Category Archives: BIBLICAL

New Crucifixion Evidence Sheds Light on the Death of Jesus Christ

New Crucifixion Evidence Sheds Light on the Death of Jesus Christ

A recent study about a man’s crucifixion in Northern Italy 2000 years ago that was only the second direct discovery of the man executed by such a method, is shedding light on how Jesus Christ was killed.

In 2007 in Venice, the skeletal remains were first discovered by Emanuela Gualdi, a medical anthropologist at the University of Ferrara, but recently published research explores more thoroughly how the man died.

The report, a collaborative effort by researchers from the Ferrara and Florence universities, examined a lesion and unhealed fracture on one of the heel bones of the man, suggesting that his feet had been nailed.

Right calcaneus from 1st c AD Gavello, Italy, showing possible evidence of crucifixion. This archaeological evidence has provided new clues to the death of Jesus. (Emanuela Gualdi-Russo & Ursula Thun Hohenstein / University of Ferrara )
The calcaneus of Yehohanon ben Hagkol, with transfixed nail, which provided insights into the death of Jesus.

“We found a particular lesion on the right calcaneus [heel bone] passing through the entire bone,” Gualdi said.

She noted that Roman crucifixions were made to cause as much pain as possible for a prolonged period, with prisoners and slaves having their feet and wrists nailed to a wooden cross, sometimes taking several days to die.

As the Romans often left the bodies to rot or be eaten by animals, little direct evidence of people who have died from crucifixions remains. In some cases, the victims were removed and buried, but the metal crucifixion nails would be salvaged from their bodies.

Gualdi said that in the case of the man discovered in 2007, his wrists appear to have been tied to the cross with a rope, which was also a method practiced at the time. The researcher noted that many questions remain around the man, given that he was buried directly in the ground without any burial goods, rather than being placed in a tomb.

Grave of the man from Gavello during excavation by the provincial archaeological superintendency.

“We cannot know if he was a prisoner, but the burial marginalization indicates that he probably was an individual deemed dangerous or defamed in the Roman society,” she said.

Genetical and biological tests of the remains have determined that the subject was between 30 and 34 years of age when he died, and would have been of below-average height and slim nature.

The first-ever direct discovery of a crucifixion victim was made during excavations of Roman sites in Jerusalem in 1968 when a 7-inch-long nail was found in the heel bone of a man in one of the tombs. Various researchers and experts have talked about the brutality Jesus Christ faced at His own crucifixion at the hands of Roman soldiers.

A depiction of Jesus Christ being scourged.

Lee Strobel, a Christian apologist and former legal journalist for the Chicago Tribune, released in 2016 an updated version of his New York Times best-seller The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus.

In the book, he teamed up with Dr. Alexander Metherell, a physician who detailed the gruesome details of how Jesus was tortured and killed on the cross.

Metherell explained in the book that when Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was captured, he sweated blood out of distress, which is a rare medical condition called hematidrosis.

“What this did was set up the skin to be extremely fragile so that when Jesus was flogged by the Roman soldier the next day, his skin would be very, very sensitive.

Roman floggings were known to be terribly brutal. They usually consisted of 39 lashes but frequently were a lot more than that …” he explained.

He said that Jesus’ wrists had nails driven through them, which would have held up His body, and went through the median nerve.

“Do you know the kind of pain you feel when you bang your elbow and hit your funny bone … well, picture taking a pair of pliers and squeezing (as he twists his hands) and crushing that nerve. The pain was absolutely unbearable,” he noted, adding that Jesus’ feet were also nailed.

3,000-year-old Canaanite temple discovered in southern Israel

3,000-year-old Canaanite temple discovered in southern Israel

In southern central Israel, Tel Lachish’s new discovery consists of very rare inscriptions showing early precursors of Hebrew alphabet

An aerial view of the newly found temple at Tel Lachish.

In Tel Lachish National Park, the 3,000-year-old temple of Canaanite has unearthed by a team of Israelis and American archeologists.

Under the guidance of Prof. Yosef Garfinkel from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Prof. Michael Hasel from the University of southern Advent at Tennessee, the team published their findings in the Levant journal last month following years of excavations.

Located in south-central Israel, Tel Lachish is the site of the biblical Lachish, a major Canaanite city during the Middle and Late Bronze Ages that was later conquered by the Israelites. It was one of the only Canaanite cities to survive into the 12th century BCE.

“We excavated a new temple in the northeast corner of the site that [dates] to the 12th century BCE,” Garfinkel told The Media Line. “It was extremely rich with objects and also [had] an inscription, which is very, very rare. The last time a Canaanite inscription was found was about 40 years ago.”

The aforementioned inscription was found on a pottery shard and features the oldest-known example of the letter “samekh.”

An extremely rare find found at Tel Lachish shows a Caananite inscription and the oldest-known example of the letter “samekh” (highlighted). (T. Rogovski)

“Our inscription is Semitic: It’s Canaanite and later the Hebrew script developed from the same type of writing,” Garfinkel explained, adding that the discovery was “of tremendous importance to the history of the [Hebrew alphabet].”

The new temple marks the first time in a long while that a new Canaanite temple has been found; in fact, the majority of such structures were already unearthed in the early 20th century.

In addition, the Lachish temple was built in a symmetrical style which has only been seen in a few other places in Israel, among them Tel Megiddo, Hazor and Nablus.

“This is the first time that we have a symmetrical temple at Lachish,” Garfinkel said. “There are fewer than 10 of these in Israel.”

Itamar Weissbein, the lead co-author of the study and one of the excavators, told The Media Line that this is the third Canaanite temple found at Lachish.

The first two temples were discovered by a British expedition in the 1930s and an Israeli team in the 1970s, respectively.

“In general, temples in the ancient Near East were not like churches or synagogues that you [could] enter,” Weissbein said. “It’s a different type of cultic activity. Only a few elites – priests or maybe kings – entered to do some rituals there because it was a house of gods, not a house of worship in a way.”

Weissbein emphasized that worshippers would likely have been standing outside the temple in the courtyard, an area that has not been well-preserved over the centuries. Researchers were, however, able to glean some ideas about the cultic activities that took place inside the temple based on artifacts that they dug up.

“We found two figurines of male deities,” Weissbein stated. “They probably represent Baal, [who was] one of the main deities of the Canaanites, like a storm god or a fertility god … and another deity called Resheph, [who was] more of a warlike deity.”

Two ancient figurines found at the temple in Tel Lachish likely represent Baal and Resheph, deities worshipped by the Canaanites.

In addition to the ruins, the figurines and the inscription, Garfinkel’s team also found bronze cauldrons, jewelry, daggers, scarabs and a gold-plated bottle bearing an inscription with the name of the powerful Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II.

How archaeologists were stunned by ‘oldest biblical text ever’ discovery near the Dead Sea

How archaeologists were stunned by ‘oldest biblical text ever’ discovery near the Dead Sea

We witnessed some biblical discoveries this year which proved true in many histories such as the watchtower of the 8th century, the church of the 5th century, a settlement connected to the crucifixion of Jesus among others.

Nevertheless, the scholars were surprised when archeologists had uncovered an almost similar text to the Dead Sea Scroll.

Jesus was born in 4 AD and crucified, it is said, by crucifixion somewhere between 30AD and 33AD and by resurrection three days later. through the resurrection, he came back. But a discovery in the 21st century shook off that belief.

The Dead Sea Scrolls date back more than 2,000 years

A team of archaeologists discovered Gabriel stone, which was a tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew text from the Dead Sea that also includes some controversial prophecies.

The biblical investigator Simcha Jacobovici recently explained these texts which date back to the 1st century BC.

The experts stated that “Perea is located on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, it is here that the most famous writings ever were unearthed. Discovered in 1948, the more than 2,000-year-old documents are the oldest biblical texts ever found.”

It should be noted that after the discovery of the Gabriel Inscriptions, archaeologists were stunned and when scholars deciphered it, they were startled by the fact that they were looking at the Dead Sea Scroll on a stone, said Jacobovici.


Recently during Amazon Prime’s “Decoding the Ancients” series, Jacobovici mentioned that the similarities between the Gabriel inscriptions and the scrolls are impressive as both are written in ink, both the texts are written in two columns and have the Hebrew letters suspended from the upper guidelines.

Jacobovici said that this suggests that the stone, like the scrolls, originates from the shores of the Dead Sea.

“So in search of a Gabriel-like stone in the area of Perea, Simcha travels here to meet with archaeologist Konstantinos Politis, who’s been digging in this area for 20 years.

Among the artifacts unearthed by Politis, Simcha is struck by the ancient Jewish and Christian gravestones reminiscent of the Gabriel Inscription. And Politis has a lot more artifacts like this,” said the expert.

The discovery of Gabriel’s inscription has caused controversy due to its context. An expert in Talmudic and biblical language at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, Israel Knohl, translated line 80 from the inscription which says, “in three days, live, I Gabriel command you”.

As per his interpretation, it was a command from the angel Gabriel who asked (someone) to rise from dead after three days. But he also understood that the recipient of this command was Simon of Peraea, a Jewish rebel who was killed by the Romans in 4the century BC.

Later, a biblical expert Ada Yardeni agreed to Knohl’s interpretation while other scholars have rejected Knohl’s reading.

However, later in 2011, Knohl accepted that “sign” is more relevant than “live” but the latter is a possible reading. No wonder, the year 2019 has witnessed some Biblical findings resurface to make these them relevant and controversial yet again.

Extinct date palms grown from 2000-year-old seeds found near Jerusalem

Extinct date palms grown from 2000-year-old seeds found near Jerusalem

Seven date palm trees have been grown from 2000-year-old seeds that were found in the Judean desert near Jerusalem. The seeds – the oldest ever germinated – were among hundreds discovered in caves and in an ancient palace built by King Herod the Great in the 1st century BC.

The find reveals how ancient farmers were selectively breeding dates from around the region, and it could give clues to how dates can survive for millennia.

Robin Allaby, a genetics expert at Warwick University who was not part of the research team said: “This is an extraordinary finding.“It shines a light on the fact that we don’t understand long-term seed viability.”

Sarah Sallon, an ethnobotanist at the Hadassah Medical Center, and colleagues have collected hundreds of seeds for growing the date plants.

Some were excavated from Masada, Israel—a mountaintop fortress on a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea that was partly built by the biblical King Herod; others came from caves around the Dead Sea used for storage and living quarters.

Extinct date palms grown from 2000-year-old seeds found near Jerusalem
Palm trees in the ruins of Babylon. Two of the seeds found are like modern Iraqi varieties of date, which may be linked to the return of Jews from exile in the sixth century BC.

The researchers soaked 34 of the most promising specimens in warm water and liquid fertilizer and then planted them in sterile potting soil.

Six seeds germinated and sprouted into seedlings that would eventually become date palms. The successful seeds were all several centimeters long, 30% larger than modern date seeds, suggesting dates that were significantly larger than modern varieties.

To verify that the seeds were ancient—and not more recent specimens deposited amid archaeological artifacts by burrowing animals, for example—the team carbon-dated seed shell fragments clinging to the roots after the seeds had successfully sprouted. The seeds were between 2200 and 1800 years old, the team reports today in Science Advances.

Initial genetic analysis of the plants grown from the ancient seeds suggests farmers in the region were growing dates that mixed traits from around the ancient world.

The result, according to classical writers like Galen, Strabo, and Herodotus, was a large, sweet, shelf-stable fruit that was a prized treat throughout the Roman world. After the collapse of the Roman empire and the Arab conquest of the region, Judean date farming declined. By the time of the Crusades, around 1000 C.E., the area’s date plantations were no more.

The new plants could be the beginning of a revival—if not of the ancient dates then at least of their best features. Study co-author Frédérique Aberlenc, a biologist at the French National Institute for Sustainable Development, says the group plans to pollinate the female plants in the near future, hopefully allowing them to bear fruit.

The idea is to produce fruit with traits that could be used to improve modern varieties, increasing their sweetness and size and resistance to modern pests, for example. The plants could also provide a window into how date plants manage to protect and preserve their DNA over the course of many centuries.

Although an older grass seed was successfully germinated after millennia frozen in Siberian permafrost, these dates are some of the oldest plants ever successfully germinated. That’s because DNA and RNA usually fragment over time into tiny pieces.

That may be enough for ancient DNA analysis, but not to grow a living date palm plant. “For these seeds to germinate, the DNA had to be intact, which goes against a lot of what we know about DNA preservation,” says University of York archaeogeneticist Nathan Wales, who was not involved with the study. “It’s not out of the question that there is some really cool biological system at work that preserves DNA [in dates].”

Sallon says the unusual conditions around the Dead Sea probably helped. “Low altitude, heat, dry conditions—all of those could affect the longevity of the embryo,” she says.

The seeds’ unusual size could have played a role, too. The more genetic material there is, the more is likely to remain whole, Allaby says. “But it’s still extraordinary. … It beggars belief that you would have entire chromosomes intact.”

The Siloam Pool: Where Jesus Healed the Blind Man

The Siloam Pool: Where Jesus Healed the Blind Man

In Old Jerusalem workers have stumbled upon the ruins of the Siloam Pool, wherein John’s Gospel, Jesus cures a man who is blind from birth — the new find is praised as a discovery that helps to demonstrate the Bible’s historical authenticity.

In 2004, the stepped remains of the ancient Siloam Pool, long thought to be located elsewhere, were uncovered near the City of David. According to the Gospel of John, it was at this sacred Christian site that Jesus healed the blind man.

In the Los Angeles Times, James H. Charlesworth, a New Testament scholar of the Princeton Theological Seminary, had a quote: “Scholars have said that there wasn’t a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit” to illustrate a point…”Now we have found the Pool of Siloam … exactly where John said it was.”

A gospel that was thought to be “pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history,” he added.

Sewer workers discovered the pool some 200 yards from another Pool of Siloam, this one constructed somewhere between 400 and 460 AD by the Empress Eudocia of Byzantium, who, experts say, commissioned the rebuilding of several biblical sites.

Archeologists say that the pool which appears in John’s Gospel was built around the 1st century BC and destroyed by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 AD.

The sewer line repair which led to the discovery was being overseen by Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority who, according to the LA Times report, was “100% sure it was the Siloam Pool,” when his group saw two steps unearthed by the workers.

The account of the pool in the Gospel of John shows Jesus encountering a man there who had been blind since birth. Jesus’ disciples thought that the man was blind because of some sin of his own or his parents.

Jesus then responds that the man is blind so that God’s work might be revealed in him, spits in the dust to make mud and rubs it in the man’s eyes telling him to wash himself in the Pool of Siloam.

The return of the man’s sight makes this story one of the most often recalled in the whole of the Gospels. Now, theologians and biblical scholars are excited that the significance of this miracle can be appreciated in a whole new light.

Artist’s rendering of the Siloam Pool, the Biblical Christian site where Jesus healed the blind man

Archaeologists have uncovered a stunning 1,600-year-old biblical mosaic in northern Israel.

Mind-blowing 1,600-year-old biblical mosaics paint a new picture of Galilean life

The spectacular biblical mosaic of 1600 years old found in Northern Israel was discovered by archaeologists.

On the site of a Synagogue in Huqoq from the fifth century, the mosaic was discovered, which depicts a scene in the book of Exodus.

Director of Excavation Jodi Magness, Professor in Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina, said the mosaic was the first depiction of the episode of Elim from Exodus 15:27 ever found in ancient Jewish art.

“Elim is where the Israelites camped after leaving Egypt and wandering in the wilderness without water,” she explained in a statement, noting that the mosaic is separated into three registers or horizontal strips.

One register showed clusters of dates being harvested by loincloth-clad agricultural workers while another showed a row of wells and date palms, she explained.

“On the left side of the panel, a man in a short tunic is carrying a water jar and entering the arched gate of a city flanked by crenellated towers. An inscription above the gate reads, ‘And they came to Elim’,” Magness added.

Archaeologists also discovered mosaics depicting four beasts described in Chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel. The beasts represented four kingdoms preceding the end of days.

A detail from the Elim mosaic.

“The Daniel panel is interesting because it points to eschatological, or end of the day, expectations among this congregation,” said Magness, in the statement.

“The Elim panel is interesting as it is generally considered a fairly minor episode in the Israelites’ desert wanderings ­­– which raises the question of why it was significant to this Jewish congregation in Lower Galilee.”

The mosaics have been removed from the site for conservation.

Magness and the archaeological team during the summer 2019 dig at Huqoq.
Magness and the archaeological team during the summer dig at Huqoq.

The excavation marked the ninth year of digs at the Huqoq site. The first mosaics were discovered in 2012. Between 2014 and 2017, archaeologists discovered mosaics depicting Noah’s Ark, the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the fish and the Tower of Babel, painting a fascinating picture of life at the ancient site.

In 2018 researchers also announced the discovery of a stunning mosaic depicting a biblical scene from Numbers 13:23. Labeled “a pole between two,” the panel showed two spies sent by Moses to explore the biblical land of Canaan.

Another mosaic discovered at Huqoq includes a depiction of Samson. There also has been an ongoing debate about whether a mosaic uncovered in 2016 portrays Alexander the Great.

The purported Alexander the Great mosaic was the first non-biblical story ever found decorating an ancient synagogue.

A mosaic depicting the building of the Tower of Babel.

Experts said the wealth of mosaics show that Jewish life in the surrounding village flourished during Christian rule in the fifth century. This challenges a widely held view that Jewish settlement in the area declined during that period.

“Our work sheds light on a period when our only written sources about Judaism are rabbinic literature from the Jewish sages of this period and references in early Christian literature,” said Magness, who noted it showed only the viewpoint of the men who wrote it. Additionally, early Christian literature generally was hostile to Jews and Judaism.

The parting of the Red Sea mosaic.

“So, archaeology fills this gap by shedding light on aspects of Judaism between the fourth to sixth centuries CE – about which we would know nothing otherwise,” Magness explained. “Our discoveries indicate Judaism continued to be diverse and dynamic long after the destruction of the second Jerusalem temple in 70 CE.”

A mosaic depicting Jonah being swallowed by a fish.

The Huqoq Excavation Project has involved experts from a host of universities, including Baylor University, Brigham Young University and the University of Toronto, as well as the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University.

3,000-Year-Old Hebrew Inscription Discovered

3,000-Year-Old Hebrew Inscription Discovered

Archeologists at Tel Abel Beth Macaah, a joint dig between Azusa Pacific University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have recently exposed a nearly 3,000-year-old jar with the Hebrew inscription.

The ink inscription reads “lbnayo,” meaning “belonging to Benaiyo.” This implies that an Israelite man named Benaiyo lived in Abel Beth Macaah around the 9th century B.C.

This is significant because it is the northern Israelite equivalent of a name found in the Bible (see 2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Chronicles 27:5; 1 Kings 1:8) and indicates that the site may have indeed been an Israelite city at this time (see 2 Samuel 20:29). The name means “Yahweh has built”.

The ink inscription reads “lbnayo,” meaning belonging to Benaiyo, an Israelite name

“Such a discovery advances our understanding of the site and the local region considerably,” said Robert Mullins, Ph.D., co-lead archaeologist of the dig site and chair and professor in Azusa Pacific’s Department of Biblical and Religious Studies.

The jar was found in the lower part of the city, where the team has already found remains from the 9th century, the time of King Ahab.

The new section of the site, Area K, had very little occupation from later periods, which allowed the archaeologists to quickly go below the topsoil and unearth a room containing several broken jars.

The team did not notice the inscription on the jar at first, but when the item was sent for restoration, faint traces of ink on one of the pieces were detected.

The Hebrew script was deciphered through multispectral images taken at the same lab in the Israel Museum that studies the Dead Sea Scrolls. “Any time you find writing on artifacts, that’s important because it can tell us so much about the history of the area,” Mullins said.

One of the other jars had a grape pip and residue in it, indicating the vessel was used to store wine, and the room may have been used for wine storage. Mullins said the team expects to find much more in the area when they resume excavation this summer.

Mullins and the team of archaeologists have excavated ancient artifacts and buildings at the site every summer since 2012. Past finds include silver earrings and ingots, a stone seal, and a small faience head of an ancient king.

Each year, Mullins is accompanied by co-directors Naama Yahalom-Mack, Ph.D. and Nava Panitz-Cohen, Ph.D., from the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University, and their team of archaeologists and scholars, including students from APU and partner schools Cornell University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Asbury Theological Seminary, and Indiana Wesleyan University.

Due to heavy rain: Ritual Temple Baths now fully functional in 2000 years, for the first time.

Thanks to Heavy Rains: Ritual Baths for Temple now fully functional for first time in 2,000 years

Two thousand years ago, Jews from all over Israel attended the Holy Temple in Jerusalem three times a year to worship God, as the Bible commands

Three times a year—on the festival of Pesach, on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot—all your males shall appear before Hashem your God in the place that He will choose. They shall not appear before Hashem empty-handed, Deuteronomy 16:16

In the course of their spiritual preparation for the encounter of holiness on the site of Temple, these pilgrims will immerse themselves in the mikvah.

An ancient mikvah, located just south of Jerusalem, that was used by these pilgrims has been renewed by the recent rainfall in Israel and is full enough to use, according to Assaf Brezis The Gush Etzion ATV Tour Manager

The ancient mikvah, located on the road known as Derech HaAvot (Patriarch’s Route), was rediscovered just 35 years ago.

While it’s still being run by the military and not fully restored, Brezis spoke excitedly about the Biblical significance of the mikvah and the area surrounding it. He knows it has the potential to captivate Bible-based Jews and Christian alike.

Ritual Bath in the Prat Spring, Judea

He knows because he’s witnessed visitors crying at the site, as they come to understand its Biblical significance. Brezis has a vision for building a tourist attraction near the mikvah, to reenact the scenes that took place there more than 2000 years ago.

Using speakers in each all-terrain vehicle, Brezis’ company takes visitors on tours, each lasting an hour or two, during which they are introduced to the history and Biblical significance of the mikvah and the surrounding area.

The ancient mikvah on Derech HaAvot, for example, has two entrances, separated by a wall in the center. This is different from most mikvahs, both ancient and modern, which are just a single pool.

Ancient mikvah with two entrances

Brezis told Breaking Israel News that there is a similar mikvah in what is today known as the Davidson Center in Jerusalem’s Old City. This type of construction is a clue that the mikvah was in heavy use by Jews on their way to Jerusalem.

When he gets visitors to imagine a time that the area around the mikvah was once “crowded with thousands of pilgrims together,” it often brings them to tears.

In addition to the ancient mikvah, the ATV tours bring people to other sites of Biblical significance nearby, such as Herodian (where King Herod is buried), Sde Boaz (Boaz’s field) where significant episodes from the Book of Ruth occurred, Roman milestones on roads to Jerusalem that were in use 4000 years ago and Mitzpor HaElef, a lookout more than 3000 feet above sea level.

The Talmud suggests that people who were coming to the Holy Temple could immerse themselves in a mikvah as soon as they felt the spiritual pull of Jerusalem. Brezis explained that it was common for pilgrims coming from the south to already sense Jerusalem at this location, making it a particularly well-known and heavily-used mikvah.

It is still possible today to see Jerusalem from the nearby Jewish community of Neve Daniel. Brezis connected this location to Avraham’s vision of Jerusalem on his journey to fulfill God’s command to sacrifice his son Yitzchak (Isaac). 

On the third day Avraham looked up and saw the place from afar. Genesis 22:4

Shannon Nuszen, the political activist in the area, told Breaking Israel News that the site also has contemporary political significance. “I take [people on] tours there because it’s significant to the political fight here.

Derech HaAvot runs right through Judea and is full of archaeological finds that prove this land has always been Jewish. Just steps from the mikvah is a wine press and an ancient Roman milestone.

“While you’re standing there, you can look up and see the community of Netiv HaAvot, located on the same road where 17 homes were destroyed in the legal battle where claims were made that the land may or may not belong to us.”

Since the mikvah hasn’t yet been fully restored, the rainwater-filled pools may only last a few weeks, during Israel’s rainy season. Nevertheless, Brezis concluded that “It’s amazing to see this place, even without the water.”