Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Pool of Siloam Found

by Steve Ray on August 10, 2005


The Pool of Siloam plays a significant part in John 9 and the story has been used to explain baptism since the earliest years of the Church. I found the report below very exciting and hope to see this new find in September. (Picture of Steve sitting in the 4th – 5th century Pool of Siloam in Jesus video)

Biblical Pool of Siloam Is Uncovered in Jerusalem
Tue Aug 09 2005 00:09:33 ET  (copied from the Drudge Report)

Workers repairing a sewage pipe in the old city of Jerusalem have discovered the biblical Pool of Siloam, a freshwater reservoir that was a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city and the reputed site where Jesus cured a man blind from birth, the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports.

The pool was fed by the now famous Hezekiah's Tunnel and is “a much grander affair'' than archeologists previously believed, with three tiers of stone stairs allowing easy access to the water, according to Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archeology Review, which reported the find Monday.

“Scholars have said that there wasn't a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit'' to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. “Now we have found the Pool of Siloam … exactly where John said it was.''

A gospel that was thought to be “pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history,'' he said.

The discovery puts a new spotlight on what is called the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, a trip that religious law required ancient Jews to make at least once a year, said archeologist Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, who excavated the pool.

“Jesus was just another pilgrim coming to Jerusalem,'' he said. “It would be natural to find him there.''

The newly discovered pool is less than 200 yards from another Pool of Siloam, this one a reconstruction built between A.D. 400 and 460 by the empress Eudocia of Byzantium, who oversaw the rebuilding of several Biblical sites.

Developing…     For the full story in the LA Times, click here.


Bowing to Images

by Steve Ray on August 10, 2005

An excerpt from Karl Keatings Weekly E-Letter. If you don't receive it and would like to, click here and receive it for free.

“Two weeks ago I wrote about Bill Jackson, head of Christians Evangelizing Catholics, and his views on divorce and remarriage. One of the other issues he examines is Catholics' attitude toward images. "Bowing down to or genuflecting before material objects, such as carved images, is forbidden."

Jackson suffers from imprecision. Catholic genuflect not to "carved images" but to Christ present in the Eucharist. They do bow before "material objects," such as the altar, when those objects are worthy of special respect. (In the case of the altar, that respect is due to the imminent confection of the Eucharist on it.)

What would Jackson say about analogous gestures that he probably engages in? At the "Star Spangled Banner" does he rise from his seat? Does that imply he is worshiping a song? When he recites the Pledge of Allegiance does he put his hand over his heart? Is he giving adoration to a nation-state? Does he give honor to the national flag? Isn't it just a piece of cloth? Why treat it with respect?

How odd that a man can see that honor can be given to material things in the secular realm but not in the religious realm!”