Ancient Monastic Site Destroyed by Islamists

Looters attempted to hack out this ancient architectural element in Ansana (Photo from Egypt’s Heritage Taskforce Facebook page)

Egypt’s Christian community continues to suffer attacks by Muslims, including destruction and looting of archaeological and historical sites dating to the first centuries of Christianity. From Daily News Egypt: The latest attack targeted Ansana, a historical Egyptian site believed to have been used as a Coptic monastery. Yet, information about it is scarce. “[The site] [Read More...]

Are These Beams From the First Temple?

photo credit: Matti Friedman/Times of Israel

Reused for millennia, discarded, forgotten, left in a padlocked storage space: these rough chunks of wood hewn from cedar, cypress, and oak up to 3000 years ago may once have been part of the First Temple. Building materials routinely were recycled throughout ancient times, but these are important because they were removed from the Al-Aqsa [Read More...]

The Shroud of Turin 2.0

Photo Mar 28, 12 50 08 PM

Three big news items about the Shroud of Turin for Holy Week: new dating, a live broadcast, and a new app: 1. New Confirmation of Shroud’s Antiquity The flawed 1988 radiocarbon tests dating the shroud to the Middle Ages have been challenged for years. Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of [Read More...]

Jesus’s Wife: Textual Fingerprints of a Forger

Thomas without error

Mark Goodacre continues to post outstanding coverage on the “Jesus’s Wife” fragment. His blog has become the main clearing house for news on the forgery, and now he has a new scoop. There’s an error in the fragment that is reproduced from an online version of the Gospel of Thomas. You should read Goodacre’s whole piece, as well [Read More...]

Smithsonian Yanks “Jesus’s Wife”

As I mentioned on Tuesday, Smithsonian had a documentary called “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” ready to run at 8pm on Sunday night. In the wake of numerous claims that the fragment is a forgery, they’ve decided to postpone that documentary pending additional testing. From USA Today: The Smithsonian Channel has postponed plans to broadcast [Read More...]

More From Francis Watson on “Jesus’s Wife” Fragment

Mark Goodacre has a supplemental report from Francis Watson of Durham University, who provided the initial report suggesting the fragment is a modern forgery. This one is called “Addendum: The End of the Line?” It’s interesting to see how the internet is shaping this story. In his first paragraph, Professor Watson mentions a comment by renowned Biblical scholar Richard [Read More...]

The Gnostic Noise Machine and the “Wife” of Jesus UPDATED

papyrus_front_text_500

I was going to let the whole “Jesus had a wife” thing pass by in silence, since the discovery of a minor fragmentary unprovenanced 4th century papyrus of a probable Gnostic text is about as relevant to actual Christianity as an episode of Scooby Doo. If it turns out to be authentic (big if) it [Read More...]

St. Augustine Asks the Hard Questions Atheists Don’t Ask UPDATED

Atheists think Christians believe this is how things really happened.

It’s fun to read or listen to super-duper-smart professional atheists (well, they think they’re smart) banging on about the book of Genesis. It’s a useful issue for them, because the primeval history in scripture is mysterious, complex, and rich in symbolism. So, naturally, Reason Warriors approach it with the childish literalism of a young-earth creationist. Perhaps this works for them [Read More...]


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