News From The Holy Land

camelRadiocarbon Dating And Abraham’s Camels.

During excavations in the Aravah Valley — an area on the border of Israel and the Arabian Peninsula — some ancient camel bones were discovered.

Nice find. No surprise here, too. Weren’t  Biblical Abraham and a colorful bunch of his descendants prancing through the Patriarchal Age of Genesis (believed to be between 2000-1500 BC) atop of their camels? 

God knows, but professors Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen, archaeologists from Tel Aviv University in Israel, aren’t so sure. Radiocarbon dating of camel bones uncovered in the Aravah Valley removes them at least 500 years farther in time from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the 12 tribes of Israel. The radiocarbon-dated camels roamed the land of Abraham long after the patriarchs could have used them — no earlier than 940 BC, the study suggests.

This is a very good example that the stories were written at a much later time than they supposedly took place. The editor of these stories knew the camel was a draft animal used in his time for traveling across the desert, so of course Abraham, Jacob and David used camels. We call it an anachronism; he projected the reality that he knew at his own time,” says Dr. Ben-Yosef.

Rare Sarcophagus, Egyptian Scarab.

The mystery man whose skeleton was found inside the sarcophagus was most likely a local Canaanite official in the service of ancient Egypt, Israeli archaeologists believe, shining a light on a period when pharaohs governed the region. (In Israel, Rare Sarcophagus, Egyptian Scarab, Unearthed).

Like so many other archaeological discoveries in Israel, this one happen by accident. Israel’s natural gas company called in archaeologists to survey the territory before laying down a pipeline. The Antiquities Authority dug out an area 16-by-16 foot and unearthed the sarcophagus, the scarab and four other human remains.

The scarab seal ring encased in gold, carved with the name of Pharaoh Seti I, who ruled ancient Egypt in the 13th century BC, was found alongside the sarcophagus. DNA tests will be conducted to determine if the man in the sarcophagus was Canaanite or Egyptian,

The excavation site is thought to have been a large ancient cemetery. Archaeologists expect to continue digging and hope to find other sarcophagi.

Israel Egyptian Sarcophagus Found

Egyptian Sarcophagus. The lid of the clay sarcophagus is shattered, but the sculpted face remains nearly intact. It features graceful eyebrows, almond-shaped eyes, a long nose and plump lips. Ears are separated from the face, and long-fingered hands are depicted as if the dead man’s arms were crossed atop his chest, in a typical Egyptian burial pose.

Wedding Bells For Jesus.


AP Photo/Harvard University, Rose Lincoln, File

Divinity professor Karen L. King, an expert in the history of Christianity, holds  the fragment of ancient papyrus that probably dates to eighth-century Egypt.

The age of the artifact is estimated based on both carbon dating tests and the ink’s chemical composition test. Dr. King states that this fragment is the only existing ancient text that quotes Jesus explicitly referring to having a wife.

An article published in the Harvard Theological Review on Thursday, April 10, 2014, said that new scientific tests prove the papyrus fragment is more likely a true ancient document, not a forgery.

Mary Knew And She Said So.

Dr Adam Bradford, a practicing physician from Blackheath, London, is an amateur historian who authored the book Luke’s Gospel — as told by Mary.

The book claims that the Third Gospel was written by Luke, a Greek physician, as a statement in defense of St Paul, who was imprisoned by Romans and consequently spent 2 years in prison as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth.

Saint Luke - Guido Reni. Artist: Guido Reni. Completion Date: 1621

Saint Luke – Guido Reni. Artist: Guido Reni. Completion Date: 1621

To make his letter compelling, Luke needed information about Jesus’ birth and childhood.  ‘Key information about  in the Gospel of Luke could only have come from Mary”, Dr. Bradford says, “as she was the only surviving eye-witness of those events when Luke was writing.”

Records at that time were almost exclusively male, yet Luke’s manuscript is overwhelmingly female, and his early information was witnessed by one person and one person only, Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Dr Bradford drew his conclusions after studying and comparing the original Greek and Hebrew scriptures. He claims that the number of feminine words contained in the scripture give away the true author.

While the Gospel of Mark has a feminine word content totaling 116, Luke has more than double that at 247.

Of the Gospel biographies of Jesus, Luke’s stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of feminine references,’ Dr Bradford said.  […] ‘Luke was being informed by a woman, and given the number of “widow” references – nine as compared to John’s Gospel’s none — most likely a woman who had been widowed. ‘Luke’s opening content points to one widow in particular, Mary, the wife of Joseph and mother of Jesus.

Master of Vyšší Brod, a Bohemian master, c. 1350.

Master of Vyšší Brod, a Bohemian master, c. 1350.

The book also suggests that rather than being an uneducated peasant girl Mary appears well-educated, unusually for the time, and that Jesus was the son of a middle-class, highly educated architect.

Dr Brandord added: ‘The first-century was a male-dominated world. My aim is to give Mary the credit she deserves. Without her Luke would have had much less of a story to tell.’

Thus, according to the claims of a London historian, the Gospel According to Luke was actually written by Jesus’s mother Mary, making it the first female book in the Bible.


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