The famous writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, E.B. White (1899-1985) once said,“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” His quote is a precise description of anti-Israel propagandists who twist the facts of history and archaeology into an antisemitic pretzel of lies. The recent opening of the Pilgrim Road(photo above)located below Silwan in Israel’s capital is yet another chapter in the Jewish fact book that Israel is the ancestral Jewish homeland. Thousands upon thousands of ancient Jewish worshippers walked on the stones 2,000 years ago to ascend the Temple Mount. Every discovery validates the Holy Scriptures emphasizing that God Himself deeded the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. God’s real estate deal is the biggest deal in world history. Bigger than any billionaires. Bigger than the abortive,harebrained Sykes-Picot boundary lines drawn after World War I. Bigger!
The list of archaeological discoveries is massive. Let’s look at a few. Just this week, scientists announced their findings from extensive DNA research after archeologists uncovered a Philistine cemetery in Ashkelon in 2016. Ten Philistine skeletons confirmed that Philistines originated in southern Europe and that, once again, the bible proves true. In Amos 9:7 among other verses, God comments,…”Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor (Crete)…?” Scientists concluded that modern Palestinians don’t share ethnicity, culture or religion with the Philistines. King David defeated the Philistines 3,000 years ago. Will the United Nations UNESCO reverse their declaration that Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, belongs to the “ancient Palestinians?” Just asking.
In October 2018, excavations were underway to build a road in a modern part of west Jerusalem. Archeologists soon arrived at the site to examine a column the workers had uncovered. The pillar was engraved with the oldest word, “Yerushalayim,” ever discovered about Jerusalem, the capital city’s name! It’s date; 100 BC! Just two weeks later, I saw the column itself in the Israel Museum. Would the Jerusalem column impress Linda Sarsour, the infamous founder of the Women’s March? I’m guessing she would also describe the engraving as Arabic instead of Hebrew. She now claims Jesus is Palestinian. Really? They were not in existence 2,000 years ago, even if you think that they emanated from Philistines. But more importantly the bible, the world’s most factual, popular book repeatedly proves Jesus’ Jewishness.
During Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit last October, a group of us visited the Israel Museum to see the ancient “Jerusalem” column. As a Christian Zionist who reads the Old and New Testaments, I was thrilled to see it for myself!
Another archaeological jewel is the village of Magdala on the shores of the Galilee. Discovered in 2006, it’s one of the few first-century synagogues uncovered thus far. Seeing the mosaic floor and the Magdala Stone with a Menorah carved into it, brings the bible alive for both Jews and Christians. Staffing trips of Christian Leaders to visit Magdala was profound each time. Walking along paths where Jesus and His friends walked and touching the ancient stones deepened our faith. If US Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib strolled through the two thousand-year-old village, would they look at the Menorah on the Magdala Stone and dismiss the obvious? You know the answer.
Magnificent discoveries, both large and small, still remain hidden. Almost daily archeologists find more evidence throughout Israel. And volunteer lay people-like those digging in big pile of dirt-are discovering objects carelessly and sacrilegiously tossed out by workmen from the Jordanian Waqf which controls the Temple Mount.
Here’s an undertaking of tremendous importance. THE COPPER SCROLL PROJECT is a book and ongoing archaeological effort highlighting a decades-long search. Written by Shelley Neese, President of The Jerusalem Connection, the Copper Scroll itself is a real object discovered among the Dead Sea Scroll caves. It contains a list of holy ritual vessels from the Second Temple era. Leaders in the Jewish and Christian communities have joined forces to enhance the search.
With God’s help, the team will discover these precious artifacts. In the meantime, dig into The Copper Scroll Project so that you will know the history and find fascination in the most renowned treasure hunt in history. The book offers up a resplendent adventure to match wide-ranging interests whether in archaeology, Israel and the Middle East, secular or religious history, the Bible, theology, wordsmithing skills, or a captivating mystery.
The main character among others significant to the story is Jim Barfield, a devoted Christian from Arkansas. He’s a retired fire chief and specializes in forensic investigative work. Barfield’s skills may seem unusual for an archaeological pursuit, but reading Neese’s account of Barfield’s undertaking, it makes sense. Barfield’s passionate devotion to Israel, professional background, and attention to every minuscule detail have advanced the search for the elusive, profound objects on the copper list. His quest for the Copper Scroll is reminiscent of God’s habit of tapping an ordinary person, Christian or Jewish, on the shoulder giving directions to pursue an extraordinary task. Think about Gideon and Esther in the Old Testament and the Jewish fishermen Jesus called to discipleship in the New.
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Some of the additional characters represent an A-List in their fields including experts from the Israeli Antiquities Authority, Qumran, and archaeology. Neese vividly and masterfully writes about each character’s part in Barfield’s ten-year journey; an exercise in faith, persistence, sincerity, and obedience to the role God delegated to him. His journey in life is sure to inspire yours while reading about the lead-up in this book to the greatest discovery yet to be made; holy artifacts that could span history from the Exodus to Babylonian captivity.
If any AntiSemite is reading my blog, consider expanding your intellectual curiosity by reading this book and/or visiting Israeli archaeological sites. THE COPPER SCROLL PROJECT is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at the website: https://www.copperscrollproject.com/