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The Cave of John the Baptist by Shimon…
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The Cave of John the Baptist

by Shimon Gibson

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Self-congratulatory little man digs up some caves in the non-oily parts of the Middle East, relies on folk tales and medieval credulity to tie them to a major Biblical figure, and signs a book contract. The end.

Except it isn't. He witters on for 326pp about his amazing finds and his astonishing insights and his startling conclusions, and they're all pretty sketchily supported from what I can tell, and subject to other interpretations. And that's the kind of sentence he writes, too.

I study Christian/Biblical matters under the heading of "know what your enemy knows"; this book, certainly, shouldn't be part of what the enemy knows because it's a weak case for tie-in to John the Baptist at best. Josephus as your SOLE contemporary source isn't good enough. Josephus wasn't even contemporary to the time of Jesus's supposed existence, and John the Baptist was before that. The New Testament has the same problem. It was written long after the events it purports to describe. So there are no eyewitness accounts to tie this cave to that oddball who behaved so strangely.

Case not proved. Book not needed. Writing not interesting. Next docket item, please. ( )
5 vote richardderus | Oct 18, 2009 |
Haven't read yet.
  phannah.flpl | Feb 21, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385503474, Hardcover)

The first archaeological evidence of the historical reality of the Gospel story.

From a historical point of view, the uniqueness of this cave is that it contains archaeological evidence that comes to us from the very time of the personalities and events described in the Gospels. For here is the largest ritual bathing pool ever found in the Jerusalem area, and found in the village where John the Baptist was born, showing unmistakable signs of ritual use in the first century AD. Also in the cave is the earliest ever Christian art, depicting John the Baptist as well as the three crosses of the crucifixion.

By using the forensic techniques available to the modern archaeologist, Gibson and his international team have been able to draw information from the drawings, pottery, coins, bones, remains of ritual fire and pieces of cloth found in the cave and match these up with the contemporary literary sources. This is a unique opportunity to build up a picture of the very first Christians, how they lived and even what they believed.

As Gibson writes: “By fitting together the new archaeological facts with the historical information available (and sometimes buried) in scholarly literature, I believe I am able to throw an amazing amount of light on the personality and mission of John the Baptist. Who was he? Where did he come from? What were his beliefs and what was the baptism all about?”

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:50 -0400)

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The first archaeological evidence of the historical reality of the Gospel story.

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