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01 November 2016


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From July of 1993 to late June of 1994, I was in this church once or twice a day as it was on my route to school. If you're Christian, or even if you are just fascinated by religion as so many SST'ers are, the church is beautiful for its architecture, location and importance. But it's also a fantastic place to begin to understand the "religious zoo" that is Jerusalem. The key-keeper, the Greeks, Copts and Armenians, the poor Ethiopians on the roof, the graffiti chiseled into the walls, the money changers in the courtyard!


For consideration:

It is indeed interesting that a major effect of the civil strife in Iraq, Egypt, Syria caused by US and allied invasions and fomentations and arming of jihadis has been the near-destruction of the Christian populations in these countries.

Is "our" Empire being run of by and for people who are hostile to Christians? How is this? How did it happen? How are foreign entities, traditionally hostile to Christendom, controlling US foreign policy? Is the USA not only not a Christian nation, but actually the enemy of Christians and Christianity?

Very strange times, very strange bedfellows, indeed.

David Lentini

That being the case there was little expectation that anything would be left of the tomb itself. This is a massive surprise.

Like so much of the physical evidence that supports the existence of the Divine Christ, I find the surprise only momentary. And then the implications sink in.


Why don't evangelicals like medieval churches? Just curious. . .



They remind of Catholicism. pl


Excellent news- thank you for passing this on. In this dreary election season, this is a great ray of light!!

Babak Makkinejad

Those Christian communities are not Evangelical or Protestant. Their demise suits the Protestants, in my view.


In my very strict evangelical upbringing we were taught that Catholicism was a cult. Anything Papist was to be avoided. Now, having left that brand of religion, I find those old churches moving for both their beauty and history. To be fair, I think most modern evangelicals have come to appreciate those churches, at least for the aesthetics.




In the Catholic Church of pre-Vatican 2 days when I was raised up, evangelicals were thought to be an anarchic rabble. pl

William Fitzgerald

Pat Lang,

Quite a find! It is interesting how often archaeology confirms legends and traditions.

I'm reading Vol. 2, "The Kingdom of Jerusalem", of Runciman's "History of the Crusades". Squabbling and intrigue among the Crusaders, but also among the Moslems, unlikely alliances, the Byzantine emperors looking after their interests and, also, trying to inject some sense into the situation. Pretty similar to the current situation.


b y o'carbon

Please accept a first time post from a recent discoverer of the site. As a liberal Presbyterian of puritan, Calvinist roots, and one who is happily married to a beautiful Catholic woman, I find that often times Christian mindsets are vastly different between Protestants and Catholics.

Protestants are still iconoclasts at heart, ready to smash the graven images. And the more liberal theologically, the more the religion is detached from the earthly significance of physical objects. Catholicism, on the other hand, appears to be a much more earthly faith, with history and art much fully intertwined in its religious practices. In our house, for example, my wife has her "Catholic Wall", ordained with crucifixes and saints, a work of art, and then opposite it I have my preserved my "Presbyterian Wall", white, bare, simple, meditative (and much more inspiring in my likely twisted opinion.)

There is much good about each point of view, one steeped in tradition, the other tradition minimalists, but each finding common ground in the shared faith.

Henry J.

CNS News today:

2003, Christians in Iraq 1, 400,000 -- 2016, Christians in Iraq 275,000

Babak Makkinejad

The neo-Salafis of Christianity?


Speaking as a Protestant of the Celtic Calvinist variety who attended St Columba at Christmas and Easter - that does not represent my view or in my opinion the view of any sensible Christian.


For the most part, but I don't see the current Byzantine Emperor injecting a lot of sense into the current situation.


Fascinating. Thank you.

For what it's worth, one of the most interesting novels I've ever read, Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita " written in the late 1920s in the USSR, has very moving sequences about the trial of Christ and its effect on Pontius Pilate. The bulk of the book is a ferocious satire on emerging bureaucratisation.



I got the hint that divadab was referring to the Tribe in his question. It would make sense if this was true, as the Christ was an earthquake in their cultural history. He had the nerve to offer Heaven to the Goyim, in effect the Christ tried to put Talmudism back in it's bottle. And now the Neo-Jews are trying to erase all trace of Christianity from the ME, so they can tell future generations a different story. This wouldn't be the first time, the Roman Catholics destroyed all the ancient libraries and instituted a 1000-year Dark Age to cement their reign. It failed, and so will Zionism.


divadab, Like you I'm also very displeased with both the US gov & the Church at large' failure to speak out & to offer assistance to the Christians of the ME. I brought up my concerns with one of my parish priests, who gave me a smarty pants pc little lecture about how we just want to help all the non-combatants..& some razzel dazzel about the story of the Good Samaritan, intimating the Church is like the Samaritan. I view the Church @ large in this matter as much more like the 1st traveler in that parable but I kept my mouth shut, not sure why. Perhaps they can
play duel roles?

I have also written & called my elected reps in DC reminding both the UN & the house of reps have voted there is a genocide being conducted against the Yazidi Kurds &
Christians primarily in the Nineveh plane...I may as well talk to a wall.

I read recently a federal judge asked the Obama administration about the very low
percentages of Christian refugees being allowed in from Iraq/Syria...he may as well
talked to a wall too. I could postulate more about what is really going on globally
but I would even bore myself. None the less thanks for your comments maybe I'll rachet up my remarks to the Church@large & my elected reps. When the Paul Ryan types
go on about 'we don't have any religious litmus tests' I'll pound them a bit more
on the genocide angle & who started this whole upheaval going in the 1st place...
however for that to work they would have to be capable of shame & I don't imagine
many in the DC club function that way.


All, I subscribe to The Biblical Archeology Review & highly recommend it.



"the Roman Catholics destroyed all the ancient libraries" bigoted nonsense. What do you think was going on in the great universities founded n the Middle Ages as well as in the monasteries like Cluny? pl


I think Earthrise refers to the destruction of the Alexandria library by Christian bigots and murder of Hypatia, though that was one vandalizing among many, the latest being by Muslims in 642 AD.


by O'carbon

Presbyterianism has always been somewhat puzzling to me. Basically Calvinist it seems to lack the courage of its convictions and to have evolved in the direction of social activism rather than a theologically based religion. I have heard Presbyterian ministers admonish a groom at the wedding to remember that his wife did not really need him as well as a chaplain of that denomination preach a sermon on Easter Sunday without mentioning the name of Jesus, a good trick. What do you meditate on before your unadorned wall? What would be the difference in content between Presbyterianism and Unitarianism? pl


I have personally bridged the ground between Catholic and Protestant faiths. I found the suspicions and outright misunderstandings in both directions to be sad and almost never founded in fact. I would self-classify as an iconoclast. Was that the real reason for the change? I can not say, even after much thought on the subject.

I rejoiced in the news of this discovery. To those who listen to the quiet voice of their faith in the screaming cacophony of our modern world, this an offer of a rare touch of 'real'.


Sir, When I started this piece I was afraid that you were going to mention yet another desecration of a holy place. So glad to see with which respect you write about the find and equally glad that you are a member of the papally protected order of chivalry that is entrusted with the welfare of the basilica and other Christian interests in Holy Land. For me that is a piece of good news today



He said "all." He also said that Catholicism suppressed knowledge to "consolidate its power." Rubbish. Is he aware that the Roman Empire collapsed because of bad government and barbarian in-migration. In that collapse the Church saved whatever could be saved in the West. And don't try to feed me the baloney as to how Islamicate civilization saved classical literature. The great centers of Islamic learning in Spain, Syria, Iran and Central Asia were always places peripheral to the central authority of the Umma in Baghdad in the Abbasid Caliphate and its successors. These authority centers turned to pietism and revelation as the sources of worthwhile knowledge early on. pl

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