All posts filed under: Archaeology

The Bible’s description of how Esarhaddon became Assyria’s king, confirmed by archaeology

Though secularists like to discount the Bible by portraying it as a collection of myths, even its smallest, seemingly insignificant details are proving to be historically accurate. In a few passages, the Bible refers to Esarhaddon, an Assyrian King who ruled between 681-669 BC. The son of Sennacherib, he is considered one of the greatest kings of the Assyrian empire. In 2 Kings, we are told that Esarhaddon came to the throne after his older brothers assassinated their father: 37 One day, while he [Sennacherib] was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king. (2 Kings 19:37 NIV) The lead-up to this started when Hezekiah became king of Judah and refused to continue paying tribute to the Assyrian empire. As a result, King Sennacherib invaded Judah to bring them back into line. What followed is confirmed several times in the archaeological record. The invasion involved the sacking of several smaller …

Egyptian researchers digitally unwrap the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I, the pharaoh of the Exodus?

Over Christmas, Egyptian researchers digitally unwrapped the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I, who ruled Egypt between 1526 and 1506 BC. He was the second ruler of what is referred to as the 18th Egyptian dynasty, started by his father Ahmose. Amenhotep is the only royal mummy from the 19th and 20th century discoveries not to be unwrapped. Egyptian researchers had refrained from physically doing this because the mummy was intricately decorated with floral arrangements and a mask embedded with precious stones. So they chose a digital approach, using an X-Ray machine that provided 360-degree scans as they digitally removed each layer. Through the unwrapping process, the Cairo-based researchers discovered that Amenhotep I had been unwrapped and reburied at least once before, probably by later Egyptian priests who often repaired the damage done to previous royal mummies by grave robbers. They discovered that Amenhotep I was around 35 years of age when he died and there were no outward indicators of what he died from such as disease or physical wounds. He was also the last …

Ring portraying Jesus as the Good Shepherd discovered in a 1,700-year-old shipwreck

Israel Antiquity Authority has announced some interesting discoveries from two shipwrecks discovered off its coast in the Mediterranean Sea. One of the shipwrecks is 1,700 years old and the second is 600 years old. Both were discovered near the ancient Roman port of Caesarea and were probably destroyed in a storm as the crew was trying to get their ships into port. The Daily Mail reports that archaeologists discovered a stunning gold ring with a green gemstone on the older wreck. On the gemstone was an intricately carved image of Jesus holding a lamb on His back. He is portrayed wearing a Roman tunic. This image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is found throughout the Gospels. Perhaps, the most famous is the parable involving the story of the Good Shepherd who would leave his flock of 99 to find the one lost sheep: 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after …

Does the discovery of a second synagogue in Migdal refocus our attention on the unusual nature of the first one?

Archaeologists working with Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have found a second synagogue dating to the time of Jesus in the town of Migdal also called Magdala. It was a prominent town in Jesus’ day. And most believe that the last name of Mary Magdalene, one of Christ’s most famous female followers, indicated that she came from this community, located on the Northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a short walk from Capernaum. This was an area where Jesus ministered extensively. 2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out. (Luke 8:2 NASV) It is the second synagogue dated to Jesus’ day found in the town. Synagogues played an important role in Jewish society. It was here they gathered to read the Torah, as Jesus did at the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21). It would have also served as the location for communal gatherings. The recently discovered synagogue is square-shaped, with a large central room where the Jews gathered on …

Physical evidence of Roman execution by crucifixion discovered in Britain

According to the Daily Mail, archaeologists in Britain have discovered what they describe as the “world’s best example of crucifixion.” Though the Bible and other historical documents talk about the Romans using crucifixion as a brutal form of execution, there have been few physical examples of it found because the metal nails used to crucify a person were not only extremely valuable, they were often considered magical and usually removed from the body after death. Crucifixion was a popular method of execution used by the Romans, because it often extended the torture for days. The body, discovered in 2017 in a grave at the village of Fenstanton, is dated to 130-337 AD, during the Roman occupation of Britain. The archaeologists examining the remains found a nail hammered into the man’s heel bone, thought to be 25 to 35 years of age at the time of his execution. There were also indications that the man had probably been tortured and shackled prior to his crucifixion, suggesting that he might have been a slave. Though historical paintings …

Was Jesus born in a cave?

Many might be surprised by the notion that Jesus was born in a cave, but essentially that is the claim being made by the Church of the Nativity, located in Bethlehem, that is built over the site of where it believes Mary gave birth to Jesus. The Lord’s actual birthplace was in a cave located below the church’s main altar, that can be accessed by two staircases on either side. In fact, the grotto where it claims Jesus was born is part of a larger network of caves that can be accessed from neighbouring buildings, but is now blocked by gates. But not everyone agrees that Christ was born in a cave. One common argument against it, is that Luke, who provided the most extensive narrative of the events surrounding Christ’s birth (Luke 2:1-21), does not mention a cave. Why didn’t he do this? It’s argued that Luke would have mentioned the cave if it was unusual. What was unusual to Luke, is that because there was no room in the inn, Joseph and Mary …

Biblical warfare: How Assyria conquered Lachish and how the Jews tried to defend it using a chain

Archaeologists from Israel and America have released a report confirming how the Assyria’s King Sennacherib was able to conquer the small Judean city of Lachish. The interesting battle, recorded in Isaiah, says during his invasion of Judah, the Assyrian King was able to conquer Lachish (Isaiah 36:1-2) and then surrounded the city of Jerusalem where Sennacherib’s representatives taunted the city and Judah’s King Hezekiah with its imminent destruction if Hezekiah didn’t surrender (Isaiah 36:4-24). After King Hezekiah called on God, the prophet Isaiah delivered a prophetic word that King Sennacherib would hear of trouble brewing causing him to withdraw and return to his homeland, which is exactly what happened (Isaiah 37:5-7). The archaeologists released a report on the remains of a massive ramp that the Assyrian army built up to the city’s walls, confirming details of the Lachish’s destruction found engraved on walls in Nineveh, which was then the Assyrian capital. The large wall carving, where Sennacherib brags about his defeat of Lachish, shows a huge ramp had been built up the city’s wall, located …

Anthropology confirms the Bible’s description of a race of GIANTS

As we read the Bible, we find several mentions of giant men. Of course, the most famous of these was Goliath. Throughout history, there have been stories of giant people. The Guinness Book of Records states that the tallest man on record was an Illinois man, Robert Pershing Wadlow, who grew to a size of 8’11”. In this instance, Wadlow’s giant size was due to problems with his pituitary gland that resulted in an inordinate release of growth hormones. Reports suggest that Wadlow was still growing when he died at 22 years of age in 1940 due to an infection. But as we look at the Biblical record, we see that the Bible was not talking about one offs, a person here or there who reached extraordinary size due to glandular problems, it talked about a race(s) of giants known as the Nephilim. The first reference to the Nephilim is found in the Book of Genesis, in the lead up to the worldwide flood: 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when …

Archaeologists discover rare depiction of Balm of Gilead

Archaeologists working with Israel Antiquity Authority announced they have found an amethyst seal that has an engraving of the Balm of Gilead on it, a plant mentioned several times in the Bible. It was found on the road that ran between the Shiloah pool and the Jewish Temple. The discovery of the small amethyst, that was probably used as a signet ring, is extremely important. Though there have discovered several references to the plant and depictions of other vegetation such as olives and vines, this is the first time they have discovered a depiction of the plant that was source of the Balm of Gilead. In addition to an engraving of a Balm of Gilead branch with several fruit hanging from it, that Prof. Shua Amorai-Stark said was “unlike any of the fruits we have encountered to date,” there is also an image of a bird, believed to be a dove. Archaeologists believe this was a signet ring that would impress an image on clay or wax verifying that a document came from the owner. …

Have archaeologists found the location of Mt Horeb, where Moses delivered the Ten Commandments?

There has been some interesting archaeological developments recently challenging long held Christian views on Israel’s exodus from Egypt under Moses. If you want to find archaeological evidence of Israel’s departure from Egypt, you need to look about 300 years earlier to the reign of Pharaoh Ahmose I (1550-1525 BC) rather than Pharaoh Ramesses II (1279 BC to 1213/12 BC) who has traditionally been considered the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The Ipuwer Papyrus dated to 1550 BC, provides a breakdown of several of the plagues mentioned in Book of Exodus. And now archaeologists are suggesting there is evidence of the location of Mt Horeb, also referred to as Mt Sinai, where Moses delivered the Ten Commandments, but it requires a major rethink of where it took place. Most Christians believe that Mt Horeb is located somewhere in today’s Sinai Peninsula. Though there has been no archaeological evidence supporting this, that isn’t necessarily unexpected because the Israelis were living in tents and would have left a very small footprint for archaeologists to discover. But according to researchers …

Has the final resting place of Noah’s ark been discovered?

One of the more notorious Biblical mysteries revolves around the possible location of Noah’s Ark. We know from the Biblical record that the ark’s final resting place was in the Mountains of Ararat, located in modern Turkey. 4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:4 NIV) The exact mountain on which it stopped is uncertain and in dispute. However, a British newspaper, The Sun, is reporting that a group of Biblical archaeologist had some interesting results after doing a 3D scan of a boat-like formation on Mount Tendüek, approximately 2,000 meters above sea level, located in Eastern Turkey near the town of Agri. According to the researchers connected with Noah’s Ark Scans, the shape fits the dimensions of the Ark which was said to be 300 cubits long or approximately 150 meters (about a third longer than a typical American football field which is 110 meters from goal post to goal post). According to reports, the unique formation was first discovered on May 19, …

Dealing with a Bible discrepancy: How long was Israel in Egyptian captivity, 200 years or 430 years?

In this article I want to deal with what appears to be a discrepancy in the Bible between how long Israel was in Egyptian captivity before they started their journey to the Promised Land under Moses. In the Book of Exodus, we are told that Israel was captive in Egypt for 430 years: 40 Now the time that the sons of Israel had lived in Egypt was 430 years. (Exodus 12:40 NASV) However, in Galatians, the Apostle Paul writes that the 430 years starts from the time that God first gave his promise to the Patriarch Abraham to the end of their Egyptian captivity: 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as one would in referring to many, but rather as in referring to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came 430 years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it …

Evidence discovered of Sodom and Gomorrah judgment?

Archaeologists working on the Tall el-Hammam site in the South Jordan Valley, state they may have found the location of either Sodom or Gomorrah, the Biblical cities recorded as being destroyed by fire as part of God’s judgment. The site is located just north-east of the Dead Sea. According to the Daily Mail, researchers from UC Santa Barbara released a statement on Sept 20, 2021, reporting they had discovered a 1.5 meter layer (five foot) that suggested the city had been destroyed by extreme heat. This includes finding shards of pottery where the outer layer had been turned into glass and as well ‘bubbled’ mud brick and examples of building material being melted. They also found human bones that had been totally obliterated by what they believe was some type of blast. And the orange tinge found on human skull bones suggested it must have included temperatures in excess of 200 degrees. They also found cracked quartz particles. Quartz is considered the hardest minerals known to man and only cracks under extreme heat and pressure. …

Thutmose IV, another possibility for the pharaoh of the Exodus?

There has been a bit of discussion recently on whom the pharaoh of the Exodus actually was. One thing we know for sure is that despite the blockbuster movies that portray Ramses (1279-1213 BC) as the pharaoh, it was not him. And in a recent presentation at the International Symposium on Archaeology and the Bible in Albuquerque, New Mexico in Sept 2021, Dr Steve Collins, a professor of archaeology at Trinity Southwest University, made his case that Thutmose IV (1401-1391 BC) was the actual pharaoh of the Exodus. Many are now convinced that Israel’s Exodus out of Egypt took place about 200 to 300 years before Ramses, sometime after Egypt drove the Hyksos, a Semitic group, out of Northern Egypt. Around 1800 BC, the Hyksos took over the Nile Delta, driving the Egyptian government into southern Egypt. The Hyksos were Semitic people and because of that they had a similar language and customs to the Israelis, this explains why Joseph so easily rose to power and why they welcomed Joseph’s family to settle in some …

An ancient description of the Garden of Eden from the ruins of Ebla?

When we study the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis, we have record of several significant events. It starts with the creation account, the garden of Eden, man’s fall into sin, a record of men and women living for nearly 1,000 years and the flood. But according to the Bible, the defining moment in human history took place at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, when God broke humans apart by imposing different languages. This resulted in the formation of different cultures and nations. But it is important that we understand this point. Though the Tower of Babel led to cultures developing their own unique history, everything prior to Babel was still common history to all groups. And this is why we have stories of a massive flood in cultures around the world, from places as far away as Hawaii to China. We also have accounts of people living long lives in Babylonian literature, and as well in the ancient histories of the Romans, Greeks, Indians and even the Chinese. Some of …

What the Taliban guidelines on polygamy, tell us about Abraham’s day

I recently read an interesting article on BBC about an edict issued by the Afghanistan Taliban regarding polygamy earlier this year. In her article, Taliban Cracks Down on ‘Costly’ Polygamy, Author Khudai Noor Nasar states that in its two-page edict, the Taliban urges its commanders and officers not to take multiple wives. Curiously, this partial ban on polygamy has an interesting connection to a story in the Book of Genesis involving Abraham and his wife Sarah. Islam allows a man to have up to four wives and essentially an unlimited number of concubines. This has resulted in a shortage of women in countries such as Afghanistan for marriage and thousands of single men who have no hope of marrying and raising a family. Most of the Taliban’s recruits come from this large pool of single men. When the BBC contacted the Taliban asking how many of its leaders have more than one wife, they were simply retorted: “Which one hasn’t.?” But polygamy has resulted in an increased corruption among Taliban officers, who require extra money …

Archaeologists find evidence of Biblical earthquake in Jerusalem

In Amos 1:1, the prophet did an interesting thing. He used an earthquake that hit Judah and Israel about 2,800 years ago, during the reign of Judah’s King Uzziah, as a sign post dating his prophetic calling: 1 The words of Amos, who was among the sheepherders from Tekoa, which he saw in visions concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. Uzziah reigned as King of Judah between 790 and 739 BC. It is believed the earthquake took place around 750 BC. This was nearly 200 years before the destruction of the Temple in 586 BC, when Babylon invaded Jerusalem and hauled off the nation into captivity. But Amos was not the only prophet to mention the earthquake, centuries later the prophet Zechariah (520 to 470 BC) was still talking about the earthquake that occurred in King Uzziah’s day (Zechariah 14:5). This suggests that there was such devastation, it was still in public memory as it …

Archaeologists discover rare inscription, Jerubbaal, from the time of the Judges

Israel’s period of the Judges represents arguably the dark ages in Israel’s history. It ranges from the end of Joshua’s rule to the installation of King Saul. It was a time, when Israel was being dominated by foreign invaders resulting in a breakdown in society, where everyone did what was right in their own eyes as the Hebrew people left the worship of God and chased after idols. Judges chapter 2 provides an interesting description of the generation that followed Joshua writing: 10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. … In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Though they were experiencing God’s judgment during this chaotic period, at times God raised up leaders, …

Egyptian farmer stumbles upon tablet of obscure Pharaoh mentioned in the Bible

There have been hundreds of archaeological discoveries confirming the accuracy of the Old and New Testaments, but the ones I appreciate the most are those that confirm the obscure mentions, where an individual whose name is only mentioned once in the Bible is confirmed by archaeology. Even the smallest of details is accurate. In the Book of Jeremiah, the prophet warned Judah that with Babylon poised to invade the country as part of God’s judgment, the Jews should simply give up, and they would be treated mercifully by their Babylonian captors. However, false prophets rose up who told the King of Judah to resist the Babylonians and God would bring a great victory. They were wrong. Part of this resistance included King Zedekiah asking an Egyptian Pharaoh by the name of Hophra to help Judah resist Babylon. Hophra failed and Jerusalem was conquered and the people of Judah were hauled off into captivity. 30 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am going to deliver Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies …

Arrowheads discovered confirming ancient battle for the Philistine city of Gath

For Bible readers, the Philistine city of Gath is best known as the home town of Goliath, a 9+ foot giant in the Philistine army who was taken down by a young boy, named David, with a sling (1 Samuel 17:4). It was also the city that Joshua had earlier described the city as being home to giants (Joshua 11:22). Archaeologists with Bar-Ilan University have been working at the ancient city of Gath, located 21 miles west of Bethlehem, for several years and now believe it was one of the largest cities of that time. According to an article published in Near Eastern Archaeology, they believe they have found evidence supporting the Bible’s narrative that the city was besieged and successfully captured by King Hazel of Aram, an attack recorded in 2 Kings: 17 About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. (2 Kings 12:17 NIV) Archaeologists working at the site known as Tel-es-Safi/Gath discovered bone arrowheads and as well a workshop where …

How a DNA study the media claimed disproved the Bible actually proved it

In an article written in 2017, the popular British newspaper, The Telegraph, claimed that an analysis of DNA of a 3,700-year-old Canaanite woman proved that the Bible was wrong. The publication was citing a study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics stating that the woman’s DNA was closely related to the DNA of people living in Lebanon. In its article, The Telegraph explains: The ancient Canaanites survived a divine call for their elimination and went on to become modern-day Lebanese, a study finds. In other words, the descendants of the Canaanites were alive and well nearly 4,000 years later, so obviously the Bible made a huge mistake stating the Canaanites had been wiped out. And, it wasn’t just The Telegraph, several mainstream media outlets joined in to take shots at the Bible. Here is a sampling of a few of the headlines: The Bible was WRONG: Civilization God ordered to be KILLED still live and kicking: Express Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out: The Daily Mail …

‘Foreign Accent Syndrome’ and the Tower of Babel

In 1941, a young Norwegian woman suffered a serious head injury after being hit by shrapnel during a German air raid during World War II. Though the woman recovered a bizarre thing happened when she began speaking Norwegian with a German accent. It was so noticeable that her fellow Norwegians began to avoid and shun her. She experienced what today is referred to as Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) that occurs when people who have experienced stroke or severe head trauma begin speaking their native tongue with a distinctive and recognizable accent. It is a rare condition, first mentioned in 1907 by a French Neurologist named Pierre Marie, and since 1941 there have been approximately 100 cases of FAS. In 2013, the BBC did a documentary on a woman from England who went to a hospital in 2010 after experiencing a severe migraine. When she woke up the next morning, Sarah Colwill was speaking with a Chinese accent, that was so noticeable that others mocked her accent and would ask her to make fried rice. In …

More Dead Sea Scroll fragments of the Bible discovered

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is reporting that archaeologists have found nearly two dozen fragments from the Book of Zechariah and Nahum in a cave known as the “Cave of Horrors” that was originally discovered in the 1950s in connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 2017, the IAA decided to re-visit these caves over concerns that looters were working the caves. To access the Cave of Horrors, archaeologists had to repel down a 260-foot cliff. The cave got its name from the skeletons of 40 men, women and children that had taken refuge in the cave hiding from Roman soldiers during the second century Jewish revolt that took place between 132 AD and 136 AD. Archaeologists also found the remains of a Roman camp near the cave leading some to speculate that they knew the Jews were in the cave and simply decided to starve them out. And though the cave had not been studied for nearly 60 years, this second effort proved worthwhile. In addition, to discovering fragments of the Bible, they also …

Jerusalem’s Pilgrim road was built by Pilate, and it was a sign of things to come

Archaeologists have determined that a road thought to have been originally constructed by King Herod Agrippa (41 AD to 44 AD) was actually built by Pontius Pilate who was governor of Judea from 26 AD to at least 37 AD. Agrippa was the grandson of King Herod who ruled at the time of Christ’s birth. Known as the Jerusalem Pilgrim Road, it is a popular tourist site for both Jews and Christians. The stepped road, that was over a third of a mile long (600 meters), started at the Pool of Siloam (a mikveh or ritual bath) near the southern gates of the city and travelled up to the Jewish temple. And we see a reference to the upward incline in Acts 3:1, when we are told that Peter and John were going “up” to the Temple. Jews used this road for pilgrimages to the Temple during three of the feasts, Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. Josephus estimated that upwards of two million would visit Jerusalem during those festivals. Jewish pilgrims started their …

Evidence that the Jewish Temple existed on the Temple Mount

In recent decades, there have been several making the outrageous claim that the Jews have no right to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, because the Jews never had a Temple. In addition to several Muslim scholars, you also have atheists and those with a left-wing political agenda making this and similar claims. In an article entitled, Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem, the New York Times describes the growing controversy on the Temple’s existence noting: “Temple denial, increasingly common among Palestinian leaders, also has a long history: After Israel became a state in 1948, the Waqf removed from its guidebooks all references to King Solomon’s Temple, whose location at the site it had previously said was “beyond dispute.”” Of course, the Bible clearly states that the Jews actually built two Temples on Mount Zion, including the first Temple built by King Solomon, destroyed in 587 BC, and a second Temple built by Ezra that later underwent major renovations by King Herod. That Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. …

First example of the ancient ‘Royal Purple’ found in Israel

According to report in the Daily Mail, archaeologists working in the Timma Valley in Southern Israel have discovered the remains of a fabric that was coloured in royal purple. This was the first time an example of this expensive and rare colouring has been discovered. It was apparently preserved because of the area’s dry climate. This ancient purple was reknown for its ability to hold its colour for long period of times. According to radio carbon testing the fabric was 3,000 years old. Purple was extremely rare because it was produced in small amounts from a gland inside the mollusks found in the Mediterranean Sea. Each gland produced the equivalent of a single drop of the dye and according to reports it took about four million mollusks to produce a pound of dye. At times, the purple dye was so expensive, it cost more than gold. As a result of its rarity and expense, the colour quickly became associated with royalty in Biblical times. Speaking for the Israel Antiquities Authority, Naama Sukenik stated: ‘This is …

The Discovery of an ancient description, ‘Christ, born of Mary,’ hints to an earlier battle with heresy

Israeli archaeologists working in the Jezreel Valley recently announced that they found an ancient description of Jesus dated to the fifth century. It was found in the remains of a Byzantine Church located near the village of et-Taiyiba. Curiously, the phrase, “Christ, born of Mary,” may hint of a great theological battle that raged in the early church a couple of centuries earlier. The Greek inscription, that was carved on stone and appeared on top of the entrance, reads in full: “Christ, born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation… Whoever enters should pray for them.” According to Dr. Leah Di-Segni who works at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the phrase “Christ, born of Mary” was used by the people to ward off curses associated with an evil eye. As part of this, people often included this phrase in letters they were sending to friends. One of the persons mentioned in the greeting was Theodosius, the archbishop for the area around …

Have archaeologists discovered the dance floor on which John the Baptist was condemned to death?

According to a report on Live Science, archaeologists claimed to have found the very dance floor on which John the Baptist was condemned to death. In the Gospels, we are told the story behind John the Baptist’s execution at the hands of Herod of Antipas. The prophet had been actively condemning the marriage of Herod Antipas to a woman named Herodias. She was the wife of Herod’s half-brother Philip, who Herod actually stole while visiting Philip. Though the Romans were known for their notoriously low moral standards, even they were disgusted by Herod’s actions. Because of John’s constant condemnation of the marriage, Herod finally had John arrested. “But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him about Herodias, his brother’s wife, and about all the evil things Herod had done, added this to everything else—he locked John up in prison,” (Luke 3:19-20). It was apparent by this action, that the Baptist’s words were having an impact on people’s opinion of this marriage, and Herod wanted John stopped. But Herod was hesitant about having John executed, because …

House church found in Laodicean home may explain Revelation 3:15-17

Archaeologists working in the ancient city of Laodicea recently discovered a home in the ruins of the city dated to the first century that also contained a church. This has left some wondering if the Apostle John was addressing the believers who attended this church in his message to the seven churches of Asia found in the first three chapters of Revelation. Laodicea, located in modern Turkey, was the second largest city in Asia during the Roman period second only to Ephesus. It was a very wealthy city as it was part of a major trade route that included Ephesus and Smyrna. In addition, the city was also known for its banking and textile manufacturing. The home was quite large, 2,000 square meters in size, and was located beside a large theatre. The house had 20 rooms, that included the church, baths, a large hall with 18 columns and as well an area from which its owner, who was apparently quite wealthy, operated a business. Though the home was built in the first century, it …