Herod’s palace discovered and new historical proofs about King David

Palazzo erodeA couple of days ago The Washington Post reproposed the thesis already expounded in the book The Final Days of Jesus of 2010 by Prof. Shimon Gibson, archaeologist at the University of Carolina in Charlotte: it looks like Herod’s palace has been found in the Old City of Jerusalem, where Pontius Pilate judged Jesus.

It is probable the praetorium has been found, where Pontius washed his hands of Jesus's fate, right before surrendering him to the Jewish authorities. The Gospel of John describes the place as a building located at the gate of the city, on a bumpy stone pavement, artistically called Lithostrotus. The palace found by Gibson is actually located next to the Jaffa gate and does have a bumpy pavement.

However, reading the Gospels, it seems more accurate to see a connection between this discovery and the Antonia Fortress, Pilate’s house, situated on the north side of the Temple, now the starting point of the pilgrimages for the Via Dolorosa. Gibson  does not agree: «Everything — archaeological, historical and gospel accounts — all falls into place and makes sense». Even Anglican pastor David Pileggi is convinced that the discovery inside the prison confirmed «what everyone expected all along, that the trial took place near the Tower of David». The two theses coexist still today, both supported by a good reasons.

...

Read more...
share on:

The disappointment, not reason, pushes us away from God

A recent series of studies, pubblished on the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, has find out that the main the cause of atheism (or the religion faith's desertion) strong>is not based on rational justifications, as some people like to suggest, but mainly on an “anger against God”. It's an emotional atheism the one lived by millions of people, more on the mouth than in the heart.

At first sight it may seem paradoxical: how can people gets angry against God, if they don't believe in God? Indeed their belief, in the majority of cases, it's dictated by a negative feeling, by a loss of faith instead of a mature and rational awareness . The anger against God grows like consequence of unpleasant situations that happen in life or, in extreme cases, of natural cataclysm or diseases. Or from delusions perceived for missed hopes, a bit like Judah feeled towards Jesus, disappointed because the Reign of God was still to come. In other words, the anger against God can not only bring people far away from God, but also gives them a reason to clutch at their incredulity.

«When instead people understand that God take care of them and has positive intentions, also if they can't understand which are those intentions, people tend to dissipate this anger», asserted Julie Exline, a psychologist of the Case Western Reserve University. In fact the life of many nonbelievers and agnostics is often characterized...

Read more...
share on:

American Court: Chimpanzees may not be considered as human beings

ScimpanzéAscribing "fundamental human rights" to chimpanzees, just because we are some “advanced and civilized monkeys” has become one of the main arguments of the culture of human reductionism. Unfortunately, a wrong ideological approach to biological evolution and the extremisation of the fair and reasonable worries about the health of animals and about the ethical treatment of creation, has led some people to invoke “human rights” for non-human species.

Right from the beginning, this degeneration has been used by the antitheist propaganda: reducing man, denying his uniqueness and his huge difference from the rest of creation, one evidently reduces the importance of the human creature, so as to deny his divine origine. No wonder that these days Margherita Hack, Daniel Dennett, Peter Singer, Richard Dawkins and Umberto Veronesi (five well-known convinced atheists), have largely promoted the “animals rights” in modern times, an initiative started in the rationalist Enlightenment by David Hume, Voltaire, Jeremy Bentham, and then by Arthur Schopenhauer, Henry Stephens Salt etc. The previous Prime Minister of Spain, Luis Zapatero, has even suggested adopting these rights in the Spanish law code.

In these days, however, the New York Court of Appeals  ruled that Tommy, a 26-year-old chimpanzee kept by an upstate New York couple, cannot be considered a "person" and therefore does not need to be freed from the cage...

Read more...
share on:

The “scandalous” religious conversion of Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean Paul SartreJean  Paul Sartre was one of the last important atheist intellectuals; later (Bobbio and Cioran are exceptions) there were just shallow and quite superficial (often vulgar) personalities, such as Singer, Ayer, Onfray Scalfari and A.C.Grayling. Not even close to the depth of thought of the French philosopher.

Sartre has been maybe the one that most of all has tried to find the foundations of an atheist moral code (or whithout God). But it was not triumphant, glorious or proud, like his modern supporters are trying to convince people of (an example here in Italy is Umberto Veronesi). His atheism brought literally to the anguish/distress, to the insecurity, because –he said- the human reason is essentially theological, it means that it works as if the human horizon were a divine horizon.

“The atheism is the persuasion that the man is the creator, and that he’s abandoned, alone, on the world. The atheism is not a happy optimism, but, in his deepest sense, a desperationhe said in 1946 during his famous interview for the “Il Politecnico” of Elio Vittorini. “L’Être et le Néant” (1943) is the manifesto of his philosophical atheism, that in any case, he will officially write in “Cahiers pour une morale”, written 4 years after and that remains an act of faith: the decisive absence of faith is the abiding faith”.

Right in that period,...

Read more...
share on:

Faith & History (news archives)

<   

INDEX Church, Pius XII, Jewish, nazism and fascism| |Christian roots| |Crusaders||The Galileo case||Giordano Bruno||The Middle Ages, the dark ages?| |Inquisition||Colonialism||Church and Francoism| |Cristianity, motor behind civilisation| |Ipazia||Myths about Christianity||Other religions|

     

-----------------

CRUSADERS

Crusaders saved Europe from Islamic invasion (4/3/18) Major historians explain that the crusades and the intervent of Urban II were fortuitous.  

-----------------

THE MIDDLE AGES, THE DARK AGES?

Flat Earth? Ius primae noctis? Falsity against Middle Ages (3/11/14) >... Read more...
share on:

Flat Earth? Jus primae noctis? Falsehoods against Middle Ages

Middle ages flat earthSlowly all the lies about the so-called "dark ages", or rather the Middle Ages, are collapsing thanks to the intellectual honesty of many historians. For istance regarding the "Medieval Inquisition", it has been proved that actually the phenomenon spread during the Renaissance and mainly in the Protestant environment; indeed historian Christopher Black has observed that the Roman Inquisition was definitely "less dark than one thinks", rather it was more humane and with few condemnations.

In these days historian Alessandro Barbero, full professor of Medieval History at the University of Eastern Piedmont, has once more demolished the legend about the "dark ages". He wrote on "La Stampa" and observed, by alluding to Orwell: «People are taught that in the ugly, remote past evil creatures existed who were called capitalists and who oppressed people with the most infamous demands. The method Orwell imagined, to create a sinister image of the past in order to exalt the present, has been really put in practice in Europe, from the Renaissance till the Nineteenth Century: the targeted victim, the Middle Ages....

Read more...
share on:

Feminism comes late: the Church has always defended the woman

Bergoglio donneWhy is Christianity full of noteworthy women, many of them martyrs for their faith, as Agnes, Thecla, Cecilia, Margaret, Blandina, Pulcheria, Eudoxia, Galla Placidia, Olympia, Melanie, Clotilde, Theodolinda, Berta Of Kent, Olga Of Kiev etc.?

Because, as explained by the great sociologist Rodney Stark, Christianity took to heart the esteem, the respect and the protection of women from its very beginning. In fact thanks to Christianity, women enjoyed a higher status than in the Greek-Roman world or than during the pagan world: Christians promoted marriage, fought polygamy, slavery and sexual exploitation, and forbade the practice of infanticide and abortion (which was often practiced against female newborns).

Many Fathers of the Church have spoken about respect toward women and of their equality to man, for example St. Augustine (354-430 AD). He underlined the equal dignity of man and woman, recalling the importance of loyalty, to which both men and women are called alike, remembering that the woman has the right to choose her husband by herself. In particular he reminded that "According to the Genesis it is human nature itself which was made in the image of God, and that nature is composed of both sexes and therefore does not exclude the woman, if we want to understand the image of God [ . ..]. The woman is, together with her husband, the image of God, in a way that the union of the couple forms a single image".

Another great saint very attentive to the dignity...

Read more...
share on:

Can you admire Jesus without believing in his divinity?

Gesù e un bambinoWe exploit Pope Francis’s letter to the founder of "La Repubblica", Eugenio Scalfari, to deal with a specific issue. In particular, we pay attention to Scalfari’s response when he defines himself as a "non-believer who has been interested and fascinated for many years by the preaching of Jesus of Nazareth".

Even secular Umberto Veronesi wrote: "We as secular people admire the human teaching of Jesus, and are close to him because he creates a favourable ground for a shared ethics, based on love, solidarity and peace. However we cannot accept his divine dimension, which is what matters most for the faith". We could report many similar examples of non-believers who are fascinated by Jesus and full of respect and admiration for his person and message, but who have chosen not to believe in his divinity.

It is certainly good to know how much this Man is still the ethical reference even in the secularized Western societies. However there is something wrong and we feel compelled to highlight that. It was explained by great French philosopher Jean Guitton : "In the question concerning Jesus we are forced between two possibilities: he is either really a divine man or a crazy man. There are no intermediate solutions. In the "Jesus" problem you reach a point where you must choose: between zero and infinity" (Guitton, "Ogni giorno che Dio manda in terra " [Every day that God sends to earth], Mondadori 1997 , page 159 ). In other words, how can secular people, who do not believe in his divinity,...

Read more...
share on:

Gospel of Mark is based on the eyewitness of St. Peter

Vangelo di MarcoSeveral scholars of Early Christianity abroad, especially in the United States, have their own personal blog, in which they publish documents, reflections, they answer questions and talk to each other. Historians, theologians, biblical scholars, New Testament scholars of different faith: Catholics, agnostics, protestants, Jews.

It’s really interesting to follow the debate, in particular recently on the blog of Larry W. Hurtado, known professor of the New Testament at Edinburgh University, is appeared an epistolary exchange between him and Richard Bauckham, one of the best American biblical scholars, professor at St Andrew university and member of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Bauckham, discussing with Hurtado on the role of eyewitnesses in Gospels development, explained that he’s working on a sequel of his lucky book “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: the Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony” (2008), and that, in this new book, he’ll show new evidences on the fact that the Gospel of Mark is largely based on the eyewitness of the Apostle Peter (just like Papia affirmed).

Actually this is not a proper news, it’s been a long time since the scientific community assured this fact. According to a great number of scholars, Mark would have composed his gospel around the 70 AD, although he used material who had been edited several years before, transcribing  pre-synoptic sources who were spread since the...

Read more...
share on:

70% of american doctors are against the assisted suicide

Eutanasia 8An online poll among the doctors readers of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine has shown that almost 70% (67%) of american doctors are against the assisted suicide legalization. In 2011, on Palliative, a poll about english doctors had reached a similar result (80%).

The main reasons to take position against such practice were the violation of doctor oath about not murdering and not harming anyone, moreover the fact that the opening to the assisted suicide will probably lead to the legalization of euthanasia, a practice even less pleasing for the doctors. The study came after the public announcement of "World Medical Association" (WMA), which has reaffirmed its own strong opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The WMA is in good company, many other official medical associations -as we observed here in this article – have already stood opposite to any kind of modification of the law which allows assisted suicide or euthanasia: the British Medical Association (BMA),...

Read more...
share on:

Genesis is not in contradiction with science

Vincenzo BalzaniLast November the “Huffington Post” interviewed Peter Atkins, a known English chemist from the Lincoln College, as well noted for his battles against religion and faith in God, just like his compatriot Richard Dawkins.

We took the chance  to interview the professor Vincenzo Balzani about the same topics, he’s a chemist too and a professor emeritus at the university of Bologna, with an international fame and recently awarded by the prestigious “Science” magazine by the “Nature Award for mentoring in science”. In 2011 he participated in the Cortile dei Gentili, a cultural event organized by the  Pontifical Council for Culture (Pontificio Consiglio per la Cultura).

 

1) Prof. Balzani, in the "Huffington Post" interview, Peter Atkins strongly compares science with faith through a dualism between good and evil. Since you’re a chemist and a believer, do you agree with the accusations against religion? Do you see this huge incompatibility?

It’s known Atkins is an atheist, but he’s as well a smart person and it surprises me he gave so strict and unconditional judgments. I met him a couple of years ago in Rome, due to a conference of an international congress about teaching science, because he was scheduled...

Read more...
share on:

Meissner, a physicist: «universal laws are a hint of God»

Krzysztof MeissnerThe famous physicist Albert Einstein was so enchanted by universal laws and cosmo's order, that he caught sight of the work of an "infinitely superior Spirit", as he liked to say. Plus he affirmed: «Considering such armony in the universe which I am able to recognise, despite my limited human mind, there still are people who affirm God doesn't exist. But what really makes me angry is that they mention me in support of such opinions».

Einstein's stance is surely reflected on Krysztof Meissner's words, he is professor of theoretical physics at Univeristy of Warsaw and one of greatest scientist of particle physics in Europe. Meissner has worked in the most important research centres of the world and at the moment he's working at a "overstated" version of the standard model of universe, searching for a second «God particle», after Higgs Boson. In these days he has participated to "Cortile del dialogo" (Debate yard) in Warsaw, organised by the archdiocese with the Pontifical Council for Culture patronage.

In a recent interview about the difference between an atheist scientist and a believer one, the catholic Meissner hasn't answered by denigrating those who don't have faith, like Dawkins or Odifreddi, militant unbeliever activists...

Read more...
share on:

Pope Francis’ judgment: “the family is between man and woman”

Papa francescoSpeaking to reporters on a flight back from the World Youth Day in Brazil, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's position condemning sin, not sinners. He explained: «If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well, they should not be marginalised because of this but that they must be integrated into society».

If this is the position of the Church regarding our gay brothers, the Pope’s view on marriage and family was delivered a month later with the message of the pontiff during the 47th Social Week for Italian Catholics: «the Church offers a concept of the family rooted in the Book of Genesis, which is based on the complementariness between men and women, and the fertility of this union. In this fact we identify a common good, the first natural society, as also defined in the Constitution of the Italian Republic», explains Francis. «We want to reaffirm that the family understood in this way is still the first and foremost subject to build society and the economy on a human scale, and as such deserves to be actively supported». To support all this faith is not essential: «these reflections do not interest only believers...

Read more...
share on:

Pope Francis’s judgment: “Abortion is a death sentence”

Francesco bambinoIn a recent interview on "La Civiltà Cattolica" Pope Francis has talked about the so-called "non-negotiable values​" urging Catholics to always focus on the evangelical message, "the Lord has saved you" and not on the condemnation for those who violate and betray them. Many have misunderstood this statement as a form of relativism, but the Pope is simply applying the centuries-old position of the Church: mercy towards the sinner and condemnation of sin.

Indeed, when it is necessary to condemn abortion he does not back down, using even stronger words than its predecessors’ ones: "A widespread mentality of the useful, the “culture of waste” that today enslaves the hearts and minds of so many, comes at a very high cost: it asks for the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker. Our response to this mentality is a decisive and unreserved “yes” to lifeas he said during the meeting sponsored by the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations on September 20th. "Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world's rejection". "They cannot be discarded, as the “culture of waste” suggests! They cannot be thrown away!" – he urged. "That is why concern... Read more...
share on:

Medical associations oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide

Eutanasia 2Although major newspapers do not talk about it, as this news too has become politically incorrect, many states have recently rejected the legalization or decriminalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The last ones are Maine (USA) and New South Wales (Australia). It is very interesting to notice that, once again, the most decisive rejection came from the medical associations. Indeed, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) openly campaigned against the bill, and so did the Maine Medical Association and the Maine Osteopathic Association, which called the attempt a "very dangerous public policy". The position of these medical associations reflects that of the national and international associations. The World Medical Association (WMA), for example, said in 2005: "Physician-assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be"...

Read more...
share on:
RSS | Feed dei commenti