Thursday, December 30, 2004


JERUSALEM (AP) -- Experts advised world museums to re-examine their Bible-era relics after Israel indicted four collectors and dealers on charges of forging some of the most important artifacts of recent decades.

The indictments issued Wednesday labeled as fakes perhaps the two biggest biblical discoveries in the Holy Land -- the purported burial box of Jesus' brother James and a stone tablet with written instructions by King Yoash on maintenance work at the Jewish Temple -- and many other "finds."

Perhaps the most troubling part of this article is its analysis of why such forgeries are happening: "Scholars said the forgers were exploiting the deep emotional need of Jews and Christians to find physical evidence to reinforce their faith." Is this the kind of faith that Jesus said can move mountains? If so, why the heck are we so desperate to find historical proof that we - in effect - encourage a market for falsified history?

I would hope that a true Christian faith doesn't require so much scholarship. Understanding Jesus' teaching as a message of sacrifice and selflessness is a liberating experience - only through a message that does not provide benefit to the individial can one's faith truly blossom. When you're doing things for yourself (whether it be you're own comfort, fellowship, conformity, etc), it is impossible to distinguish between whether you are acting out of faith or merely out of your own self-interest.

Faith is believing in the unseen. A faith that leads you to a life of sacrifice is the strongest faith, one that shows your willingness to believe. And no, it isn't burdened with a "deep emotional need" for physical evidence of its tenets.


At 12:34 PM, Blogger DLW said...

I agree that this reflects a weakness of faith.

Which doesn't mean that historical validation of who Jesus was does not matter. We have in the epistles of Paul a very close to the fact testimony of who Jesus claimed he was and how he was perceived by his followers not long after his death.



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