Early evidence of Bethlehem found

2012-05-23 14:00

Jerusalem - Archaeologists have uncovered a tiny clay seal inscribed with the word "Bethlehem" in what is believed to be the earliest evidence for the existence of the ancient biblical city.

"The first ancient artefact constituting tangible evidence of the existence of the city of Bethlehem, which is mentioned in the Bible, was recently discovered in Jerusalem," a statement Wednesday from the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

The artefact - a piece of clay used for sealing a document or other object, known as a "bulla" - was uncovered during excavations at the City of David, a site just outside the southern wall of Jerusalem's Old City.

On the seal, which measures around 1.5cm, was the name of the city written in ancient Hebrew script, it said.

"This is the first time the name Bethlehem appears outside the Bible, in an inscription from the First Temple period, which proves that Bethlehem was indeed a city in the Kingdom of Judah, and possibly also in earlier periods," said Eli Shukron, who led the dig.

He said the bulla belonged to a shipment of tax documents which were sent from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem, as part of a taxation system used in the Kingdom of Judah in the late eighth and seventh centuries BC.

Bethlehem is first mentioned in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, as the burial place of Rachel, wife of the patriarch Jacob.

According to the New Testament, the West Bank city of Bethlehem, which lies just south of Jerusalem, was also the birthplace of Jesus.

  • Shaun - 2012-05-23 14:05

    No no no, you are clearly wrong, didn't you get the memo???? The Bible is just fiction, there is NO historical evidence of the Word... Geez you need to listen to the atheists here more often....

      zane.zeiler - 2012-05-23 14:18

      Bethlehem in ancient Hebrew means "house of bread" so what exactly is the significance of this find really? Probably belonged to some bakery back in the day, just sensationalist reporting most likely by some xtian journo in Jerusalem...

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-05-23 14:43

      We never say that the entire bible is historically incorrect. Just 95% of it. Just because this MIGHT be true, that Bethlehem may have existed, does not mean it is evidence for any other fallacy depicted in that book.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-05-23 14:44

      Hhahahaha!! Hondbyt you are probably right. It was some bakery.

      OzzyIn - 2012-05-23 15:13

      hondbyt, you need to re-read the article again. Then, ask yourself, why would a bakery be send a document seal (bulla) with a shipment of tax documents to the King in Jerusalem? Why can't you just accept the fact that this is evidence that the city of Bethlehem did exist as depicted in the Bible record? Or is that too hard for you to swallow? As I have said previously, more-and-more science is actually proving the accuracy of the Bible rather than discrediting it.

      Shaun - 2012-05-23 15:29

      Uh I am not sure if people picked up my sarcasm here.... Ha ha ha ha...

      pravir.rama - 2012-05-23 16:00

      Kings Cross Station is mentioned in the Harry Potter books, and Kings Cross is a real place, so does that mean Harry Potter and Hogwarts are real? Likewise, this logic can not be applied to the bible... So what if Bethlehem exists, lots of story books mention real places...

      Preshen - 2012-05-24 08:31

      What do atheists say during an organism?

  • Jonathan - 2012-05-23 14:41

    Finally more proof that the Torah (Bible) is based on non-fiction and that the City of Bethlehem is an original city of Israel, so give back the city to Israel. The West Bank belongs to Israel.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-23 14:57

    Christianity like atheism is simply a belief system. can't wait to find out the truth, I think people on both sides of the religion charade are going to be shocked.

      Franco - 2012-05-23 15:12

      And not-running, like high-jump, is an olympic event.

      Franco - 2012-05-23 15:17

      Yes, clearly not on the same level.

      Franco - 2012-05-23 15:37

      Valecia, so which god made you ill ?

      Franco - 2012-05-23 15:39

      ... and who diagnosed you? and what treatment did you receive?

      Franco - 2012-05-23 16:11

      Well good for you Valecia. But a word of advice - don't go up against the atheists on this forum, they are definately not at your level.

  • coleman.guyg - 2012-05-23 15:24

    An ancient seal is not evidence of a god. Calm down Theists. Even if Bethlehem did exist(and we've never said it wasn't possible) that still does diddly squat in proving the existence of any monotheistic deity let alone your monotheistic deity. So just grab onto some perspective and try to hold on for a while. It's tough I know.

  • nalend - 2012-05-23 23:34

    To Valecia Clearly you are still bewitched. Do you know how stupid your comments sound? Ghosts and Goblins! Really????? You should try and understand a little bit about the religions that you speak about before becoming a preacher. Firstly, Judaism, Christianity and Islam share the ideology that there is a beginning and an end.Basically, Born, live, die, heaven or hell. Hinduism is is circular in its ideoloogy. Basically, energy never dies, it transforms, hence the cycle of rebirth until a stage of oneness. There arent many gods, there are many personalities of one god. Much the same as you are a sister, mother, daughter, friend etc to different people. people were largely illiterate 5000 years ago, and pictures were used to tell their stories. When people stop thinking, they follow blindly and the result is a common practice which evolves into the modern version of the religion. If you could spot the role that religion plays in encouraging people to idol worship, then surely you can spot it in all religions.Whether its naming your children after holy men,kneeling at a cross, eating the bread of the flesh on converging on single place to worship....theres always a justified reason for alternative practices and idol worship. For some, we prefer to THINK and to always ask questions. If there isnt an answer then you continue asking and searching. Religion is not god, so please,those evil spells/thoughts were constructed by the person in the mirror

  • OzzyIn - 2012-05-23 23:39

    Where are the Atheists in response to this? You know the usuals like Crracker, zaatheist, etc. Kinda quiet from them, I wonder why?

      Franco - 2012-05-25 07:47

      Obviously because the entire theory of evolution has now been stumped.

  • Nalen Dorasamy - 2012-05-24 08:18

    @ Valecia You only have a background regarding your twisted mind, not Hinduism! And for the record, if you preached you witches and spook stories not so long ago you would have been burned at the stake. Be careful, someone may put another evil spirit on you. Perhaps you'd be better off writing fantasy novels instead of public forums where you believe everybody that everyone is just waiting to accept your stories. Don't drag sane people into your dilussions!

  • Preshen - 2012-05-24 08:33

    They can find Bethlehem but still cannot find who killed Tu Pac and B.I.G

  • Nalen Dorasamy - 2012-05-24 09:08

    @ Valecia You are painting the entire Hindu faith with your own cultural practices and community rituals. I don't subscribe to the notion religion because it is merely a practice of groups of people. I can't substitute one for the other as it all comes from the same root. I don't see the connection with God and religion except what people insist. There is a difference between faith religion and God. Religion today teaches you that you re different and to discard the rest of the lost souls. Where is the unity in that? It also can't disregard it's history. And don't make assumptions on what I am. At least study the meaning behind many of the practices before claiming to have belonged to one.

  • Nalen Dorasamy - 2012-05-24 10:08

    @ Valecia Like a well trained sheep... I chose not to live in fear. It's not what motivates me to improve my humanity. With regards to religion, they're all the same so I don't subscribe to that either. Look at their history??? Not a club to be proud of hey! For the record, if you read the Vedas when you were a Hindu then you would have noted the request that forbids bowing down to any image in stone or to any person who walked the face of the earth. It's only in the first few paragraphs!!! You can't seem to comprehend the practices of people (which we call religion) and the belief in a god as something separate. So obviously it takes a mythical god to mend your mythical illnesses. You bore me but please don't make statements that paint everyone else black just because you chose to cut chickens and dance around fires! Some people don't blindly follow what everyone else does. So for the Hindus, I think they'll be glad that you walked away( you didn't actually belong anyway) and for your new found religion, my sympathies go out to them cause you sound like a certified case...

  • Nalen Dorasamy - 2012-05-24 11:20

    @ Valecia Don't be thick! So if I don't belong to a club, it means I don't believe in god? That's very logical! What is your level of education because I don't know whether to correct your grammar or your ability to comprehend. A mind is a terrible thing to waste but in your case you clearly chose not to think for yourself. Better that you follow in that case. I'm going to quit now cause you are all over the place and do not have any clear direction in your thought. You've also not afforded yourself the background knowledge to debate even theoretically. Sprinkle, sprinkle... Now poof, be gone!

  • jody.beggs - 2012-05-24 16:12

    Got to love the Religots. Archaeologists have uncovered a tiny clay seal inscribed with the word "Bethlehem" God must exist. Fail... Look I found a easter egg , The Great Easter Bunny lives , see the proof! Idjits. Damn the man.

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