A 2,000-year-old burial box believed by some to contain the remains of James, the brother of Jesus Christ, is set to go on public display in Israel, though it is stirring debate among Roman Catholics who reject that Christ had biological siblings.
Oded Golan, the Israeli antiquities collector who owns the limestone burial box, insists that "this is the oldest evidence that mentions the name of Jesus Christ," according to a report in The Guardian, written by journalist Matthew Kalman, who maintains the James Ossuary Trial Jerusalem blog.
"There is no doubt that it's ancient, and the probability is that it belonged to the brother of Jesus Christ," he added. more >>
Palestinian militant group Hamas has accused Israel of intentionally flooding the Gaza Strip during a massive storm last week. But Israel says that the dams it is accused of opening don't even exist.
"The allegation of [Israel] opening dams and flooding the Gaza Strip is baseless and false," Uri Schor, a spokesman for Israel's Water Authority, shared with The Times of Israel in response to the accusations, adding that no dams exist in the area.
"The opposite is true: due to the damage caused by the storm – which affected all neighboring countries and not only the Palestinian Authority – Israel responded to a special appeal conveyed through the UN, transferring four high-power pumps to the Gaza Strip intended to help residents remove water from flooded areas." more >>
I was shocked when I read that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa because it was too expensive to travel there. Seriously?
To be perfectly clear, I write these words as someone who stands with Israel and who thinks well of Mr. Netanyahu. But truth is truth, and there's a good reason that the prime minister's excuse for not attending the funeral has caused quite an uproar.
As reported by Christa Case Bryant in the Christian Science Monitor, the simple fact that Mr. Netanyahu did not attend the funeral was serious in itself: "While the Israeli leader's absence may have gone relatively unnoticed in South Africa, it has caused consternation in Israel. Detractors argue that missing the memorial of a man who championed freedom and brought down apartheid gives fresh fodder to critics who say Israel, too, has constructed an apartheid system and is insincere about reconciling with Palestinians after decades of conflict." more >>
Various conservative and evangelical leaders who commended Nelson Mandela's work to end racism in South Africa have stated that these compliments come in spite of his views on other issues.
In addition to his highly publicized efforts to end Apartheid in South Africa, Mandela expressed opinions on other views. These included opinions on abortion, Israel, and Communism that were at odds with what most conservative and evangelical Christians believe.
A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows that young Jews do not consider religion as a key component of what it means to be Jewish. This trend, connected to a wider secularism among the youth, provides an opportunity for preaching the Gospel, according to some Messianic Jewish scholars.
Russ Resnik, executive director of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), called the decreasing emphasis on religion among Jewish Millennials "both a real problem and an opportunity," in an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday. Resnik explained "it's a problem that our country is becoming increasingly secular," but he insisted that, as a result, "a lot of people are growing up without a lot of religious boundaries that historically kept Jews from thinking about Jesus as the Messiah."
According to the Pew study, 73 percent of Jews between 18 and 29 said a person can be Jewish if they do not believe in God. Sixty-six percent of the same group said being Jewish is mainly a matter of ancestry or culture, as opposed to religion. Only 13 percent said religion was more important. Thirty-two percent of them identify as Jewish but have no religion. more >>
A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows that over a third of the Jewish community accepts those who believe in Jesus as still Jewish. Leaders of the Messianic church, however, disagree as to whether or not this shows that Jews are more open to Jesus than in the past.
"A less hostile climate, a more open-minded climate" is pervading American Jewry, Messianic Jew Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries, told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday. While he said that this doesn't mean Jews are hungry for Jesus, he said that this shift represents a unique opportunity for Messianic Jews to spread the Gospel.
Glaser explained that, "more than anything, the number one objection Jewish people have to believing in Jesus is that if they do, they have to stop being Jewish." While more than half of American Jews still consider Christianity incompatible with Judaism, Pew found that 34 percent do not. That number is even higher among ultra-Orthodox Jews, at 35 percent, and among ages 18-49, at 38 percent. more >>