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Gospel of John Passage Proven True


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Gospel of John Passage Proven True




It turns out that a specific passage from the Gospel of John wasn't a religious conceit, that is a kind of poetic license John took to prove a point. It's true. Now there is proof.


When the sewer line in the Old City of Jerusalem needed repairs in the fall of 2004, the workmen made a historic discovery: the biblical Pool of Siloam. The Gospel of John cites this as the place where Jesus cured the blind man. Theologians have long thought the setting of the pool was a "religious conceit" used by John to illustrate a point. Turns out, the place is real. And it's exactly where John said it is, reports The Los Angeles Times of a new study published in the Biblical Archaeology Review.


What's more, it is much grander than anyone ever realized with three tiers of stone stairs on three sides that allow easy access to the water. Each group of steps is separated by narrow landings. The pool is about 225 feet long.


It was here that Jesus, as he was fleeing the Temple, encountered a blind man. The disciples asked Jesus whether it was the man or his parents who had sinned and caused him to be born blind. Jesus replied that neither had sinned. Instead, the man was born blind so God's work could be revealed through him. Jesus then spat in the dust to make mud and rubbed the man's eyes with it. He told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. After the man washed in the pool, he could see.


The Pool of Siloam is not only a holy site for Christians, but also Jews. In ancient times, Jews who made their annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem gathered at this very reservoir. Since Jesus was a Jew it would have been natural for him to have gone here, too. Scholars have long said that the place didn't exist and was just created by John as the setting for Jesus' miracle when he cured the blind man. A gospel that was thought to be "pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history," New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary told the L.A. Times.


Less than 200 yards away from this newly-discovered pool that was built in the 8th century BC by the Judean King Hezekiah is another pool of water that is also called the Pool of Siloam. This one was built sometime between 400 and 460 AD by the Empress Eudocia of Byzantium, who reconstructed several biblical sites. And just to confuse matters thoroughly, there is yet a third Pool of Siloam that predates the one visited by Jesus; its whereabouts are still unknown.


Hezekiah built the pool to provide a safe water supply to the people of Jerusalem in case they were attacked by the Assyrians. The workers also built a tunnel measuring 1,750 feet under the City of David that connected to the Gihon Spring in the adjacent and less vulnerable Kidron Valley. This pool was destroyed in 586 BC by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, but rebuilt in the 1st century BC before being destroyed again in 70 AD by Titus, the man who would become the Roman emperor.


Fast forward to the fall of 2004: When the men repairing the sewer line uncovered two steps, the work stopped so the antiquities' experts could have a look. They didn't have to look long before they were "100 percent sure it was the Siloam Pool," Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority told the L.A. Times. How could they be so sure? When the workmen crafted the steps centuries ago, they buried four coins in the plaster, all of which date from 103 to 76 BC. In addition, in the soil in one corner of the pool, the archaeologists found a dozen coins that date from 66 to 70 AD, indicating that the pool was being filled in at that time.


The tunnel built by Hezekiah is also mentioned twice in the Old Testament, specifically Kings 20:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:30. The Associated Press reports that several years ago, geologists from the Cave Research Center at Hebrew University in Jerusalem used radiocarbon testing to analyze the age of stalactite samples from the ceiling of the Siloam Tunnel and plant material recovered from its plaster floor. The biblical record and the tunnel's age have been confirmed, the researchers wrote in the journal Nature. The Siloam Tunnel, a popular modern-day tourist site, is the one built by King Hezekiah. This is also significant because it is the first time that a well-identified biblical structure has been subjected to extensive radiocarbon dating.



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