Thursday, August 11, 2005

Biblical Pool of Siloam Uncovered In Jerusalem

The Los Angeles Times reported:

Workers repairing a sewage pipe in the Old City of Jerusalem have discovered the biblical Pool of Siloam, a freshwater reservoir that was a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city and the reputed site where Jesus cured a man blind from birth, according to the Gospel of John.

The pool was fed by the now famous Hezekiah's Tunnel and is "a much grander affair" than archaeologists previously believed, with three tiers of stone stairs allowing easy access to the water, said Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, which reported the find Monday.

"Scholars have said that there wasn't a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit" to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. "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 said.

Religious law required ancient Jews to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem at least once a year, said archeologist Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, who excavated the pool. "Jesus was just another pilgrim coming to Jerusalem," he said. "It would be natural to find him there."

Read more...

It will be very interesting to know what the other archaeologistss and scholars think of this new discovery.

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