Daily Archives: November 10, 2011
Don’t bet on it! Anyway, here is the Huffington Post with the news:
Reports are cropping up that the fabled Ark of the Covenant, said to contain the remnants of the Ten Commandments, has been discovered along with the Tomb of Alexander the Great on the Greek island of Thasos.
The Focus Information Agency, a Bulgarian outfit not exactly renowned for accuracy, is reporting that Grekomania.ru, a Russian web portal that purports to be an “official information partner of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Greece,” has claimed that a group led by Nikolaos Kumardzis, an archeologist apparently unaffiliated with any other dig, has identified one of the world’s great treasures. At least one Armenian newspaper is running a similar story.
What more confirmation could anyone possibly want?
Thasos, which is near Macedonia, has long been rumored as the potential resting place of Alexander the Great, who died in Babylon in 323 BC after conquering Persia and consolidating Eurasian power. The connection between the great military leader and the ten commandments — none of which he could truly be said to have followed — is unclear, which makes the news that they were discovered together even less credible.
That being said, the Ark of the Covenant has inspired travelers and explorers for hundreds of years and is likely to continue to do so. It is worth remembering that pilgrimages remain part of the modern travel culture and that visiting relics or searching for them is quite popular in much of the world…
These sorts of purported sensational finds perpetually pop up in the news. Nothing new. Same old trash.
According to Vatican insider Andrea Tornielli:
In the Washington Times:
The Holy Land has preserved churches and monuments that memorialize events in the life of Jesus. The truth is that we cannot be absolutely certain of the identity of these places. Tradition, Scripture, and reason are guides to indicate potential sites. For Christians the “holy sites” are not places to be worshipped, but an aid to understanding the events and teachings of the Bible.
Characters in the original scenes did not leave a pillar or stone to designate the location of an event. They were too busy with the cares of daily life. Nevertheless, knowledge of the background of Scripture is important to the interpretation of the events and instructions mentioned in the Bible.
Just how are the biblical locations identified with any degree of certainty when they were lost so long ago? Can tourists to the Holy Land be assured they are visiting real, identifiable sites or are they imaginary unsubstantiated locations used to satisfy a spiritual pilgrimage?
There are various avenues of research that can be used to identify traditional sites:
1) Literary sources, such as Josephus (1st century Jewish historian) and the church fathers often record distances from one location to another. These are invaluable for discovery. They may also remark how something is near a place previously identified.2) Toponomy (study of place names) is often preserved in modern Arabic or Hebrew names.
3) Archaeology and geography are apt to paint a picture that match the biblical account.
4) Tradition, while it may be flawed, can be quite reliable. Sites became “holy” very early because eyewitnesses remembered traumatic events and where they took place…
Read on here.
UPDATE: Cape Argus:
Julius Malema is to be removed as leader of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) after being suspended from the organisation for five years.
Malema is barred from involving himself in any activities of the ANCYL and the ANC for the duration of his suspension, which came into immediate effect today after Derek Hanekom,the ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) chairman, announced the findings of a disciplinary process against Malema and the league’s top brass in Joburg today.
Malema was not present at the announcement at Luthuli House for the announcement. He was reported to be in Limpopo writing an exam.
The committee found Malema guilty on two main charges. One related to a statement he made on July 31 – that the ANC was no longer dealing with issues affecting the interests of Africa.
“According to Mr Malema’s statement the issue of the African agenda within the ANC ended with the departure of Thabo Mbeki (as president) in June 2008,” Hanekom said.
The NDC found that Malema made an unlawful comparison between the leadership of Mbeki and Jacob Zuma’s administration.
The remarks, even though he did not mention Zuma by name, were regarded as an attack on Zuma.
“It is not true that the ANC has abandoned Africa. In light of the above, Malema’s remarks sowed division and disunity within the ANC. He is therefore personally liable for his comments. The fact that he made the statement in his capacity as the ANCYL leader is rejected.”
In May last year Malema was found guilty of sowing divisions within the ANC and received a suspended sentence, conditionally suspended should he not behave inappropriately for two years. Due to the guilty verdict on misconduct charges, the ANC implemented the two-year suspension on the May count. Hanekom added an additional suspended sentence of five years for his comments on Mbeki and the threat to overthrow the Botswana government.
Malema was also ordered to vacate his position as league president with immediate effect.
He has 14 days to appeal…
The Mail & Guardian originally reported:
Julius Malema and other ANC youth league leaders have been found guilty of ill-discipline for barging uninvited into a meeting of the ruling party’s top leaders.
Malema, ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi were found guilty by the ANC’s national disciplinary hearing of ill-discipline and undermining ruling party leadership.
The youth league leaders were found guilty and each handed a sentence of a two-year suspension from the party. The sentence itself, was in turn suspended for three years…
See also the Telegraph (UK) here.