Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Is This the First Christian Church? 13 Statements About It

1. On Wednesday, I related information regarding the 70 disciples Jesus sent out as related at Luke 10: 1-24.

2. Last week archeologists in Rihab, Jordan announced they may have found the location where the first Christians…..perhaps even the 70 gathered.

3. The place is hidden beneath another early church known as St. George which dates back to 230 A.D. (however, this date is disputed).

4. Evidence regarding early Christian rituals have been found in the cave underneath the church and archaeologists are attempting to link the cave to the 70 disciples Jesus sent out in Luke. The picture below shows someone leaving the cave that has been found.

5. If this is true the cave might possibly be the oldest Christian site in the world and is being initially dated from 33 A.D. to 70 A.D.

6. Found within the cave is a circular worship area and a separate living area. Early Christians could have hidden in the cave to fend off persecution.

7. Found within the ruins of the St. George church above the cave is a mosaic that mentions the 70 disciples who founded the worship there.

8. A mosaic inscription on the floor of the later church of St. George above refers to 'the 70 beloved by God and the divine' who laid the foundations for the Christian church. The remains of St. George are seen below.

9. The archaeologist also said mosaics are difficult to date unless there is a precise date in the text of the inscriptions themselves.

10. Typically, mosaic inscriptions like those found at St. George containing Christian themes are usually from the 5th to 6th century.
11. Many archeologists even those who have worked the site however are advising caution regarding the find. It’s just too earlier to substantiate any of the claims.

12. One of the archaeologists stated, "It's quite possible that there was a cave with earlier occupation which was later converted to Christian use. But to make the jump that this was actually used by Christians fleeing Jerusalem in the 1st century A.D. seems like a stretch to me.”
13. We may never really know for sure if the cave was the location where the 70 disciples met, but in the whole scheme of things it doesn’t really matter. My historian self wants to trudge on in an attempt to prove the validity of the cave one way or another, yet my Christian self knows that the most important truth involves the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Everything else is just the “stuff” of being human, and with time it will all fall away.

Many others participate in Thursday Thirteen….you can locate them here.


Peter Plum said...

What a great series of interesting stats on that recent archeological find! Though I do wonder if this is the place the 70 worshiped, isn't it so much greater that we worship the same God they did!

Peter Plum said...

Oh, and happy TT!

DrillerAA said...

I love this list.
I love the possibility that God is revealing to us the earthly heritage of our faith.
Have a wonderful T13

Denise Patrick said...

Very interesting post. I remember hearing/reading something about this find and thinking "Wow, how cool is that?"

Happy TT!

bernieg1 said...

Great list, mine is up at Top 13 Boys Names for 2007

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