Ancient seal found in Jerusalem linked to ritual

Dec 29, 2011
A rare clay seal is displayed during a news conference at the archaeological site known as the City of David in east Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011. Israeli archaeologists say they have unearthed a rare clay seal that appears to be linked to religious rituals that took place at the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

A rare clay seal found under Jerusalem's Old City appears to be linked to religious rituals practiced at the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, Israeli archaeologists said Sunday.

The coin-sized seal found near the Jewish holy site at the Western Wall bears two Aramaic words meaning "pure for God."

Archaeologist Ronny Reich of University said it dates from between the 1st century B.C. to 70 A.D. — the year Roman forces put down a Jewish revolt and destroyed the second of the two biblical temples in Jerusalem.

The find marks the first discovery of a written seal from that period of Jerusalem's history, and appeared to be a unique physical artifact from ritual practice in the Temple, said Reich, co-director of the excavation.

Very few artifacts linked to the Temples have been discovered so far. The site of the Temple itself — the enclosure known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary — remains off-limits to because of its religious and political sensitivity.

Archaeologists say the seal was likely used by Temple officials approving an object for ritual use — oil, perhaps, or an animal intended for sacrifice. Materials used by Temple priests had to meet stringent purity guidelines stipulated in detail in the Jewish legal text known as the Mishna, which also mention the use of seals as tokens by pilgrims.

A rare clay seal is displayed during a news conference at the archaeological site known as the City of David in east Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011. Israeli archaeologists say they have unearthed a rare clay seal that appears to be linked to religious rituals that took place at the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The find, Reich said, is "the first time an indication was brought by archaeology about activities in the Temple Mount — the religious activities of buying and offering and giving to the Temple itself."

The site where the seal was found is on the route of a main street that ran through ancient Jerusalem just outside the Temple compound.

Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University, a biblical archaeologist not connected to the dig, said the seal was special because it "was found right next to the and is similar to what we see described in the Mishna."

"It's nice when we can connect an activity recorded in ancient sources with archaeological finds," he said.

The seal was found in an excavation run by archaeologists from the government's Israel Antiquities Authority. The dig is under the auspices of a broader dig nearby known as the City of David, where archaeologists are investigating the oldest part of .

The City of David dig, located inside the nearby Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan and funded by a Jewish group affiliated with the settlement movement, is the Holy Land's highest-profile and most politically controversial excavation.

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Pediopal
3 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2011
The City of David dig, located inside the nearby Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan and funded by a Jewish group affiliated with the settlement movement, is the Holy Land's highest-profile and most politically controversial excavation.
No political/religious agenda here for sure!
nononoplease
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 29, 2011
Yeah, super controversial, because there's no evidence that Jews lived there for thousands of years prior to the invented palestinian people. (Hopefully that doesn't require a sarcasm tag.)
panorama
5 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2011
C'mon everyone, we all know that, like the Chinese, the Jews and Palestinians don't actually exist.
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 30, 2011
looks just like a piece of fossilized foreskin, for God's sake.
panorama
not rated yet Dec 30, 2011
looks just like a piece of fossilized foreskin, for God's sake.

Maybe they found the old office of a Mohel from 2000 years ago? It could have been a training foreskin, like how dentists have training teeth. If they dig deeper they might find the rest of the training model. Or they've already found it and they're shafting us on that info...
truth4life
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 01, 2012
I dont know a whole lot about nothing, but one thing I know is a logical assumption for all the non-believers of religious ideas. If one believes that that nothing really matters and anything goes, then it does not matter if you believe in God or not, for you can conclude what you will. But if on the other hand there is a God and a real temple a long time ago, then you have everything to lose in unbelief.
fmfbrestel
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 02, 2012
@truth4life That is such a fallacy. It is not a simple choice of belief vs non-belief. There are many religions which all believe the others are going to hell. Jews believe Jesus was a heretic. Muslims believe he was a minor prophet. Neither believe he is their savior. And since that is an entrance requirement of heaven, they are all going to hell despite their strong religious faith.

Unless... God decides that not believing isn't a problem so long as you had a good rational basis for the belief you do hold.

So in either case of a strict vs lenient God, your argument is invalid.

Edit: Oh yeah, and a couple thousand Jews get free tickets to heaven according to revelation, but the rest of them go to hell. Forgot about about.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 02, 2012
I've always thought that Israeli Zionists were like Langerhans, only you find them at the end of a Rainbow that has crushed a Palestinian home and in the process killed an old woman and several children that the Leprechaun immediately claims were "terrorists".

Vendicar_Decarian
2.4 / 5 (5) Jan 02, 2012
Heaven must be a very small, cramped, place, you know, like God's attic, or the shed in which he keeps his hedge trimmers and lawnmower.

"Oh yeah, and a couple thousand Jews get free tickets to heaven according to revelation, but the rest of them go to hell. Forgot about about." - fmf
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 02, 2012
"...then you have everything to lose in unbelief." - Truth

Then you had better believe in the Giant spaghetti Gawd because he is going to noodle your ass for all eternity if you don't. He demands your faith. You have nothing to lose by believing.

truth4life
2 / 5 (8) Jan 02, 2012
Several of you have gotten it all wrong. I said nothing about Jesus or Jews or the like of. In fact I did not bring the subject up; it was several posts before me. What I have presented is really a logical conclusion based on mans ability to distinguish between right and wrong, the innate ability to perceive moral choices without believing in God.
Actually no matter how many times people try to disprove a God that transcends all that we know, it never works, simply because God is outside of space, time and matter, a transcendent being of infinite understanding. How can we be so obtuse to inflict such raging anger, without reason or rhyme to a very possible outcome?
The fact that people base choices on objective truths that involve a moral distinction of right or wrong would indicate there are penalties and rewards for such behavior. Make no mistake there is judgment and you have a choice, it is your choice, most folks choose the door on the right, I like snaglepuss exit stage left...
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2012
Make no mistake there is judgment and you have a choice, it is your choice


Exactly. The only problem is that it is impossible to know who is doing the judging and on what grounds. So the choice isn't between god and no god, but between God 1, God 2, God 3, God 4, God 5, God6, and no God.
creationist316
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 03, 2012
I hope you dont mind me giving an opinion, I am happy to read yours. The belief I as a Christian have is that you can not work for heaven. And this is why I stand by the one God of Abraham/Israel. Only the true creator could accept such a way of salvation. He sent His son so that we may have everlasting life. Its not what we do but what He, Jesus has done. There is nothing else like Christianity. Man always wants to pay God back but we cant. Man is full of pride and only by accepting that we are not good can we be accepted by God. This does not mean we are not loved and cherished by God but I do believe we have to show humility to gain life.
roboferret
2.5 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2012
The existence of god/s in the deistic sense cannot be disproved, but neither can any imaginary construct ever invented or can be imagined, so long as they have no interaction with the natural world. Unfortunately, the Christian god does not fall into this category, as it is claimed he has - and does - interact with the natural world, which falls into the domain of science and is theoretically detectable and testable. No such observation has been made. You will need more evidence than ancient myths for your ramblings to carry weight here.
fmfbrestel
1 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2012
Very true Creationist316. Love (from anyone, let alone God) cannot be earned. Love is not a transaction. Conditional love is an oxymoron, and any God (or human) which requires blind faith in a specific set of ancient texts to gain their love is not offering love, but demanding submission.

Most Christian I know (no offense to you Creationist316) need to spend more time reading Matthew and less time reading Revelations.
Returners
2 / 5 (4) Jan 03, 2012
Creationist316:

What gets me, as believer in God, is that in the Bible, standard "Pauline doctrine" of "salvation/justification by faith without the works of the law" appears to contradict what Jesus himself taught in Matthew 7, 21. I mean, the verse says almost the exact opposite of justification by faith.

Problem is, I don't know a single person who actually lives up to Jesus' teachings even on their best day.

But I will say that Paul actually makes it clear,(according to his doctrin anyway,) that unbelievers actually are saved if they are good, paraphrasing Romans 2,11-15.

Notice here, that even Paul speaks of DOING as being something more than merely "hearing" or "believing", v. 13, "not the hearers..., but the doers...".

And so he's literally saying here that an unbeliever who does right is better off than a believer who does not do right.

"justification by faith only" is an over-simplification which doesn't hold water in the context of other biblical passages.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Jan 03, 2012
Which would be nice if i believed a word that Paul (Saul) wrote. He was one of the most ferocious persecutors of Christians alive, and supposedly god came down and personally converted him. Maybe he was sincere in his conversion, but I put zero stock in anything he wrote.

Despite the popular title, he was NOT an apostle. He had a stroke, was scared by his mortality and found religion. Amazingly common story. His opinion should hold no more weight than any other christian theorist.
Skepticus
3 / 5 (4) Jan 03, 2012
Belief= willfully discarding of evidence, reason and logic. Show and prove to me that your god exists, and I will be his first disciple. Otherwise, fuck off this science-based web site.
creationist316
1 / 5 (2) Jan 04, 2012
@skepticcus... if you are so against us creationists on this website then why would you read the entire thread?? then reply! your reply also shows you are seeking answers about creation.. but I am very encouraged by your invitation to God and hope that he answers you as he did me.. and 2 billion other people in the world. I personally believe its more logical to think that we were created rather than believe that if you leave "nothing" for long enough you will have us.. fill a planet full of apes and i am pretty sure in 1 million years time they will not be as advanced as us. you see where im going? I look at evidence i dont disagree with the fact the ape like animals roamed the earth hundreds of thousands of years ago but that does not go against the bible. Jesus said that we were created by God and that He was sent... I choose to believe him, because no other person alive or dead has given me anything better to believe. He wasnt crazy he was broke homeless unmarried but he was Gods
MarkyMark
not rated yet Jan 10, 2012
Lol so much funny BS from the christian Cultists here.