Video: Archaelogists find piece of True Cross in Turkey?

posted at 1:21 pm on August 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, this could be the best thing to happen to religion since Barney Frank declared himself an atheist. On the other hand, it will probably be another food fight over the authenticity of relics, which are fairly irrelevant to faith in general. Archeologists will have a field day with the discovery of the relic in the remains of a seventh-century church in Turkey, though, and it’s a fascinating find regardless of its origin:

Archaeologists working at an ancient church in Turkey believe they have unearthed a piece of the cross used to crucify Jesus.

But it could take years of analysis before the world will know for sure.

“We have found a holy thing in a chest; it’s a piece of a cross,” said one of the archaeologists.

Workers believe that cross is the one Jesus died on Friday, April 3, 33 A.D.

Believe is the operative word here. It may well be that the original church in Turkey believed the relic to be part of the True Cross, even without the use of carbon dating. There may have been an oral and/or written tradition that supported the belief at the time, although that tradition may or may not be recoverable now. Clearly it was an object of veneration, which would make that belief at the time very clear; after all, what other chunk of wood would call for that kind of treatment by a Christian church of that period?

Carbon dating, though, can’t provide a definitively positive answer to that question, as a moment’s thought makes clear. It could set the date of the lumber’s production at or near the year of the Crucifixion, but it can’t tell the date of its use nor the victim executed on it — or even if it was used in an execution at all. At best, archeology can only provide correlative data that might tend to support or discredit the claim, but can’t offer much proof in either direction. Science is of limited application in cases like these, especially with a lack of information about the object and its provenance.

That doesn’t make the story any less fascinating. Perhaps it will remind people of the rich Christian traditions in Turkey and the surrounding regions, or inspire more interest in archeology. Hopefully, it will inspire some to embrace Christianity, which was the purpose of relics all along, but that embrace won’t rely on the results of carbon dating.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Since when does one have to be Christian to point out anti-Christian bigotry?

JetBoy on August 5, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Don’t you have some degenerate un-Christian behavior to occupy yourself with reprobate?

Sojobo on August 5, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Don’t you have some degenerate un-Christian behavior to occupy yourself with reprobate?

Sojobo on August 5, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Yes…and I’m conversing with it right now.

JetBoy on August 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM

JetBoy on August 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Sic ‘em, JB!

annoyinglittletwerp on August 5, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Sic ‘em, JB!

annoyinglittletwerp on August 5, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Your dog’s gay

Sojobo on August 5, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Your dog’s gay

Sojobo on August 5, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Does your mom know that you’re on her computer again?

annoyinglittletwerp on August 5, 2013 at 7:06 PM

the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming as to be indisputable.

Zombie on August 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Which is why it’s still called “The Theory of Evolution”

Right?

Solaratov on August 5, 2013 at 8:14 PM

If I was a supernatural incarnation of the god-being, who was put to death by crucifixion, I’d probably send anybody who “venerated” a cross or crosses straight to hell. No pass go, no 200 dollars. Hmm, see “Holy paper idol Bible”, rev.9-20.

S. D. on August 5, 2013 at 8:22 PM

This is as stupid as those evolutionary assumptions. They probably would place it in a place where people can wipe their hankies then claim healing.
It’s like “finding” the missing link a thousand times for something that isn’t there.
maynila

PLEASE stop conflating obvious fakery (like this news story) with your opinions about evolution. All you do is discredit our side by appearing to be anti-science.

Even if you are a creationist, just leave your opinions about that out of the picture. The evidence for the validity of most relics is nil; the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming as to be indisputable.

Zombie on August 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

The evidence for evolution is scanty and ambiguous at best. There’s plenty of evidence for extinct animals, but that’s hardly news. You can lay out fossils of extinct animals in a perceived order that matches the theory of how they could have evolved, but that does not prove evolution.

And the problem of course is that you’re attempting to use science to determine historical facts, without ever having been able to observe the actual process of evolution of one kind of animal into another.

The fossil record completely fails to prove evolution. All fossils found are distinctly different species. If evolution is fact, then the fossil record should show gradual changes from one species into another. Instead, you just see multiple different species.

When it comes to actual evidence, the description in Genesis of one kind of animal after another reproducing “after his kind” is in fact far more scientific than the theory of evolution. That is, it’s observable, reproducible, and susceptible of experimentation. None of which is true of macro evolution.

Note that I’m not saying science has disproved evolution. But it has completely failed to prove evolution at this point.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 6, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Creationists will be the death of the conservative movement. Too bad they don’t understand that yet.

Zombie on August 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

You’ve picked the completely wrong target. It’s not the people whose beliefs embarrass you who will be the death of the conservative movement. It’s the people who surrender their supposed principles when challenged.

IOW, it’s not the extremists, but the cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

Or as Thomas Sowell put it,

Whether on college campuses or among nations on the world stage, if the battle comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are bound to win.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 6, 2013 at 12:41 AM

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