A Massachusetts superior court judge has rejected a motion for an injunction against a program that would provide taxpayer funds to go to a restoration project for a historic church located in Martha's Vineyard.
Judge Richard T. Moses ruled earlier this week against a preliminary injunction being brought to halt the Community Preservation Coalition's funding of restoration work to Trinity United Methodist Church of Oak Bluffs Campground. "The court finds that there has been an insufficient showing of a likelihood of success on the merits and that granting of the injunction wouldn't be in the public interest," wrote Moses.
Established in 2000 by the Community Preservation Act, the CPC's stated purpose is to help Massachusetts communities preserve various sites and locales as well as help with growth. "CPA is a smart growth tool that helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities," reads the "Overview" entry on its website. more >>
For most Americans, the first Thanksgiving brings to mind images of pilgrims and Indians, a fierce winter, and hopeful British settlers coming to America to found a "New England."
Today, across the country, schools and communities reenact events featuring black-clad Europeans with funny hats, generic Native Americans with feathers, and food items like turkey and pumpkin pie.
Yet the first Thanksgiving may have taken place years earlier in a much warmer climate with a completely different cast of characters. more >>
Israeli archaeologists are claiming to have unearthed a wine cellar that is older than the bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls at a site in northern Israel.
American and Israeli archaeologists digging over the summer at a site known as Tel Kabri, located in northern Israel in the ruins of what used to be a northern Canaanite city, discovered the remains of 40 large jars near the banquet hall of a palace where the city-state's leaders and guests used to feast. The findings were presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Baltimore, Maryland.
Although the liquid that once sat in each jar has long vanished, chemical analyses performed on the jars' residue found they contained remnants of wine ingredients, including tartaric and syringic acid residues, as well as various spices and sweeteners, including mint, honey, cinnamon bark, juniper berries and resins. According to the New York Times, this recipe for wine was similar to medicinal wines used in Egypt for 2,000 years and would taste similar to a modern-day Greek wine. more >>
The Vatican and Google are working together to bring to light early-century paintings found in ancient Christian catacombs in northeast Rome, depicting notable biblical events such as Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and also some paintings that raises questions on whether there were women priests in the early Church.
"This is perhaps the sign of the joining of two extremes, remote antiquity and modernity," Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said at a news conference earlier this week at the Catacombs of Priscilla, Catholic News Service reported.
The restoration work inside the tomb used advanced laser techniques to uncover fourth-century paintings of famous scenes, such as Jesus and Lazarus, and St. Peter and Paul escorting Christians into the afterlife. It also contains one of the oldest known frescoes of the Madonna and the Child, dating back to 230 AD. more >>
A city in Kentucky is working with Crosswater Canyon, an owned subsidiary of Answers in Genesis, Inc., to offer $62 million in securities for prospective investors to help aid the completion of a Creationist theme park and replica of Noah's Ark. While the city of Williamstown is issuing the bond, Crosswalk Canyon is solely responsible for the bonds, not the city.
Beginning next month, Williamstown may oversee the amount of taxable securities for investors to the project overseen by Answers in Genesis, reported Brian Chappatta and Priya Anand of Business Week.
"Proceeds will help build a 510-foot (155.4-meter) wooden ship, the centerpiece of a planned biblical theme park called 'Ark Encounter.' Bond documents project the venue will attract at least 1.2 million people in its first year," wrote Chappatta and Anand. more >>
A disputed limestone box believed by some to contain the remains of James, the brother of Jesus Christ, has allegedly been vandalized by Israeli officials who had been analyzing it for forgery.
"It could be the earliest inscription of the word 'Jesus' ever found, but we may never know. In their fruitless zeal to prove that the inscription 'James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus' was forged by Oded Golan or an Egyptian craftsman working under his direction, the Israel Antiquities Authority permitted a series of destructive tests that proved nothing and may have destroyed the chances of ever knowing the truth," wrote Jerusalem-based journalist Matthew Kalman in a blog.
The inscription on the 2000-year-old burial box was initially suspected by Israeli officials to be a forgery by Golan, a private collector, who said that he obtained the box along with an ancient tablet from Arab traders in East Jerusalem about a decade ago. more >>