Previously Unknown Roman Ruler in Judea

Large rock bearing unique inscription discovered off Tel Dor coast by University of Haifa archaeologists

CHR Comment: Gargilius Antiques ruled Judea and Syria just prior to the Bar Kochba revolt, an event that helped distinguish Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire.

Source: Rare find reveals previously unknown Roman ruler in Judea | The Times of Israel

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Roman ‘Curse Tablets’ Made of Gold Discovered in Viminacium, Serbia

The precious tablets feature an incomprehensible language and symbols that were perhaps designed only to be read by gods and demons.

CHR Comment: Use of curses is very ancient, found in many Near Eastern Religions where curses were written on pottery and then smashed. The golden Roman era tablets include Christian titles for God alongside titles for pagan deities, illustrating syncretism of religious devotion. Such practices are well documented and perhaps not as surprising as the article asserts. For example, many Christians today will go to church and use official literature and practices while also consulting their horoscope or making use of other popular religious practices.

Source: Roman ‘Curse Tablets’ Made of Gold Discovered in Viminacium, Serbia – NBC News

End of Christian Rule in Constantinople

In Turkey, secularists and Islamists alike revere Mehmet II, but both sides paint him in their own image.

CHR Comment: May 29th is commemorated in Turkey as the day when Mehmet II conquered Constantinople in 1453. He ended the Christian Byzantine Empire—the last remnant of the ancient Roman Empire. He likewise converted the grandest church in Christendom, Hagia Sophia of Constantinople, into a mosque. He is a controversial figure these days as different Muslim groups try to interpret his legacy and plan their future.

Source: In 1453, this Ottoman sultan ended Christian rule in Constantinople. But was he a good Muslim? – The Washington Post

1,700-Year-Old Jewish Inscriptions Unearthed in Galilee

“The wealth of inscriptions from the cemeteries attests to the strong Jewish presence and the city’s social elite in the Late Roman period,” says archaeologist.

CHR Comment: The inscriptions illustrate the ongoing use of Aramaic alongside Greek during the era of the late Roman Empire, about the time that Christianity became a recognized religion under Constantine. The latest tomb inscriptions found at Tzipori use the term “rabbi,” though archaeologists are still discussing just what that term means in this era. Tzipori is ancient Sepphoris, a Hellenized city in Galilee near Nazareth.

Source: 1,700-year-old inscriptions linked to ‘rabbis’ unearthed in Galilee – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

Stunned Archaeologists Find 22 Ancient Greek Shipwrecks

Two weeks of diving uncovered centuries of sunken ships, and researchers are deciphering the clues contained in each.

CHR Comment: Twelve of the 22 wrecks date from the late Roman period (300-600 AD) when Christianity was ascendant or dominant in the empire. Excavations should yield new information about life in those times and perhaps also matters of faith.

Source: Stunned Archaeologists Find 22 Ancient Greek Shipwrecks

Early Christian Persecution Compared with Modern. Jonathan Cahn

This article begins with news that Christian author, Jonathan Cahn will speak at the United Nations about Christian persecution by radical Muslims. The end of the article provides some history on persecution. However, I think some of the history is a bit off. Early on, the Muslims valued the Christians in the Roman Empire because they needed their help in making functional government after their conquests. There were pressures to convert but the most intense persecution from Muslims came much later.

‘Harbinger’ author to speak at United Nations.