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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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John the Baptist’s Cave Claimed Found

cave

Aug. 17, 2004 – A quarter of a million pottery shards from small jugs, an underground pool, a foot-washing stone and wall carvings unearthed in a large cave west of Jerusalem could be the first archaeological evidence for the existence of St. John the Baptist, according to a forthcoming book.

“The Cave of John the Baptist,” by British archaeologist Shimon Gibson, “presents the first evidence that can be directly linked to the Gospels and to a major figure in the birth of Christianity,” reads the book’s synopsis.

News Brief by Rossella Lorenzi
Discovery News

Note: Picture is of the entrance to what some believe is the cave of Jon the Baptist

Analysis:

As always, such discoveries by archaeologists cause great sensation, and excite our imaginations. You may remember the ossuary recently discovered, which contains a reference to Jesus on its side. Though excitement was initially great, and some still claim it is direct archeological proof of Jesus’ existence, most now believe that the inscription was added later, and is not genuine.

This teaches us the lesson that we need not, and should not depend upon the discoveries of men for our faith. If any of these things prove to be legitimate?… Wonderful! However, our faith is not dependent upon whether or not we find a cave used by John the Baptist to baptize his followers.

More interesting is the cave itself. Pictures on the Discovery channel’s website, (http://dsc.discovery.com) reveal the cave to be rather large, with a large cistern, or immersion pool in its midst. This pool dwarfs the baptistry in our building, and indicates clearly that John, as his name indicates, if he indeed used the cave, immersed his followers.

All evidence, whether biblical or extra-biblical, establishes that baptism is accomplished through immersion in water. The present day practice of baptism through sprinkling or pouring is without scriptural precedent and authority. Let us be content with the word of God, and reject the traditions and teachings of men.