Bible Archaeology

Nails of the Cross of Christ?

… a week before Easter? No! Writes Dr Robert Cargill:

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before.

Everyone’s least favorite faketvarchaeologist“veteran investigator” presenter of ridiculous, sensationalistic trash σκύβαλα, Simcha Jacobovici, is releasing a documentary entitled, “The Nails Of The Cross,” which “investigates” whether the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus have been discovered. And completely coincidentally, Simcha’s press release machine is revving up a week before Easter. Shockerrrrr! (said with a high pitched voice and dripping with sarcasm.)

The South African Independent Onlinereports Mr. Jacobovici’s claims in a Reuters story by Ari Rabinovitch:

“What we are bringing to the world is the best archaeological argument ever made that two of the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus have been found,” he said in an interview, wearing his trademark traditional knitted cap.

(I love! that they mentioned his “trademark knitted cap!)

Jim West broke this story this morning. And the unwitting press is already sopping it up like vinegar in a sponge. The UK’s Telegraph is even running video. (Thank goodness Dan Bahat is there to talk some sense into folks.)

So let me ask: Why is it that Mr. Jacobovici continues to prey on an oft unwitting public so near to the Christian holy days? Is his greed for cash so great that he’s willing to jump to any conclusion just to get on TV? Has he been so far ostracized from anything resembling legitimacy among professional archaeological circles that he feels he has nothing to lose by using his own production company to create ridiculous documentaries about unsubstantiated claims?

The Israel Antiquities Authority knows Mr. Jacobovici is making this up. It said in a statement:

The Israel Antiquities Authority, which oversaw the Jerusalem excavation, said in reaction to the film’s release that it had never been proven beyond doubt that the tomb was the burial place of Caiaphas. It also said that nails are commonly found in tombs.

“There is no doubt that the talented director Simcha Jacobovici created an interesting film with a real archaeological find at its centre, but the interpretation presented in it has no basis in archaeological findings or research,” it said.

So once again, we have Simcha Jacobovici making unsubstantiated, fantastic claims a week before Easter with the sole purpose of getting people to watch his nonsensical documentary…

Yes, it’s total nonsense.  Pseudo-archaeology. These are not nails from the Cross of Christ, so don’t be fooled!

Do read the rest of Dr Cargill’s fine debunking post here.

UPDATE:  Highly respected archaeologist Dr Gabriel Barkay:

Gaby Barkay, an archeologist from Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, said Mr Jacobovinci’s claims lacked scientific proof.

“There is no proof whatsoever that those nails came from the cave of Caiaphas,” he said. “There is no proof that the nails are connected to any bones or any bone residue attached to the nails and no proof from textual data that Caiaphas had the nails for the crucifixion with him after the crucifixion took place and after Jesus was taken down from the cross.”

Culture

When Muslims Burn Qurans

In the Washington Times:

Two dissidents, an Iranian and an Afghan, have posted a video to YouTube in which they burn a Koran. In the United States, the act would spark a debate about freedom of speech versus tolerance. In their countries, it is a criminal offense that could bring a death sentence.

In the American context, some say burning a Koran is a legitimate act of free expression, while others charge it is an act of bigotry that needlessly incites anger and violence abroad. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, went so far as to say that, “anytime we can push back here in America against actions like this that put our troops at risk, we should do it.” That is a dangerous capitulation to anti-progressive forces. It is wrong to limit American freedoms based on the violent propensities of foreign extremists. And it would be a strange manifestation of freedom in which burning a Koran was illegal but burning the American flag was protected speech. Osama bin Laden would certainly approve.

President Obama has framed his approach to the struggle against violent extremism by emphasizing tolerance even above critical judgment. Last autumn, he said that while the United States “is still predominantly Christian,” there are other faiths whose “path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own.” The White House tells us that extremists who commit offenses against human dignity in the name of Muhammad have a perverted view of Islam. But these academic rationales do nothing to bring freedom to those who suffer under the totalitarian rule of those who believe that the more extremely they interpret Islam, the closer they draw to their god. From Tehran’s point of view, the leader of the “Great Satan” lacks the credentials to make authoritative judgments on the true nature of the Muslim faith.

The two anonymous dissidents in the video look at the Koran much differently than Americans. To them, it’s not a religious tome but a political document, the blueprint for the tyrannical legal systems under which they live (in the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran) or have lived (in the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan). They do not view the Koran as the foundational volume of the religion of peace but as an extremist manifesto that has been used to justify the worst forms of human cruelty and oppression. Whether it is human-rights advocates being hanged on cranes in Iran or Taliban goons spraying acid in the eyes of Afghan schoolgirls, the justification always comes back to the Koran…

A very insightful read. Continue with it here.

Oh, and the video:

Church

Blessed John Paul II Feast Day: 22 October

Catholic News Service reports:

The feast day of Blessed John Paul II will be marked Oct. 22 each year in Rome and the dioceses of Poland.

When the Vatican made the announcement April 11, it also said Catholics throughout the world will have a year to celebrate a Mass in thanksgiving for his beatification. While thanksgiving Masses for a beatification — like the observance of a feast day — usually are limited to places where the person lived or worked, “the exceptional character of the beatification of the Venerable John Paul II, recognized by the entire Catholic Church spread throughout the world,” led to a general permission for the thanksgiving Mass, said a decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The decree was published in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, and included information about the thanksgiving Mass, Pope John Paul’s feast day, annual Masses in his honor and naming churches after him. The newspaper also published the text of the opening prayer — formally the “collect” — for his feast day Mass in Latin, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Polish…

More here.

The text of the decree can be read here.