke reports that as a 12-year-old, Jesus accompanied his parents to Jerusalem for a religious festival. There the exceptional youngster was found in the ‘temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone was amazed at his understanding and his answers (Luke 2:46–47). This famous scene, it is believed, took place in the recently discovered broad stairway of the southern entrance to the temple complex. The Mishnah, the authoritative rabbinic interpretation of the Law, refers to the great Rabbi Gamaliel ‘and the elders [zeqenim] who were sitting on the stairway in the Temple’. An incomplete Hebrew inscription was found on the stairs which preserves the Hebrew word zeqenim (elders) on it, suggesting that this was the area where elders and teachers of the Law met to discuss the finer points of the Torah. It is fairly certain that here was where young Jesus would have listened in on these deliberations and posed his insightful questions.

Pinnacle of the Temple


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N. Geisler (2013):  This reconstructed Temple would serve the Jewish nation until Herod the Great began his ambitious project to remodel the Temple structures (c. 20 BC; John 2:20) and greatly expand the Temple Mount platform and its retaining walls. This enormous project would enlarge the Temple Mount area to twice its size by building outward toward the north, south, and west. Eastern expansion was not possible since Solomon’s eastern wall was already perched atop the Kidron Valley crest. Josephus mentions Herod’s work on the Temple as an “extraordinary”14

When Jesus was tempted by the devil at the beginning of his ministry, Satan ‘took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple’ (New International Version) or ‘pinnacle of the temple’ (New Revised Standard Version). Here he urged Jesus to ‘throw yourself down’ (Matthew 4:5–6). It is generally agreed that the spot the Gospel writer had in mind was the south-east corner of the Temple Mount. Today the remains of the Islamic period walls give one a partial impression of the drop from the top corner down to the Kidron Valley below. In Herod’s Temple it would have been more imposing, as the pillared portico that served as an entry hall at the southern end of the complex would have made the height even greater. Josephus, who wrote within two decades of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, described this corner on which he no doubt stood as a young man, saying the ‘height of the portico standing over it [the corner] was so very great that if anyone looked down from its rooftop, combining the two elevations, he would become dizzy and his vision would be unable to reach the end of so measureless a depth’.

Where is the pinnacle of the temple?

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. (Matt 4:1)

Herod the Great is called “Great” because of the incredible building spree he initiated throughout the Holy Land during his rule over the Jewish people. Visitors today who want to experience something of the times of Jesus in the Holy Land would have to thank Herod for his megalomaniacal building program. Herod’s buildings included a massive expansion of the Jewish temple. Incredibly, when Herod’s expansion and refurbishment of the temple was complete, the Jewish temple was the largest religious structure anywhere in the Roman empire. To the south of the temple was an expansive plaza that bordered the main north/south road through Jerusalem and was a gathering place for thousands of Jews. Directly above this meeting point of plaza and road was the pinnacle of the temple. The pinnacle was a platform at the top of the southwestern corner of the temple mount. This is the location where at regular intervals each day a Jewish priest would blow a loud horn to capture everyone’s attention in the city to remind them to engage in worshipful prayer. This was the location from where Jews would receive regular reminders of their dependence on God, of His saving mercy. This “Place of Trumpeting” was a very visual, very public, very well-known, and significant place for marking the religious rhythms of the spiritual life of the Jews. From where the Jewish priest stood to blow his horn, the plaza below may have been a drop of more than 164 feet, more than 15 stories tall! For comparison, that is a bit higher than the Kimball Tower on the Brigham Young University campus,
which is 162 feet tall. 

Randall Price (2017): The Greek pterugion (usually translated “pinnacle”) literally means “little wing” and referred to the tip or extremity of something, hence, “the edge” or “the summit.” Josephus, in his account of the temple says:

But the fourth front of the temple, which was southward, had indeed itself gates in its middle, as also it had the royal cloisters, with three walks, which reached in length from the east valley unto that on the west, for it was impossible it should reach any farther; and this cloister deserves to be mentioned better than any other under the sun; for while the valley was very deep, and its bottom could not be seen, if you looked from above into the depth,
this farther vastly high elevation of the cloister stood upon that height, insomuch that if anyone looked down from the top of the battlements, or down both those altitudes, he would be giddy, while his sight could not reach to such an immense depth. (Ant. 15.11.5)

If this was the place where Jesus stood in Matthew’s account, it would have been at the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount itself, above the Kidron Valley, on top of the building known as the Royal Portico. Today the
ground level has risen due to centuries of destruction and rebuilding, but when Warren dug a shaft down from that corner of the Temple Mount, he had to go down 106 feet below the elevation of the average level of the
temple area to get to the bottom of Herod’s foundation blocks. Josephus says the Royal Portico that once stood on the Temple Mount at this spot was 50-feet high. This height, combined with the depth of the Kidron Valley, makes it understandable why Josephus says that the view from this spot would make someone “giddy” and why Satan would have chosen this spot to tempt Jesus.

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The first-century historian Flavius Josephus wrote of James the Just’s execution by stoning (Ant. 20.9.1), but the second-century church father Hegesippus said that James was martyred by being thrown off of the pinnacle of the temple. He was said to have been buried at the spot where he died. Although now known to belong to the family of Bene Hezir, a monumental tomb (to the far right with a pyramidal top), almost exactly opposite the southeast corner of the Temple Mount, was known in antiquity as the tomb of James. Given this traditional location for the tomb, if James was thrown off this corner, Finegan says “. . . it would not have been difficult to imagine that that tomb was the monument to James.” 

Wooden boats of the Sea of Galilee

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In the mid-1980s, a drought in the region led to unusually low water levels in the Sea of Galilee. This development led to the discovery of more breakwaters and harbours. More than a dozen harbours in all were uncovered. Another important find during this period of low waters was a wooden boat that once plied the waters of the lake. The discovery was made in January 1986 by two brothers who loved exploring the lake and dreamed of finding an old sunken boat; their dreams came true. After alerting professional archaeologists to their discovery near Kibbutz Ginnosar, the boat was expertly excavated, removed from the mud and restored. Now on public display in a specially designed boat museum, the wooden vessel measures 26.5 feet (8.2 m) long and 7.5 feet (2.3 m) wide and dates from between the first century BC and the first century AD. The boat was propelled by a pair of oars on both sides, and there is evidence that it had a mast for a sail and a keel. Based on statements made by Josephus, who described boating activities on the Sea of Galilee in the first century AD, little boats like this one could handle up to fifteen individuals. Here one must bear in mind that the study of human remains from the region from Roman times has shown that the average man was only about 5 feet 4 inches (160 cm) tall and weighed just 140 pounds (64 kg). These considerations and the size of the boat mean that Jesus and his twelve disciples could easily have been transported in such a vessel.

Capernaum

When Jesus started his itinerant ministry, he left his home in Nazareth after being rebuffed there (Luke 4:14–30) and took up residence in Capernaum (Matthew 4:13). Located at the north end of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum is one of the most thoroughly excavated New Testament sites on the shores of the lake. 

M.Mason (2015):  In Jesus’ day its population was about 1500, small compared to several much larger cities on the lake. But Capernaum was strategically important for being on a primary trade route known as the Via Maris (Way of the Sea) that carried traffic from the interior along the top of the lake toward the Mediterranean coast. In Capernaum Jesus called five of His disciples: the four fishermen Peter, Andrew, James and John, and the tax collector Matthew. In fact there were “many tax collectors” stationed here, showing that this was a significant financial center, as well as hosting a detachment of Roman soldiers (Mt 8:5-13) The ancient village of Capernaum (which means town of Nahum) was located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, some three miles west of where the upper Jordan River flows into the lake from the northern mountains. In Jesus’ day its population was about 1500, small compared to several much larger cities on the lake. But Capernaum was strategically important for being on a primary trade route known as the Via Maris (Way of the Sea) that carried traffic from the interior along the top of the lake toward the Mediterranean coast. In Capernaum Jesus called five of His disciples: the four fishermen Peter, Andrew, James and John, and the tax collector Matthew. In fact there were “many tax collectors” stationed here, showing that this was a significant financial center, as well as hosting a detachment of Roman soldiers (Mt 8:5-13). Discovered by the explorer Edward Robinson in 1838, the ruins of this village reveal a network of adjoining houses built of undressed and unmortared basalt blocks, reinforced with stones and mud. A typical single-story house, accomodating two or more kindred families, consisted of small rooms with cobbled floors arranged around an open courtyard, with stone steps leading up to a roof made of light wooden beams, thatch, and packed dirt. Numerous stone artifacts found at the site include olive presses and millstones, dishes and craters (large bowls for mixing wine), and the earliest known pictorial representation of the Ark of the Covenant. The second photograph shows another interesting discovery, the so-called Zebedee inscription which, though it dates from the fourth century, mentions the family name of the father of James and John, “the sons of Zebedee” (Mk 10:35). The full inscription reads: “Alphaeus the son of Zebedee the son of John made this column. May it be for him a blessing. 4th century AD.” It was here in Capernaum that Jesus chose to establish headquarters for the early part of His ministry. Matthew refers to it as Jesus’ “own town” (9:1) and many chapters of the gospels are set here. Outstanding miracles of healing were performed in Capernaum, including that of the man with a shriveled hand (Mk 3:1-6), the centurion’s servant (Mt 8:5-13), a demonized man (Mk 1:21-89), and a paralytic (Mk 2:1-12). Regarding the latter story, the photograph shows how easy it would have been for the paralytic’s four friends to escape the crowds by climbing over the rooftops of the abutting houses, digging through the light thatch, and lowering their friend directly into the courtyard of the house where Jesus was teaching. Note that all these miracles contain important elements beyond the miracle itself. In the case of the paralytic, Jesus made a public demonstration of forgiving his sins, thus drawing the accusation of blasphemy from the teachers of the law. Similarly, the man with a shriveled hand was healed on the sabbath, again rousing his opponents’ ire. As for the demonized man, when the demon testified loudly to knowing who Jesus was—“the Holy One of God!”—Jesus told him sternly to be quiet. In each case, it seems, the real point was not the miracle, amazing though it was, but the explosive secret of Jesus’ true identity. As the Pharisees complained, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mk 2:7) In the end, despite such tremendous works of power, and despite the amazing blessing of having the Son of God living in their midst, Capernaum rejected its famous rabbi, compelling Jesus in turn to reject the town: “And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths…. It will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you” (Mt 11:23-4).7

Brief excavations occurred as early as the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1894 a portion of the land on which the ancient site was situated was purchased by the Franciscan Order who have periodically conducted excavations since 1905. The Greek Orthodox Church owns the northern sector of the site and built a sanctuary there. Major excavations occurred there between 1978 and 1982. Both areas show that Capernaum was occupied continuously from the fifth century BC (just after the exile) through to the tenth century AD. Finds made in the southern area have the most direct bearing on the New Testament narratives. The Gospels declare that Jesus often spoke in the synagogues of Galilee, and the one at Capernaum is specifically mentioned. The discovery of a synagogue from the first century, then, would be a welcome find. Indeed a large limestone synagogue was discovered that measures 79 feet (24.3 m) long and 60 feet (18.5 m) wide. 

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N. Geisler (2013): Excavations at the ancient city of Capernaum have revealed a fourth- or fifth-century AD synagogue that was most likely built over the black basalt foundation of an earlier first-century synagogue. The discovery of thousands of coins beneath the floors helped to securely date the later synagogue, while pottery remains and coins discovered under the black basalt foundation confirmed the date of the first-century structure. The earlier synagogue is most likely the same structure that John refers to ( John 6:59) in which Jesus gave His lengthy sermon and said, “I am the bread of life” (Luke 4:33,38; John 6:35,48,59). 14


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The fact that it was constructed of limestone is significant as limestone is not native to the Galilee region and would have had to be transported some distance. The structure is somewhat elevated, being approached by a set of steps at either end of the entrance porch. Three entrances lead from the porch into the main part of the synagogue, which is called the prayer hall. Its inner walls have two-tiered stone benches built against them where people would have sat to hear the reading of the scriptures and commentary on them. 

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A series of stone pillars divides the structure into three parts. This same plan, known as the basilica style, is found in early churches. Ornately decorated pieces have been found that adorned the synagogue. A capital was decorated with a menorah, a ram’s horn (i.e. shofar), and an incense shovel, while one block has the star of David on it, and the most celebrated shows the Torah Shrine or Ark. The latter may have decorated the niche where the manuscripts of scripture were stored. The Torah niche or special cupboard was the focal point of the synagogue. 

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He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. -John 6:59

M.Mason (2015): The synagogue of Jesus does indeed still exist in Capernaum. Not much of it is above ground; what you see primarily are the ruins of a Byzantine synagogue made of polished white limestone. But directly beneath this structure, visible at all four corners, are the black basalt walls of the synagogue where Jesus and His disciples worshiped. The date of this original building has been confirmed by pottery finds, but although the walls are four feet thick, the stones are considered too fragile to be excavated. A few other Galilean synagogues have been unearthed, however, which give a good idea of what the one in Capernaum must have looked like: mosaic floor, multicolored frescoes, stone benches built into the walls all around the interior, pillars holding up a lightly timbered roof. Besides the town site and ancient synagogue, a number of Roman-style buildings have been discovered at Capernaum, including a bathhouse. Relations with the cohort of Roman soldiers in this Jewish town appear to have been good, due to the presence of a godly centurion who was the synagogue’s patron. When this commander’s servant was at the point of death, a delegation of Jewish elders approached Jesus on his behalf, saying, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue” (Lk 7:4-5). It wasn’t this that impressed Jesus, however, but the fact that this proselyte was one of only two people in all Israel (both foreigners, the other being a Syro-Phoenician woman) who had faith that healing power could work at a distance. The centurion understood clearly how the worldly chain of command translates to the spiritual realm: “I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (v 8 ). Nor was it just his faith but his humility that won the Lord’s favor. Indeed his salutation to Jesus has been enshrined as one of the most beautiful moments in the Catholic mass, as moments before receiving the eucharist the congregation prays, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed” (based on Mt 8:8 ). If you were in old Capernaum right now, you too could attend a eucharistic service beside the stones of the synagogue where Jesus first taught about the eucharist. But you don’t need to go there, for stones are everywhere, and they are wonder enough. Wherever you are, just pick up a stone, look at it, feel it. You hold in your hand hard evidence of a Creator God, of Someone who fashioned this small sculpture as purposefully and lovingly as Michelangelo did the Pièta, knowing that one day you would examine it and ponder the meaning of existence. 6

James K. Hoffmeier (2008): The date of this beautifully preserved synagogue was established by the presence of more than 25,000 coins, some sealed in the floor and used in the mortar. The excavator maintains that the edifice was built at the end of the fourth century AD, and the ancillary chamber, ‘the court’, was added in the fifth century AD. Its function is not altogether clear, although it may have been a place of hospitality for travellers. A Greek inscription from a synagogue in Jerusalem, possibly dating to the first century AD, offers helpful information about the function of synagogues. It states that one Theodotos, a synagogue ruler, ‘built the assembly hall [synagogue] for the reading of the Law and for the teaching of the commandments, and the guest room, the chambers, and the water fittings, as an inn for those in need from foreign parts’. In addition to the educational dimension of the institution, this text informs us that it had rooms for caring for the needs of foreign visitors, and this may have been the function of the annexe of the Capernaum synagogue.

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The fourth-century dating of the synagogue was initially disappointing to students of the New Testament as it meant this was not the synagogue that was constructed through the philanthropy of the Roman centurion (as mentioned in Luke 7:1–5), and where Jesus taught and healed (Mark 1:21–28). However, subsequent excavations revealed that directly beneath the limestone structure was an earlier one made of basalt; the ceramic evidence demonstrates that it dates to the first century AD and thus most certainly was the synagogue that flourished in the days of Jesus. Because the visible basalt blocks beneath the limestone largely conform to the plan of the newer structure, it is likely that the earlier one was about the same size as the limestone one built over it. 3

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Bethelcornerstone (2022): Peter’s house. It was comprised of rooms and courtyards, with open and closed spaces. It actually occupied a large space, roughly 75 feet by 75 feet. After the resurrection of Christ and the birth of the church, archeology reveals that some changes were made to Peter’s house. Rooms became larger. Some rooms were plastered. The house contained large oil lamps and large vessels to hold food. In the New Testament believers met in house churches to worship God, minister to each other, and to share meals. Often, they lived together in house churches. They shared things and worked together. Peter’s house became one such a house church – a basis for Christian community. Peter’s house became a place not just for one family, but a place for larger gatherings, communal meals, and community-living. As centuries passed, Peter’s house was developed even more. By 450 AD, Peter’s house was transformed into a basilica. Peter was dead, and so was the apostolic model of house church. It was no longer a house that people lived in, but it was a religious structure that was used for occasional religious services.

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During the first century, Peter’s house was transformed from a residence for one family into to a house for a community of Christians. This transformation followed the apostolic model. But after the death of Peter the church began to abandon the apostolic teachings. At this point Peter’s house was transformed into a basilica. This transformation into a basilica was without apostolic sanction, and it marked the departure of the church from the New Testament model of church. The transformation of Peter’s house from a home for a family to a home for a house church to a basilica mirrors the progression of church history from AD 33 to AD 450. During that time period, the church moved from homes into religious buildings. This move away from house church to religious buildings was costly. Church was no longer based on strong community, sharing, and close relationships. Instead, it became hierarchical, impersonal, and full of man-made religious rituals. 9

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When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. –Mt 8:14 

M.Mason (2015): As a place of worship for the early Christians, this probably pre-dated even Jerusalem’s “upper room” where we know the disciples gathered after Jesus’ resurrection. For He had told them, “After I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee” (Mk 14:28), and the first natural rendezvous point would have been the house in Capernaum. At least three other churches have been built over this house: a twentieth-century building that looks like a space ship; an octagonal basilica from the fifth century whose foundations are visible as the outer ring in the photograph; and before that, in the inner ring, what appears to have been a meeting house created within a simple first-century dwelling. Unlike other houses excavated around it, this one exhibited a number of structural changes dating back to the first and second centuries. The floor had been plastered and the rough walls carefully reworked and covered with inscriptions in five languages, testifying to faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, the “Most High and Good,” and to veneration for Peter, the local saint. Moreover this house contained hardly any domestic ceramics but many oil lamps. All in all, a great deal of significance seems to have been attached to this one humble room. This was indeed the house of the Peter the Apostle. Located just a hundred feet from the lakeshore to the south, and an equal distance from the synagogue to the north, its walls are made of the same native black basalt as those of the ancient synagogue. Two of the earliest accounts by pilgrims to the Holy Land—Egeria in 385 and Anonymous of Piacenza in 570—testify that the house of Peter was indeed venerated from earliest times and turned into a church. In short, if archaeological sites were rated as to probable authenticity, this one would get five stars. Certainly it ranks higher than the many other supposed relics of Peter, mostly in and around Rome: prison chains he wore, a stone pillow with the imprint of his head, another stone imprinted by his knees where he prayed. Even his bones have apparently been discovered in a crypt deep below the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica. Yet this humble abode in Capernaum is what draws my attention. This is where, upon meeting Peter’s bed-ridden mother-in-law, Jesus “touched her hand and the fever left her” (Mt 8:15). That same day “the whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many” (Mk 1:33). On two sides Peter’s house abutted public courtyards that could have accomodated the crowds, part of the reason why Jesus apparently established this place as both ministry center and home base. Indeed it was probably this same house where, on another day when “so many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door,” Jesus healed a paralytic lowered through the roof by his friends (Mk 2:1-12). Imagine how Peter must have felt having his roof torn apart! And imagine all the other stories these stone walls could tell. Of all the artifacts found here, one is especially eloquent: a pair of first century fishhooks. Besides the cross itself, is there a more fitting symbol for the religion that arose in Galilee? 5

James K. Hoffmeier (2008): Mark informs us that on one occasion Jesus and his followers ‘left the synagogue [and] went with James and John to the home of Simon [Peter] and Andrew’ (Mark 1:29). Apparently these brothers had moved from Bethsaida. Just 98 feet (30 m) south of the synagogue, the Franciscan excavators uncovered what they believed to be Peter’s house. The reason for this was that this particular first-century basalt house had received special treatment at an early date. First, the walls and floor of one room measuring 19 by 21 feet (5.8 × 6.45 m) were plastered in the first century, and were later re-plastered (no other house excavated at Capernaum was plastered), indicating the exulted status of this house. It is believed that even at this early date Christians met to worship here, and it then became a place of pilgrimage.

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From the book of Acts and other New Testament books we know that the early Christians met in homes (Acts 2:46, 12:12; 20:20; 1 Corinthians 16:19). Visitors etched inscriptions on the walls in Aramaic, Syriac, Greek and Latin. In the fourth century AD the complex was expanded and surrounded by a wall, and in the following century an octagonal church structure or martyrium was constructed over the original room. An apse and a baptismal font were discovered, showing that the building became a functioning church. Because the evidence shows that this particular house received special treatment in the first century AD, and not hundreds of years later, the likelihood that this was Peter’s house is high. A stone’s throw from Peter’s house’ is the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee where a 2,500-foot- (770-m-) long promenade has been uncovered, and stone quays or piers extend perpendicularly from the promenade by as much as 100 feet (31 m). Here the fishermen would have docked their boats with their catch and other commerce also took place. It is not surprising that Herod Antipas had a booth for tax collecting on the docks to get the king’s share. One of the tax collectors at Capernaum was Matthew, who was at his booth on this promenade when Jesus announced, ‘Follow me’ (Matthew 9:9). Not only did he become one of the twelve apostles, he also authored the first Gospel.

Pool of Beth-Zatha or Bethesda

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who had been an invalid for 38 years at the Pool of Bethesda. In the 19th century, a pool with five colonnades was discovered in Jerusalem that is believed to be the same site mentioned in the Gospel.

Jerusalem was a city of pools: some were for water storage, such as cisterns and reservoirs, while dozens of purification pools have also been found. John reports that one such pool, surrounded by five colonnades (John 5:2), was a place where disabled people gathered, hoping to be healed. 

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The name ‘Bethesda’ probably means ‘house or place of mercy’. There Jesus reportedly healed a man. Because John locates this pool ‘near the Sheep Gate’ (John 5:2), its setting is quite certain. This gate is known to be situated north of the Temple Mount. 

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The Copper Scroll from Qumran, which dates to prior to AD 70, refers to Beth Eshdathayin, meaning ‘House of Two Pools’. In this very area the remains of two pools have been discovered, the first of which is estimated to be 215 feet (66 m) wide on the south side and 190 feet (59 m) wide on the north side, while it measures 160 feet (49 m) on the east and west sides. The second one was somewhat smaller.

Pool of Siloam

On one occasion, when Jesus healed a blind man, he instructed him to go and wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam (John 9:7). For some centuries now it has been thought that this pool was the one at the terminus of Hezekiah’s tunnel, although no archaeological evidence was adduced to suggest that this particular pool existed in New Testament times. 

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Rather the present evidence suggests that this pool functioned from Byzantine times onwards (third or fourth century AD to the present). During the summer of 2004, as city workers were digging trenches to install pipes just south of the pool, ancient blocks were uncovered unexpectedly. Archaeologists were summoned to excavate the structure. It turned out to be a large pool. To date, only a small portion of the pool has been cleared as a large area goes under an orchard owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. 

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Two corners and the area between reveal the width of the pool to be around 225 feet (69 m). The length, unfortunately, remains unknown, but enough of the pool has been exposed to understand its design and date. The pool itself is lined with fine limestone blocks. Five steps lead down to the landing, followed by five more steps, then another landing; then five additional steps descend to the pool’s bottom. When some of the blocks were removed, it was realized that an earlier pool lay beneath, which consisted of plastered steps. 

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Thanks to the use of a metal detector, four coins were found embedded in the plaster. They date to the Hasmonean period, particularly the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (103–76 BC). This pool was likely to have been dug during the first century BC. The construction date of the stone-lined pool remains uncertain, but coins and pottery associated with it suggest that it flourished right up to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. Because it stands at the bottom end of the valley, it would quickly have silted over and its location been forgotten. 

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The stone-lined pool was in all probability the Pool of Siloam of Jesus’ day. Not only did the pool collect water flowing from the Gihon Spring that passed through Hezekiah’s tunnel, it also probably served as one of the many mikva’ot or purification baths for the Jerusalem Temple. Further work at the site is anticipated, which will hopefully answer remaining questions about dating. The excavators speculate that the earlier pool from Hezekiah’s day could be under this pool or located nearby.

Wine Jars

While attending a wedding in Cana of Galilee (a small village located between Nazareth and Sepphoris), Jesus performed his first miraculous sign: turning water into wine. John 2:6 specifies that there were six stone jars ‘used by the Jews for ceremonial washing’. 

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Such stone vessels have been discovered during excavations in Jerusalem in a large house that was destroyed and burnt in AD 70 by the Romans. Similar stone jars have been found at the site of Cana itself (Khirbet Cana) in excavations that began in 1998. These enormous jars were made from a single block of stone and turned on a lathe. In the case of the wedding guests, the water jars would have been used for hand washing before the festive meal. 
 3

In 2017, The Times of Israel reported: 2,000-year-old stone workshop was discovered near where Jesus turned water into wine. There are few worse prospects for the hostess of a Jewish wedding than running out of drinks. Empathizing with such a predicament as a guest at a wedding in Cana some 2,000 years ago, Jesus’s mother Mary asked Jesus to step up and “do something.” Although he initially demurs, Jesus eventually orders servants to bring six special stone jars filled with water, which he transmutes into wine — his first public miracle. Archaeologists discovered where those stone jars were made. A large 2,000-year-old Second Temple period chalkstone quarry and workshop was discovered at Reina in lower Galilee by a team of archaeologists. A manmade chalkstone quarry cave was recently discovered between Nazareth and the village of Kana. What is unique in this excavation is the additional find of a stoneware workshop — one of only four in Israel. Although pottery was also in use during this period, archaeological digs around the region point to an uptick in stoneware during the Second Temple period — likely for ritual purity reasons, as attested in the Talmud.

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In ancient times, most tableware, cooking pots and storage jars were made of pottery. In the first century of the Common Era, however, Jews throughout Judea and Galilee also used tableware and storage vessels made of soft, local chalkstone. According to ancient Jewish ritual law, vessels made of pottery are easily made impure and must be broken. Stone, on the other hand, was thought to be a material which can never become ritually impure, and as a result ancient Jews began to produce some of their everyday tableware from stone. What is rare, however, is to find a production center for such vessels. The four locations uncovered to date in Israel — two near Jerusalem, this one in Reina, and a fourth site found recently in its vicinity which is currently under excavation — highlight “the pivotal role of ritual purity observance not only in Jerusalem but in far-off Galilee as well. So far archaeologists have unearthed thousands of pieces of chalkstone that were scooped out from the inside of cups and bowls as they were formed, and other types of production waste, including fragments of stone mugs and bowls in various stages of production, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. The workshop is situated in an artificially hewn cave, marked by chisel marks in its creation. Inside the cave, archaeologists discovered the detritus of lathe-made stoneware — thousands of stone cores. According to the IAA, hundreds of unfinished or damaged vessels were also found. “The production waste indicates that this workshop produced mainly handled mugs and bowls of various sizes. The finished products were marketed throughout the region in Galilee, and finds provide striking evidence that Jews were scrupulous regarding the purity laws. 4

Sheep Pens

C. A. Evans (2009): In his famous teaching when Jesus identified himself as the good shepherd, he described how his sheep went in and out of the sheep pen. Then he proclaimed, ‘I am the door of the sheep’ (John 10:7). Earlier in this chapter a sheep pen was described. What did Jesus mean when he said that he was the gate or the door of the pen? Some years ago, a professor friend was hiking in the hills of Judea when he came across a stone sheep pen. There he encountered the shepherd with whom he exchanged greetings in Arabic. Noticing that the entrance to the pen lacked a gate or door of any kind, my friend asked the shepherd, ‘Where is the gate?’ To which the Beduoin Arab answered, ‘I am the gate!’ Through this simple encounter (a case of ethno-archaeology), the biblical scholar immediately realized that this shepherd, like Jesus 2,000 years before, was declaring that he was the protector of his sheep. No physical door was necessary.

Domestic Quarters


‘The door is locked and my children are in bed with me’ (Luke 11:7) is the excuse given by a man in a parable of Jesus for why he can’t get up and help his friend in the middle of the night. The thought of parents and children sleeping together in one room and in the same bed may seem odd to modern sensibilities. Archaeologists, however, have found domestic quarters at various sites in Galilee, and usually there is one clearly identifiable bedroom per family household. This suggests that children did sleep in a bed with their parents, and to secure the door against intruders locks were used. Large bronze keys have been discovered, sometimes with their wooden handle intact.

Alabaster bottles

During the days leading up to Passover, Jesus visited the village of Bethany, located just 2 miles (3 km) from Jerusalem on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives. While dining with his disciples at the home of a friend named Simon, a woman named Mary, whose exact identity is debated, anointed Jesus with a ‘very expensive perfume, made of pure nard’ (Mark 14:3; Matthew 26:7). The aromatic ointment had been kept in a bottle of alabaster. 

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Elegant long-necked glass bottles have been found that were probably used for perfume in tombs from Roman times around Jerusalem. Because nard was such a costly substance – believed to have come from the Himalayan region to the Holy Land via Red Sea maritime trade – it was often kept in a less breakable container than glass. Alabaster or travertine, a beautiful stone from Egypt, was considered the best way to keep ointments. Such bottles have been discovered in the Holy Land. Beautiful alabaster jars, some in the shape of animals, were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt.

Jesus route from Gethsemane to Golgotha

Thanks to excavations in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, a group of impressive homes have been excavated that appear to have belonged to priestly families. This area is located around 1,000 feet (300 m) southwest of the south-west corner of the Temple Mount. These mansions, all destroyed by conflagration, are located in the Upper City or Mount Zion area of Jerusalem. The so-called ‘Burnt House’ contained coins on the floors of several rooms that date to the years leading up to AD 70. Also within this house a stone weight was found with the following inscription on it: ‘[belonging] to the son of Kathros’. This name is known from the Talmud (Jewish legal commentaries) as a priestly family from Jerusalem. This priestly family and Hanin are criticized in this literature for their unethical handling of temple finances and their harsh treatment of people. Some scholars equate the name Kathros with Caiaphas, and Hanin is the Aramaic for Annas, known in the Gospels as the father-in-law of Caiaphas (John 18:13). The discovery of the Kathron weight in this mansion supports the view that this house belonged to the family of priests who ruled during the lifetime of Jesus. 

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Reconstruction of the Herodian mansion. The excavations in the Jewish Quarter uncovered this residence dating from the Second Temple period. Known as the Palatial Mansion because of its unusually large size—6,500 sq. feet (600 sq.m)—it is now part of the restored Herodian Quarter.

The ‘Palatial Mansion’ is the largest of the houses in this quarter. It occupies around 5,500 square feet (c. 510 sq m), and was at least two stories high. The ‘Palatial Mansion’ has a courtyard with a cobble-stone floor that measured about 260 square feet (24 sq m). It may be this feature the Gospel writers had in mind when they spoke of Peter going into the courtyard of the house of Caiaphas to see what was happening to Jesus (Matthew 26:54). Possibly within this courtyard, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. The walls of this building were plastered and elegantly painted, and some floors were decorated with mosaics. This house, like the other mansions in the neighborhood, has mikvahs on the lower level. The reference to Bar Kathros in the ‘Burnt House’, the sheer size of the surrounding homes and the upscale way in which they were fitted out suggest that these homes belonged to the top priests of Jerusalem. Presently there is no way of knowing which of these homes was visited by Jesus on the evening before the crucifixion. After the preliminary hearing in the house of Caiaphas, Jesus was taken to the Sanhedrin or the place where the ruling council met for its verdict (Matthew 26:59). 

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The location was apparently in the temple complex. This means that Jesus was hurried from the Upper City to the Temple Mount by the stairs of Robinson’s Arch and into the temple precinct. Traces of this arch are still visible protruding from the southern end of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. 3

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M.Mason (2016):  Near the southwest corner of the Temple Mount, about halfway up the wall, is a curious projection of stones whose purpose remained a mystery for many centuries, until in 1838 an American scholar named Edward Robinson identified it. Robinson’s Arch, as it came to be called, turns out to be the anchor for an enormous staircase leading up to a major gate into the Second Temple. All that remains of this Herodian structure is the fifty-foot-long spring (the point at which an arch rises from its support) embedded into the wall. At ground level forty feet in front, excavators found the stump of a large pier, also fifty feet long, built on the bedrock. Between these two anchors would have stretched a flight of stairs, turning a right angle to descend the rest of the way to street level. Among the most massive stone arches of classical antiquity, it spanned a thoroughfare called the Tyropoeon street, twenty-eight

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This whole area was excavated after 1967, when twenty-six feet of rubble had to be removed to get down to street level. Before that, Robinson’s Arch sat practically on the ground, so that people could walk up and touch it or even sit on the stringer. Visitors today to the Jerusalem Archeological Park can walk along a good length of the original paving stones of the Tyropoeon street below the arch, between raised curbstones and the remains of entrances to ancient shops. Adjacent to the Western Wall, it is used by some groups as a place of worship. (For a marvelous video tour of Herod’s Temple, see “Virtual Reconstruction of Second Temple Mount.”) This is an area that Jesus would have frequented. He might have paused here on His way to the Temple to chat with shop owners or passers-by, or been stopped (as He was everywhere) by those seeking healing. Other Temple gates were commonly used by visitors or pilgrims, or for the endless deliveries of animals and wood and other supplies, but this southwestern gate, along with the two southern gates around the corner, were the customary entrances for Jewish worshipers. What is particularly interesting about the gate above Robinson’s Arch is that it opened onto the Royal Portico (or Royal Stoa), a large basilica complex that served commercial and legal functions, somewhat like a Roman forum or Greek agora, so that some viewed it as not properly a part of the sacred Temple precincts. Because King Herod, the Temple’s builder, was not of a priestly family and so could not enter the holy chambers of the Temple itself, the Royal Portico with its magnificent stairway provided a place of suitable majesty for his official visits accompanied by an elaborate entourage. We can imagine another King, with a humbler retinue, mounting these stairs intent on a purpose more grim. For the Royal Portico is where Jesus cleared away the tables of the moneychangers and stalls for selling birds and animals. The Temple’s commercial circus was so rife with corruption that Jesus had every right to be angry about it. Nor was He the only one: About thirty years later an incensed mob repeated His gesture, sweeping away the whole bazaar. And ten years after that, the entire Temple was gone. 8

C. A. Evans (2009): After agreeing that Jesus was guilty of claiming to be the Son of God and the Messiah (Luke 22:66–71), the council condemned him to death and sent him to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Pilate’s residence was at Caesarea Maritima, not Jerusalem. In fact, in 1961 a partial inscription bearing his name was discovered there which reads: PONTIUS PILATUS PREFECTUS IUDAEAE, ‘Pontius Pilate, Prefect [governor] of Judea’. His presence in Jerusalem at this time was probably because of Passover. The location of the site of Jesus’ trial and Pilate’s residence in Jerusalem has been a matter of scholarly interest. The Fortress Antonia, built by Herod the Great and named after his friend Mark Antony, was located on the north side of the temple complex. The Ecce Homo Church, Latin for ‘behold the man’, stands over the massive stone floors of Herod’s fort. Here Roman Catholic tradition maintains that Jesus stood before Pilate. Recent excavations reveal that the pavement under the church thought to be Gabbatha, ‘the Stone Pavement’ (John 19:13) where Jesus was tried, was not laid till the time of the Roman emperor Hadrian (AD 135). It appears that the original Antonia Fort was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 and then rebuilt some sixty years later by Hadrian. Consequently, this particular pavement could not be Gabbatha of the Gospels, and there is no evidence from any source that this fort should be equated with the Praetorium or Palace. Archaeologists, therefore, have abandoned this location as the place of Jesus’ trial by Pilate. This also means that the Via Dolorosa, the route Jesus is supposed to have taken from the Roman trial to Golgotha for crucifixion, has a wrong starting point. Each year thousands of Christian pilgrims follow this route believing that they are re-enacting the trail taken by Jesus. So where was Pilate’s Jerusalem residence? The Latin word praetorium, meaning palace, is used in two of the Gospels (Matthew 27:27; Mark 15:16) as the name of Pilate’s residence. In Acts 23:35 we learn that the later Roman governor Felix lived in ‘Herod’s Praetorium’ in Caesarea. This reference has led to the proposal of an alternative location for the praetorium in Jerusalem, namely Herod the Great’s palace. 

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Model of the Herod's Palace in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem, is a scale reconstruction of the first century BCE royal palace built by Herod the Great. Today the Tower of David stands the approximate location. Herod's Palace in Jerusalem was built in the last quarter of the 1st century BCE by Herod I the Great, King of Judea from 37 BCE to 4 BCE. It was the second most important building in Jerusalem, after the Second Temple itself.


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Marc Turnage (2022):  The only gate on the western side of the modern Old City of Jerusalem is Jaffa Gate. Inside this gate stands the Tower of David. In the first century, Herod the Great chose this strategic location to build his palace in Jerusalem. Its elevated position enabled him to look down over the Temple Mount. The earliest Christian traditions follow Jesus’ journey from His trial before Pilate at Herod’s Palace to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the place of His death and resurrection. In this way, Herod’s palace serves as a key location at both Jesus’ birth and His death. Herod had palaces throughout his kingdom—Jericho, Caesarea, his palace-fortresses at Masada, and Herodium—but his Jerusalem palace was his largest and most splendid. He decorated it with all kinds of colorful, inlaid stones. Remains of two large pools have been excavated. He built two large building complexes within the palace, one he named Caesareum (after Caesar Augustus, his friend and benefactor) and the other Agrippeum (after Marcus Agrippa, Augustus’ number two man). Herod’s palace had its own aqueduct that provided for its water needs. The aqueduct originated south of Bethlehem. In this palace, Herod would have questioned the wise men seeking the baby Jesus (Matthew 2). The Roman governors resided in Jerusalem during the Jewish festivals to keep civic order, and they stayed at Herod’s palace. Jesus was brought before Pilate in Jerusalem to the praetorium, which Mark’s Gospel refers to as “the palace” (Mark 15:15). The most likely location in Jerusalem for this encounter was in the palace of Herod the Great. The mention in John’s Gospel of the lithostratos, which is a Greek term meaning “an inlaid stone floor,” further suggests Pilate’s location within Herod’s palace, which Herod had decorated with colorful stones.  The earliest Christian traditions that follow Jesus’ journey from being beaten to his point of execution follow a route that begins in the area of Herod’s palace to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as attested by the Bordeaux Pilgrim. In this way, Herod’s palace serves as a key location at Jesus’ birth and his death. 4

Josephus reports that Herod’s palace had three defensive towers associated with it, named Phasael (Herod’s brother), Hippicus (a friend of Herod) and Mariamne (a wife). He apparently expanded and reinforced the earlier Hasmonean citadel located just inside the present-day Jaffa Gate. Today only the Phasael Tower has survived. The larger Herodian ashlars used in the construction of the towers are clearly visible at the bottom half of the tower. The top is constructed with smaller blocks from the Islamic period. Immediately south of the towers is where Herod’s Palace was located. Excavations since 1967 indicate that it was about 823 feet (250 m) long and 325 feet (100 m) wide, but little can be said architecturally about the palace. Josephus describes it as a truly opulent edifice, which given what we know of Herod’s other palaces is most certainly the case.

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When Pilate heard that Jesus was from Galilee and also learned that the ruler of that region, Herod Antipas, was in town for the holy days, he sent Jesus to Herod (Luke 23:6–7). Tiberias, situated on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee, was the capital of Antipas. This son of Herod the Great probably stayed in the old Hasmonean palace when he came to Jerusalem. This structure has not been discovered but is believed to have been in the area north of the priestly homes discussed earlier. Not knowing what to do with Jesus, Antipas returned him to Pilate (Luke 23:11). Pilate gave in to the pressure from the temple leaders and ordered him to be crucified. ‘A man of inflexible, stubborn and cruel disposition’ are the words used by Josephus to describe Pilate. Interestingly, the argument the priests used to convince Pilate to put Jesus to death was: ‘If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar’ (John 19:12). A small temple was built by Pilate at Caesarea to honor his emperor, Tiberius. This is apparently the only shrine built by a non-Roman outside of Italy that was dedicated to an emperor. Based on this fact it has been suggested that Pilate was desperately trying to win the approval of his master, that is, be a friend of Caesar! 3

Evidence for Simon Bar-Jonah

Matthew 16:17: Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” (Matt 16:17)

At the Franciscan Dominus Flevit (“the Lord Wept”) church on the Mount of Olives, workmen were building a new wall in 1953. They happened upon a cave filled with burial remains. Among the over five hundred remains were 122 ossuaries (stone bone boxes), and on these boxes they found forty inscriptions, either carved onto the boxes or written in charcoal in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. 

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One of the ossuaries bears the name Simeon Bar [Ynh]. The last word is uncertain but could be “Jonah.”  Padre Eugenio Alliata showed it to me privately. The name inscribed, Shimon bar can be clearly read in armaic. The last name, Jonah, there is a little doubt of one of the letters. It is a possibility that it refers to the apostle Peter. It could be that he was never in Rome since he was an apostle for the Jews and the apostle Paul for the gentiles. That would refute that Peter was the first pope in Rome.

The first-century church father Clement wrote his Letter to the Corinthians (pre-AD 70) that Peter died where Paul died. Tertullian, in The Demurrer Against the Heretics (AD 200) states that Peter, like Paul, came to Rome and died there. Lactantius, in a treatise called The Death of the Persecutors (ca. AD 318), wrote that Peter came to Rome under the reign of the Emperor Nero. Christian tradition also identifies the Mamertine Prison, a dank subterranean complex (today beneath a Renaissance church), as Peter’s final lodging before he was crucified. Italian archaeologists have found frescoes and other evidence that indicate that it was associated with St. Peter as early as the seventh century AD.

The ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus’ ossuary

Wikipedia: The James Ossuary is a 1st-century limestone box that was used for containing the bones of the dead. An Aramaic inscription meaning "James (Jacob), son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" is cut into one side of the box. The existence of the ossuary was announced in 2002 in Washington at a press conference by the Discovery Channel and the Biblical Archaeology Society. The inscription was initially translated by André Lemaire, a Semitic epigrapher, who informed in an issue of Biblical Archaeology Review that the ossuary and its inscription were authentic.

An ossuary is a stone (usually limestone) depository for storing bones of the dead, considered a luxury for the elite. The dead would lie on a loculus in a tomb for a year of decomposition, and then the remains would be collected and placed in an ossuary. Depending on the wealth and taste of the family, the box would sometimes be inscribed with decorations or the name of the deceased. The James Ossuary measures 50.5 by 25 by 30.5 centimetres (19.9 in × 9.8 in × 12.0 in), which is slightly smaller than average compared to other ossuaries of the time.  Other than the James Ossuary, there has so far only been one has been found, amongst thousands of ossuaries, that contains a reference to a brother, concluding that "there is little doubt that this [naming a brother or son] was done only when there was a very meaningful reason to refer to a family member of the deceased, usually due to his importance and fame." He produced a statistical analysis of the occurrence of these three names in ancient Jerusalem and projected that there would only have been 1.71 people named James, with a father named Joseph and a brother named Jesus, expected to be living in Jerusalem around the time at which the ossuary was produced. 6

Mark Rose wrote in Arachaeology.com: On October 21, 2002, the discovery of an inscription--Ya'akov bar Yosef akhui diYeshua--on the side of a light brown, chalky limestone box was announced at a Washington press conference. André Lemaire of the Sorbonne University in Paris had just published his translation of the text--"James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus"--in the magazine Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR). Lemaire believes the 20-inch-long box, or ossuary, once held the bones of James, brother of the biblical Jesus, who was stoned to death in A.D. 62, according to the first-century historian Flavius Josephus. Time touted the discovery, saying: "If the inscription refers to the right James...this would be the most important discovery in the history of New Testament archaeology."

From the later first century B.C. through most of the first century A.D. it was customary in Jerusalem for family members to lay out a body in a burial cave, come back when flesh had decayed, and put the bones into an ossuary, sometimes inscribed with the deceased's name. Lemaire says the James ossuary "very probably" refers to the biblical Jesus but admits that "nothing in this ossuary inscription clearly confirms this identification." Jesus, however, was a common name. Eric M. Meyers of Duke University notes that nine of the thousand or so ossuaries studied by scholars have the name Jesus inscribed on them. Paul Flesher of the University of Wyoming says two ossuaries have Aramaic inscriptions reading, "Jesus, son of Joseph." "The inscription is like 'Tom, son of Dick, brother of Harry,'" quipped another scholar.

Serious doubts have been raised about the inscription. Some scholars have suggested that it is too good to be true, that the letters are unusually clear compared to the surface of the ossuary, and that the second part (the mention of Jesus) may have been added by early Christians or by a modern forger. Published with Lemaire's article was a report by two Geological Survey of Israel scientists who examined the ossuary. They conclude that whatever tool it was carved with is consistent with a first-century date. The fact that it wasn't done with a modern drill, however, doesn't rule out forgery of part or all of the inscription.

Golan, the owner, said that he had bought the ossuary by 1976 from a Jerusalem antiquities dealer. He recalls that the dealer told him it came from Silwan, an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem. But he doesn't remember which dealer sold it to him. According to Golan, he was unaware of the inscription's significance until he showed Lemaire a photograph of it last spring. 7

In 2014, an archaeometric analysis strengthened the authenticity contention of the ossuary. It found that patina on the ossuary surface matched that in the engravings, and that microfossils in the inscription seemed naturally deposited,

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James Ossuary. Note the arrow pointing to the Aramaic inscription “Ya’akob Bar Yoseph Brother of Jesus.” Note that the area around the inscription was cleaned.

A. Rosenfeld et.al., (2014): An archaeometric analysis of the James Ossuary inscription “James Son of Joseph Brother of Jesus” strengthens the contention that the ossuary and its engravings are authentic. The beige patina can be observed on the surface of the ossuary, continuing gradationally into the engraved inscription. Fine long striations made by the friction of falling roof rocks continuously crosscut the letters. Many dissolution pits are superimposed on several of the letters of the inscription. In addition to calcite and quartz, the patina contains the following minerals: apatite, whewellite and weddelite (calcium oxalate). These minerals result from the biogenic activity of microorganisms that require a long period of time to form a bio-patina. Moreover, the heterogeneous existence of wind-blown microfossils (nannofossils and foraminifers) and quartz within the patina of the ossuary, including the lettering zone, reinforces the authenticity of the inscription. 8

Titus Kennedy (2022): James, the brother of Jesus, is referenced multiple times in the New Testament, and the epistle of James is attributed to him (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Acts 12:17; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19; James 1:1; Jude 1). The writings of Josephus record the martyrdom of James in Jerusalem about AD 62 and that he was the brother of Jesus (Josephus, Antiquities 20.200). Because this ossuary dates to before AD 70, comes from a tomb in Jerusalem and specifies three names and their relationship, it could refer to James the apostle, Jesus Christ, and their father Joseph. Further, of all known inscribed ossuaries only one other mentions a brother, meaning that this brother “Jesus” was very significant. Historically, there is no other known James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus from this period, and a statistical study determined that those three names in that particular familial relationship during the 1st century in Jerusalem would probably account for less than two possible people identified as James son of Joseph brother of Jesus, indicating that the inscription mentions Jesus of Nazareth rather than another unknown Jesus. Therefore, the data suggests that the inscription was for James the leader of the Jerusalem church, identifying him with his father, Joseph, and his brother, Jesus Christ. If this ossuary inscription contains a 1st-century reference to Jesus of Nazareth, it could be the earliest material artifact mentioning Jesus. 

Caiaphas the High Preast

Joseph Caiaphas was the acting high priest of Judaism in Jerusalem from about AD 18 to 36 according to the Gospels, Acts, and Josephus (Matthew 26:3; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; Acts 4:6; Josephus, Antiquities 18.34-35, 95). It is also likely that Caiaphas is briefly referred to in the Mishnah and the Babylonian Talmud. While the Gospels mention him with the official designation Caiaphas the high priest, the writings of Josephus provide additional information by recording that his first name was Joseph, but he was called Caiaphas, which explains why the Gospels and Acts merely use Caiaphas in referring to him. Apparently the Roman prefect Valerius Gratus made Caiaphas high priest after Eleazar, then with the departure of Pilate and arrival of a new prefect, Marcellus, Caiaphas was deposed and replaced by Jonathan, son of Ananus. As a high priest descended from a long line of priests and related by marriage to another high priest, Caiaphas would have been a powerful and influential man in 1st-century Jerusalem.

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Joseph son of Caiaphas was the Jewish High Priest from 18-36 AD. He was the "Caiaphas" of the Passion narratives (see Matt 26:57). The Caiaphas family burial cave was discovered in southeastern Jerusalem. One had the name Yhosef bar Cipha etched on one end. There is widespread agreement that this ossuary belonged to the high priest who sought the permission of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, to crucify Jesus.Upon being arrested, Jesus was taken to the house of the high priest, Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57; Luke 22:54), whose full name in Aramaic was Yosef bar Caiapha – that is, Joseph son of Caiaphas. His rule as high priest dates from AD 18 to 36. In 1990 in a tomb south of Jerusalem a group of ossuaries – limestone bone boxes – was discovered.

Caiaphas is also known from an ossuary recovered from a tomb outside of 1st-century AD Jerusalem, accidently discovered during construction, then subsequently excavated and documented. Discovered in 1990 in a tomb in the “Jerusalem Peace Forest” about one mile south of the Old City of Jerusalem, the tomb contained four niches for twelve ossuaries, but six of the ossuaries had already been disturbed when archaeologists investigated the tomb. Of the six undisturbed ossuaries, two contained inscriptions in Aramaic, both mentioning the family name “Caiaphas.” One particularly ornate ossuary had an Aramaic inscription reading Yehosef bar Qayafa (“Joseph, son of Caiaphas”), which fits the New Testament spelling of the family name Kaiafa perfectly. Skeletal remains of six individuals were discovered inside the ossuary, including a man about 60 years old, which may have been the high priest. Highly decorative ossuaries typically indicate that the person was wealthy and prominent in society, although a plain ossuary does not necessarily indicate a person of lower social or financial status. The somewhat crude form of the inscription “Joseph, son of Caiaphas” suggests that it was carved with an iron nail found in the tomb after the ossuary had already been put on the shelf. In addition to the name, location, and decorative quality of the ossuary, further evidence comes from the date of the burial. Ossuaries appeared in tombs of the Jerusalem area during the reign of King Herod the Great, but disappeared in about AD 70 when the city was destroyed by the Romans. The presence of a coin of King Herod Agrippa I that was found with the ossuaries, dated to AD 42/43, demonstrates that the tomb was in use by AD 43, not long after the end of the high priestly tenure of Caiaphas, but that use must have ceased about 70 AD. This coin was found in the skull inside an ossuary inscribed “Miriam, daughter of Simeon,” having been originally placed in the mouth, following the ancient Greek tradition of payment for Charon the boatman to cross the River Styx in the underworld. This demonstrates the influence and adoption of certain Hellenistic and Roman practices even by a priestly family, and suggests identification with the Sadducees rather than less syncretized groups such as the Pharisees and Essenes. Another ossuary from southwest Judah mentions that the Caiaphas family was of the priestly lineage of Ma’aziah, a priest from the tribe of Levi who was appointed during the time of David, and it seems that his descendants continued to serve in the priesthood for centuries (1 Chronicles 24:18; Nehemiah 10:Cool. The Miriam ossuary dates to the late 1st century AD, probably after AD 70, which would correlate well with the lifespan of a daughter of Caiaphas the high priest.

N.Geisler (2013): The Gospel accounts (Matthew 26:3,57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; 18:13-14,24,28; Acts 4:6) indicate that Caiaphas (Greek, Καϊάφας) was the high priest in Jerusalem the year that Jesus died, serving between AD 18 and 36 (though his father-in-law, Annas, retained the title). The Gospel accounts refer to him only as Caiaphas, but his full title was Joseph, son of Caiaphas (Hebrew, Yosef Bar Kayafa). He was son-in-law of Annas in the apostolic records, and was high priest by the appointment of Rome. In AD 36, the Syrian governor Vitellius removed the prefect Pilate as well as Caiaphas. The Gospel writers view Caiaphas as the primary priestly opponent of Jesus, and he is especially known for his willingness to sacrifice Jesus for tranquility in Israel:

“If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish” ( John 11:48-50).14

The bowl with Jesus' inscription

A “magician’s cup” was discovered in the underwater ruins of Alexandria during excavation of the harbor. The cup itself was probably manufactured around the late 2nd century BC to the early 1st century AD, based on pottery typology, but the Greek inscription on the cup seems to have been added in the 1st century AD and could be translated as “through Christ the sorcerer,” although it cannot be stated with certainty that this cup invokes Jesus Christ. 9

Lily Filson (2018): The bowl is believed to have been part of the ritual furniture of an Egyptian soothsayer or magus-figure, a tradition documented in Egyptian and earlier in Mesopotamian culture for millennia prior. This Egyptian community of Christians became known as the Copts, from a corruption of the Arabic word for Egyptian and the name has since come to denote the particular Christianity which developed there and later spread elsewhere in Africa and beyond. Egypt retained its old religion through both the Hellenistic as well as its Roman Period, but some historians see the enthusiastic embrace of Christianity as a welcome means of subversion to Roman power. 

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The vase was discovered by French archaeologists headed by Franck Goddio. From Goddio's website:

Frank Goddio: This ceramic bowl was discovered in the Portus Magnus in Alexandria, close to the modern Corniche, at the foot of the peninsula that stretches towards the island of Antirhodos on the former coastline now submerged, fronting the Caesarium, one of the most beautiful temples in antiquity. It was found in an even layer from the first half of the first century AD, the second stratigraphical layer, associated with eastern sigillata, thin-walled goblets and imported cooking wares. The bowl itself could date to the first century BC (pre-Augustan period). It is a well-preserved careened cup with handles. Similar forms are present in Pergamon, dating between the late second century BC and the early first century AD. Bearing in mind the technical characteristics and the typology of this specimen, this bowl is very likely to have come from a workshop from western Asia Minor. Inscription The bowl is engraved with the Greek inscription DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS, which was done after the bowl was fired. This inscription, which dates to the 1st century BC (according to the dating of the ceramic) or to the first half of the 1st century AD (according to the dating of the occupation layer where it was found) is enigmatic to say the least. Several hypotheses have been put forward for its translation and consequent significance.

Inscription 

The bowl is engraved with the Greek inscription DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS, which was done after the bowl was fired. This inscription, which dates to the 1st century BC (according to the dating of the ceramic) or to the first half of the 1st century AD (according to the dating of the occupation layer where it was found) is enigmatic to say the least. Several hypotheses have been put forward for its translation and consequent significance. 

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Franck Goddio inspecting the bowl

The writing can be translated either as “by Chrêstos the magician”, or “the magician by Chrêstos”. Chrêstos and Christ? Chrêstos is the Greek word that translates the Hebrew “Messiah”, “Christ”. According to the interpretation of Pr. André Bernand, the goet would refer to Jesus-Christ to legitimise his many magical abilities: the transformation of water into wine, the multiplication of loaves, miraculous cures, resurrection and so on, not to forget the magi-kings whose astrological knowledge told them to follow a star in order to find the birthplace of the divine child. The “story of Christ“ must have been true manna for the magician who could find there precedents to his questions and concerns. If we retain this reading and the date of the archaeological context – the middle of the first century AD – for the inscription, this one would be the first mention of Jesus-Christ, at least an account of early Christianity in Egypt. It was in Alexandria that new religious constructs were created to propose solutions to the problems of men, and of God’s world. The cults of Isis, mysteries of Mithras, and early Christianity all bear witness to this. Thus, “Christ” was known in Alexandria around the mid first century AD. We would have to believe that the “story of the Christ” had already travelled far beyond the narrow circle of the first Christians in Alexandria in order to feed the sorcerer’s imaginative universe.  It’s also acceptable to read the word chrêstos – the Greek translation of the Hebrew messiah – as a reference to a ritual anointment (with “holy” oil), which invests in a divine manner the anointed. The word could be related to the rite itself, the lekanomancy, in which the oil has a presumed divine origin. The graffito would thus read: “by (dia) the oil (chrêstou) the sorcerer (o goistai)” is invested in a divine manner and so obtains the necessary status to realize his ritual. 10

Simon of Cyrene's ossuary

On November 10, 1941, a single-chamber burial cave was found just southeast of the Old City of Jerusalem in the Kidron Valley. It was excavated by Eleazar Sukenik, father of Yigael Yadin, and his assistant, young Nahman Avigad, both towering giants in the early 20th century archaeology of Jerusalem. 

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Sukenik only published a short note on the tomb but much later, Avigad published a full official report on the excavation in the Israel Exploration Journal in 1962, although he expressed doubt that the ossuary of Alexander/Simon can be identified with our Simon of Cyrene in Mark. The entrance was sealed and the cave had not been looted. Of the eleven ossuaries inside nine were inscribed, one in Hebrew/Aramaic, another bilingual, and the rest in Greek. Archaeologists were able to determine this was a family tomb for a family of Jews from Cyrene, and it was dated to the 1st century CE. One of the eleven ossuaries was inscribed several times with the names Simon and Alexander–identified as Cyrenians.  Simon of Cyrene is famous for helping Jesus carry his cross to the place of execution. Roman Catholics commemorate his act as the fifth station of the cross. But the gospel of Mark significantly adds that this Simon was the father of “Alexander and Rufus,” naming his two sons, as if ancient in the Christian community might know them (Mark 15:21).

Mark 15:21, ESV: And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 

Taborblog: It is entirely possible that they were drawn to take up residence in Jerusalem to be with the followers of Jesus, including James and the brothers of Jesus, Mary their mother, and the Twelve, along with all the disciples. But why would Mark name them in this way–even if they were known? It seems likely, as suggested by Richard Bauckham in his fascinating book, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, that this family was understood to be “first witnesses” of the events surrounding Jesus’s death and resurrection. Is it likely that archaeologists have stumbled upon the family tomb of Simon of Cyrene’s son Alexander–and possibly, depending on how one reads the inscription–of Simon himself, the very one mentioned in the New Testament gospels? One might think this very possibility would be an occasion for excitement and celebration. Surely this ossuary would be on display in the Israel Museum, visited by millions of Christian tourists each year who come to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and other wonders of archaeology. Whether it can be shown to be “the” Simon and Alexander of the gospels or not, it would surely be of interest–just as the Caiaphas ossuary is on display, as well as “Jesus son of Jospeh” and “Jude son of Jesus,” without claiming either of them belong to the family of Jesus of Nazareth. I am quite sure such an ossuary on display would draw huge crowds to the museum and would it not be better to display and discuss this fascinating artifact than leave it under a table in a back storage room at Hebrew University? But such is not the case. In fact, it took us several weeks to even find out where it might be stored. It had been largely dismissed–and then forgotten. We went looking for the ossuary in 2005 and finally located it with some difficulty, in a back storage room at Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, under a table. It did not appear to be of any particular interest to the curator who brought it out for my team to examine. He even seemed a bit curious as to why we would have shown up with an interest in seeing it. We brought with us biblical scholar Tom Powers, who had written several articles about this intriguing ossuary but had never seen it firsthand. He had done all his work from published photos. We studied the bone box in great detail, photographed it, measured it, and examined it for any possible additional markings. We all felt awe in the little storage room where we were gathered that day. We had to ask ourselves, Is it possible we are standing around the ossuary that once held the bones of Alexander, Simon of Cyrene’s son? There is no Rufus in this tomb but it is worth noting that Paul mentions a Rufus in his list of greetings to the Christians at Rome–along with “his mother and mine” (Romans 16:13). Perhaps Rufus was younger, lived on, and even made his way to Rome.  Archaeology connects us to our ancient past, but there is something about a tomb and a burial that is particularly moving. It is easy to imagine Alexander the son being present that day with his father, as Jesus passed by carrying the cross. The gospels say Simon was a passerby who was coming in from the countryside for Passover. Since the festival of Passover is a family event, his sons Rufus and Alexander would have undoubtedly been with him (Mark 15:21). Might Alexander have been present when the Roman soldiers impressed Simon to carry the cross? Would he then have followed his father to the place of execution and have even witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus? The name Simon is fairly common among Jews of this period but the name Alexander much less so—and this Alexander, like his father, is from Cyrene. Ancient archaeological finds can connect us to the past. 12

Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus

R.Price (2017) In AD 135, after he established a military post at Bethlehem during the Bar Kokhbah Revolt, Hadrian is said to have planted a sacred grove and erected statues of the Greco-Roman deity Adonis (equivalent to Tammuz mentioned in Ezek 8:14) above the grotto “in which Jesus was born.” Scholars theorize that this was an effort to thwart Christian use of the grotto by eclipsing their place of veneration with that of Roman worship. In the early third century, Origen wrote, “in conformity with the narrative in the Gospel regarding His birth, there is shown at Bethlehem the cave where He was born, and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. And this sight is greatly talked of in surrounding places, even among the enemies of the faith, it is said that in this cave was born that Jesus who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians” (Cels. I, LI). This fact supports the identification of the site with Jesus’ birth since the myth teaches that Smyrna, daughter of the king of Syria, conceived a child by him through trickery and the gods intervene and turned her into a myrrh tree. Out of this tree nine months later came Adonis. The pagan parallel to virgin birth is obvious. Moreover, Adonis is related to Hebrew Adonai (“my Lord”), one of the titles of God in the Bible, and was recognized as a fertility deity related to death and rebirth. Again, the parallel with Jesus is evident. Hadrian is also said to have erected a temple to Aphrodite over the place of the site of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, possibly because of her love connection with Adonis. Testimony to the history and tradition associated with the site was given by Jerome when he came to Bethlehem in the fourth century AD to begin his translation of the Vulgate (Latin Bible) in a grotto next to the birthplace. He wrote that at that time the city was already “the most venerated site in the world” (Epist. 58).

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The modern Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is almost universally accepted as being built over this grotto. The current church, while having been greatly modified and expanded, is largely the church built by Justinian in the sixth-century, having avoided destruction during the Persian invasion, unlike the majority of churches of that period, because of images in the church of the three wise men, which hailed from Persia. Excavations carried out inside the church confirm historical records of an octagonal Constantine-era basilica underneath the current church. Mosaic floors have been found, containing the well-known Greek acronym/acrostic ICHTHUS for the Christian confession: Iēsous Christos, Theou Uios, Sōtēr (“Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”), as well as columns inscribed with crosses by later Crusader-era pilgrims.

Pontius Pilate

N.Geisler (2013): Pontius Pilate (Greek Πόντιος Πίλατος) is one of the most well-known figures of ancient history, based almost entirely on his judgment of Jesus the Messiah as recorded in the New Testament. Jesus’ appearance before Pontius Pilate is recorded by all four Gospels (Matthew 27:2; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28–19:16), but information about him also occurs in the writings of Josephus, Tertullian, Eusebius, Philo, Tacitus, and Agapius of Hierapolis. For example, Tacitus says regarding Pilate:  

Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.8 

Pilate has been vilified by some and canonized by others*—considered as evil since he sentenced Jesus to death, and viewed by others as a Christian who influenced Tiberius to be favorable to Christianity.* As the fifth Roman governor of Judea, he had a troubled and less than lustrous (actually, undistinguished) career in that capacity. The date of his appointment and dismissal is subject to debate, but he is commonly thought to have been appointed governor in AD 26 or 27 and removed from office in AD 36. He is reported to have died by suicide. Pilate had a rugged rule in Judea. Previous rulers there had respected Jewish customs and sensitivities, but he seems to have had little regard for them. He covertly brought in images of the imperial ensigns into Jerusalem at night, which he finally removed due to the protests of the Jews. He, first, threatened them with death, but afterward relented. At another time, he received a rebuke from Emperor Tiberius after he had irritated the Jews to insurrection when he set up gold-coated shields in Herod’s palace; Tiberius had Pilate remove the shields to Caesarea and place them in the temple of Augustus. In another episode, Pilate was not so pliable. He had appropriated funds from the Temple treasury to pay for the construction of an aqueduct to carry water to Jerusalem. Josephus does not say that this action violated Jewish law, but he does say that the indignant Jerusalemites surrounded Pilate as he heard cases and protested angrily. Pilate, however, had taken the precaution of planting “plainclothes” soldiers among the crowd. At the appropriate moment he signaled for them to draw out clubs and beat the protesters. Josephus says that many Jews perished, either from the blows or from being trampled in the escape. Thus, under Pilate, the Jews were reduced to fearful silence. His last vicious act was to have his cavalry and infantry kill a number of Samaritans who went for religious purposes to Mount Gerizim. After the Samaritans complained, the Roman governor of Syria, Vitellius, sent Pilate to Rome to explain himself to Tiberius, but before Pilate arrived, Tiberius had died. The successor to Tiberius, Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Caligula), removed Pilate from his position and exiled him to Vienna-on-Rhone. He is believed to have committed suicide while in exile during the reign of Caligula.14

Trial, sentence, and crucifixion of Jesus

W.Keller (1974): The descriptions of the trial, sentence, and crucifixion in the four gospels have been checked with scientific thoroughness by many scholars and have been found to be historically reliable accounts even to the last detail. The chief witnesses for the prosecution against Jesus have been indirectly attested, and the place where sentence was prominced has been accurately ascertained by excavations. The various incidents in the course of the trial can be verified from contemporary sources and modern research. With the arrest the incomparable tragedy began to unfold. Jesus had gathered his disciples round him in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, “and immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.” (Mark 14:43) Among the high priests who are expressly named is one well known to us: the “Annas” in the gospels. “Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, and led him away to Annas first: for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.” (John 18:12-14) Joseph ben Caiaphas had been appointed high priest by the Roman procurator Valerius Gratus. He remained in office under Valerius’ successor, Pontius Pilate, also. After his arrest, Jesus was brought before the High Council—the Sanhedrin—which at that time was the highest Jewish authority and combined within itself all spiritual and temporal power. At the same time it functioned as the highest judicial court of the Jews. It met below the Temple near the bridge that gave access to the upper city. What were the grounds on which the council condemned Jesus to death? “The expectation of the old Jewish prophets which centered on a future Messianic king,” writes Professor Martin Noth, “had developed during the long period of foreign domination into hope of a political liberator; and the greater the resentment of the Roman government of the country the more this picture of a Messianic conqueror who would destroy the hateful foreign power filled their minds. Measured by these standards Jesus of Nazareth could not be the Messiah they were waiting ‘the Christ,’ then he must be a fraud and an impostor. And if he was a fraud and an impostor, then for the safety and peace of the religious life of Jerusalem he must be got rid of. . . . The fact that Jesus during his trial claimed to be the Messiah and therefore, on the basis of Old Testament teaching, the Son of God, was sufficient ground for condemning him to death on a charge of outrageous blasphemy.” According to the existing law, the sentence had to be confirmed by the Roman procurator, to whom belonged the so-called ius gladii. Only he could authorize the death penalty. The procurator of Judaea was Pontius Pilate. Contemporaries, such as Josephus and Philo of Alexandria, describe him as an extortioner, a tyrant, a blood sucker, and a corruptible character. “He was cruel and his hard heart knew no compassion. His day in Judaea was a reign of bribery and violence, robbery, oppression, misery, executions without fair trial and infinite cruelty.” That Pilate hated and despised the Jews was made unmistakably plain to them again and again.  Pilate must have recognized at once that the accused man, Jesus, was the object of a hatred that had been stirred up by the Pharisees. That alone must have been sufficient reason for him to reject their demand and to acquit him. Indeed, first of all and without hesitation, he actually declared him to be innocent: “Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.” (Luke 23:4)

But the mob, incited and goaded by the councilors, tumultuously repeated their demand for the death penalty. Pontius Pilate gave in. How was it that this tyrannical enemy of the Jews yielded to their request? St. John’s Gospel contains a cogent explanation: “But the Jews cried out, saying, if thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar.” (John 19:12) This was a dangerous political threat that clearly implied reporting Pilate to Rome for neglect of duty in acquitting a rebel. “Making himself a king” meant treason against the Roman Emperor. According to the Lex Juliana the penalty for that was death. Pilate was afraid of this unambiguous threat. He had not forgotten that the Jews had carried it out once before. As Philo tells us, Pontius Pilate had brought to Jerusalem the golden shields bearing the emperor’s name and hung them up in Herod’s palace in the middle of the city. That was a serious offense against the rights of the Jewish religious community, which had been guaranteed by Rome. It was a challenge. He scornfully rejected their request to have the golden shields removed from the Holy City. Thereupon, the Jews appealed to Rome and secured their rights. The Emperor Tiberius himself ordered the removal of the golden shields. Because of this and sundry other arbitrary actions, which ran counter to Roman colonial policy, Pontius Pilate’s reputation in Rome was at a low ebb at the end of the trial. “When Pilate, therefore, heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. . . . Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified.” (John 19:13, 16) The Pavement in Pilate’s court, where this scene took Place, survived even the destruction of Jerusalem in A<t>. 70. Its rediscovery was the result of years of work the pan of the archaeologist Father L. H. Vincent, success was due to the exact description given in St. John’s Gospel. The Authorized Version has translated the word “Lithostroton” by “Pavement.” It means a stone pavement. The Aramaic word “Gabbatha” means “raised ground.” Just beside the northwest perimeter wall of the Temple there lay in the time of Jesus the powerful Tower of Antonia. It stood upon a rocky eminence, therefore on “ raised ground.” Herod I had built it and called it after a friend. The Roman occupation troops had taken it over as a garrison. In a .d . 70, at the conquest of Jerusalem, Titus had the castle of Antonia demolished.

Later buildings arose upon the ruins. On the spot where the courtyard of the Antonia had been, Vincent was able to establish the existence of a large flat pavement nearly 3000 yards square built in the Roman style and typical of the time of Jesus. This was where Jesus stood before Pilate while the mob howled outside. It was on this Pavement, too. that the scourging took place. (John 19:1) This always preceded crucifixion, as Josephus expressly mentions twice. For this horrible punishment, the body was stripped naked and flogged until the flesh hung down in bloody shreds. Then Jesus was seized by Roman soldiers to complete the sentence of crucifixion. Cicero calls it “the cruelest and most frightful means of execution.” Josephus recoils from it as “the most pitiable of all forms of death.” This typically Roman death penalty was unknown in the Jewish penal code. Still inside the court buildings the soldiery vented their wanton mischief on Jesus and “clothed him with purple and platted a crown of thorns and put it about his head.” (Mark 15:17) Thus far, botanists have not been able to agree on what sort of plant this was.

The way from the courthouse to Golgotha was mercifully short, “for the place . . . was nigh to the city” (John 19:20), beside the main road which entered Jerusalem from the northwest. A pilgrim from Bordeaux who visited Jerusalem in the year 333 specifically mentioned “the hill of Golgotha where the Lord was crucified.” “And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.” (Mark 15:23) Similar acts of mercy are frequently recorded on other occasions. We read in an old Jewish Baraita: “Anyone who is led out to execution is given a small piece of incense in a beaker of wine to numb his senses. . . . The good women of Jerusalem have a custom of dispensing this generously and bringing it to the victims.” Moldenke, who has done much research into Biblical flora, has this to say: “Wine mixed with myrrh was given to Jesus just before the Crucifixion to lessen the pain, just as in the days before anesthetics, intoxicating drinks were poured into the unfortunate patients on the eve of big operations.” Jesus, however, declined the drink and endured with all his senses the torture of being nailed to the cross. “And it was the third hour and they crucified him.” (Mark 15:25) According to our division of time the “third hour” in the ancient East is 9 A.M. “And at the ninth hour,” in our reckoning 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the tragedy came to an end. “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.” (Mark JS:34, 37) 14

1. J. L. Reed: The Historical Jesus: Five Views 2009
2. G.Herrick: Josephus’ Writings and Their Relation to the New Testament 2004
3. James K. Hoffmeier: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE BIBLE 200
4. Marc Turnage: Biblical Israel: Tower of David  AUGUST 2, 2022
5. R.Price:   Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology 2017
6. Wikipedia: James Ossuary
7. Mark Rose: Ossuary Tales  1, January 2003
8. Amnon Rosenfeld: The Authenticity of the James Ossuary  15 February 2014
9. Titus Kennedy: Excavating the Evidence for Jesus 2022
10. Frank Goddio: BOWL WITH INSCRIPTION
11. Lily Filson: The Art of Early Christianity 2018
12. Taborblog: Has Simon of Cyrene’s Ossuary Been Found–and Largely Forgotten? JULY 9, 2021
13. Lawrence Mykytiuk New Testament Religious Figures Confirmed 2021
14. Norman Geisler: THE POPULAR HANDBOOK OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE BIBLE 2013
14. Werner Keller: The Bible as history 1974

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Undesigned coincidences in the gospels

Undesigned coincidences refer to a type of coincidence that occurs when two or more accounts or pieces of information fit together in a way that was not deliberately designed by the authors. In the case of the Gospels, these coincidences occur when one Gospel account provides details or information that is left out of another Gospel account, but that detail or information is then corroborated by another detail or information in the second Gospel account that was not included in the first.

These kinds of undesigned coincidences have been identified by many Christian apologists, such as J.J. Blunt and William Paley, as evidence of the authenticity and reliability of the New Testament accounts. They argue that these coincidences are too numerous and too specific to be the result of coincidence or invention, and that they provide mutual support for the historical accuracy of the Gospels and Acts. 

These undesigned coincidences are seen as evidence for the authenticity of the Gospels because they suggest that the accounts were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated. If the authors had been intentionally trying to create a fictional story, they would have been more likely to coordinate their accounts and ensure that they were consistent with each other. The fact that these undesigned coincidences occur in the Gospels suggests that the authors were recording events as they actually occurred, rather than trying to create a fabricated story.

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In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that the Magi came from the east to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?" (Matthew 2:1-2). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in Nazareth and told her, "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32-33). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the Gospel writers were independently reporting the same idea: that Jesus was born to be a king, and that this was a significant part of his identity.

In John 4:44, Jesus says, "For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country." In Luke 4:24, Jesus says, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country." These two passages are very similar, but there are subtle differences that suggest they were not copied from each other. For example, John's version includes the phrase "himself testified," which is not in Luke's version.

In John 12:2-3, Mary anoints Jesus' feet with expensive perfume. In Mark 14:3-9, a woman anoints Jesus' head with expensive perfume. These two passages seem to describe different events, but when read together, they provide a more complete picture of what happened. John's version provides the woman's name and the fact that she anointed Jesus' feet, while Mark's version provides additional details about the perfume and the disciples' reactions.

In John 1:44-51, it is mentioned that Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, telling him that they had found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the prophets: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Nathanael is initially skeptical, but when Jesus tells him that he saw him under the fig tree before Philip called him, Nathanael declares that Jesus is the Son of God and the King of Israel. In Acts 1:12-14, it is mentioned that after Jesus' ascension, the apostles returned to Jerusalem and went to the upper room, where they were joined by "the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers". The fact that Nathanael is not mentioned among the apostles, but is named in John's Gospel, suggests that he may have been among the women and other disciples who were gathered in the upper room after Jesus' ascension.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when the Magi arrived in Bethlehem, they found Jesus and his mother in a house (Matthew 2:11). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to present him to the Lord, they offered a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, according to the Law of Moses (Luke 2:22-24). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting different events that both took place after Jesus' birth, and that their accounts are historically accurate.

In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that there was no room for Mary and Joseph at the inn in Bethlehem, so they had to lay the baby Jesus in a manger (Luke 2:7). In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that Jesus later referred to himself as the "bread of life" (John 6:35). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting different events that both point to the idea that Jesus is the source of spiritual nourishment and sustenance.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to take Mary as his wife, for the child she was carrying was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20-21). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, telling her that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:30-31). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are historically accurate.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when Herod the king heard about the birth of Jesus, he became troubled, and ordered the massacre of all the male children in Bethlehem who were two years old or under (Matthew 2:16). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that after the shepherds had visited the baby Jesus in the manger, they went back to their fields, "glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them" (Luke 2:20). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting different aspects of the aftermath of Jesus' birth, and that their accounts are historically accurate.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that the Magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:11). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that when Jesus was crucified, he was offered wine mixed with myrrh, which he refused to drink (Mark 15:23). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting different events that both involve the use of myrrh, and that their accounts are historically accurate.

In Mark 14:51-52, there is a brief account of a young man who was following Jesus during his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. The man was wearing only a linen cloth, and when the soldiers tried to seize him, he fled, leaving the cloth behind. Luke does not mention this event, but he does record in Luke 22:53 that Jesus' followers fled and scattered after his arrest. This detail helps to explain why the young man was following Jesus alone and why he fled when the soldiers arrived.

Another example of an undesigned coincidence occurs in the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Mark. In John 6:5-9, there is an account of Jesus feeding a large crowd of people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. In Mark 6:37-38, the disciples ask Jesus how they can feed the crowd, but they do not mention having any food with them. This detail helps to explain why Jesus asked the disciples to find out how much food they had, as recorded in Mark 6:38.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who was blind from birth. The man's parents are also mentioned, but their names are not given. In the Gospel of Mark, there is an account of Jesus healing a blind man named Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus' father is not mentioned, but his name is given as Timaeus. This suggests that the authors of John and Mark were not coordinating their accounts, but rather that John's account of the blind man's parents and Mark's account of Bartimaeus' father were both independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus giving a sermon on a mount, which is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount. In the Gospel of Luke, there is a similar sermon, but it is given on a plain, not a mount. This difference might suggest that the authors were not coordinating their accounts, but rather that they were both accurate and independent.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who had been sick for 38 years. The man is described as lying by the pool of Bethesda, which is said to have five porches. In the Gospel of Mark, there is an account of Jesus healing a blind man named Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus is said to have been sitting by the side of the road. The fact that John's account of the pool of Bethesda and Mark's account of Bartimaeus were both independent and accurate suggests that they were not coordinating their accounts.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus healing a man with a withered hand in a synagogue on the Sabbath. The Pharisees are said to be present and to question Jesus about whether it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a man with a withered hand in a synagogue on the Sabbath, but there is no mention of the Pharisees being present. However, in Mark 3:6, it is mentioned that the Pharisees went out and immediately began to conspire with the Herodians against Jesus, which helps to explain why they would be present and questioning Jesus in the account in Matthew.

In the Gospel of Luke, there is an account of Jesus healing a servant of a centurion who was highly regarded by the Jewish elders. In the account, the centurion sends some of his friends to Jesus to ask him to heal the servant. In the Gospel of Matthew, there is a similar account, but the centurion himself comes to Jesus and makes the request. The fact that the accounts are different but complementary suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus feeding a large crowd of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. In the account, Philip is mentioned as being present, but there is no explanation given for why he is there. However, in the Gospel of Mark, there is an account of Jesus feeding a large crowd of people with a few loaves of bread and fish, and it is mentioned that the disciples were with Jesus and that they were concerned about how to feed the crowd. This helps to explain why Philip would be present in the account in John.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who was possessed by a demon and was unable to speak. In the account, the people are amazed and say, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account, but in this account, the people say, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." The fact that the accounts are similar but different suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who was blind from birth. In the account, Jesus spits on the ground, makes mud with the saliva, and puts the mud on the man's eyes, telling him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a blind man, but there is no mention of Jesus making mud or telling the man to go and wash. However, in Mark 8:23, there is an account of Jesus spitting on a man's eyes and laying his hands on him, which helps to explain why John's account includes the detail about Jesus making mud.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus healing a paralyzed man who was brought to him on a mat. In the account, Jesus tells the man to take up his mat and go home. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account, but in this account, Jesus tells the man to take up his mat and walk. The fact that the accounts are similar but different suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In Mark 5:22-43, it is mentioned that a ruler of the synagogue named Jairus came to Jesus and asked him to heal his daughter, who was dying. On the way to Jairus' house, a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touched Jesus' cloak and was healed. In Luke 8:40-56, the same story is told, but with a few additional details. In Luke's account, Jairus is described as falling at Jesus' feet and begging him to come to his house because his daughter is his only child. When they arrive at Jairus' house, they find that the girl has already died. The fact that Luke provides these additional details that are not mentioned in Mark's account suggests that Luke had access to independent sources and was not simply copying Mark's Gospel.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. In the account, Jesus asks the man if he wants to be healed, and the man responds by saying that he has no one to help him into the pool when the water is stirred up. In the Gospel of Luke, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a man who was an invalid, but in this account, the man is described as having been unable to walk for many years. The fact that the accounts are different but complementary suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of Mark, there is an account of Jesus and his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat. In the account, a storm arises and the disciples become afraid. In the Gospel of Matthew, there is a similar account, but in this account, Peter is also mentioned as having walked on the water briefly before becoming afraid. The fact that the accounts are similar but different suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of Luke, there is an account of Jesus healing a woman who had been crippled for 18 years. In the account, the woman is described as being bent over and unable to straighten up. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, but there is no mention of the woman being bent over. However, in Mark 5:25-34, it is mentioned that the woman had spent all her money on doctors and had grown worse, which helps to explain why she might have been in a weakened state and unable to stand up straight.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus healing two blind men. In the account, the men follow Jesus and call out to him, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a blind man, but there is no mention of any other blind men being present. However, in Mark 10:46-52, there is an account of Jesus healing a blind man named Bartimaeus who calls out to Jesus, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" This helps to explain why the blind men in Matthew's account used the same title for Jesus.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is recorded as saying during the Last Supper, "For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is recorded as saying, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many" (Mark 14:24). The similarity between the two accounts suggests that they are reporting the same event, but the difference in wording (i.e. "for the forgiveness of sins" in Matthew's account) suggests that the accounts are independent and not the result of collusion.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is recorded as saying during the Last Supper, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood" (Luke 22:20). In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is recorded as saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:27-28). The similarity between the two accounts again suggests that they are reporting the same event, but the difference in wording (i.e. "drink from it, all of you" in Matthew's account) suggests that the accounts are independent.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is recorded as saying during the Last Supper, "Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God" (Mark 14:25). In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is recorded as saying, "I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes" (Luke 22:18). The similarity between the two accounts again suggests that they are reporting the same event, but the difference in wording (i.e. "never again" in Mark's account) suggests that the accounts are independent.

In John 18:10, Peter cuts off the ear of the high priest's servant. In Luke 22:50-51, Jesus heals the servant's ear. These two passages fit together naturally and suggest that Peter's act of violence was immediately followed by Jesus' act of compassion.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that Jesus was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem (John 19:20), while in the other Gospels it is simply mentioned that Jesus was crucified. However, in the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that a large crowd of people followed Jesus to the place of his crucifixion, which suggests that the crucifixion took place outside the city (Luke 23:27). This undesigned coincidence provides evidence that the accounts are independent and accurate, and that they were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that the sign above Jesus' head on the cross read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (John 19:19), while in the other Gospels it is simply mentioned that there was a sign above Jesus' head. However, in the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that some of the people who passed by mocked Jesus and said, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" (Mark 15:29-30). This suggests that the sign above Jesus' head was visible and that it was a point of mockery for those who were passing by. This undesigned coincidence provides evidence that the accounts are independent and accurate, and that they were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that as Jesus was dying on the cross, there was darkness over the whole land for three hours (Matthew 27:45). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the sun's light failed during this time (Luke 23:45). This undesigned coincidence provides evidence that the accounts are independent and accurate, and that they were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that after Jesus had died on the cross, a soldier pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out (John 19:34). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that as Jesus was dying on the cross, he cried out with a loud voice and gave up his spirit (Luke 23:46). This undesigned coincidence provides evidence that the accounts are independent and accurate, and that they were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that at the moment Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Mark 15:38). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that at the foot of the cross stood Jesus' mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene (John 19:25). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that among those who were watching the crucifixion from a distance were some women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome (Mark 15:40). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that after Jesus died, Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man and disciple of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for permission to take Jesus' body down from the cross (Matthew 27:57-58). In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that Nicodemus, another disciple of Jesus, brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight, to prepare Jesus' body for burial (John 19:39-40). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that the centurion who stood guard over Jesus at the cross said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that when the centurion saw what had taken place, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent!" (Luke 23:47). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when Jesus was on the cross, the people who passed by hurled insults at him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!" (Matthew 27:39-40). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" (Mark 15:29-30). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that as Jesus hung on the cross, he cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that at the crucifixion, the soldiers cast lots to divide Jesus' garments among themselves (Luke 23:34). In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that the soldiers took Jesus' tunic and divided it into four parts, one for each soldier, and that his seamless robe was left intact (John 19:23-24). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that as Jesus hung on the cross, he cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit (Matthew 27:50). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" and then breathed his last (Luke 23:46). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when Jesus died, there was a great earthquake and the rocks were split (Matthew 27:51). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that there was darkness over the whole land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour (Luke 23:44). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that after Jesus' death, Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate granted his request (Matthew 27:57-58). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that Joseph of Arimathea went in boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body (Mark 15:43-44). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that Nicodemus, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight (John 19:39). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him (Mark 16:1). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that the tomb in which Jesus was laid was in a garden (John 19:41). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb (Mark 16:1-2). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away, she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him" (John 20:2). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee went to the tomb and found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:1-3). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Simon Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb, the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, saw and believed (John 20:8 ). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the women who went to the tomb and did not find Jesus' body were told by two men in dazzling apparel that Jesus had risen from the dead (Luke 24:4-8 ). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Mary Magdalene saw the risen Jesus, she called him "Rabboni," which means "Teacher" (John 20:16). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that when Mary Magdalene and the other women saw the young man in the tomb, he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him" (Mark 16:6). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room, he showed them his hands and his side (John 20:20). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that when the disciples saw Jesus, they were startled and frightened, and thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:37-39). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22). In the book of Acts, it is mentioned that when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, they began to speak in other tongues (Acts 2:4). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two accounts are complementary, and that the events described in them are historically accurate.

In Luke 8:3, it is mentioned that Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, was one of the women who followed Jesus and supported him. In Luke 24:10, after the Resurrection, it is mentioned that Joanna was one of the women who reported the empty tomb to the apostles. The fact that Joanna is described as the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, in both references suggests that these accounts are independent and not simply copied from one another.

In John 21:2, it is mentioned that Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and two other disciples were together fishing. In Acts 1:13, a similar group of disciples is mentioned, but the two unnamed disciples are replaced with Matthias and Joseph. The fact that the lists of disciples are similar but not identical suggests that these accounts are independent and provide complementary details about the same event.

John describes how Jesus was brought before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, and was accused of claiming to be a king. Acts, meanwhile, describes how Paul was brought before several Roman officials and was similarly accused of sedition. The similarities between these two accounts are considered to be evidence of the historical accuracy of both.

In Luke 8:3, it is mentioned that Joanna, the wife of Chuza (a steward of Herod Antipas), was among the women who followed Jesus and supported him out of their own means. In Luke 24:10, it is mentioned that Joanna was one of the women who went to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection. However, the Gospels do not explain how Joanna came to be a follower of Jesus or how she knew about the tomb. In Acts 13:1, it is mentioned that there was a prophet and teacher in the church at Antioch named Simeon who was also called Niger. The fact that Simeon and Chuza have similar names (both meaning "black" or "dark") suggests that they may have been related or known to each other. This coincidence helps to explain how Joanna, the wife of Chuza, may have come to know about Jesus and his resurrection.

Undesigned coincidences between the gospels, and acts

In Acts 21:39, Paul identifies himself as a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia. In Acts 22:3, Paul says that he was "brought up" in Jerusalem, and was "thoroughly trained in the law" by Gamaliel. In Philippians 3:5-6, Paul describes himself as a "Hebrew of Hebrews" and a Pharisee who was "zealous for the law". The fact that these accounts provide different but complementary details about Paul's background and education suggest that they are independent and historically accurate.

In Acts 9:26-28, it is mentioned that Barnabas brought Paul to the apostles in Jerusalem after his conversion. In Galatians 1:18-19, Paul says that he went to Jerusalem three years after his conversion and stayed with Peter for 15 days, but did not meet any of the other apostles except James. The fact that Barnabas is not mentioned in the Galatians account, but is prominent in the Acts account, suggests that these accounts are independent and provide different but complementary details about Paul's early ministry.

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How can the diverging reports in the gospels referring to the burial and resurrection of Jesus be explained?

It's important to recognize that the gospels were written by different authors with different perspectives and purposes. Each writer had their own unique understanding of the events they were describing, and they likely had access to different sources of information. As a result, their accounts may have differed in certain details or emphasized different aspects of the story. Second, it's possible that the stories were passed down orally before they were written down, which could have led to some variations or differences in the way they were told. Even if the events themselves were the same, the way they were remembered and retold could have varied depending on who was doing the telling. Third, it's worth noting that the gospels were written several decades after the events they describe, so the authors may have been relying on their own memories, as well as the memories of others, which could have been imperfect or incomplete. Despite these differences, it's important to remember that the core message of the gospels remains consistent: Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, offering salvation to all who believe in him. While the details may differ from one gospel to another, the fundamental message is the same, and that message has been embraced by millions of people for centuries.

Following are a few examples of diverging accounts in the gospels referring to the burial and resurrection of Jesus, along with possible explanations:

The number and identity of the women who went to the tomb:
In Matthew's gospel, two women (Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary") go to the tomb (Matthew 28:1).
In Mark's gospel, three women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome) go to the tomb (Mark 16:1).
In Luke's gospel, a larger group of women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others) go to the tomb (Luke 24:10).
In John's gospel, only Mary Magdalene is mentioned as going to the tomb (John 20:1).
Possible explanation: Each gospel writer had access to different sources and may have had a different reason for highlighting certain women over others. It's also possible that the number and identity of the women varied in the oral tradition before being written down.

The timing of the discovery of the empty tomb:
In Matthew's gospel, the women discover the empty tomb "as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week" (Matthew 28:1).
In Mark's gospel, the women arrive at the tomb "very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen" (Mark 16:2).
In Luke's gospel, the women find the tomb empty "very early in the morning, on the first day of the week" (Luke 24:1).
In John's gospel, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb "while it was still dark" (John 20:1).
Possible explanation: Again, the gospel writers may have had access to different sources or may have been relying on their own memories. It's also possible that the time of day was not considered as significant as the fact that the tomb was empty.

The presence and nature of the angels at the tomb:
In Matthew's gospel, there is one angel who speaks to the women (Matthew 28:2-7).
In Mark's gospel, there is one young man sitting inside the tomb (Mark 16:5-6).
In Luke's gospel, there are two men in shining clothes who appear to the women (Luke 24:4-7).
In John's gospel, Mary Magdalene sees two angels inside the tomb (John 20:11-12).
Possible explanation: Once again, the gospel writers may have had access to different sources or may have had different reasons for emphasizing certain details. It's also possible that the witnesses saw different things and described them in different ways.

Overall, these diverging accounts do not necessarily diminish the credibility of the gospels or the message they convey. Instead, they highlight the complexity of the events and the various ways in which they were remembered and told.

What are the main reasons that corroborate and confirm the resurrection of Jesus?

The empty tomb: The fact that the tomb of Jesus was found empty by his followers is often cited as evidence of the resurrection. This is mentioned in all four of the gospels and is not disputed by scholars. However, it is important to note that an empty tomb by itself is not necessarily proof of a resurrection, as there are other possible explanations for why the tomb might have been empty.

The post-resurrection appearances: According to the gospels, Jesus appeared to his followers on multiple occasions after his death, and these appearances are often cited as evidence of his resurrection. These appearances are mentioned in all four gospels and in some of the letters of Paul. However, some scholars have questioned the reliability of these accounts, noting that they were written decades after the events they describe and may have been influenced by legendary or mythological elements.

The transformation of the disciples: The fact that the disciples went from being fearful and disillusioned after the crucifixion to being bold and confident in their message of the risen Christ is often cited as evidence of the resurrection. This transformation is mentioned in the gospels and is not disputed by scholars. However, some have suggested that the disciples may have been influenced by group psychology or other factors that can lead to changes in behavior.

The growth of the early church: The fact that the early Christian church grew rapidly in the decades following the crucifixion is often cited as evidence of the resurrection. This growth is seen as evidence that the early Christians were convinced of the truth of their message and were willing to suffer and even die for it. However, it is important to note that there are other possible explanations for the growth of the early church, such as the appeal of Christianity's message or the social and cultural conditions of the time.

The conversion of skeptics: The fact that several early skeptics and opponents of Christianity, such as Paul and James, reportedly became believers in the wake of the resurrection is often seen as evidence that something significant happened to convince them.

The growth of the early Christian movement: The fact that the early Christian movement grew rapidly and spread throughout the Mediterranean world is seen by some as evidence that the resurrection story was believed by a significant number of people and had a powerful impact on their lives.

What are the main objections that Jesus indeed rose from the dead?

Lack of empirical evidence: Skeptics argue that there is no empirical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. They claim that the only evidence we have is the testimony of the disciples, which cannot be verified.

Response: It's important to recognize that historical events cannot always be confirmed through empirical evidence in the way that scientific experiments can. However, this doesn't mean that we cannot assess the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The evidence for the resurrection comes from a variety of sources, including the testimony of the disciples, the early Christian church, and non-Christian sources such as Roman historians. While this evidence cannot be empirically verified, it can be evaluated based on its reliability, consistency, and coherence. Additionally, we can examine the evidence for alternative explanations of the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection, such as the conspiracy theory or the swoon theory, and assess their plausibility in light of the available evidence. It is important to recognize that there is significant historical evidence for the resurrection and that dismissing it solely on the basis of a lack of empirical evidence may not be a fair assessment of the available evidence.

Hallucination hypothesis: Some skeptics argue that the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus were not real, but were instead hallucinations experienced by the disciples.

Response: Group hallucinations are extremely rare: While it's possible for an individual to experience a hallucination, the idea that an entire group of people could have the same hallucination is highly unlikely. Hallucinations are typically a symptom of an individual's mental or physical state, and it's not clear how such a state could be shared by a group of people.

The appearances were experienced by different people in different contexts: The post-resurrection appearances were not limited to just the disciples, but were also experienced by individuals like Mary Magdalene, the women at the tomb, and Saul (who later became the apostle Paul). These appearances occurred in a variety of contexts, including indoors, outdoors, in groups, and in private.

The appearances were physical and tangible: The gospel accounts describe the post-resurrection appearances as physical and tangible experiences. For example, Jesus ate food with his disciples and allowed them to touch his wounds. This is not consistent with the idea of a hallucination, which is an entirely subjective experience.

The disciples were initially skeptical: The gospel accounts suggest that the disciples were initially skeptical of the resurrection, and it was only after experiencing the appearances of Jesus that they became convinced of its reality. This suggests that they were not simply projecting their own beliefs onto their experiences.

Conspiracy theory: Some have argued that the story of the resurrection was a deliberate fabrication by the disciples, who wanted to create a new religion and gain power and influence.

Response: The disciples had nothing to gain from perpetuating a lie: The disciples were not wealthy or powerful individuals who stood to gain from creating a new religion. On the contrary, they were largely poor and marginalized, and faced persecution and even death for their beliefs. This makes it unlikely that they would have risked everything to perpetuate a lie.

The accounts of the resurrection were not written with an eye towards gaining power: The gospel accounts of the resurrection do not read like propaganda designed to gain followers or influence. Rather, they describe the events in a straightforward and matter-of-fact way, without attempting to appeal to the emotions or manipulate the reader.

The early Christian community was diverse and decentralized: The early Christian community was not a monolithic entity with a single hierarchy or leadership structure. Rather, it was a diverse and decentralized movement that spanned different regions and cultures. This makes it unlikely that the story of the resurrection was a deliberate fabrication by a small group of individuals.

The empty tomb: The fact that the tomb was empty on the third day after Jesus' death is difficult to explain if the story of the resurrection was a deliberate fabrication. If the disciples had invented the story, they could have simply pointed to the body in the tomb as proof that Jesus had not risen from the dead.

Swoon theory: This theory suggests that Jesus did not actually die on the cross, but instead was only unconscious. According to this theory, he was later revived and escaped from the tomb.

Response: Crucifixion was a brutal and deadly form of execution: Crucifixion was a particularly brutal and painful form of execution, and it was designed to kill the victim slowly and agonizingly. It is unlikely that Jesus would have survived the ordeal, particularly given the severity of his injuries, which included being whipped, beaten, and pierced with a spear.

The Roman soldiers were experts in execution: The Roman soldiers who conducted the crucifixion were experts in their field, and they were trained to ensure that the victim was dead before removing the body from the cross. If Jesus had only been unconscious, it is unlikely that the soldiers would have failed to notice this fact.

The medical evidence supports the idea of death: The medical evidence, based on the gospel accounts, supports the idea that Jesus died on the cross. For example, John's gospel describes the release of blood and water from Jesus' side when a soldier pierced him with a spear, which is consistent with a post-mortem wound.

The empty tomb does not support the swoon theory: The fact that the tomb was empty on the third day after Jesus' death is difficult to explain if he had only been unconscious. If he had escaped from the tomb, it is unlikely that he would have been able to remove the large stone that covered the entrance or evade the guards stationed outside.

Naturalistic explanations: Some skeptics argue that there may be naturalistic explanations for the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection. For example, they may argue that the body was stolen or that the tomb was empty due to a mistake or misunderstanding.

Response: The tomb was heavily guarded: It is unlikely that the body could have been stolen from the tomb, given that it was heavily guarded by Roman soldiers. If someone had attempted to steal the body, they would have had to overcome the guards and move a heavy stone that covered the entrance to the tomb.

The empty tomb was discovered by women: In the culture of the time, the testimony of women was not highly valued or trusted. If the story of the empty tomb had been fabricated, it is unlikely that the disciples would have made women the primary witnesses to the event.

The disciples were transformed by their experiences: The disciples went from being a frightened and disillusioned group of followers after Jesus' death to becoming bold and courageous preachers of the gospel. It is difficult to explain this transformation if they had simply been mistaken or deceived about the resurrection.

The appearance of Jesus to his disciples: According to the gospel accounts, Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. These appearances were not just subjective experiences or visions, but were tangible and physical, with Jesus eating and speaking with his disciples.

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158Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Wed Feb 22, 2023 1:25 pm

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Undesigned coincidences in the gospels

Undesigned coincidences refer to a type of coincidence that occurs when two or more accounts or pieces of information fit together in a way that was not deliberately designed by the authors. In the case of the Gospels, these coincidences occur when one Gospel account provides details or information that is left out of another Gospel account, but that detail or information is then corroborated by another detail or information in the second Gospel account that was not included in the first.

These kinds of undesigned coincidences have been identified by many Christian apologists, such as J.J. Blunt and William Paley, as evidence of the authenticity and reliability of the New Testament accounts. They argue that these coincidences are too numerous and too specific to be the result of coincidence or invention, and that they provide mutual support for the historical accuracy of the Gospels and Acts.

These undesigned coincidences are seen as evidence for the authenticity of the Gospels because they suggest that the accounts were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated. If the authors had been intentionally trying to create a fictional story, they would have been more likely to coordinate their accounts and ensure that they were consistent with each other. The fact that these undesigned coincidences occur in the Gospels suggests that the authors were recording events as they actually occurred, rather than trying to create a fabricated story.

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In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that the Magi came from the east to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?" (Matthew 2:1-2). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in Nazareth and told her, "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32-33). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the Gospel writers were independently reporting the same idea: that Jesus was born to be a king, and that this was a significant part of his identity.

In John 4:44, Jesus says, "For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country." In Luke 4:24, Jesus says, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country." These two passages are very similar, but there are subtle differences that suggest they were not copied from each other. For example, John's version includes the phrase "himself testified," which is not in Luke's version.

In John 12:2-3, Mary anoints Jesus' feet with expensive perfume. In Mark 14:3-9, a woman anoints Jesus' head with expensive perfume. These two passages seem to describe different events, but when read together, they provide a more complete picture of what happened. John's version provides the woman's name and the fact that she anointed Jesus' feet, while Mark's version provides additional details about the perfume and the disciples' reactions.

In John 1:44-51, it is mentioned that Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, telling him that they had found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the prophets: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Nathanael is initially skeptical, but when Jesus tells him that he saw him under the fig tree before Philip called him, Nathanael declares that Jesus is the Son of God and the King of Israel. In Acts 1:12-14, it is mentioned that after Jesus' ascension, the apostles returned to Jerusalem and went to the upper room, where they were joined by "the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers". The fact that Nathanael is not mentioned among the apostles, but is named in John's Gospel, suggests that he may have been among the women and other disciples who were gathered in the upper room after Jesus' ascension.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when the Magi arrived in Bethlehem, they found Jesus and his mother in a house (Matthew 2:11). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to present him to the Lord, they offered a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, according to the Law of Moses (Luke 2:22-24). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting different events that both took place after Jesus' birth, and that their accounts are historically accurate.

In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that there was no room for Mary and Joseph at the inn in Bethlehem, so they had to lay the baby Jesus in a manger (Luke 2:7). In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that Jesus later referred to himself as the "bread of life" (John 6:35). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting different events that both point to the idea that Jesus is the source of spiritual nourishment and sustenance.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to take Mary as his wife, for the child she was carrying was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20-21). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, telling her that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:30-31). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are historically accurate.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when Herod the king heard about the birth of Jesus, he became troubled, and ordered the massacre of all the male children in Bethlehem who were two years old or under (Matthew 2:16). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that after the shepherds had visited the baby Jesus in the manger, they went back to their fields, "glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them" (Luke 2:20). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting different aspects of the aftermath of Jesus' birth, and that their accounts are historically accurate.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that the Magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:11). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that when Jesus was crucified, he was offered wine mixed with myrrh, which he refused to drink (Mark 15:23). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting different events that both involve the use of myrrh, and that their accounts are historically accurate.

In Mark 14:51-52, there is a brief account of a young man who was following Jesus during his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. The man was wearing only a linen cloth, and when the soldiers tried to seize him, he fled, leaving the cloth behind. Luke does not mention this event, but he does record in Luke 22:53 that Jesus' followers fled and scattered after his arrest. This detail helps to explain why the young man was following Jesus alone and why he fled when the soldiers arrived.

Another example of an undesigned coincidence occurs in the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Mark. In John 6:5-9, there is an account of Jesus feeding a large crowd of people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. In Mark 6:37-38, the disciples ask Jesus how they can feed the crowd, but they do not mention having any food with them. This detail helps to explain why Jesus asked the disciples to find out how much food they had, as recorded in Mark 6:38.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who was blind from birth. The man's parents are also mentioned, but their names are not given. In the Gospel of Mark, there is an account of Jesus healing a blind man named Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus' father is not mentioned, but his name is given as Timaeus. This suggests that the authors of John and Mark were not coordinating their accounts, but rather that John's account of the blind man's parents and Mark's account of Bartimaeus' father were both independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus giving a sermon on a mount, which is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount. In the Gospel of Luke, there is a similar sermon, but it is given on a plain, not a mount. This difference might suggest that the authors were not coordinating their accounts, but rather that they were both accurate and independent.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who had been sick for 38 years. The man is described as lying by the pool of Bethesda, which is said to have five porches. In the Gospel of Mark, there is an account of Jesus healing a blind man named Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus is said to have been sitting by the side of the road. The fact that John's account of the pool of Bethesda and Mark's account of Bartimaeus were both independent and accurate suggests that they were not coordinating their accounts.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus healing a man with a withered hand in a synagogue on the Sabbath. The Pharisees are said to be present and to question Jesus about whether it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a man with a withered hand in a synagogue on the Sabbath, but there is no mention of the Pharisees being present. However, in Mark 3:6, it is mentioned that the Pharisees went out and immediately began to conspire with the Herodians against Jesus, which helps to explain why they would be present and questioning Jesus in the account in Matthew.

In the Gospel of Luke, there is an account of Jesus healing a servant of a centurion who was highly regarded by the Jewish elders. In the account, the centurion sends some of his friends to Jesus to ask him to heal the servant. In the Gospel of Matthew, there is a similar account, but the centurion himself comes to Jesus and makes the request. The fact that the accounts are different but complementary suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus feeding a large crowd of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. In the account, Philip is mentioned as being present, but there is no explanation given for why he is there. However, in the Gospel of Mark, there is an account of Jesus feeding a large crowd of people with a few loaves of bread and fish, and it is mentioned that the disciples were with Jesus and that they were concerned about how to feed the crowd. This helps to explain why Philip would be present in the account in John.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who was possessed by a demon and was unable to speak. In the account, the people are amazed and say, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account, but in this account, the people say, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." The fact that the accounts are similar but different suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who was blind from birth. In the account, Jesus spits on the ground, makes mud with the saliva, and puts the mud on the man's eyes, telling him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a blind man, but there is no mention of Jesus making mud or telling the man to go and wash. However, in Mark 8:23, there is an account of Jesus spitting on a man's eyes and laying his hands on him, which helps to explain why John's account includes the detail about Jesus making mud.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus healing a paralyzed man who was brought to him on a mat. In the account, Jesus tells the man to take up his mat and go home. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account, but in this account, Jesus tells the man to take up his mat and walk. The fact that the accounts are similar but different suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In Mark 5:22-43, it is mentioned that a ruler of the synagogue named Jairus came to Jesus and asked him to heal his daughter, who was dying. On the way to Jairus' house, a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touched Jesus' cloak and was healed. In Luke 8:40-56, the same story is told, but with a few additional details. In Luke's account, Jairus is described as falling at Jesus' feet and begging him to come to his house because his daughter is his only child. When they arrive at Jairus' house, they find that the girl has already died. The fact that Luke provides these additional details that are not mentioned in Mark's account suggests that Luke had access to independent sources and was not simply copying Mark's Gospel.

In the Gospel of John, there is an account of Jesus healing a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. In the account, Jesus asks the man if he wants to be healed, and the man responds by saying that he has no one to help him into the pool when the water is stirred up. In the Gospel of Luke, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a man who was an invalid, but in this account, the man is described as having been unable to walk for many years. The fact that the accounts are different but complementary suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of Mark, there is an account of Jesus and his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat. In the account, a storm arises and the disciples become afraid. In the Gospel of Matthew, there is a similar account, but in this account, Peter is also mentioned as having walked on the water briefly before becoming afraid. The fact that the accounts are similar but different suggests that they are independent and accurate.

In the Gospel of Luke, there is an account of Jesus healing a woman who had been crippled for 18 years. In the account, the woman is described as being bent over and unable to straighten up. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, but there is no mention of the woman being bent over. However, in Mark 5:25-34, it is mentioned that the woman had spent all her money on doctors and had grown worse, which helps to explain why she might have been in a weakened state and unable to stand up straight.

In the Gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Jesus healing two blind men. In the account, the men follow Jesus and call out to him, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" In the Gospel of Mark, there is a similar account of Jesus healing a blind man, but there is no mention of any other blind men being present. However, in Mark 10:46-52, there is an account of Jesus healing a blind man named Bartimaeus who calls out to Jesus, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" This helps to explain why the blind men in Matthew's account used the same title for Jesus.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is recorded as saying during the Last Supper, "For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is recorded as saying, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many" (Mark 14:24). The similarity between the two accounts suggests that they are reporting the same event, but the difference in wording (i.e. "for the forgiveness of sins" in Matthew's account) suggests that the accounts are independent and not the result of collusion.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is recorded as saying during the Last Supper, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood" (Luke 22:20). In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is recorded as saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:27-28). The similarity between the two accounts again suggests that they are reporting the same event, but the difference in wording (i.e. "drink from it, all of you" in Matthew's account) suggests that the accounts are independent.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is recorded as saying during the Last Supper, "Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God" (Mark 14:25). In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is recorded as saying, "I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes" (Luke 22:18). The similarity between the two accounts again suggests that they are reporting the same event, but the difference in wording (i.e. "never again" in Mark's account) suggests that the accounts are independent.

In John 18:10, Peter cuts off the ear of the high priest's servant. In Luke 22:50-51, Jesus heals the servant's ear. These two passages fit together naturally and suggest that Peter's act of violence was immediately followed by Jesus' act of compassion.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that Jesus was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem (John 19:20), while in the other Gospels it is simply mentioned that Jesus was crucified. However, in the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that a large crowd of people followed Jesus to the place of his crucifixion, which suggests that the crucifixion took place outside the city (Luke 23:27). This undesigned coincidence provides evidence that the accounts are independent and accurate, and that they were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that the sign above Jesus' head on the cross read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (John 19:19), while in the other Gospels it is simply mentioned that there was a sign above Jesus' head. However, in the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that some of the people who passed by mocked Jesus and said, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" (Mark 15:29-30). This suggests that the sign above Jesus' head was visible and that it was a point of mockery for those who were passing by. This undesigned coincidence provides evidence that the accounts are independent and accurate, and that they were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that as Jesus was dying on the cross, there was darkness over the whole land for three hours (Matthew 27:45). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the sun's light failed during this time (Luke 23:45). This undesigned coincidence provides evidence that the accounts are independent and accurate, and that they were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that after Jesus had died on the cross, a soldier pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out (John 19:34). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that as Jesus was dying on the cross, he cried out with a loud voice and gave up his spirit (Luke 23:46). This undesigned coincidence provides evidence that the accounts are independent and accurate, and that they were not deliberately fabricated or coordinated.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that at the moment Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Mark 15:38). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that at the foot of the cross stood Jesus' mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene (John 19:25). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that among those who were watching the crucifixion from a distance were some women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome (Mark 15:40). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that after Jesus died, Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man and disciple of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for permission to take Jesus' body down from the cross (Matthew 27:57-58). In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that Nicodemus, another disciple of Jesus, brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight, to prepare Jesus' body for burial (John 19:39-40). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that the centurion who stood guard over Jesus at the cross said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that when the centurion saw what had taken place, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent!" (Luke 23:47). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when Jesus was on the cross, the people who passed by hurled insults at him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!" (Matthew 27:39-40). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" (Mark 15:29-30). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that as Jesus hung on the cross, he cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that at the crucifixion, the soldiers cast lots to divide Jesus' garments among themselves (Luke 23:34). In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that the soldiers took Jesus' tunic and divided it into four parts, one for each soldier, and that his seamless robe was left intact (John 19:23-24). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that as Jesus hung on the cross, he cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit (Matthew 27:50). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" and then breathed his last (Luke 23:46). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that when Jesus died, there was a great earthquake and the rocks were split (Matthew 27:51). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that there was darkness over the whole land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour (Luke 23:44). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is mentioned that after Jesus' death, Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate granted his request (Matthew 27:57-58). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that Joseph of Arimathea went in boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body (Mark 15:43-44). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that Nicodemus, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight (John 19:39). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him (Mark 16:1). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that the tomb in which Jesus was laid was in a garden (John 19:41). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb (Mark 16:1-2). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away, she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him" (John 20:2). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee went to the tomb and found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:1-3). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Simon Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb, the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, saw and believed (John 20:8 ). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that the women who went to the tomb and did not find Jesus' body were told by two men in dazzling apparel that Jesus had risen from the dead (Luke 24:4-8 ). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Mary Magdalene saw the risen Jesus, she called him "Rabboni," which means "Teacher" (John 20:16). In the Gospel of Mark, it is mentioned that when Mary Magdalene and the other women saw the young man in the tomb, he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him" (Mark 16:6). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room, he showed them his hands and his side (John 20:20). In the Gospel of Luke, it is mentioned that when the disciples saw Jesus, they were startled and frightened, and thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:37-39). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two Gospel writers were independently reporting the same event, and that their accounts are accurate and trustworthy.

In the Gospel of John, it is mentioned that when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22). In the book of Acts, it is mentioned that when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, they began to speak in other tongues (Acts 2:4). This undesigned coincidence suggests that the two accounts are complementary, and that the events described in them are historically accurate.

In Luke 8:3, it is mentioned that Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, was one of the women who followed Jesus and supported him. In Luke 24:10, after the Resurrection, it is mentioned that Joanna was one of the women who reported the empty tomb to the apostles. The fact that Joanna is described as the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, in both references suggests that these accounts are independent and not simply copied from one another.

In John 21:2, it is mentioned that Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and two other disciples were together fishing. In Acts 1:13, a similar group of disciples is mentioned, but the two unnamed disciples are replaced with Matthias and Joseph. The fact that the lists of disciples are similar but not identical suggests that these accounts are independent and provide complementary details about the same event.

John describes how Jesus was brought before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, and was accused of claiming to be a king. Acts, meanwhile, describes how Paul was brought before several Roman officials and was similarly accused of sedition. The similarities between these two accounts are considered to be evidence of the historical accuracy of both.

In Luke 8:3, it is mentioned that Joanna, the wife of Chuza (a steward of Herod Antipas), was among the women who followed Jesus and supported him out of their own means. In Luke 24:10, it is mentioned that Joanna was one of the women who went to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection. However, the Gospels do not explain how Joanna came to be a follower of Jesus or how she knew about the tomb. In Acts 13:1, it is mentioned that there was a prophet and teacher in the church at Antioch named Simeon who was also called Niger. The fact that Simeon and Chuza have similar names (both meaning "black" or "dark") suggests that they may have been related or known to each other. This coincidence helps to explain how Joanna, the wife of Chuza, may have come to know about Jesus and his resurrection.

Undesigned coincidences between the gospels, and acts

In Acts 21:39, Paul identifies himself as a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia. In Acts 22:3, Paul says that he was "brought up" in Jerusalem, and was "thoroughly trained in the law" by Gamaliel. In Philippians 3:5-6, Paul describes himself as a "Hebrew of Hebrews" and a Pharisee who was "zealous for the law". The fact that these accounts provide different but complementary details about Paul's background and education suggest that they are independent and historically accurate.

In Acts 9:26-28, it is mentioned that Barnabas brought Paul to the apostles in Jerusalem after his conversion. In Galatians 1:18-19, Paul says that he went to Jerusalem three years after his conversion and stayed with Peter for 15 days, but did not meet any of the other apostles except James. The fact that Barnabas is not mentioned in the Galatians account, but is prominent in the Acts account, suggests that these accounts are independent and provide different but complementary details about Paul's early ministry.

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159Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Thu Feb 23, 2023 2:42 pm

Otangelo


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Introduction

As an educated layman who has extensively studied literature related to Christian origins and early Christianity, I have assembled a collection of quotes and excerpts from top scholars and books on the historicity of Jesus Christ. My goal is to present a comprehensive and clear picture that corroborates Jesus' biblical identity. This includes evidence such as fulfilled prophecies, archaeological findings, extra-biblical writings, coincidences in the gospels, and the dating of the oldest manuscripts. Additionally, I compare the evidence to a symphonic orchestra where each individual musician contributes to the overall result of a partiture. Likewise, evidence for the historical existence of Jesus Christ comes from various sources such as history, archaeology, the Bible, Roman authors, and scientific faculties like those investigating the Shroud of Turin. The experts in these fields are the players, and my role is that of a composer and director bringing them together to solidify our faith and confirm Jesus as the long-awaited and rejected messiah of Israel.

The question about who Jesus is, is actual today, as it ever was in the last 2000 years. 

Matthew 16.13 -17: When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.

Peter confirmed that Jesus was the Son of the living God. The same question goes for you. Who do you believe Jesus was? You can either respond positively, that you believe in Christ as Lord, or you can deny it, and go even a step further, and argue that he never existed. C. S.Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity: 

I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.

Perguntas .... - Page 7 C_s_le10

Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Win_an11

I cannot imagine and think of many more relevant questions. Either Jesus is a myth, a figure that was invented by someone, or a group of people, for some (spurious) reasons, that has deluded billions of people over 2000 years. He could also be a historical figure, but not God, and all claims in regard to the miracles reported in the gospels, and the resurrection, never happened. Or his claims are true, and he is divine, the long-awaited messiah in the Old Testament, the second person of the triune God, that has revealed himself in the Bible. If we respond negatively to Christ's calling, and he is indeed who he is said to be, we will spend eternity in hell. If we respond positively, we will spend eternity in heaven. If he is not who he is said to be, it doesn't matter if we believe in the claims made in the New Testament, it will have no consequences. We will all become inanimated matter.  In recent times, there has been an increase in books and YouTube streams created by atheists who dispute the historicity of Jesus, even going so far as to question his existence as a historical figure, along with his resurrection and miracles. This book aims to address these issues by presenting a collection of evidence that substantiates the view that Jesus Christ is truly who he claimed to be: Lord, God, the second person of the triune God, the Messiah, and Savior.

There is an abundance of biblical and extra-biblical evidence that supports the claim that the Christian movement began in Judaea in the first century and spread rapidly across the Roman empire and beyond following Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. This growth was due to the credible and trustworthy narratives of the eyewitnesses of Jesus. It is my hope that while reading this book, you will experience moments of awe as the information contained within confirms powerfully how reliable and solid the narratives in the New Testament are. If you are an unbeliever, my wish is that you will find reasons to adopt the Christian worldview and receive Christ as your Lord and Savior. And if you are a believer struggling with doubts, this book can help remove them, allowing your faith to become as solid as a rock. The God of the Bible deserves our trust, faith, and obedience, and our lives should be built upon the foundation which is Christ.

The person, the man Jesus Christ, is well placed in human history. Born between 6 and 4BC, in the reign of Herod the Great (Wikipedia), and crucified in 1st-century Judea, most likely in AD 30 or AD 33. (Wiki) He came with a mission. Jesus demonstrated throughout His life that He was a man with a clear mission and purpose to fulfill. He recognized from a young age that He must prioritize His Father's will (Luke 2:49, KJV). As He neared the end of His earthly life, Jesus determinedly set out for Jerusalem, knowing that His death awaited Him there (Luke 9:51). The central aim of Jesus' time on earth can be understood as fulfilling God's plan to save the lost.

But why believe in Him? There are so many religions that contradict the Gospels.

The story of my conversion

As a child, around 8 or 9 years old, my mother used to pray the Ave Maria with me before I went to bed. I would then pray my own prayers after she left the room, which became a nightly ritual. I would start by praying two Catholic prayers while lying on my left side, and then move onto my back to pray ten specific prayer requests, which remained the same most nights, but occasionally changed depending on my needs. I felt that God loved me and that my prayers were being answered. At the same time, my school teacher would tell us stories from the Old Testament every Friday afternoon, which I loved. However, when I moved up a grade, and the teacher changed, the storytelling stopped. Over time, my mother stopped praying with me, and I thought that it was no longer necessary. As a child, I saw God as my superhero, but then, like many children, I became interested in other superheroes such as Phantomas. Eventually, I lost interest in these cartoons and lost my faith altogether.

As a teenager, I went through a period of depression and was looking for a solution. My parents did not understand what I was going through, and it was an indescribable psychological pain that I experienced every day. After six months, I remembered that my prayers as a child had been effective and decided to seek God again, thinking it might solve my problems. Coincidentally, I came across a book titled "Jesus Christ, the Finished Redemption through His Blood," which introduced me to the concept of redemptive forgiveness. As a Catholic, I had never heard of this before, and I had questions about it. As I read the Bible, I had many unanswered questions.

One day, while chatting with a colleague at work, I mentioned a TV show I had seen featuring a Buddhist, a Catholic, and an evangelical Christian discussing their faith. I was impressed by the wisdom of the evangelical Christian and mentioned it to my colleague. He told me that his friend, Andy, was a member of the church that organized the evangelism and invited me to meet him. The church organized a Tea Saloon event every Saturday, where they preached, handed out tracts, and invited people to coffee or tea. After evangelism on the street ended, they went to the church, where a member gave a welcome speech to guests, and members of the church talked to the visitors. I went to the Tea Saloon and met Andy, who answered many of my questions about salvation. He explained that salvation comes through Christ's sacrifice on the cross and that if I wanted to become a true Christian, I needed to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior and be born again. While I thought I was already a Christian, Andy told me to think about what he had said and come back if I wanted to convert. Two weeks later, on December 29, 1984, I went back and gave my life to Christ through a simple prayer.

Claim:  Jesus is a myth
Response:While a small number of scholars, writers, and advocates hold the view that Jesus is a myth, there are several arguments that refute this claim. Firstly, the vast majority of historians and scholars who study the historical Jesus agree that he was a real person who lived in the first century AD, including both Christian and non-Christian scholars. Additionally, the Gospels were written while many eyewitnesses were still alive, making it less likely that the events were fabricated or exaggerated. Furthermore, other non-Christian sources, such as the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus, also refer to Jesus as a historical figure. The idea that Jesus was a myth would require a conspiracy theory involving numerous people over a long period of time, which is not supported by any plausible motive. Lastly, the Gospels include details that would have been embarrassing or inconvenient for early Christians if they were not true, suggesting that the Gospel writers were not simply making up a story to suit their own purposes. In conclusion, the consensus among experts is that Jesus was a real historical figure who had a significant impact on the world. While there may be some debate over the interpretation of certain details, the claim that Jesus is a myth is not supported by the majority of historical scholarship or the available evidence.

Books opposing Jesus Christ as an authentic historical figure, and his resurrection

G. Theissen (1996): Time and again the study of Jesus has been swamped by waves of radical skepticism - to the point of a denial of the historicity of Jesus. Three names may be mentioned as examples.' Bruno Bauer (1809-1882), who once lectured in theology at Bonn, regarded the earliest Gospel as a literary work of art: history is produced in it, not described. Albert Kalthoff ( 1850-1906) understood Jesus as a product of the religious needs of a social movement that had come into contact with the Jewish messianic expectation.3 Arthur Drews, who was a professor of philosophy in Karlsruhe, declared Jesus to be the concretization of a myth that already existed before Christianity. Here we find three motives for skepticism which are also operative where there is no dispute over the historicity of Jesus: Jesus is understood as a product of literary imagination, social needs or mythical traditions. Here historical skepticism appears within or outside theology, often with great ethical solemnity, and foists on its critics the ungrateful role of apologists driven by their wishes. This is quite wrong. In the discussion of the historical Jesus, nothing is free from wishes and interests, not even skepticism. Outside theology skepticism wants to rob Christianity of its legitimation. Inside theology, it is employed for purposes of legitimation. For example, people say: since we only have sources about Jesus that are colored by faith, an approach to Jesus governed by faith is the only legitimate one; the only alternative is unbelief. Quiet historical work should rule out such pressure imposed by a single alternative - for the sake of the freedom to be able to come to terms critically with Jesus without having to legitimate one's faith or unbelief by the results of scholarship. But any scholarly discussion of Jesus begins with the problem of the appropriate historical evaluation of the sources (most of them Christian), which report about Jesus. To bring out the problem of method in all its acuteness, here are thirteen objections made by historical skepticism which, taken together, suggest that any historical evaluation of existing Christian sources is an impossible enterprise. Of course, this is an extremely one-sided standpoint, which is seldom put forward in this form. 

The thirteen objections

1. The 'silence' of non-Christian sources. The contemporary non-Christian sources (e.g. Philo of Alexandria) are silent about Jesus even where one would expect a note about him.
2. The 'mythical' Christ of the letters of Paul. The earliest Christian writings, the letters of Paul, depict Jesus as an almost mythical being, whose earthly existence seems to be only the intermediate stage between pre-existence and
exaltation. In view of this the question arises whether there was a Synoptic
tradition about Jesus at all in Paul's time.
3. The unhistorical Johannine picture of Christ. There are irresolvable contradictions (chronology, belief in pre-existence, style of the revelation discourses) between the Synoptic picture of Jesus and the Johannine Christ.
4. The Easter gulf. The Easter faith has so reshaped the pre-Easter tradition that post-Easter worship and historical reminiscence have become indissolubly fused.
5. The chronological distance of the Synoptic Gospels. The Synoptics were composed at a considerable distance from the historical Jesus, between forty and seventy years after his death, outside Palestine and in Greek, i.e. not in the mother tongue of Jesus and his first followers.
6. The intention of the Jesus tradition. In its intention the Jesus tradition is kerygmatic, i.e. it speaks to the present (has an interest in preaching) and is not interested in preserving historical reminiscences.
7. Shaping by the 'Sitz im Leben'. The Jesus tradition is primarily governed by the situation in which it was used (the 'Sitz im Leben'). Community needs have reshaped the picture of Jesus in the tradition to the point that it becomes unrecognizable.
8. The productive power of the proof from scripture. The first Christians not only interpreted memories of Jesus in the light of the Old Testament but often produced them on this basis in the first place. The holy scriptures of Israel were more reliable for them as God's testimony than the testimony of human eyewitnesses.
9. The formation of analogies. New community formations came into being along the lines of the existing Jesus tradition, which was in the form of small units. These display the same structures of genre and can therefore can hardly be distinguished from authentic traditions about Jesus.
10. The sayings tradition as the fruit of primitive Christian prophecy. The logia tradition contains early Christian prophetic sayings which were spoken in the name of the exalted Christ and in Q can no longer be distinguished from the words of the earthly Jesus.
11. Miracle stories. The narrative tradition contains miracle stories in which the typical motifs of the ancient belief in miracles have transformed historical recollection. Possibly whole miracle stories have been transferred to Jesus
without having any concrete basis in his life.
12. Mythical elements. The framework of the story of Jesus (birth, temptation, transfiguration, and resurrection) has been transformed with mythical motives. That shows that the historical Jesus was swallowed up by his myth.
13. The one-sided criteria of research into the historical Jesus. The criteria developed in research to define historical Jesus material cannot fulfill their purpose reliably.21

Claims that Jesus never existed

While doing research for this book, I was surprised to stumble upon a website by Kenneth Humphreys entirely dedicated to proving that Jesus never existed 4, with the subtitle: Exposing the tragic fabrication of a savior of the world. Claiming to have 8 million+ visitors on his website, and   20,000+ subscribers! and  5 million+ YT views! ( November 2022). Humphreys also wrote a book:

Kenneth Humphreys (2008): Jesus Never Existed. 
Description: No "hidden code", no "secret bloodline", no "arcane wisdom", no "holy grail", in fact, no mystery at all – just the unembellished truth about the greatest fraud in history. Jesus Never Existed reveals a disturbing truth: that the triumph of Christianity was a disaster for humanity – made chillingly ironic by the bogus nature of its central character, superstar and "saviour". Jesus Never Existed is an uncompromising exposure of the counterfeit origins of Christianity and of the evil it has brought to the world. Not a book for those who wish to keep their faith in the cosy bliss of historical ignorance. Over 50 articles from this website, many revised and updated, arranged into ten chapters, each of which shakes Christianity to its very foundations.9

Michael Paulkovich (2013): No Meek Messiah: Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy
Description: 
Religious leaders generally spoon-feed their flock the few parts of the Bible that are not blatantly contradictory, nor evil, nor violent. The Bible is a very boring, very frightening, yet a very hilarious read. And the history of religious oppression is much more murderous than most people are aware. The book No Meek Messiah chronicles the cobbling of Christianity, its outrageous forgeries, and its immoral acts of torture, genocide, and obfuscation over the many centuries. The "virgin birth" tale was a forgery perpetrated 250 years before Jesus, even admitted by the Catholic Encyclopedia. No Meek Messiah exposes that Jesus believed in Noah's Ark, Adam & Eve, Jonah living in a fish or whale, and Lot's wife turning into salt. (Historian Josephus, often cited by Christians as proof of the historicity of Jesus, also claims that he as actually seen the "pillar of salt" that Lot's wife turned into; "for I have seen it, and it remains at this day," Josephus lied. Jesus even bought into the absurd notion (Jn 3:14) that a magical pole proffered by the OT (Num 21:9) could cure snakebites merely by gazing upon it. Only a very selective reading of the Bible can adduce the eternal assertion that Jesus was a perfect and saintly figure. Meek Jesus boasted he was "greater than Solomon, and that he "came not to send peace, but a sword," and "to send fire on the earth."
Jesus desperately needs your praise, and advises savage whipping for disobedient slaves. These are scriptures never mentioned at the typical sermon or Sunday school. This is merely the tip of Jesus' "meek" iceberg.
No Meek Messiah exposes the plethora of forgeries perpetrated by Christian leaders over the centuries, showing how the corrupt Church gained massive power and wealth. The many murders and witch hunts are also exposed in great detail. Michael Paulkovich, 2013. No Meek Messiah. Freelance writer and contributer to The American Rationalist, American Atheist Magazine and Free Inquiry presents one-hundred-and-twenty-six writers from the "time of Jesus" who should have, but did not record anything about the Christian godman 15

Comment: Interestingly, in this entire rant, no line providing any evidence for the claim that Jesus never existed. 

DailyMail (2014): however thought it was worth noticing the book. The reporter wrote: ‘"Jesus of Nazareth" was nothing more than urban (or desert) legend, likely an agglomeration of several evangelic and deluded rabbis who might have existed.’ Of the writings he examined, written from the first to third centuries, he found only one book that contained a mention of Jesus - The Jewish Wars by the Roman historian Josephus Flavius written in 95 CE, but he claims it is fabricated. Paulkovich says the mentions of Jesus were added later by editors, not by Josephus. Paulkovich’s views will surely prove very controversial, as most scholars do not support the theory that Jesus never existed.16 

A prominent author, that frequently appears as a guest on atheist YouTube channels, to claim that the historical Jesus never existed, is Richard Carrier Ph.D. Wikipedia writes about him: Carrier has become a vocal advocate of the theory that Jesus was not a historical person   He has published several books.

Richard Carrier Ph.D. (2012): Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. 
Description: An essential work on historical methods: Almost all experts agree that the Jesus of the Bible is a composite of myth, legend, and some historical evidence. So what can we know about the real Jesus? For more than one hundred fifty years, scholars have attempted to answer this question. Unfortunately, the "Quest for the Historical Jesus" has produced as many different images of the original Jesus as the scholars who have studied the subject. The result is a confused mass of disparate opinions with no consensus view of what actually happened at the dawn of Christianity. In this in-depth discussion of New Testament scholarship and the challenges of history as a whole, historian Richard C. Carrier proposes Bayes's theorem as a solution to the problem of establishing reliable historical criteria. He demonstrates that valid historical methods—not only in the study of Christian origins but in any historical study—can be described by, and reduced to, the logic of Bayes's theorem. Conversely, he argues that any method that cannot be reduced to Bayes's theorem is invalid and should be abandoned. Writing with thoroughness and admirable clarity, Carrier explains Bayes's theorem in terms easily understandable to historians and lay people alike, employing nothing more than well-known primary school math. He then explores the theorem's application to history and addresses numerous challenges to and criticisms of this application. Common historical methods are analyzed using the theorem, as well as all the major "historicity criteria" employed in the latest quest for the historical Jesus. The author demonstrates not only their deficiencies but also ways to rehabilitate them. Anyone with an interest in historical methods, epistemology generally, or the study of the historical Jesus will find Carrier's book to be an essential work.8

Richard Carrier Ph.D. et al., (2013): Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth.  
Description: When New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman published Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, he not only attempted to prove the historical reality of a man called “Jesus of Nazareth,” he sharply criticized scholars who have sought to develop a new paradigm in the study of Christian origins—scholars who have claimed that Jesus was a mythical, not historical, figure, and that the traditional, Jesus-centered paradigm for studying the origins of Christianity must be replaced by an actual science of Christian origins. In the present volume, some of those scholars respond to Ehrman’s treatment of their research and findings, showing how he has either ignored, misunderstood or misrepresented their arguments. They present evidence that “Jesus of Nazareth” was no more historical than Osiris or Thor. Several contributors question not only the historicity of “Jesus of Nazareth,” they present evidence that the site of present-day Nazareth was not inhabited at the time Jesus and his family should have been living there.6

Richard Carrier Ph.D. (2014): On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. 
Description: The assumption that Jesus existed as a historical person has occasionally been questioned in the course of the last hundred years or so, but any doubts that have been raised have usually been put to rest in favor of imagining a blend of the historical, the mythical and the theological in the surviving records of Jesus. Carrier re-examines the whole question and finds compelling reasons to suspect the more daring assumption is correct. He lays out extensive research on the evidence for Jesus and the origins of Christianity and poses the key questions that must now be answered if the historicity of Jesus is to survive as a dominant paradigm. Carrier contrasts the most credible reconstruction of a historical Jesus with the most credible theory of Christian origins if a historical Jesus did not exist. Such a theory would posit that the Jesus figure was originally conceived of as a celestial being known only through private revelations and hidden messages in scripture; then stories placing this being in earth history were crafted to communicate the claims of the gospel allegorically; such stories eventually came to be believed or promoted in the struggle for control of the Christian churches that survived the tribulations of the first century. Carrier finds the latter theory more credible than has been previously imagined. He explains why it offers a better explanation for all the disparate evidence surviving from the first two centuries of the Christian era. He argues that we need a more careful and robust theory of cultural syncretism between Jewish theology and politics of the second-temple period and the most popular features of pagan religion and philosophy of the time. For anyone intent on defending a historical Jesus, this is the book to challenge.5

Richard Carrier Ph.D. (2015): Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists 
Description: For a lay audience, and with help from historian Richard Carrier, religious studies scholar Raphael Lataster considers the best arguments for and against the existence of the so-called Historical Jesus; the Jesus of atheists. Parts 1 & 2 analyse the cases made by Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey, who assert that Jesus definitely existed. Their arguments are found to be riddled with errors, and dependent on unreliable, and even non-existing, sources. Parts 3 & 4 discuss the more sceptical work of Lataster and Carrier, who conclude that Christianity probably began not with a humble carpenter, but with 'visions' of a heavenly Messiah.
This exciting collaboration makes it very clear why the Historical Jesus might not have existed after all, and, to those willing to adopt a commonsensical probabilistic approach, Jesus Did Not Exist.7

The claim that Jesus was invented by the Romans

Joseph Atwill (2005): Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus.
Description: Was Jesus the invention of a Roman emperor? The author of this ground-breaking book believes he was. "Caesar’s Messiah" reveals the key to a new and revolutionary understanding of Christian origins. The clues leading to its startling conclusions are found in the writings of the first-century historian Flavius Josephus, whose "Wars of the Jews" is one of the only historical chronicles of this period. Closely comparing the work of Josephus with the New Testament Gospels, "Caesar’s Messiah" demonstrates that the Romans directed the writing of both. Their purpose: to offer a vision of a “peaceful Messiah” who would serve as an alternative to the revolutionary leaders who were rocking first-century Israel and threatening Rome. Similarly, "Caesar’s Messiah" will rock our understanding of Christian history as it reveals that Jesus was a fictional character portrayed in four Gospels written not by Christians but Romans. This Flavian Signature edition adds Atwill’s latest discoveries of numerous parallel events in sequence which ultimately reveal the identity of the true authors of the Gospels.12 

James S. Valliant (2016): Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity. 
Description: Exhaustively annotated and illustrated, this explosive work of history unearths clues that finally demonstrate the truth about one of the world’s great religions: that it was born out of the conflict between the Romans and messianic Jews who fought a bitter war with each other during the 1st Century. The Romans employed a tactic they routinely used to conquer and absorb other nations: they grafted their imperial rule onto the religion of the conquered. After 30 years of research, authors James S. Valliant and C.W. Fahy present irrefutable archeological and textual evidence that proves Christianity was created by Roman Caesars in this book that breaks new ground in Christian scholarship and is destined to change the way the world looks at ancient religions forever. Inherited from a long-past era of tyranny, war and deliberate religious fraud, could Christianity have been created for an entirely different purpose than we have been lead to believe? Praised by scholars like Dead Sea Scrolls translator Robert Eisenman (James the Brother of Jesus), this exhaustive synthesis of historical detective work integrates all of the ancient sources about the earliest Christians and reveals new archeological evidence for the first time. And, despite the fable presented in current bestsellers like Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus, the evidence presented in Creating Christ is irrefutable: Christianity was invented by Roman Emperors.11

Henry Davis (2018): Creating Christianity - A Weapon Of Ancient Rome
A profound and controversial investigation of a complex theme - the war that led to the fall of Jerusalem and the creation of the Christian religion. The religious and political battle between the people of Judea and the Jewish and Roman aristocracies is presented in an unconventional narrative, which investigates ancient evidence, quotes from the work of respected authorities on the subject, and states controversial opinions openly. Its main conclusion is that the New Testament (the new law) was created by a powerful senatorial family called the Calpurnius Pisos, who had the full support of their relatives, the Herodian royal family (the family of ‘Herod the Great’), and the Flavian emperors, with the Piso family hiding their name within the Koine Greek scriptures. The result is a book that is both provocative and compelling. Using valuable feedback from Cambridge and Oxford University professors, Henry Davis explains why the supposed Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus, never existed, how the Book of Revelation presents the name of the Piso family member who oversaw the creation of the Christian scripture, and the reason the number 666 was changed to 616. Davis also explains the facts behind the personal and political reasons that led to the Roman and Jewish royal families creating a new religion, and how the Piso family used the literary techniques of the aristocracy to insert their names into the scriptures. '...  Anyone with a knowledge of the history of the Roman Empire knows that its conversion from a pagan belief system to widespread Christianity was a significant political and military move for the Empire as much as it was a religious decision, and this book focuses on the specific details and clues as to how that really came about. Davis searches for the real identity of the Christian Messiah and argues for a potentially Roman author of the modern NewTestament, one who had a view to creating a new religion for his own reasons as much as those of Rome. 

Christ myth theory

Wikipedia: The Christ myth theory, also known as the Jesus myth theory, Jesus mythicism, or the Jesus ahistoricity theory, is the view that "the story of Jesus is a piece of mythology", possessing no "substantial claims to historical fact"10

David Fitzgerald (2017): Jesus: Mything in Action.  
Description: David Fitzgerald’s award-winning 2010 book Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All pointed out the top ten fatal flaws of Christianity’s origin story. Now, Jesus: Mything in Action presents the most compelling new findings in Jesus Myth theory and critically examines its controversial reception by biblical scholars, the extent and reliability of our sources for Jesus, and reveals the surprising history behind Jesus’ evolution.
In this volume: Mything in Action, vol. I (chapters 1 – 12) looks at the myths of Jesus Mythicism: what it is and isn’t; what biblical scholars are saying about it (and why); and examines our oldest “biographical” source for Jesus – the allegorical story we know as the Gospel of Mark.

Calvin Smith (2020): The Jesus Myths: How a religious zealot created the fiction of Jesus and thus the New Testament. 
Description: Many books and articles have been written contending that Jesus is a myth, and so he is, but they all stop short of revealing how and why the storys of Jesus came into being - which is the main subject of this book. If you doubt that anyone could write such an incredible tale - a story that occupies a major portion of the New Testament - think for a moment about the legend of Harry Potter. If JK Rowling had written that series of fables in the first century AD, we'd likely all be worshiping Harry today. But there's more than just Jesus fables to this book: Jean Messlier, a catholic priest for thirty years proves conclusively that God does not, and never did exist other than in the imaginations of men; instilled there by the insane mutants in the upper echelons of the Roman Catholic Church. Not only did the Popes and Bishops consistently murder each other, but one: Pope Stephan VI dug up the remains of his predessesor, Pope Formosus, and put his corpse on trial in what is known as the Cadaver Synod in the year 897AD. Formusus didn't say a word in his own defence, and was therefore convicted.There are many other twists and turns in this book that make it a must for every bookshelf.

R. P. Oliver (1998):  Christianity is a fusion of two myths. The Jesus myth requires no explication. It is clear that the stories collected in the “New Testament” are versions of a folk-tale formed, like the legend of Robin Hood, by the accretion around a central figure of episodes in the careers of a number of minor figures. The Jesus of that legend was a composite formed from tales about Jesus ben Ananias,'Jesus ben Panderaf the agitator, whose name may have been Jesus, who led a party of his followers into Jerusalem during the celebration of the Passover and was well received by the populace, but soon suppressed, and Judas the Gaulanite3. And it is possible, of course, that there was an otherwise forgotten Jesus who also tried to start a Jewish revolt against civilized rule and paid the penalty. The composite Jesus was, of course, a would-be christ and interested only in his own barbarous people. The stories in the “New Testament” have been embellished by Christians, and that is what is remarkable.19 

Christ as a conspiracy

D.M. Murdock (1999): The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold 
Description: Contrary to popular belief, there was no single man at the genesis of Christianity but rather many characters rolled into one. The majority of these characters were personifications of the ubiquitous solar myth as reflected in the stories of such popular deities as Mithra, Hercules, Dionysus, and numerous others borrowed from Roman mythology and beyond. The story of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels resembles those of the earlier savior-gods Krishna and Horus. These redeemer tales are similar not because they reflect the actual exploits of a variety of men who did and said similar things but because they represent the same ancient core of knowledge that revolved around the celestial bodies and natural forces called Astrotheology. In this highly controversial and explosive book, archaeologist, linguist, and mythologist Acharya S/D.M. Murdock marshals an enormous amount of startling evidence to demonstrate that Christianity and the story of Jesus Christ were created by members of various secret societies, mystery schools and religions to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion. Through such fabrication, this multinational cabal drew on a multitude of myths and rituals that existed long before Christian era, reworking them over centuries into the story and religion passed down today.

Jesus - borrowed from the pagans? 

Arthur Drews (1998): Drews shows that Christianity is a syncretism of various pagan and Jewish beliefs, and that a strong pre-Christian cult of Jesus as son of God and messiah existed. This is a valuable sourcebook for students of religion, and all those interested in examining the origins of Christianity.20

Tim Freke (2000): The Jesus Mysteries: Was The Original Jesus A Pagan God?  
Description: This groundbreaking book looks at one of the greatest cover-ups in history and dares to think the unthinkable about Christianity – that it was in fact a Jewish Mystery School modelled on the ancient Pagan Mysteries.

The myth of Dionysus bears startling resemblances to the the story of Jesus Christ. It compares with the biblical story in the following ways:
• Dionysus is God made flesh and is hailed as the ‘Saviour of Mankind’ and the ‘Son of God’
• His father is God and and his mother is a mortal virgin who afterwards becomes worshipped as the ‘Mother of God’
• He is born in a cowshed
• He drives out demons, turns water into wine and and raises people from the dead
• He rides triumphantly into town while people wave palms to honour him

The date revered by the first Christians as Jesus’ birthday was originally that of Dionysus, also the three day Spring Festival of Dionysus celebrating his death and resurrection coincides with the Christian festival of Easter. The last Supper and the Eucharist are also parallel Dionysian rites.
This is not common knowledge as the story was a closely guarded secret of the Pagan mysteries. Secondly the evidence of Christianity’s pagan roots were systematically covered up the Roman Church.14

Claims that the resurrection didn't happen

Jonathan MS Pearce (2021):  The Resurrection: A Critical Examination of the Easter Story 
Description: The Resurrection story is integral to the Christian faith; its truth has been crucial for Christians since the inception of the belief system. But did the events reported in the Christian Bible actually happen? How do the claims made by the authors look in light of careful historical analysis? Are the Gospel claims internally coherent? Do Christian believers have justification in believing the chapter and verse of this most famous of miraculous stories?
Historical, philosophical, and biblical exegetical analysis are woven together to form a terminal case against the accuracy, and ultimately truth, of the Easter story.

"No rational and honest scholar of religion or theologian who asserts that the resurrection of Jesus was an actual event would be able to do so without addressing the compelling counterarguments presented by Jonathan Pearce's The Resurrection.... Pearce offers a masterful analysis of the central miracle of Christianity, Jesus's purported return from death.... All of this makes it difficult to refute...that the entire narrative upon which the Christian faith is anchored is a fiction contrived by others long after the purported date of the crucifixion..." - Dr. H. Sidky, Professor of Anthropology, Miami University, and author of Religion, Supernaturalism, the Paranormal and Pseudoscience: An Anthropological Critique

"This is a detailed, clear, and very readable survey of the evidence for the Resurrection, and it makes an overwhelming case for the conclusion that the Resurrection did not happen. It's an extraordinary fact that so many smart, educated people have managed to convince themselves that the historical case for the Resurrection is strong, when it is, patently, ludicrously weak." - Dr. Stephen Law, author of Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole

According to Islam: Jesus was not crucified

Islam claims that it was not Jesus that was crucified, but that it merely appeared to be so. G. R. Lanier (2017): Of the major theological divides that separate Islam and Christianity, one of the most difficult to pin down is the denial of the crucifixion of Jesus in Muslim tradition. Though the assertion that Jesus did not die on the cross appears in only part of one difficult verse in the Qur’an. Scholars agree that the majority view within Islam is that this verse “affirms categorically that Christ did not die on the cross and that God raised him to Godself.” In fact, the rejection of the crucifixion has “become a sort of shibboleth of orthodoxy,” thus presenting a significant challenge for Muslim-Christian engagement. This dogma is not, however, without its difficulties: it requires rejection of the broad scholarly consensus that the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth outside Jerusalem under the oversight of Pontius Pilate is an indisputable historical fact; it strains exegesis of other parts of the Qur’an and appears to rely on strained exegesis of one verse, and it has spawned a wide range of often speculative and contradictory explanations. By analyzing the textual data and interpretive history, it will be argued that the belief that Jesus was not crucified actually stems from an anti-Jewish polemical passage that was misinterpreted along both Shi’a and Sunni lines and cemented by medieval orthodoxy. In other words, it is not the Qur’an itself that indisputably denies the crucifixion, but the scholars defending Islamic orthodoxy.

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Once the atomistic reading of Q4:157 was firmly integrated into the eschatological framework of either division of Islam—regardless of the flawed underlying exegesis—it became nearly impossible in practice to question. Though only a single quranic verse mentions the crucifixion, and though any further references in the accepted Hadith and Sunna are quite rare (and absent altogether on the Sunni side), the interpretive tradition of commentators (tafsir) from the Middle Ages onward has been an imposing force in shaping how Muslims read the Qur’an. One could describe it as interpretive inertia: “over successive centuries the discussion of the crucifixion within the Islamic tradition … evolved to accommodate the doctrine of denial in a way which obscured the neutrality of the original Qur’anic position.”2

Todd Lawson (2014): Perhaps no passage in the Qur’an has received more attention from scholars looking for the Islamic scripture’s putative sources than Surat al-Nisa 157-8. On the face of it, the text says of the ‘People of the Book’, in this instance the Jews, that, in spite of their allegation to the contrary, ‘they neither killed nor crucified’ the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, and the Messenger of God. Rather, says the Qur’an, in a still puzzling Arabic phrase that has continued to draw the attention of commentators, shubbiha lahum; and the text goes on to say they did not kill him, ‘God raised him up.’ The puzzling phrase has been variously taken to mean something like ‘it seemed so to them’, or that ‘a likeness was produced for them’, readings that, while they are dictated by the root sense of the words, nevertheless leave the meaning as elusive as ever. Muslim scholars have had much to say about the appropriate way to interpret this passage; many have taken it to mean that Jesus Christ in fact did not die on the cross.11

https://www.str.org/w/jesus-mythicist-finds-no-evidence-jesus-existed-after-excluding-evidence-he-existed
https://earlychurchhistory.org/christian-symbols/why-pollen-on-the-shroud-of-turin-proves-it-is-real/
https://whyevolutionistrue.com/2012/04/20/carrier-finally-responds-to-ehrman-on-the-historicity-of-jesus/
https://www.history.com/news/inside-the-conversion-tactics-of-the-early-christian-church

1. GotQuestions: What was Jesus’ mission?
2. Gregory R. Lanier: “It Was Made to Appear Like that to Them:” Islam’s Denial of Jesus’ Crucifixion 2017
3. Todd Lawson: The Crucifixion and the Qur'an: A Study in the History of Muslim Thought  2014
4. Kenneth Humphreys: jesus never existed 
5. Richard Carrier: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt 2014
6. Richard Carrier Ph.D.: et.al., : Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth.  2013
7. Richard Carrier Ph.D.: Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists 2015
8. Richard Carrier Ph.D.: Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. 2012
9. Kenneth Humphreys: Jesus Never Existed. 2008
10. Wikipedia: Christ myth theory
11. James S. Valliant: Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity. 2016
12. Joseph Atwill: Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. 2005
13. Henry Davis: Creating Christianity - A Weapon Of Ancient Rome 2018
14. Tim Freke: The Jesus Mysteries: Was The Original Jesus A Pagan God? 2000
15. Michael Paulkovich : No Meek Messiah: Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy 2013
16. JONATHAN O'CALLAGHAN FOR MAILONLINE: 'Jesus NEVER existed': Writer finds no mention of Christ in 126 historical texts and says he was a 'mythical character' 2 October 2014
17. Emanuel Tov: The Earliest Text of the Hebrew Bible: The Relationship Between the Masoretic Text and the Hebrew Base of the Septuagint Reconsidered (Septuagint and Cognate Studies Series) 2003
18. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective) 2020
19. Revilo Pendleton Oliver: Reflections on the Christ Myth 1998
20. Arthur Drews: The Christ Myth 1910
21. Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz: The Historical Jesus A Comprehensive Guide 1996

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Claims that the resurrection didn't happen

Jonathan MS Pearce (2021):  The Resurrection: A Critical Examination of the Easter Story
Description: The Resurrection story is integral to the Christian faith; its truth has been crucial for Christians since the inception of the belief system. But did the events reported in the Christian Bible actually happen? How do the claims made by the authors look in light of careful historical analysis? Are the Gospel claims internally coherent? Do Christian believers have justification in believing the chapter and verse of this most famous of miraculous stories?
Historical, philosophical, and biblical exegetical analysis are woven together to form a terminal case against the accuracy, and ultimately truth, of the Easter story.

"No rational and honest scholar of religion or theologian who asserts that the resurrection of Jesus was an actual event would be able to do so without addressing the compelling counterarguments presented by Jonathan Pearce's The Resurrection.... Pearce offers a masterful analysis of the central miracle of Christianity, Jesus's purported return from death.... All of this makes it difficult to refute...that the entire narrative upon which the Christian faith is anchored is a fiction contrived by others long after the purported date of the crucifixion..." - Dr. H. Sidky, Professor of Anthropology, Miami University, and author of Religion, Supernaturalism, the Paranormal and Pseudoscience: An Anthropological Critique

"This is a detailed, clear, and very readable survey of the evidence for the Resurrection, and it makes an overwhelming case for the conclusion that the Resurrection did not happen. It's an extraordinary fact that so many smart, educated people have managed to convince themselves that the historical case for the Resurrection is strong, when it is, patently, ludicrously weak." - Dr. Stephen Law, author of Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole

Response: The existence of early Christian writings that testify to the belief in the Resurrection, such as the letters of Paul, which were written within decades of Jesus' death and contain references to the Resurrection as a central tenet of Christian faith. These writings provide evidence that belief in the Resurrection was not a later invention, but was present from the earliest days of the Christian movement.

The accounts of the Resurrection in the Gospels are internally consistent and show signs of independent authorship. While there are some differences in the details of the accounts, they agree on the essential elements of the story, such as the empty tomb and the appearance of Jesus to his disciples. This suggests that the accounts are based on real events rather than being invented or fabricated.

The fact that the Resurrection was proclaimed in Jerusalem, the very place where Jesus had been crucified, suggests that the claim was not easily dismissed or refuted by those who would have had firsthand knowledge of the events. If the Resurrection had not happened, it is difficult to explain how such a claim could have gained traction in such a hostile environment.

The willingness of the disciples to suffer persecution and even death for their belief in the Resurrection suggests that they were genuinely convinced of its truth. This would have been unlikely if they knew the Resurrection to be a fiction.


According to Islam: Jesus was not crucified

Islam claims that it was not Jesus that was crucified, but that it merely appeared to be so. G. R. Lanier (2017): Of the major theological divides that separate Islam and Christianity, one of the most difficult to pin down is the denial of the crucifixion of Jesus in Muslim tradition. Though the assertion that Jesus did not die on the cross appears in only part of one difficult verse in the Qur’an. Scholars agree that the majority view within Islam is that this verse “affirms categorically that Christ did not die on the cross and that God raised him to Godself.” In fact, the rejection of the crucifixion has “become a sort of shibboleth of orthodoxy,” thus presenting a significant challenge for Muslim-Christian engagement. This dogma is not, however, without its difficulties: it requires rejection of the broad scholarly consensus that the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth outside Jerusalem under the oversight of Pontius Pilate is an indisputable historical fact; it strains exegesis of other parts of the Qur’an and appears to rely on strained exegesis of one verse, and it has spawned a wide range of often speculative and contradictory explanations. By analyzing the textual data and interpretive history, it will be argued that the belief that Jesus was not crucified actually stems from an anti-Jewish polemical passage that was misinterpreted along both Shi’a and Sunni lines and cemented by medieval orthodoxy. In other words, it is not the Qur’an itself that indisputably denies the crucifixion, but the scholars defending Islamic orthodoxy.

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Jesus_12

Once the atomistic reading of Q4:157 was firmly integrated into the eschatological framework of either division of Islam—regardless of the flawed underlying exegesis—it became nearly impossible in practice to question. Though only a single quranic verse mentions the crucifixion, and though any further references in the accepted Hadith and Sunna are quite rare (and absent altogether on the Sunni side), the interpretive tradition of commentators (tafsir) from the Middle Ages onward has been an imposing force in shaping how Muslims read the Qur’an. One could describe it as interpretive inertia: “over successive centuries the discussion of the crucifixion within the Islamic tradition … evolved to accommodate the doctrine of denial in a way which obscured the neutrality of the original Qur’anic position.”2

Todd Lawson (2014): Perhaps no passage in the Qur’an has received more attention from scholars looking for the Islamic scripture’s putative sources than Surat al-Nisa 157-8. On the face of it, the text says of the ‘People of the Book’, in this instance the Jews, that, in spite of their allegation to the contrary, ‘they neither killed nor crucified’ the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, and the Messenger of God. Rather, says the Qur’an, in a still puzzling Arabic phrase that has continued to draw the attention of commentators, shubbiha lahum; and the text goes on to say they did not kill him, ‘God raised him up.’ The puzzling phrase has been variously taken to mean something like ‘it seemed so to them’, or that ‘a likeness was produced for them’, readings that, while they are dictated by the root sense of the words, nevertheless leave the meaning as elusive as ever. Muslim scholars have had much to say about the appropriate way to interpret this passage; many have taken it to mean that Jesus Christ in fact did not die on the cross.11


1

The Shroud of Turin

What is the Shroud? 

The Shroud of Turin is a piece of cloth that is believed by some to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. It is a linen cloth that measures about 14 feet by 3.5 feet. Its average thickness is less than a quarter of a millimeter, around 0.23 mm, and its total weight is about one kilogram. It bears the faint image of a bearded man, with wounds on his hands, feet, and side, who appears to have been crucified. The origins of the Shroud of Turin are unclear, but it is believed to have been in the possession of the House of Savoy, the ruling family of Italy, since the 16th century. The shroud has been a subject of controversy and debate, with some scientists and scholars questioning its authenticity, while others maintain that it is the actual burial cloth of Jesus.

A. Danin: The Shroud of Turin is a linen sheet 443 cm long and 113 cm wide kept in Turin, Italy. There is a human figure on the canvas looking at his belly (ventrally) and looking at his back (dorsally). The character has received multiple studies and dozens of books have been written about it. The researchers dealing with this fabric are called "syndonologists".

Shroudencounter: It bears the faint image of a bearded, crucified man with bloodstains that match the wounds of a crucifixion suffered by Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in all four gospel narratives. It has been in Turin, Italy since 1578, over 400 years. Prior to that, it was in France for another 200 years beginning in 1356. It has been preserved and revered for centuries as the actual burial shroud that wrapped Jesus as recorded in the bible. It was owned from 1450 to 1982 by the royal Savoy family until the former King of Italy, Humberto II passed away and willed it to the Catholic Church. The Shroud has been displayed for numerous public exhibitions over the past 650 years. While in Italy, the Catholic Church acted as custodian of the cloth even though it was officially owned by the Savoys.

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Bible References To The Burial Shroud Of Jesus
1. Matthew 27:59
And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud
2. Mark 15:46
And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
3. Luke 23:53
Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.
4. John 19:40
So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
5. John 20:5
And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
6. John 20:6
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there,
7. John 20:7
and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.

J. G. Marino (2022): The late author John Walsh [The Shroud. (New York: Random House), 1963, xi-xii] made a statement about the Shroud of Turin, the reputed burial cloth of Jesus, which is often cited in Shroud literature. The quote is:

The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence... or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground. 6

Stephen E. Jones: That had already been conceded sixty years earlier in 1903, by then leading Shroud anti-authenticist, English Roman Catholic priest Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856–1939), who admitted, "If this is not the impression of the Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression":

"As to the identity of the body whose image is seen on the Shroud, no question is possible. The five wounds, the cruel flagellation, the punctures encircling the head, can still be clearly distinguished ... If this is not the impression of the Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression. In no other person since the world began could these details be verified" 

More recently, leading Shroud sceptic Steven Schafersman (quoted approvingly by Joe Nickell) admitted that either the Shroud is "a product of human artifice" or "the image is that of Jesus" and there is no "possible third hypothesis":

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"As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson and Stevenson and Habermas go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.'"7

The Mystery Man (2022): The Holy Shroud of Turin is a very expensive piece of herringbone twill-woven linen measuring 430 x 110 cm. It is believed to have wrapped the body of Jesus of Nazareth following his death, and as such is considered a relic of the Christian faith. It displays the imprinted, although somewhat blurry, features of a man with what looks like signs of having been tortured. The left part of the cloth shows a frontal view of the man, the right-hand side shows his back. The passage of time is evident in the burn marks produced during a serious fire that almost destroyed the cloth, but the image of the body and face is still visible. Iconographically, the features have been identified throughout history as those of Jesus Christ. Now conserved in Turin, it poses questions for scientists in all disciplines all over the world. The “body image” (in the darker-colored area defined by the herringbone weft in the cloth) does not go all the way through the material and is only present in a few dozen fibers. It has no outline, brush marks, or traces of pigment. And it is not painted, but rather the result of dehydrating acid oxidation in the linen fibers (see STURP , 1978). In 1976, NASA confirmed the existence of a three-dimensional quality in the whole body that cannot be found in any other image anywhere else in the world. Forensic science has proved that, at some time in its history, the cloth covered a man who had undergone forms of torture consistent with those narrated in the Gospels: the crown of thorns, flagellation, crucifixion and a spear wound to the side. But the different studies carried out to date have still not been able to determine exactly how the strange image was created. No explanations have been found for why it appears as a negative of the image, for its three-dimensionality or for the absence of pigments. The Shroud would appear to be incompatible with any known pictorial, artistic or scientific techniques. The blood on it, however, is compatible with a human corpse. 5

Soon after i converted, I did find the first time information about the Shroud of Turin in the book by Holger Kersten: Jesus Lived in India: His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixion. The book was published before 1985 when I read the book.

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In December 1987 I visited Turin and the royal chapel of the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, where the Shroud has been preserved since 1578. I bought some images available at the store in the church. When I went home, I did hang the image on the wall of my room. Intuitively, I believed that this must be Jesus. The face of the image had a calmness and peace, and nobility that is incredible, and I felt a connection that is difficult to describe.



Last edited by Otangelo on Sun Feb 26, 2023 8:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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161Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Sun Feb 26, 2023 8:22 pm

Otangelo


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Kersten makes ten interesting observations:

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 Then, in 1988 came a disappointment. 

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It was certainly not the result that I expected. But I was always an evidence-oriented person, and without reasons to doubt the result, I concluded that the Shroud had to be a forgery from the middle ages. With that, the issue was settled. Since my faith was based on the Bible, and not a linen cloth, I had no reason to cease believing in Christ, tough. I do not remember exactly when I started to regain interest in the Shroud. But in 2014, I posted at my personal virtual library, reasonandscience.catsboard.com a topic: The Shroud of Turin EXTRAORDINARY evidence of Christ's resurrection. And since then, I have become a firm believer, that the new evidence, that came after the radiocarbon dating c14 from 1988 has changed the picture. The Shroud has become one of my tools of apologetics, and i regard it as striking, undeniable evidence of the historicity, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many lines of reasoning permit us to come to a solid, firm conclusion about the authenticity of the Shroud. Let's give a closer look.  

The historicity of the Shroud

Maybe the most throughout account of the pre-1350 history of the Shroud was compiled by Joe Marino, and published in the paper: Documented References to the Burial Linens of Jesus Prior to the Shroud of Turin’s Appearance in France in the Mid1350s 2. He cites:

2 sources from the 2nd. Century, 1 from the 3rd. Century, 9 from the 4th. Century, 3 from the 5th. Century, 10 from the 6th. Century, 5 from the 7th. Century, 4 from the 8th. Century, 3 from the 9th. Century, 5 from the 10th. Century, 11 from the 11th. Century, 7 from the 12th. Century, and 15 from the 13th century, and 2 from the 14th. Century. In total 77 sources until 1350!! Marino writes in the concluding remarks: Despite conflicting theories of the Shroud’s “pre-history,” there is no doubt there is an abundance of evidence of the purported existence of Jesus’ burial linens.

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the 14th. century 

an adaptation of Stephen E. Jones' text.  4

33 Friday, April 3. Following Jesus' crucifixion and death, His body was taken down from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph then proceeded to wrap Jesus' body in a linen Shroud, known as sindon in Greek, and bound His hands and feet with linen strips, or othonia. Finally, the wrapped body was laid in a cave tomb.

33 Sunday, April 5.  Later, Peter and John entered the tomb and found the linen strips that had been used to wrap Jesus' hands and feet, as well as the facecloth that had been on His head. However, the shroud was missing. Upon seeing the pattern of the graveclothes, John was convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead, just as He had predicted. John believed that Jesus' resurrected body had passed through the linen strips, as they were still tied around Jesus' hands and feet in the same way as before. This meant that Jesus' body was "mechanically transparent." The Gospel of the Hebrews, one of the earliest Christian writings, claimed that Jesus took His shroud with Him out of the tomb and gave it to the "Servant of the Priest," who was likely John.

50 Death of Edessa's King Abgar V. According to the early church historian Eusebius (c. 260-340), King Abgar V (BC 4–AD 50) of Edessa had written to Jesus asking Him to come and heal him and Jesus had replied to Abgar by letter promising that after His resurrection He would send one of His disciples to Edessa to heal Abgar and preach the Gospel. According to Eusebius, Thaddeus, one of the Seventy, did go to Edessa, healed Abgar V from Thaddeus, and commenced Christianity there. While historian J.B. Segal (1912–2003), considered that this account "may well have a substratum of fact," he regarded the part of it about the exchange of letters between Abgar V and Jesus, which Eusebius had personally read in Edessa's archives, was a "pious fraud," which unknown to Eusebius had been inserted into Edessa's archives in the time of Abgar VIII (177 to 212), who was the first Christian king of Edessa. But as will be seen, Eusebius' account says nothing about Abgar V being healed by an image of Jesus on a cloth, which later versions of the Abgar V story do say. The pilgrim Spanish nun Egeria in c.384 recorded that she had seen the text of Jesus' letter to Abgar V affixed to Edessa' city gate.

60 According to the 945 "Official History of the Image of Edessa", King Ma'nu VI reverted to paganism and persecuted Edessa's Christians. To ensure the safety of "the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ not made by hand" which had been fastened to a board and embellished with gold, i.e. the Mandylion (the Shroud "four-doubled" = tetradiplon), was supposedly bricked up above the public gate of Edessa, where it had previously laid, and then was completely forgotten for almost five centuries until its discovery after another major flood in 525. However, this story is most implausible (did Ma'nu VI, or none of his officials, not notice, nor suspect, that the Mandylion they were seeking to destroy, was where it had previously been but only behind fresh brickwork?), and is more likely a "pious fraud" to give the Mandylion/Shroud, which is known in Edessa only from 544, a false back-history to the time of Jesus.

2nd century (101-200)

c. 150 Several second-century Christian writings record that the Shroud had been saved from Jesus' tomb: the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Acts of Pilate / Acts of Nicodemus, the Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Gamaliel. This shows that second-century writers knew the Shroud existed in their day. They disagree about who saved it from the tomb, but they agree that it had been saved.

Here are the relevant quotes from the second-century Christian writings that mention the Shroud:

The Gospel of the Hebrews: "And when the Lord had given the linen cloth unto the servant of the priest, he went unto James and said unto him: 'Take, for the Lord hath risen from the dead and appeared unto Simon.'" (as quoted by Jerome in his Commentary on Matthew)

The Acts of Pilate / Acts of Nicodemus: "The Jews, therefore, said to Nicodemus: 'Thou art his disciple, and hast brought his funeral things hither, that we may not have authority over him.' Nicodemus saith to them: 'The funeral things which I brought hither, I did not bring as his disciple, but to bury him according to the usage of my fathers. And because he had been the benefactor of my life, how should I not have brought them?'" (as translated by M.R. James in The Apocryphal New Testament)

The Gospel of Peter: "But I and my companions were grieved, and being wounded in mind, we hid ourselves: for we were sought after by them as malefactors, and as wishing to set fire to the temple. And in the night in which the Lord's day dawned, when my companions and I were sleeping, there came a great sound from heaven, and the heavens were opened, and a man descended to us, and came and rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulchre, and sat upon it. And he shone with a great light, and he took the linen cloth which was put round the Saviour's head, and the cloth for his body, and laid them in a place by themselves." (as translated by M.R. James in The Apocryphal New Testament)

The Gospel of Gamaliel: "He went in, therefore, and saw the linen cloths lying; but the napkin that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths, but was rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple also entered, who had come first to the tomb, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead." (as quoted by Jerome in his Commentary on Matthew)

Note that the reference to the Shroud is indirect in some of these texts (e.g. the Gospel of Gamaliel), but scholars believe that the "napkin" or "cloth for his body" mentioned in these texts is likely a reference to the Shroud.

177 Accession of Edessa's king Abgar VIII, the Great. Abgar VIII (r. 177-212), also counted as Abgar IX. His full name was Lucius Aelius Septimius Megas Abgarus. He was a ruler of Osroene, a Syriac-speaking kingdom in Upper Mesopotamia, whose capital city was Edessa. Abgar VIII was Edessa's (and presumably the world's) first Christian king, as is evident from some of his coins which were the first to feature a Christian symbol: a prominent Christian cross on his crown (see below).

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Second century Edessan coin, one side with Abgar VIII wearing a crown bearing a Christian cross (right), and on the other side the head of the Roman emperor Commodus (r. 180-192) (left).]

c. 180 Abgar VIII has inserted into Edessa's archives fictitious correspondence between Abgar V and Jesus. This "pious fraud" became the basis of the "Legend of Abgar" which was added to and modified over subsequent centuries as more information about the Shroud became known. But the Abgar-Jesus letters were more likely a verbal request by Abgar and a reply by Jesus which were later transcribed into writing, with embellishments.

Got Questions: The consensus of Bible scholars is that the Letter of King Abgar to Jesus is fraudulent. The document was probably written in the third century AD and then placed where Eusebius would eventually find it. This is not to say that some sort of letter never existed. The question concerns the authorship and date of the letter. It is thought that the basis for the legend surrounding the letter is the Syrian king Abgar IX, who converted to Christianity in the late second century.

Although a fake, the Abgar Letter was believed to be real by many in the third-century church. The letter even found its way into liturgical use. Today, King Abgar is considered a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church (with feasts in his honor on May 11 and October 28) and in the Syriac Orthodox Church (with a feast on August 1).

Biblical Christianity is defined by its authority: the sixty-six-book canon. It has no room for relics, images, or supposed letters from Jesus. The spurious Letter of King Abgar to Jesus is an argument for shunning any addendums, supplements, or additions to Scripture. 8

c. 183  In the first century, the city of Edessa, now known as Urfa and located in southeast Turkey, served as a buffer kingdom between the Parthians in the east and the Romans in the west. Its population was diverse, including Syriac, Greek, Armenian, and Arabic speakers, with a significant Jewish community. By the 6th century, Edessa and the surrounding Assyrian region were home to a thriving Christian population. Most historians agree that Christianity began to gain influence in Edessa in the late 2nd century under the leadership of Abgar VIII, who was known as "The Great." A church sanctuary dating back to 201 AD has been discovered in the city (Segal 1970). However, when the Edessan Christians wrote their history in the 3rd century, they claimed that the Gospel had arrived in the city during the 1st century, brought by a disciple of Jesus named Addai and delivered to King Abgar V, a contemporary of Christ. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, included a brief version of this story from the late 3rd century, which referenced a famous letter from Jesus that was said to be kept in the archives of Edessa (Eusebius 1991: 43-47). During the tolerant rule of Roman Emperor Commodus (180-192), Abgar VIII requested Pope Eleutherus (175-189) to dispatch missionaries to Edessa. Under Abgar VIII's leadership, Edessa became the first Christian city in the world, as attested by a stone Christian cross located above a lion's head, once a fountain and now situated in modern-day Sanliurfa, the former Edessa. Despite the almost complete obliteration of Edessa's Christian past following the Muslim conquest in 1144, this cross has survived as a testament to the city's Christian roots. It is worth noting that the lion was the emblem of the Abgar dynasty, which lost its grip over Edessa after Abgar VIII's death in 212.

3rd century  -  6th century 


When the Edessan Christians wrote their history in the 3rd century, they claimed that the Gospel had arrived in the city during the 1st century, brought by a disciple of Jesus named Addai and delivered to King Abgar V, a contemporary of Christ. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, included a brief version of this story from the late 3rd century, which referenced a famous letter from Jesus that was said to be kept in the archives of Edessa (Eusebius 1991: 43-47). Later, in the 4th century (or possibly early 5th century), a Syriac writer expanded upon this text, resulting in The Teaching of Addai (hereafter referred to as TA). Within this expanded text, there is a small passage in which Abgar, who is corresponding with Jesus through a messenger named Hanan, requests that a picture of Jesus be made.

When Hanan the archivist saw that Jesus had spoken thus to him, he took and painted the portrait of Jesus with choice pigments, since he was the king’s artist, and brought it with him to his lord King Abgar. When King Abgar saw the portrait he received it with great joy and placed it with great honor in one of the buildings of his palaces (Howard 1981: 9 - 10).

The reliability of The TA as a historical document is frequently challenged by contemporary scholars due to several reasons. Nonetheless, some experts admit that there may be a "substratum of fact" within its contents. Although the story contains many anachronisms and interpolations typical of Abgar VIII's era, rather than Abgar V's, certain elements have an authentic period feel to them.

Regarding the Edessa Image, this is the only known reference to it in ancient times. However, it is not sufficient to assume that it was the same as the NT sindon or Turin Shroud. Some scholars argue that it never existed in ancient Edessa, as there is no mention of it by the fourth-century Edessan Church Father Ephrem. Conversely, others believe that it did exist, but was not well-known.

Historian Daniel Scavone suggests that the story was fabricated after the fact, as a means of explaining the presence of the Christ-picture in Edessa when the actual history had been forgotten. The TA may also imply that a distant memory of a Christ picture coming to Edessa during an early evangelization existed in the fourth century. However, due to persecution, the image had to be concealed and may have even been lost, with only vague memories surviving by that time.

While the existence of the Edessa Image in ancient times remains a matter of debate, many scholars agree that there is enough proof for its existence in the 6th century. The principal source is Evagrius' Greek Ecclesiastical History, which dates back to around 595. The account describes how the Edessans attempted to resist a Persian siege in 544. In an effort to burn down a wooden siege ramp built by the enemy to breach their walls, the Edessans dug underneath it and piled up wood. However, their attempts failed as the wood did not get enough air to catch fire.

So, when they came to complete despair, they brought the divinely created image, which human hands had not made, the one that Christ the God sent to Abgar .... Then, when they brought the all-holy image into the channel they had created and sprinkled it with water, they applied some to the pyre and the timbers. And at once ... the timbers caught fire ... (Whitby 2000: 226 – 227).

It is widely accepted among scholars that the siege ramp was destroyed and the city was saved, although the miraculous elements of the story are often questioned. In the 6th century, the icon gained significant recognition as "The Holy Image Not Made With Hands of Edessa," with some scholars, including Wilson, suggesting its appearance to be between 525 and 530. However, unlike in The TA, the image was generally no longer regarded as a product of human craftsmanship, but rather as a divine imprint created by Christ himself. The Acts of Thaddaeus, another Greek text from the 6th century (or possibly based on a 6th century Syriac original), describes this new understanding of the picture's origin. According to this account, which is a brief retelling of the Gospel's arrival in Edessa during the time of Abgar V, the king's messenger Ananais was unable to paint Jesus.

And He [Jesus] knew as knowing the heart, and asked to wash Himself; and a towel was given Him; and when He washed Himself, He wiped His face with it. And His image having been imprinted upon the linen, He gave it to Ananias ... (Roberts and Donaldson 1951: 558).

Upon reading the AT account, Ian Wilson discovered that Jesus was given a piece of cloth called a rakos, which was folded in four layers (known as tetradiplon), onto which his face was imprinted. The words rakos and sindon were commonly used, but tetradiplon was a rare term and was only associated with the Edessa Image. Wilson realized that by simply folding the Shroud of Turin into three width-wide folds, he could create a cloth with four two-fold layers, with the final panel showing only the face of the Shroud's image and the remaining body images hidden within the folds. He also noticed that the earliest depictions of the entire Icon (from the 10th to 13th centuries) showed only the face on a rectangular cloth, viewed through a circular opening in a slipcover, and usually in a landscape shape rather than the usual portrait shape. These observations led Wilson to a sudden realization about the Shroud's history and its influence on Christian art.

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By performing three basic width-wide foldings (2, 3, 4), the Shroud (1) can be transformed into a final panel (5) that only displays the face. When enclosed in a slipcover, it bears a striking resemblance to the earliest depictions of the Edessa Icon (6), which are typically portrayed within a rectangular frame and display only the face in a circular opening.

Wilson's initial findings on the Edessa Image came from the Greek texts of Evagrius’ Ecclesiastical History and the anonymous Acts of Thaddeus, which date back to the 6th century. Recently, the discovery of discarded Georgian texts at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt has further corroborated this historical reconstruction. These texts confirm that Assyrian monks, including Theodosius, a monk from Edessa in charge of the Edessa Icon, evangelized Georgia in the 6th century. Theodosius and a companion were also known for painting religious art, making them rare examples of individuals engaged in “icon evangelism” during this time. Furthermore, the Syriac Acts of Mar Mari the Apostle, believed to date back to the 6th century, briefly describes the miraculous origins of the Icon, with Jesus said to have imprinted his image on a linen cloth. Despite occasional skepticism in academic circles, the existence of the Holy Image of Edessa has been well-documented since at least the 6th century.

The Image's significance continued to be illuminated by Syriac traditions and documents over the course of the next three centuries. Archbishop Gewargis Silwa of the Church of the East in Iraq recently revealed an unpublished letter from the mid-7th century directed towards Nestorian Christians in Edessa, which described the city as a "sanctified throne for the Image of his adorable face and his glorified incarnation." This almost certainly refers to the Icon (Wilson 2001: 34 – 35). In the 8th and 9th centuries, Jacobite Patriarch Dionysius of Tell-Machre, from a nearby town to Edessa, recalled that the Image of Edessa had been in the hands of the orthodox Christian community since the late 6th century. His account matched that of the Acts of Mari, which described Jesus creating his image on a shwshaepha (piece of cloth or towel) (Drijvers 1997: 21 – 26). These stories are nearly identical to the account of the creation of the image in the Acts of Thaddeus, but without any mention of a term such as tetradiplon. One story that Dionysius recounted from his grandfather involved a clever artist in the employ of the wealthy Athanasius bar Gumoye who created an exact copy of the Image by dulling the paints of the original to make them appear old. The artist then tricked the original owners, the Orthodox Christian community, by swapping the copy for the original. This event likely occurred at the end of the 7th century, suggesting that the Image had been venerated for a significant length of time and that copies were being made. The need to "dull the paints" indicated to Wilson not just age, but also the indistinct and faint image that is typical of the Shroud face. Two texts from the early 8th century demonstrate that the Edessa Image remained an important religious object. Manuscript BL Oriental 8606, dated to 723, referred to the Church where the Image was kept as "The House of the Icon of the Lord," and scholar Hans Drijvers knows of an unpublished text from the early 8th century in which an Arab acknowledges having heard of the image created by Christ and sent to King Abgar in a dispute with a Christian monk (Drijvers 1997: 27-28).

201 A major flood of its river devastates Edessa, thousands die, and the "church of the Christians" is damaged. This is the first mention anywhere of a Christian church building and is further evidence that Edessa had become a Christian city.

202 As a reward for assisting Rome in its war with Parthia, Abgar VIII was invited to Rome in 202, which he visited after 204.

205 Following the flood of 201, in 205 Abgar VIII built on higher ground within the walls of the old Edessa, a new walled Citadel, called "Birtha" in Syriac.


c. 315 Roman Empress Constantia (c.293-330), the half-sister of Emperor Constantine the Great (c.272–337), wrote to the church historian, Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (260-339), asking him to send her an "image of Christ." Constantia's letter is lost but from Eusebius' reply, she seems to be asking for a specific image of Christ, presumably the Mandylion/Shroud. This is supported by Eusebius' reply in which, instead of simply answering Constantia along the lines of, "Sorry, but I don't have an image of Christ to send to you," he gave a long-winded refusal which indicated that Eusebius knew which image Constantia meant, but he needed to find a way to refuse Constantine's half-sister's request without actually saying "no". This is further evidence that the Mandylion/Shroud existed in the fourth century, known in Christian circles, but hidden from those who would seize it.

c. 330 Athanasius (c. 296–373), who was bishop of Alexandria from 328 to 373, affirmed in the times of Constantine the Great (c.272–337), who was Roman Emperor from 306-337, that a sacred Christ-icon, traceable to Jerusalem in the year 68, was then present in Syria, when Syria did not include Edessa.

Athanasius, in his work "On the Incarnation," wrote that a sacred Christ-icon, which he identified as the image of Christ not made by human hands, was present in Syria and that it had been handed down from the apostolic times. Athanasius traced the history of the icon to the time of King Abgar of Edessa and stated that it had been preserved in a church in the Syrian city of Hierapolis.

337 Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, abolished crucifixion throughout the Roman Empire in 337 out of veneration for Jesus, the crucifixion's most famous victim. Crucifixion continued to be banned in the remnants of the Roman Empire which included Europe. Neither the Bible, nor writers in the Roman era, described crucifixion in detail, presumably because everyone then knew those details, and crucifixion was so abhorrent. Therefore a medieval European forger, ~1000 years later, would not know enough about Roman crucifixion to depict it accurately as it is on the Shroud.





c. 338 St. Nino (c. 296–340), spent her youth in Jerusalem from c. 308. In 338 she wrote in her memoirs that she had been told that the linen strips (othonia - Lk 24:12; Jn 11:44) had been taken by Pilate's wife, who took them to Pontus, but later they were brought back to Jerusalem. The soudarion - Jn 20:7, Nino had heard, had been taken by Peter, but it was not by then known where it was.

525 Edessa suffered a major flood of its river, the Daisan ("the Leaper"), killing one-third of the city's population (about 30,000) and destroying buildings, including the cathedral, and much of the city's wall. The city, its wall, and a new Hagia Sophia ("Holy Wisdom") cathedral, were then rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Justin I (r.518 to 527), although the actual work was carried out by his nephew and future Emperor, Justinian I (r.527-565). The Mandylion/Shroud, had been hidden in the city wall above Edessa's public gate, early in the reign of Abgar V's pagan grandson [Ma'nu VI (r.57–71)], then been completely forgotten, and was not rediscovered until the 544 siege of Edessa by the Persian King Khosrow I (r. 531-579), aka. Chosroes I, which was in 544.  However this story of the Mandylion/Shroud having been hidden in Edessa's wall, completely forgotten, for almost 500 years, contains multiple implausibilities. Likewise Ian Wilson's theory, based on that `Official History' story, that the Mandylion/Shroud was discovered in, or soon after 525, during the rebuilding of Edessa's flood-damaged wall, suffers from the same multiple implausibilities and it does not even have the support of the `Official History' that the Mandylion/ Shroud was discovered during the Persian siege of Edessa.

544 Persian king Khosrow I lays siege to Edessa. It is a fact of history that in 544 Persian King Khosrow I (aka Chosroes I) besieged Edessa but the city resisted the siege and the Persians were "forced to retreat from Edessa":

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On the left, Rome, and on the right, Ravenna. The Byzantines, who were the successors of Rome in Eastern Christianity, constructed some of the earliest examples of new type of mosaics. These beautiful mosaics can be found in Ravenna, Italy and date back to the early 540s.

During the early centuries of Christianity, artists portrayed Jesus in a variety of different styles. However, the most common depiction of Jesus during this time was that of a youthful, beardless figure with a Hellenistic-Roman appearance. This particular portrayal of Jesus was heavily influenced by the cultural and artistic trends of the time, as well as the theological and philosophical beliefs of the early Christian church. The Hellenistic-Roman appearance of Jesus depicted in these early artworks was characterized by a symmetrical face, idealized features, and a youthful, athletic physique. This was in line with the idealized beauty standards of the time, which were heavily influenced by Greek and Roman art and culture. The portrayal of Jesus as a beardless figure was also significant, as it emphasized his youthfulness and purity. Beardlessness was associated with youth and innocence in ancient Mediterranean cultures, and was often depicted in art as a symbol of these qualities.

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The depiction of Christ in the  Hinton St Mary Mosaic from the 4th century AD presents Him as a conventional, beardless young man with a Hellenistic-Roman appearance. The mosaic was discovered in 1963 in Hinton St Mary, Dorset, England. It is a Roman mosaic of considerable size that is almost entirely intact. It is believed to have a portrait bust of Jesus Christ as its central motif, and it is one of the oldest known depiction of Jesus anywhere in the Roman Empire.

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After this year, the visual changed, Christ face became more elongated, with long hair, and beard, as depicted in the image above, Church of Saint Sophie, Constantinople


Before 544AD, Jesus was mostly depicted with short hair and no beard. That changed started to change in the 6th century and became more prevalent during the Byzantine era.

"Khosrow turned south towards Edessa and besieged the city. Edessa was now a much more important city than Antioch was, but the garrison which occupied the city was able to resist the siege. The Persians were forced to retreat from Edessa ..."

Historian Evagrius Scholasticus (c.536-594), recorded in c.593 [see below "c. 593"] in his Ecclesiastical History that the Persians built a huge mound of timber higher than Edessa's wall, that was to be moved next to the wall from which his army could attack the city. The Edessans countered by tunneling under the wall with the aim of setting the mound on fire from below before it could be moved forward to the wall. Evagrius described the crucial role of "the divinely made image not made by the hands of man" (the Mandylion/Shroud) in the defense of the city:

"The mine was completed; but they [the Edessans] failed in attempting to fire the wood, because the fire, having no exit whence it could obtain a supply of air, was unable to take hold of it. In this state of utter perplexity they brought out the divinely made image not made by the hands of man, which Christ our God sent to King Abgar when he desired to see him. Accordingly, having introduced this sacred likeness into the mine and washed it over with water, they sprinkled some upon the timber ... the timber immediately caught the flame, and being in an instant reduced to cinders, communicated with that above, and the fire spread in all directions".

Evagrius' "not made by the hands of man" is the Greek word acheiropoietos, lit. a = "not" + cheiro = "hands" + poietos = "made" (Mk 14:58; 2Cor 5:1; Col 2:11)[33], which is the first known application of that word to the Mandylion/Shroud and is the first historical evidence that the Mandylion/Shroud was in Edessa by 544. Evagrius' account says that the "divinely made image not made by the hands of man," had been "sent to King Abgar" by Christ, but this is false (although Evagrius may have believed it to be true), since not only is the original Abgar V story a "pious fraud," it said nothing about an image of Jesus on a cloth[see ". According to the 945 `Official History,' it was during the Persian siege of 544 that Edessa's bishop Eulalius was led in a vision to find where "the divinely created image of Christ ... lay hidden in the place above the city gates". However that is part of the Abgar V pious fraud and is self-evidently highly implausible. Moreover, there is no bishop Eulalius known in the actual history of Edessa. And if a bishop of Edessa had discovered "the divinely made image not made by the hands of man" hidden above Edessa's gate during the Persian siege of 544, Evagrius would surely have mentioned it. A Syriac "Edessan Chronicle," written after 540 and just before the 544 siege mentions the 525 Edessa flood in detail, but says nothing about the rediscovery of an Image, which is strong evidence against Wilson's theory that the Mandylion/Shroud was rediscovered in the aftermath of the flood of 525. So since Evagrius introduces the Image as already known to be at Edessa in 544, but with no viable explanation how it came to be there, the most likely (if not the only) explanation is that it had arrived in Edessa from elsewhere, shortly before 544, as my theory proposes. Secular historian Procopius of Caesarea (c.500–c.554) also wrote about Edessa's repulse of the 544 Persian siege, by digging a tunnel underneath the Persian siege tower, filling the tunnel with inflammable material and setting fire to it, which in turn consumed the tower, but Procopius did not mention anything about an Image. However, there are a number of important events in Edessa's history which Procopius does not mention, so he may simply have not known of the role of the Image in the siege. Also, Procopius was writing secular history, and he himself was a skeptic who was not interested in recording such things.




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c. 550 Christ Pantocrator, St Catherine's monastery, Sinai. This encaustic (hot coloured wax) on wood (a technique which died out and became lost in the eight century) icon of Christ Pantocrator ("ruler of all") at the isolated Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, and so escaped the iconoclasm (Gk. eikon = "image" + klastes = "breaker") of of the eighth through ninth centuries. Dated c. 550, this icon was a gift from the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (c.482–565), who built the monastery between 548 and 565. This is the earliest surviving painted icon of Christ. It is nearly perfectly congruent to the Shroud-face, for example the high right eyebrow, the hollow right cheek, and the garment neckline. So marked are these oddities, that the late Princeton University art historian, Professor Kurt Weitzmann (1904-1993), while making no connection with the Shroud, remarked of this icon that:

"... the pupils of the eyes are not at the same level; the eyebrow over Christ's left eye is arched higher than over his right ... one side of the mustache droops at a slightly different angle from the other, while the beard is combed in the opposite direction ... Many of these subtleties remain attached to this particular type of Christ image and can be seen in later copies ..."

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There are some similarities between the image on the Shroud of Turin and the depiction of Jesus in the Christ Pantocrator icon. Here are some of the similarities:
Facial Features: The facial features of the Christ Pantocrator icon and the man on the Shroud of Turin share some similarities, such as a prominent nose, a beard, and long hair. Some have also noted that the eyes of the Christ Pantocrator and the man on the Shroud appear to have a similar expression. Physical Proportions: The Christ Pantocrator icon depicts Jesus with a long, slender face and a narrow jawline, which is similar to the face on the Shroud of Turin. The proportions of the face and body in the icon are also similar to those seen in the image on the shroud.

Using his polarized image overlay technique, Dr Alan Whanger found over 200 points of congruence between this icon and the Shroud. Even creases and wrinkles on the Shroud cloth have been rendered by the artist. Flower images in the halo around the head (nimbus) of this icon are found at the same locations on the Shroud. The artist has even rendered the xray images of the Shroud man's teeth as chapped lips! This means that this icon must have been copied directly from the Mandylion/Shroud in the mid-sixth century and so, once again, refutes the radiocarbon dating's 14th-century date of the Shroud.

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7th century (601-700)


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614 The Sudarium of Oviedo, the "face cloth" or "napkin" in John. The Holy Chest (or Arca Santa) in which the Sudarium was transported from Jerusalem in 614, via Alexandria, to Cartagena and Seville in Spain in 616; taken to the Monastery of San Vicente near Oviedo in 761, deposited in the Holy Chamber (Camara Santa), which is within today's Oviedo Cathedral, by King Alfonso II (r. 783, 791-842) in c.812, opened by Bishop Ponce (1025–1028) in 1030 and again opened by King Alfonso IV (1040–1109) in 1075. Sudarium of Oviedo was kept was officially opened in the presence of [url=http:]King Alfonso VI (r. 1077-1109)[/url], his sister Doña Urraca (c.1033–1101), Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (c. 1040–1099) (aka El Cid) and a number of bishops. This official act was recorded in a document which is now kept in the archives of the cathedral in Oviedo. The bloodstains on the face and back of the head of the Sudarium of Oviedo are so similar in appearance to those on the corresponding parts of the Shroud, that the two cloths must have been in contact with the same wounded body within the same short time period. And since the Sudarium has been in Spain since the early seventh century, and certainly since 1075, this is further evidence that the "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud was wrong!

631, St. Braulion, the Bishop of Saragossa, a learned and prudent man, in his letter No. XLII (P.L.t. LXXX, 689), writes, as if telling of something which had been well known for a long time, “de sudario quo corpus Domini est involutum, of the winding-sheet in which the body of the Lord was wrapped.” And he adds: “The Scriptures do not tell us that it was preserved, but one cannot call those superstitious who believe in the authenticity of this winding-sheet” A winding-sheet which had been wrapped round the body of Jesus could only be a shroud 11

633 The Mozarabic Rite of Roman Catholics living under Muslim rule in Iberian Spain, which may have originated in the sixth century under Saint Leandro, Bishop of Seville (c.534–601), was given its final form in 633 at the Fourth Council of Toledo, Spain. The Illatio or preface of the rite states, "Peter ran to the tomb with John and saw the recent imprints of the dead and risen one on the cloths".

639 Edessa was conquered by the Muslim army under the Rashidun Caliphate. The Image of Edessa/Shroud which was in Edessa fell under Muslim control and remained so for over 300 years until 943. The conquest was peaceable and indeed Edessa's Syriac-speaking population were happy to be liberated from the Greek-speaking Byzantine rule from Constantinople. In return, Edessan Christians were allowed by their Muslim overlords to continue their religious observances, including veneration of the Image of Edessa/Shroud, and Edessa's Hagia Sophia cathedral was preserved.

680 A Bishop Arculf of Perigueux, France, returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in about 680, was shipwrecked on the island of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides. Arculf recounted his pilgrimage to the Abbot of Iona Abbey, Irish scholar and saint Adamnan (c. 624–704), who recorded it in his De Locis Sanctis ("On Holy Places"), completed in 698. In particular, Adamnan recorded in Latin that in Jerusalem Arculf had seen, "the sudarium of our Lord which was placed over his head in the tomb". However, Arculf described this cloth as "eight foot long", which is much shorter than the Shroud's fourteen feet. It cannot have been the Shroud folded in two because that would have been 7 feet long, and besides Arculf stated that he had kissed this "sudarium" and that close up he would have noticed that it was folded. It also cannot have been the "face cloth" or "napkin" [Greek soudarion] of John 20:7 (see on the Sudarium of Oviedo above), because that would have been a much smaller cloth. Finally, Arculf did not mention that this "sudarium" had an image of Jesus imprinted on it, which he surely would have, had there been one. Since Latin had no word of its own for the Greek sindon used of the Shroud in the gospels (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53), it was a common confusion in Latin writers that the word "sudarium" was used to mean the much larger Shroud. Some have speculated that what Arculf saw was a single sided copy of the Shroud, such as the Besançon or the Compiegne shroud, but they both had images. So it seems that what Arculf saw was a piece of cloth that had acquired the false reputation of being either the Shroud or the Sudarium. Either way, it is a further testimony to the common knowledge among early Christians that Jesus' burial cloths had been recovered from His tomb and existed in their day!

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Gold solidus coin, minted 692-95 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian II (668–711). The face of Jesus on the coin has many "Vignon markings" features found on the face of the man on Shroud, including wrinkles in the Shroud cloth, proving beyond reasonable doubt that the 7th century designer of this coin had the Shroud as his model!

692 Between 692 and 695 Byzantine Emperor Justinian II (668–711) minted tremissis and solidus coins bearing an image of Jesus' face. The coins are inscribed "Jesu Christu, Rex Regnantium" ("Jesus Christ, King of Kings"). They are therefore in the category of Christ Pantocrator [Greek pan "all" and kratos "rule," hence "all-ruling one," "Almighty" (2Cor 6:18; Rev 1:8; 4:8;11:17; 15:3; 16:7,14; 19:6,15; 21:22)] icons. These were the first coins to bear Jesus' image.

Note that the c.692 solidus coin above depicts as tassels on Jesus' garment what are wrinkles around the neck of the Shroud man! Also note that above the tassels on the coin it depicts three protuber- ances which are also on the Shroud, the middle one on both being Jesus' and the man's Adam's apple (see Enrie negative)!] These resemblances include long hair that falls behind the shoulders, a long forked beard, a moustache, and a small tuft on the forehead where there is a `reversed 3' bloodstain on the Shroud using his polarized image overlay technique, Dr Alan Whanger found at least 65 points of congruence between this coin and the Shroud face. Yet in a court of law, only 14 points of congruence are sufficient to determine the identity of fingerprints, tire tracks, etc. Even wrinkles in the Shroud fabric were reproduced on the coin!

8th century (701-800)

787 The iconoclasm of Leo III was continued by his son Constantine V Coproymos (741–775), and grandson Leo IV the Khazar (r. 775–780). It was only after the death of Leo IV that the first period of iconoclasm was brought to an end in 787 by the Second Council of Nicaea, the last of the first seven ecumenical councils of the whole Christian church, both East and West. The Council debated the veneration of holy images and in particular about the Image of Edessa not having been produced by the hand of man. Leo, Lector of Constantinople's Hagia Sophia Cathedral, reported to the Council that he had visited Edessa and seen there "the holy image made without hands and adored by the faithful". The Council endorsed the veneration of images, and in particular the Image of Edessa, the "one `not made by human hands' [acheiropoieton] that was sent to Abgar". It was the main argument used by the bishops to defend the legitimacy of the use of sacred images and to which the iconoclast bishops had no reply.


1. Holger Kersten:  Jesus Lived in India: His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixion 2001
2. Joe Marino: Documented References to the Burial Linens of Jesus Prior to the Shroud of Turin’s Appearance in France in the Mid1350s  2022
3. Whocanhebe: The history of the Shroud
4. Stephen E. Jones: Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the present: 1st century JULY 24, 2016
5. The Mystery Man Exhibition
6. Joseph G. Marino: If an Artist Created the Shroud of Turin: Some Specific March 13, 2022
7. Stephen E. Jones: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!
8. GotQuestions: What is the Letter of King Abgar to Jesus?
9. John Long: THE SHROUD OF TURIN'S EARLIER HISTORY: PART TWO - TO THE GREAT CITY 20 March 2013
10. Shroudencounter: The Shroud of Turin The most analyzed artifact in the world 
11. Pierre Barbet : A Doctor at Calvary: The Passion of

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162Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Sun Feb 26, 2023 8:36 pm

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Problems for the forgery theory: No known artist has ever used blood to depict blood. Heller, who had been a Professor of Internal Medicine at Yale asked several professors of art history at Yale and Harvard if they knew of any artist, fourteenth century or earlier, who had used blood to paint blood and their answer was uniformly negative. Reasons, why artists would not use blood to depict blood, include: artists sought permanent colors and blood was not long-lasting; and normal blood quickly turns dark, due to the cause of its red colour, hemoglobin, being oxidized in air and becoming methemoglobin, which is bluish-brown in color No artist has ever depicted Jesus's wounds with clotted blood but only with free-flowing blood. Since the bloodstains on the Shroud are real, human, clotted blood, its artist/forger would have had to have a supply of traumatic clotted blood exudates from a human and then painted them in a forensically correct manner as they are on the Shroud. He would have needed to take that clotted blood exudate within a 20-minute period after the clotting had begun. He then would have had to paint it on the cloth with the thousands of blood serum edges, which are only clearly visible in ultraviolet light, and with all the other forensic precision that is characteristic of the blood on the Shroud. Since the serum exudate rings are only obviously evident under ultraviolet a medieval or earlier forger would not only require a knowledge of the physiology of clot retraction but would also have produced images of serum rings that are only obviously evident under ultraviolet light. But in the 1350s when the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history, no one had medical knowledge of the details of blood clotting. 10

Barrie Schwortz was a member of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (often abbreviated as STURP) a team of scientists which performed a set of experiments and analyses on the Shroud of Turin during the late 1970s and early 1980s. STURP issued its final report in 1981.

After 18 years as a skeptic, in 1995, when confronted with the evidence that the blood on the shroud was of a tortured man, he became convinced of the authenticity of the Shroud and came to believe that the man on the Shroud is Jesus. "At the beginning of my work, I was very skeptical about its authenticity. I felt no particular emotion toward Jesus because I was raised as an orthodox jew. The only thing I knew about Jesus was that he was a jew, and this was all ". After 18 years of study, the full conviction came when "the Blood Chemistry Allen Adler, another jew who was part of the study group, I explained why the red blood remained on the Shroud. The old blood would have to be black or brown, while the blood on the Shroud is a red-crimson. It seemed inexplicable, instead it was the last piece of the puzzle. After nearly 20 years of investigation, it was a shock for me to discover that the piece of cloth was the authentic cloth that had been wrapped the body of Jesus. The conclusions I arrived were based exclusively on scientific observation ".11

Messengersaintanthony (2003): Most bloodstains on the Shroud are exudates from clotted wounds transferred to the cloth by contact with a wounded human body.
The blood on the Shroud is real, human male blood of type AB (typed by Dr. Baima Ballone in Turin and confirmed in the U.S.).  This blood type is rare (about 3% of the world population), with the frequency varying from one region to another.  Blood chemist Dr. Alan Adler (University of Western Connecticut) and the late Dr. John Heller (New England Institute of Medicine) found a high concentration of the pigment bilirubin, consistent with someone dying under great stress or trauma and making the color redder than normal ancient blood.  Drs. Victor and Nancy Tryon of the University of Texas Health Science Center found X & Y chromosomes representing male blood and "degraded DNA" (approximately 700 base pairs) "consistent with the supposition of ancient blood."

The wound on the wrist appears on the Shroud as a simple blood stain. But if you pass an optical fiber between the cloth and the protective lining which was stitched to the Shroud in Chambéry in 1532, and photograph it from behind, the wound appears to be square. Due to dehydration, Jesus’ blood was very dense. Only in the place where the nail was removed was the blood sufficiently liquid to leave a trace, on the back of the cloth. There is a church in Rome, the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, where some objects of the Passion were donated by Saint Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine. She had found them at Golgotha, where her son had conducted the first archaeological dig in history, thereby discovering Jesus’ tomb, over which the emperor Hadrian had built a huge pagan temple. Only centuries later was doubt first cast upon these relics which, up to then, had always been considered authentic. One of these relics was a nail said to have held Jesus to the cross.

I was overcome with emotion on discovering that the wound inflicted upon the ‘Man of the Shroud’ by the nail planted in his wrist, exactly one-centimeter square, corresponds to the size of the nail found by Saint Helen. What is more, one of the other relics kept in the Church of the Holy Cross is a length of wood said to have been placed over the Cross with the name of the condemned man. On it, in Hebrew (written from right to left), Greek, and Latin, is ‘Jesus the Nazarene’.12

Blood on the Shroud 

Forensic doctor Baima Bollone was the only qualified expert who picked up in person and analyzed the blood from the threads of the ST. In the conclusion of the paper he wrote “Sui fili di macchie di ‘sangue’ sono inoltre presenti più corposi apporti di materiale di contenuto minerale corrispondente a quello di macchie sperimentali ottenute con miscele di sangue, aloe, mirra e saponina. Le indagini di ematologia forense risultano dimostrative per la presenza di sangue”. Our translation: “On the threads of 'blood' stains a larger quantity of mineral-based material is also present, which corresponds to that of experimental stains made by mixtures of blood, aloe, myrrh and saponin. Forensic investigations of haematology are demonstrative for the presence of blood”

Other important tests were carried out by Heller and Adler on threads and fibrils much smaller than those of Bollone, which confirmed the presence of blood. The most recent critical review paper on blood-related issue can be found in [37]. In this paper Kearse comments on studies by Bollone, Heller and Adler that demonstrate bloodstained fibres of the Shroud contain (human) albumin and immunoglobulin and human antibody of the IgG class, consistent with the presence of real blood. Concerning blood type AB on the Shroud, it was demonstrated using a forward typing approach only (which measures red cell antigens). In fresh blood, confirmation by additional tests known as reverse typing (which measures antibodies in serum) is necessary. Unfortunately, reverse typing tests in aged blood are somewhat problematic. They rely on antibodies both being present and maintaining a functional, working conformation over time. In aged samples of type AB, it is difficult recognising if the antibodies were never there to begin with or were once present but degraded over time. In conclusion, according to [37] human blood on the TS needs to be conclusively demonstrated, to extend the current immunological evidence beyond primate.17
 
1. Dominic Selwood: If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created 27 April 2015
2. Joseph G. Marino: The c. 1389 d'Arcis Memorandum and the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2022
3. Stephen E. Jones: Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F (2016):
4. Robert K. Wilcox: Shroud 1978
5. Noel Currer-Briggs: The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ  1984
6. Wikipedia: Alexamenos graffito
7. ANDREA TORNIELLI: Shroud, new study: there is blood of a man tortured and killed 11 Luglio 2017
8. The PLOS ONE Editors: Retraction: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud 2018 Jul 19
9. ecarlino: Reply to Retraction of the paper “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud” by all the authors of the paper 26 Jul 2018
10. Stephen E. Jones: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! DECEMBER 26, 2015
11. TED Talk: The Shroud and the jew: Barrie Schwortz at TEDx ViadellaConciliazione 2013
12. Messengersaintanthony: The Man of the Shroud has a name! February 07 2003
13. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective)2020
14. Kelly P Kearse: Ultraviolet fluorescent detection of elevated bilirubin in dried blood serum September 23, 2022
15. Giulio Fanti: A Reexamination of the Pigment-Reinforcement Hypothesis of the Turin Shroud’s Bloodstains 06 November 2021
16. Jean de Climont: THE MYSTERIES OF THE  SHROUD
17. Paolo Di Lazzaro: A Ray of Light on the Shroud of Turin Conference Paper · June 2015
18. Orit Shamira: A burial textile from the first century CE in Jerusalem compared to roman textiles in the land

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Otangelo


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Overall, while Borrini and Garlaschelli's study raises some interesting questions about the origins of the Shroud of Turin, it does not definitively prove that the shroud is a forgery. 

Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages. That materials were available in the middle ages does not mean that someone then could have reproduced the Shroud. For starters it was not known the Shroud was a photographic negative until the end of the 19th century. They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. Note the "rubbed it." That means the pigment and acid marks on Garlaschelli's shroud's image would have, like all known works of human art, directionality. But the Shroud of Turin has no directionality:

Habermas (1987): "Still further, the shroud image is nondirectional. Now if one is going to put paint on a cloth, one moves the hand from side to side. When one gets tired, one often starts moving the hand up and down. But even if one only moves from side to side all of the time, that is directionality. One cannot generally apply paint without directionality. If one uses a spray gun it still involves directionality. But there is no directionality on the shroud image."14 

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Garlas10
Garlaschelli's replica compared to the Shroud of Turin

L. Garlaschelli: In this paper we have briefly reviewed the history of the Shroud, the analyses that were performed on it, the unusual characteristics of its image, and the hypotheses of its formation. The most likely explanation, in our opinion, is that the image, as it can be seen today, is a chemical etching of the cellulose of the linen fibers. This degradation can be accounted for by non-neutral impurities contained in the ochre that a medieval artist used to generate the image by a simple rubbing technique. The original pigment came off during the many years of the Shroud’s history, leaving the well-known ghostly weak image. This hypothesis, originally put forward by Nickell, had never been tested experimentally. We have now shown that full-size Shroud-like images can be produced by a rubbing technique on a human body; the face, however, must be obtained from a bas-relief to avoid the inescapable wrap-around distortion. We have also shown that pigments containing traces of acidic compounds can be artificially aged after the rubbing step in such a way that when the pigment is removed, an image is obtained that has most of the characteristics of the Shroud of Turin: it is a pseudo negative; it is fuzzy, with halftones; it resides on the topmost fibers of the cloth; it has some 3D embedded properties, and it does not fluoresce. Thus, the aim of our experiments reported in this article is to suggest a plausible mechanism for the image formation rather than to achieve a perfect reproduction. We believe, however, that our attempts represent an interesting addition to the ongoing debate on this maybe-not-so-“impossible” image 15

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Fake_210

A mask was used for the face. ... The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries. Note again "similar to" not "identical to"! And Garlaschelli's "the pigment on the original Shroud faded" is a tacit admission by him that there is no pigment on the Shroud of Turin: 

Habermas (1987)"We do not have to know how somebody could have painted it, but science is adept at finding paint when it is present. But first, if the scientists have come up with one major conclusion, it is that the shroud is not a known fake. There is no paint, dye, powder, or other foreign substance on the image fibrils that could account for the image. Microchemical analyses revealed no paints or pigments ... A 1982 report from a team of scientists, released at a New London, Connecticut, meeting, states that, `No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found in the fibrils.' [Press Release, The Shroud of Turin Research Project, 8 October 1981] So again, we could falsify the shroud if there was paint. But they have not found any ... The shroud image does not appear to be painted at all."14 

but there is pigment on his shroud. After all, what is Garlaschelli's "fuzzy, half-tone image" if it is not a residue of the "pigment containing traces of acid" that he applied and then mostly washed off his shroud?

They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect. Here is a major difference between Garlaschelli's shroud and the Shroud of Turin. Garlaschelli "added blood stains" to his shroud after the image was created, but the blood on the Shroud of Turin is before its image, i.e. there is no image under its bloodstains (which fits the Shroud being Jesus' and its image being imprinted by His resurrection):

Barrie Schwortz also noticed this major discrepancy (amongst others) (2009): "It has been demonstrated scientifically that the bloodstains on the Shroud came from direct contact with a body and are all forensically accurate. It has also been shown that the bloodstains were on the Shroud BEFORE the image was formed since the blood and serum acted to inhibit the image formation mechanism. There is NO image under the blood and serum stains on the Shroud. However, to make this new `reproduction,' the `blood' was added (using a different pigment) AFTER the image was created. Obviously, it is much easier to add the blood to the image than to first create the blood stains and then create the forensically accurate image around them, which is exactly what a medieval forger would have had to do to duplicate the actual physical properties of the Shroud! Many of the bloodstains on the Shroud show a surrounding halo of serum stains that are ONLY visible with UV fluorescence photography. Also, the blood has been chemically analyzed and determined to include components of actual blood, NOT pigment." 16

An ingenious method of duplicating The Shroud



Listen Notes (2019): N.D. Wilson’s amazing 2005 article in Christianity Today, entitled “Father Brown fakes The Shroud” is a must-read for Shroud enthusiasts. 15 years ago N.D. Wilson supposedly figured out how one might fake The Shroud of Turin, and since that time, I have heard several people say or intimate that The Shroud had conclusively been proven a fraud with the 1-2 punch of #1 1988 medieval dating and #2 Wilson’s reproduction. Wilson’s method of duplicating The Shroud is ingenious. Basically, he and an artist friend painted a reverse image on a large pane of glass and then had the sun shine through that image onto a Linen cloth over a period of several days. The sun bleached the cloth - lighter in areas of heavy paint and darker in areas of light paint. The resulting image does indeed look fairly authentic and Shroud-like to the naked eye. It does prove that it is possible, with the right equipment,  to put a negative-like image like The Shroud onto a linen cloth. Here are some objections that have been raised:

1. I am not an expert on 1300s-era glass technology, but some who are have argued that the kind of large and flat pane windows that would have been needed to sun-bleach the painted image of a man onto a large linen cloth would not have been available in the early medieval period. This is a fairly strong objection that I don’t believe Wilson’s article - as thorough as it is - addressed fully.

2. Finally, if The Shroud is a forgery, those who painted the image on the glass had a remarkable and accurate knowledge of both the full details of the Roman crucifixion and how the body would have responded to such crucifixion. Additionally, the anonymous forgers would have had to have a strong knowledge of anatomy and wound effects, as the wounds on The Shroud figure are consistent with what modern medical technology would expect. Wilson contends that there were many medieval people with deep and accurate knowledge of anatomy, and the only reason we don’t expect the forgers to have such knowledge is because we have a sort of bias against people from the past and assume they are unsophisticated and unintelligent. Such bias is certainly real, I will readily admit, though it does seem that medical history of the last 500 years demonstrates that medieval medicine and anatomy were indeed quite primitive.

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Wilson11

The first linen image created by David Beauchamp’s window, exposed for ten days generally parallel to the sun’s path.

The linen bears a negative image, dark on light (left), which becomes positive, light on dark (right), in a true photonegative. 19

So - did Wilson definitively prove that medieval forgers could have produced The Shroud? Maybe, maybe not. Even Wilson admits, “I have not proved much. Or, I do not think that I have. Men and women who have believed in the Shroud will continue to believe.  What I have done is crudely demonstrate that such an image could easily be produced in a matter of weeks by wicked men with no scruples, a little imagination, and a little more skill. The fact that it could have been faked does not mean that it was, though I believe it to have been. ”   I’ll say this - Wilson’s supposed forgers would have had to be: remarkably intelligent, gifted with art, well supplied with very rare (if existent) glass panes, and have an astonishing - for the time - knowledge of medicine, Roman history and human anatomy. Additionally, they would have had to be in possession of a cloth from Palestine, and possibly even pollen that had come from Palestine as well.18

D’Arcis Memorandum: Does it prove the Shroud is a forgery?

Joseph G. Marino (2022):  In an online article, historian Jack Markwardt, discussed, “[…] D’Arcis Memorandum, a medieval document in which Pierre d’Arcis, bishop of Troyes, alleged that an unnamed artist had once admitted to having painted the double body image that appeared on a cloth owned and exhibited by Geoffrey II de Charny, Lord of Lirey. Since this cloth and the Turin Shroud were then, and still are, generally considered as the same, the D’Arcis Memorandum, if authentic and credible, would rather decisively lay to rest the relic’s claim to first-century provenance.” 2

D. Selwood (2015): Our first definite knowledge of the shroud is an event in around AD 1355, when it was put on show in the tiny French village of Lirey, in Champagne. Its owners were the local knight, Geoffrey de Charney, and his wife, Jeanne de Vergy. Despite the insistence of the conspiracy brigade, there is no known connection between this Geoffrey de Charney (or his son of the same name) and the famous Knight Templar called Geoffrey de Charney, who was the preceptor of Normandy and was burned alongside Grand Master Jacques de Molay as a relapsed heretic in 1314, three-quarters of a century earlier. At the time of the 1355 exhibition, Henry de Poitiers, bishop of Troyes, conducted an inquiry into the cloth, concluding that it was a ‘fraud’ which had been ‘cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed. Nothing more is known of this episcopal inquiry, but in 1389 one of Henry’s direct successors, Bishop Peter d’Arcis, wrote to Antipope Clement VII in Avignon to tell him of Bishop Henry’s inquiry, and to complain that the linen was being displayed again. It seems that Peter did not succeed in getting the exhibition closed down, as Clement replied that he was happy for the cloth to be shown as ‘an image or representation’ of the true shroud. After around 60 years of being moved about, in 1453 Geoffrey’s granddaughter, Margaret, finally passed the shroud to the ducal house of Savoy, who took it to their capital at Chambéry in the Alps. 1

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Memora10

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164Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Sun Feb 26, 2023 8:42 pm

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Nails in the hands. 

Traditional Christian art has depicted the crucifixion nails that the Gospels state were in Jesus' hands (Jn 20:19-20, 24-28; Lk 24:36-40)[32] as being in His palms, including by some who have copied the Shroud[35]. However, as Paul Vignon (1865-1943) had pointed out[36], and surgeon Pierre Barbet (1884–1961) proved experimentally on cadavers, that when a man's body is suspended on a cross by only a nail through the palm of each hand, the nails would tear through the fleshy palms[37] and the crucified would fall off his cross[38]. However Barbet also proved experimentally on other cadavers that a nail through the wrist (as on the Shroud[39]-see next) of each hand would support a suspended man's body without tearing through the bony wrists[40]. On the Shroud only the nail wound in the left hand is visible, its counterpart in

Perguntas .... - Page 7 Shroud11
:copyright: Vernon Miller, 1978

Nail exit wound on the back of the Shroud man's left wrist, showing trickles of blood from that wound and the inferred wound in the right hand, both of which trickles ran down each forearms when the hands were raised above the head on the cross. the right hand being covered by the left hand. The existence of a corresponding nail wound in the right hand can be inferred from the trickles of blood down the right forearm, similar to those on the left forearm. This is consistent with the Gospels because the New Testament Greek for "hand" [cheir] included the wrist and in fact the hand, wrist and arm up to the elbow, because the Greek words for "arm" [ankale and brachion] did not include the arm from the elbow to the hand (i.e. the forearm).

Nails in the wrists, not palms. A medieval artist/forger who intended his shroud to be accepted, would not have contradicted the traditional iconography, showing only one full hand on the Shroud and therefore only one nail wound[, in the wrist, not the palm. It was not until the 17th century, and therefore likely influenced by the Shroud, that a minority of artists, notably Van Dyck, began depicting Jesus crucified, suspended by a nail in each wrist. A medieval forger would certainly have placed the hand nail wound in Jesus' palm, as he would have had to conform to traditional norms, if he wanted his false shroud to have been accepted. Medieval tradition demanded that the nail-wound in the left hand be in the centre of the palm, and in a forged relic such independence from tradition would not have been tolerated. A medieval forger would have depicted two nail wounds in the centre of Christ's two hands, not one nail wound in one wrist, because in the Middle Ages the wounds of Christ had intense devotional interest and were always conventionally depicted. And because Christ's wounds were considered profoundly meaningful and were a focus of devotion in the Middle Ages, if the Shroud were a medieval forgery, the wounds in the hands (plural) would have been clearly marked. Since crucifixion had been abolished across the Roman Empire (including Europe) in 337, by Emperor Constantine the Great (c. 272–337), a medieval forger would be most unlikely to know enough about Roman crucifixion to contradict the unanimous view of medieval Christianity, that nails had been driven through the middle of Jesus' palms. So either an unknown medieval artistic genius had a unique insight into the practice of Roman crucifixion, or the Shroud genuinely documents this ancient torture!

Mark Niyr (2020):The Bible reports that when Yeshua was crucified, each of his hands were nailed to the beam (John 20:24‐28). Throughout history, artistic renditions of the crucifixion show the nails centered in the middle of the palms, not through the wrists as viewed from the Shroud. However, it is now known that it is impossible for nails to support the body’s weight from the palms of the hands. Nails in the palms would simply tear away through the flesh from the weight of the body. Only since the 20th century (from medical experiments after 1930) have scientists established this fact. Archeological discoveries since the 1960s have confirmed that crucified victims were indeed nailed through the wrist or lower forearms (not through the palms of the hands). Therefore, artistic depictions of nails in the palms of the hands are anatomically erroneous. However, most people are unaware that the Greek language of the Messianic Writings (i.e. New Testament) when referring to these nail wounds employed a Greek word for “hand” (Gk cheir / John 20:25) which includes not only the hand, but also down through the forearm. Here again the Shroud is found to be anatomically correct in a way that surpassed medieval knowledge. There are no art depictions from medieval times, nor prior to the 17th century, showing the nails in the wrists. All art illustrations prior to the 17th century show the wounds in the palms of the hands. This suggests that a medieval forger would not have been aware of this fact. The image of the Shroud reveals that the nails were driven either into the “thenar furrow” of the hand (the extreme bottom of the hand, angled down to exit the wrist area) or through the radial (thumb) side of the wrist. We can only see the back of one hand, but nonetheless, the nail exited the radial (thumb) side of the wrist. Either way, the nail would not break any bones and would support a couple hundred pounds of body weight. STURP forensic examiner Frederick Zugibe, M.D., Ph.D., pointed out that a nail in this location would strike (and continuously irritate) “the median nerve resulting in one of the most exquisite pains ever experienced by man—known medically as causalgia (cau‐sal‐gia).” It is also possible that the nail may have entered a location called the “Space of Destot,” which also could receive a spike without breaking any bones, and could readily support the weight of a body. A nail through the wrist could stimulate the median nerve causing the thumbs to contract toward the palms (as found on the Shroud.21 

Nail marks

Deacon Pedro (2021):: On the frontal image of the shroud, the imprints left by the upper limbs are distinguished. The arms lie slightly turned outward from the elbow. The left hand lies over the right hand. On the left wrist a bloodstain can be seen. This stain was likely caused by two blood flows running up from the same wound on the wrist. This is explained by the two different positions assumed by men during crucifixion: supporting the weight on legs and feet and hanging on the wrists.

Only four fingers of the hands are visible. According to Dr. Pierre Barbet in his book A Doctor at Calvary, the thumb is hidden in the palm by a contraction reflex, caused by a lesion of the median nerve in the wrist. Even though popular crucifixion art never shows the nail to have gone through the wrist, the shroud shows bloodstains on the arms that indicate that the blood flowed upwards from a square-shaped puncture wound on the wrist.
It is believed that in crucifixion, nails were driven into this area since the structure of the hand could not support the full weight of a body. A crucified skeleton found near Jerusalem, which dates back to the first century AD, has been used to confirm this theory. 23

Refuting the radiocarbon dating from 1988

The triumphal headline news at the time seemed to vindicate those critics who were certain the Shroud was a medieval forgery, cleverly concocted at a time when fake relics were common (in The Canterbury Tales Chaucer takes a cynical view of the gullibility of the laity in this respect). The author faces this supposedly conclusive evidence head-on, explaining why carbon dating is not as `infallible' as is sometimes thought, that the protocols laid down for conducting the 1988 tests were ignored and that the single sample of the cloth tested was taken from a repaired strip on the side, which would have been contaminated in various ways over the centuries and which was thus inappropriate for a forensic study. Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory's Director, Prof. Christopher Ramsey, admitted in 2008 that:

"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that ... experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information".

1.Joan E. Taylor: What Did Jesus Look Like?  February 8, 2018

1. Dominic Selwood: If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created 27 April 2015
2. Joseph G. Marino: The c. 1389 d'Arcis Memorandum and the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2022
3. Stephen E. Jones: Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F (2016):
4. Robert K. Wilcox: Shroud 1978
5. Noel Currer-Briggs: The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ  1984
6. Wikipedia: Alexamenos graffito
7. ANDREA TORNIELLI: [url=https://www.lastampa.it/vatican-insider/en/2017/07/11/news/shroud-new-study-there-is-blood-of-a-man-tortured-and-killed-1.34449981#:~:text=The Shroud of Turin%2C the,who suffered many serious injuries.]Shroud, new study: there is blood of a man tortured and killed [/url]11 Luglio 2017
8. The PLOS ONE Editors: Retraction: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud 2018 Jul 19
9. ecarlino: Reply to Retraction of the paper “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud” by all the authors of the paper 26 Jul 2018
10. Stephen E. Jones: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! DECEMBER 26, 2015

11. CBS News:  Forensic research (once again) suggests the Shroud of Turin is fake  July 17, 2018
12. Matteo Borrini,Ph.D.; and Luigi Garlaschelli, M.Sc.: A BPA Approach to the Shroud of Turin 6 June 2018
13. Stephen E. Jones: Sceptics and the Shroud #19 NOVEMBER 8, 2022
14. Gary Habermas: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? p.119). 1987
15. L. Garlaschelli: Life-size Reproduction of the Shroud of Turin and its Image 2010
16. Barrie Schwortz: Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz, 7 October 2009
17. Joe Marino: Individual Medical Doctors' Viewpoints on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2021
18. ListenNotes: Episode #11: Has The Shroud Been Debunked? John Calvin vs. The Shroud Oct. 15, 2019
19. N. D. WILSON: Father Brown Fakes the Shroud 2005
20. Peter S. Williams The Shroud of Turin: A Cumulative Case for Authenticity
21. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective)2020
22. Joanna Moorhead: The $1m challenge: ‘If the Turin Shroud is a forgery, show how it
23. Deacon Pedro: Deacon-structing the Shroud of Turin: The facts September 13, 2021
24. Edward A. Brucker, M.D.: Some Observations on the Medical Aspects of the Shroud of Turin 1987

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165Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 6:07 am

Otangelo


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1. Holger Kersten:  Jesus Lived in India: His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixion 2001
2. Joe Marino: Documented References to the Burial Linens of Jesus Prior to the Shroud of Turin’s Appearance in France in the Mid1350s  2022
3. Whocanhebe: The history of the Shroud
4. Stephen E. Jones: Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the present: 1st century JULY 24, 2016
8. GotQuestions: What is the Letter of King Abgar to Jesus?
9. John Long: THE SHROUD OF TURIN'S EARLIER HISTORY: PART TWO - TO THE GREAT CITY 20 March 2013
10. Shroudencounter: The Shroud of Turin The most analyzed artifact in the world 

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166Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 6:27 am

Otangelo


Admin

1. Dominic Selwood: If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created 27 April 2015
2. Joseph G. Marino: The c. 1389 d'Arcis Memorandum and the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2022
4. Robert K. Wilcox: Shroud 1978
5. Noel Currer-Briggs: The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ  1984
6. Wikipedia: Alexamenos graffito
8. The PLOS ONE Editors: Retraction: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud 2018 Jul 19
18. Orit Shamira: A burial textile from the first century CE in Jerusalem compared to roman textiles in the land

1. Dominic Selwood: If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created 27 April 2015
2. Joseph G. Marino: The c. 1389 d'Arcis Memorandum and the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2022
3. Stephen E. Jones: Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F (2016):
4. Robert K. Wilcox: Shroud 1978
5. Noel Currer-Briggs: The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ  1984
6. Wikipedia: Alexamenos graffito
7. ANDREA TORNIELLI: [url=https://www.lastampa.it/vatican-insider/en/2017/07/11/news/shroud-new-study-there-is-blood-of-a-man-tortured-and-killed-1.34449981#:~:text=The Shroud of Turin%2C the,who suffered many serious injuries.]Shroud, new study: there is blood of a man tortured and killed [/url]11 Luglio 2017
8. The PLOS ONE Editors: Retraction: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud 2018 Jul 19
9. ecarlino: Reply to Retraction of the paper “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud” by all the authors of the paper 26 Jul 2018
10. Stephen E. Jones: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! DECEMBER 26, 2015

11. 
12. 
13. Stephen E. Jones: Sceptics and the Shroud #19 NOVEMBER 8, 2022
14. Gary Habermas: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? p.119). 1987
15. L. Garlaschelli: Life-size Reproduction of the Shroud of Turin and its Image 2010
16. Barrie Schwortz: Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz, 7 October 2009
17. Joe Marino: Individual Medical Doctors' Viewpoints on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2021
18. ListenNotes: Episode #11: Has The Shroud Been Debunked? John Calvin vs. The Shroud Oct. 15, 2019
19. N. D. WILSON: Father Brown Fakes the Shroud 2005
23. 
24. Edward A. Brucker, M.D.: Some Observations on the Medical Aspects of the Shroud of Turin 1987

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167Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 6:44 am

Otangelo


Admin

1. Dominic Selwood: If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created 27 April 2015
2. Joseph G. Marino: The c. 1389 d'Arcis Memorandum and the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2022
3. Stephen E. Jones: Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F (2016):
4. Robert K. Wilcox: Shroud 1978
5. Noel Currer-Briggs: The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ  1984
6. Wikipedia: Alexamenos graffito
7. ANDREA TORNIELLI: [url=https://www.lastampa.it/vatican-insider/en/2017/07/11/news/shroud-new-study-there-is-blood-of-a-man-tortured-and-killed-1.34449981#:~:text=The Shroud of Turin%2C the,who suffered many serious injuries.]Shroud, new study: there is blood of a man tortured and killed [/url]11 Luglio 2017
8. The PLOS ONE Editors: Retraction: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud 2018 Jul 19
9. ecarlino: Reply to Retraction of the paper “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud” by all the authors of the paper 26 Jul 2018
10. Stephen E. Jones: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! DECEMBER 26, 2015

11. 
12. 
13. Stephen E. Jones: Sceptics and the Shroud #19 NOVEMBER 8, 2022
14. Gary Habermas: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? p.119). 1987
15. L. Garlaschelli: Life-size Reproduction of the Shroud of Turin and its Image 2010
16. Barrie Schwortz: Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz, 7 October 2009
17. Joe Marino: Individual Medical Doctors' Viewpoints on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2021
18. ListenNotes: Episode #11: Has The Shroud Been Debunked? John Calvin vs. The Shroud Oct. 15, 2019
19. N. D. WILSON: Father Brown Fakes the Shroud 2005
23. 
24. Edward A. Brucker, M.D.: Some Observations on the Medical Aspects of the Shroud of Turin 1987

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168Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 6:49 am

Otangelo


Admin

1.Joan E. Taylor: What Did Jesus Look Like?  February 8, 2018

1. Dominic Selwood: If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created 27 April 2015
2. Joseph G. Marino: The c. 1389 d'Arcis Memorandum and the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2022
3. Stephen E. Jones: Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F (2016):
4. Robert K. Wilcox: Shroud 1978
5. Noel Currer-Briggs: The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ  1984
6. Wikipedia: Alexamenos graffito
7. ANDREA TORNIELLI: [url=https://www.lastampa.it/vatican-insider/en/2017/07/11/news/shroud-new-study-there-is-blood-of-a-man-tortured-and-killed-1.34449981#:~:text=The Shroud of Turin%2C the,who suffered many serious injuries.]Shroud, new study: there is blood of a man tortured and killed [/url]11 Luglio 2017
8. The PLOS ONE Editors: Retraction: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud 2018 Jul 19
9. ecarlino: Reply to Retraction of the paper “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud” by all the authors of the paper 26 Jul 2018
10. Stephen E. Jones: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! DECEMBER 26, 2015

12. Edward A. Brucker, M.D.: Some Observations on the Medical Aspects of the Shroud of Turin 1987

11. CBS News:  Forensic research (once again) suggests the Shroud of Turin is fake  July 17, 2018
12. 
12. Matteo Borrini,Ph.D.; and Luigi Garlaschelli, M.Sc.: A BPA Approach to the Shroud of Turin 6 June 2018

13. Stephen E. Jones: Sceptics and the Shroud #19 NOVEMBER 8, 2022
14. Gary Habermas: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? p.119). 1987
15. L. Garlaschelli: Life-size Reproduction of the Shroud of Turin and its Image 2010
16. Barrie Schwortz: Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz, 7 October 2009
17. Joe Marino: Individual Medical Doctors' Viewpoints on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2021
18. ListenNotes: Episode #11: Has The Shroud Been Debunked? John Calvin vs. The Shroud Oct. 15, 2019
19. N. D. WILSON: Father Brown Fakes the Shroud 2005
20. Peter S. Williams The Shroud of Turin: A Cumulative Case for Authenticity

22. Joanna Moorhead: The $1m challenge: ‘If the Turin Shroud is a forgery, show how it
23  Deacon Pedro: Deacon-structing the Shroud of Turin: The facts September 13, 2021



1. Dominic Selwood: If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created 27 April 2015
2. Joseph G. Marino: The c. 1389 d'Arcis Memorandum and the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2022
3. Stephen E. Jones: Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F (2016):
4. Robert K. Wilcox: Shroud 1978
5. Noel Currer-Briggs: The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ  1984
6. Wikipedia: Alexamenos graffito
7. ANDREA TORNIELLI: [url=https://www.lastampa.it/vatican-insider/en/2017/07/11/news/shroud-new-study-there-is-blood-of-a-man-tortured-and-killed-1.34449981#:~:text=The Shroud of Turin%2C the,who suffered many serious injuries.]Shroud, new study: there is blood of a man tortured and killed [/url]11 Luglio 2017
8. The PLOS ONE Editors: Retraction: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud 2018 Jul 19
9. ecarlino: Reply to Retraction of the paper “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud” by all the authors of the paper 26 Jul 2018
10. Stephen E. Jones: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! DECEMBER 26, 2015

11. 
12. 
13. Stephen E. Jones: Sceptics and the Shroud #19 NOVEMBER 8, 2022
14. Gary Habermas: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? p.119). 1987
15. L. Garlaschelli: Life-size Reproduction of the Shroud of Turin and its Image 2010
16. Barrie Schwortz: Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz, 7 October 2009
17. Joe Marino: Individual Medical Doctors' Viewpoints on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2021
18. ListenNotes: Episode #11: Has The Shroud Been Debunked? John Calvin vs. The Shroud Oct. 15, 2019
19. N. D. WILSON: Father Brown Fakes the Shroud 2005
23. 
24. Edward A. Brucker, M.D.: Some Observations on the Medical Aspects of the Shroud of Turin 1987

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169Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 7:14 am

Otangelo


Admin

1. 
2. 
4. Barrie M. Schwortz: Five Reasons Why Some Christians are Shroud Skeptics 12 August 2016
5. Stephen E. Jones: The Letter of Publius Lentulus: A Shroud-like description of Jesus by an eye-witness contemporary? OCTOBER 23, 2021
6. ROBERT CLIFTON ROBINSON: Isaiah’s Description of Messiah’s Suffering: Beard Ripped Out  DECEMBER 21, 2014
7. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective) 2020







1. Stephen E Jones: The Shroud of Turin: 3.1 The Bible and the Shroud: Introduction JUNE 15, 2013
2. Giulio Fanti: New Light on the Sufferings and the Burial of the Turin Shroud Man 19 May 2017
3. Peter S. Williams The Shroud of Turin: A Cumulative Case for Authenticity
4. Barrie M. Schwortz: Five Reasons Why Some Christians are Shroud Skeptics 12 August 2016
5. Stephen E. Jones: The Letter of Publius Lentulus: A Shroud-like description of Jesus by an eye-witness contemporary? OCTOBER 23, 2021
6. ROBERT CLIFTON ROBINSON: Isaiah’s Description of Messiah’s Suffering: Beard Ripped Out  DECEMBER 21, 2014
7. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective) 2020
8. G. Fanti: How was the Turin Shroud Man crucified? December 2014
8. Shroud 1st draft
9. 
10. Titus Kennedy: Excavating the Evidence for Jesus 2022
11. National Geographic: This was Jesus tomb 2017



https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t3104-scientific-evidence-for-the-day-of-crucifixion-and-archeological-evidence-for-the-crucifixion-of-jesus-christ?highlight=crucifixion

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170Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 7:25 am

Otangelo


Admin

1. Rick Lanser: FURTHER RUMINATIONS ON THE SHROUD OF TURIN 05 June 2022
2. Barrie M. Schwortz: Five Reasons Why Some Christians are Shroud Skeptics 12 August 2016
3. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective)2020
4. Byron R. McCane: Burial Practices in First Century Palestine 2022
5. Joe Marino: Individual Medical Doctors' Viewpoints on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2021






2. Biblearchaeology.org: wrappings
3. Biblearchaeology.org: FURTHER RUMINATIONS ON THE SHROUD OF TURIN 05 June 2022

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171Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 7:35 am

Otangelo


Admin

1. Enea: International Workshop on the Scientific Approach to the Acheiropoietos Images  May 2010
2. Paolo Di Lazzaro: A Ray of Light on the Shroud of Turin 2016 
3. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective)2020

4. Raymond N. Rogers: SCIENTIFIC METHOD APPLIED TO THE SHROUD OF TURIN  2002
5. Conca, Marco: The Shroud of Turin: first century after Christ 2016
6. Robert A. Rucker, “Role of Radiation in Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin,” October 11, 2016)
7. Robert A. Rucker, Information Content on the Shroud of Turin October 11, 2016
8. Arthur Lind: The Shroud of Turin Conference 2017 - Image Formation by Charged Nuclear Particles 2017
9. Stephen Jones: Italian study claims Turin Shroud is Christ's authentic burial robe DECEMBER 22, 2011
10. Robert A Rucker:  Forensic Science and the Shroud of Turin December 03, 2021
11. Giulio Fanti et. al.,: Mechanical ond opto-chemical dating of the Turin Shroud 2015
12. G. Fanti: Reverse Engineering to Study the Turin-Shroud Body-Image Formation 18 October 2018
13. MARCO TOSATTI https://www.lastampa.it/vatican-insider/en/2011/12/14/news/the-shroud-is-not-a-fake-1.36913560 14 Dicembre 2011
14. P. DI LAZZARO: COLORAZIONE SIMIL–SINDONICA DI TESSUTI DI LINO TRAMITE RADIAZIONE NEL LONTANO ULTRAVIOLETTO 2011
15. John Jackson: The Shroud of Turin: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses 2017


9. Robert A. Rucker: Solving the Carbon Dating Problem for the Shroud of Turin  July 12, 2022

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172Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 8:50 am

Otangelo


Admin

1. Orit Shamir: A burial textile from the first century CE in Jerusalem compared to roman textiles in the land of Israel and the Turin Shroud 2015
2. RAY DOWNING: The Fabric of the Shroud of Turin March 30, 2017
3. Stephen E. Jones: Sidestrip #5: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! AUGUST 24, 2015
4. Vial, Gabriel, ‘Shrouded in Mystery’, HALI (The International Magazine of Fine Carpets and Textiles), Issue 49, 1990
5. Diana Fulbright: Akeldama repudiation of Turin Shroud omits evidence from the Judean Desert 2010
6. JERZY MAIK:  THE SHROUD OF TURIN AS A HISTORICAL TEXTILE
7. Charles Mader: The Weave of the Shroud of Turin 
8. Shroud 1st draft
9. Stephen E. Jones: Dimensions #3: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! JULY 10, 2015
10. Jean de Climont: THE MYSTERIES OF THE    SHROUD 2016
11. Jean de Climont: THE MYSTERIES OF THE    SHROUD 2016




8. Hughfarey: Medieval Weave September 13, 2019  
12. GABRIEL VIAL:  THE SHROUD OF TURIN: A TECHNICAL STUDY 1988

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173Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 9:15 am

Otangelo


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2. Beliefnet: Did Paul call Jesus “Lord” in the Jewish YHWH-sense (as a substitute for God’s name)?
9. Beliefmap: Is the Isaiah 53 prophecy fulfilled by Jesus?

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174Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 9:16 am

Otangelo


Admin

1. Jonathan McLatchie: DID JESUS EXIST? A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF RICHARD CARRIER’S INTERPRETATION OF THE PAULINE CORPUS DECEMBER 12, 2020
2. Tim Maas: Why was Paul forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach in Asia? August 24 2016
3. Carmen Slabbert: Nazareth: The Significance in Jesus’ Time  August 30, 2021.
4. E. W. G. MASTERMAN: GALILEE IN THE TIME OF CHRIST 1908
5. Adam Hamilton: WHY NAZARETH? July 25th, 2011
6. Helton Duarte:  Resurrection beliefs from 1st century Judaism to 21st century Christian apologetics Oct 21, 2018
7. TIM KELLER: 5 Features That Made the Early Church Unique JANUARY 10, 2020
8.  Eric M. Orlin: Polytheistic Rome 1 Dec 2022
9. John Piper:  What Would Happen to Christianity If Christ's Resurrection Were Disproved? JUNE 9, 2008
10. Michael Van Duisen: 10 Forgotten Ancient Religions OCTOBER 4, 2013
11. Schoyen collection
12. Category:1st-century Christian martyrs
13. Ancient Christian Martyrdom: A Brief Overview
14. “The Apostles May Have Died as Martyrs, but this Proves Nothing.”
15. Wikipedia: Paul the Apostle
16. Sean McDowell: The Fate of the Apostles: Examining the Martyrdom Accounts of the Closest Followers of Jesus 2015
17. Mark Allan Powell: Introducing the New Testament  2009
18. Wikipedia: James, brother of Jesus
19. Wikipedia: Thomas the Apostle
20. Wikipedia: Andrew the Apostle
21. Wikipedia: Philip the Apostle
22. Wikipedia: Bartholomew the Apostle
23. Wikipedia: Matthew the Apostle
24. Wikipedia: James, son of Alphaeus
25. Wikipedia: Jude the Apostle
26. Wikipedia: Simon the Zealot
27. Wikipedia: Matthias the Apostle
28. Josh.org: Who Were These Disciples?
29. Josh McDowell: Evidence that demands a verdict, page 705: 2017
30. Beliefnet: Did Paul teach that Jesus was God?
31. Beliefnet: Would Christians disfavor Mary & women being first witness-heralds of the resurrection?
32. Beliefnet: Would Christians hate to invent (as a lie), “Mary & women are the empty tomb’s witness-heralds!”
33. JUSTIN TAYLOR: Why It Matters Theologically and Historically That Women Were the First to Discover the Empty Tomb  APRIL 15, 2014
34. Stan Cox: SOUND TEACHING
35. B. Landau: The Case for Christ: What’s the evidence for the resurrection? April 7, 2017
36. Alicia J. Batten: Honor and Shame in the New Testament  27 Aug 2017
37. D. Hunsberger: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BORN AGAIN? 2018


38. Christianity.com: What Is Reasonable Faith? 2020 21 May











1. James Patrick Holding: The Impossible Faith  1 may 2007
2. Richard Carrier: Not the Impossible Faith 10 feb 2009
3. YouTube: The resurrection series
5. Creation.com: James Patrick Holding, M.L.S.
6. Godless Engineer: Inanna’s Descent Matches Jesus’ Passion Narratives Aug 20, 2019
7. The Amateur Exegete: INANNA: THE NOT SO PARALLEL GODDESS (GUEST POST BY CHRIS H.) 21 Aug 2019
8. Wikipedia: The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors
14. ZA Blog: Life after Death: the Afterlife in Greco-Roman Antiquity   February 18, 2022

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175Perguntas .... - Page 7 Empty Re: Perguntas .... Tue Feb 28, 2023 9:17 am

Otangelo


Admin

1. James Patrick Holding: The Impossible Faith  1 may 2007
2. Richard Carrier: Not the Impossible Faith 10 feb 2009
3. YouTube: The resurrection series
5. Creation.com: James Patrick Holding, M.L.S.
6. Godless Engineer: Inanna’s Descent Matches Jesus’ Passion Narratives Aug 20, 2019
7. The Amateur Exegete: INANNA: THE NOT SO PARALLEL GODDESS (GUEST POST BY CHRIS H.) 21 Aug 2019
8. Wikipedia: The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors
14. ZA Blog: Life after Death: the Afterlife in Greco-Roman Antiquity   February 18, 2022

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