The Internet has been abuzz with intriguing headlines announcing that scholars have determined that the so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" papyrus is "authentic" and that there is "no forgery evidence" in the manuscript.
What exactly does this mean? And should Christians be concerned that a new discovery might contradict the biblical account and undermine their faith?
Actually, the report from scholars working with the Harvard Divinity School found that the manuscript is much younger than previously thought – in other words, it is even further removed from the time of the New Testament than scholars originally believed – meaning that, at most, it is a very late myth without a stitch of historical support. more >>
The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced this week that it has uncovered a 3,300-year-old ceramic coffin containing a male skeleton and a scarab in the country's northern region.
Archaeologists said workers accidentally discovered the Bronze Era tomb while installing a natural gas pipeline through the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel. The tomb contained ceramic pieces and a ceramic coffin containing the skeleton of a man. Next to the skeleton sat a scarab affixed to a ring that bore the name of Seti I, considered to be one of the most powerful pharaohs in Egypt during the Nineteenth Dynasty.
Seti I is the father of Ramesses II, believed by some to be the Pharaoh in the biblical story of the Exodus who drove the Israelites from Egypt. more >>
The controversial "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" ancient papyrus is not a modern-day forgery, according to newly published research in the Harvard Theological Review which insists that the fragment where Jesus supposedly mentions His wife dates between the sixth to ninth centuries CE.
The Harvard Theological Review states that the papyrus and the carbon ink have gone through "extensive testing" over the past few years, which has included analysis of the handwriting and grammar, as well as two radiocarbon tests to determine the date of the document.
"Microscopic and multispectral imaging provided other significant information about the nature and extent of the damage and helped to resolve a variety of questions about possible forgery," the update states. more >>
A new study conducted by Liverpool scientists suggests the Shroud of Turin proves Jesus was crucified with his hands over his head in a "Y" shape, rather than to the sides in a "T" shape, as traditionally depicted in Christian art. The scientist leading this recent study says this new crucifixion would be "very painful" and likely cause asphyxiation for the victim.
Scientists at the Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K. announced their findings at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences earlier this year. They argue that the Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus, shows an image of a man with blood stains streaking down his arms. Matteo Borrini, who led the shroud study at the John Moores University, argues that these stains could only have been obtained if the victim's arms were hung over his head in a "Y" shape, instead of the "T" shape that is so prevalent in Christian art.
The scientists reached their new conclusion after having scientist Luigi Garlaschelli of the University of Pavia, Italy, act out different crucifixion poses with donated blood dripping down his arms via a cannula. more >>
The Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday that it has uncovered a "spectacular" 1,500-year-old Byzantine monastery, complete with a prayer hall and intact floor mosaics, in southern Israel. The monastery, suspected of being used for Christian worship in the 6th century, was discovered as part of a salvage excavation before construction of a new highway in the Negev Desert.
The IAA said Tuesday that the Byzantine structure is 65 feet by 115 feet, and has four rooms, including a prayer hall and a dining room. The floors of the structure are lined with intact, colorful mosaics featuring classic Byzantine motifs, including flora, animals, baskets, and geometric patterns mixed in with blue, green, yellow, and red colors. The blue and red are historically associated with Christianity, but the green and yellow colors are more rare, perhaps indicating the stones that were regionally available at the time.
The mosaics also contained discretely hidden cross images meant to represent Christianity. The crosses were hidden into the design of the mosaics in order to honor an edict that prohibited crosses from being artistically created on floors where they would be easily stepped on. more >>
Crowds reportedly swarmed a Spanish church to view an ancient goblet after historians claimed they have identified it as the Holy Grail, the cup from which Jesus Christ sipped at the last supper before the crucifixion.
"It was in a very small room where it was not possible to admire it to the full," said Raquel Jaén, director of San Isidro Basilica in the city of León. Thousands of people have reportedly tried to visit the church this past week.
The chalice, made out of agate, gold and onyx and encrusted with precious stones, became famous after two historians recently published a book claiming it was the mythical goblet of Christ, AFP reported. more >>