Archive for June 11th, 2008

Okay, okay, I give.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

I haven’t posted about the so-called “world’s oldest Christian church” discovered in Rehab, Jordan, because the claim seems to me vastly overblown.

I mean, what they actually found is a cave under a church where early Christians might have hid out. So far all they’ve got to bolster the grandiose title of oldest church evar is a circular area with seating. Even if one part of the cave was used for worship, does that really qualify it as a “Christian church”?

In the immediate post-Jesus area, people were congregating in all sorts of places: private homes, catacombs, olive groves, wherever two or more gathered in his name. Are they all the oldest Christian churches in the world too?

The inscription, the artifacts, the burials they’ve seen so far have all come from the actual church above the cave. The only “clear evidence of early Christian rituals that predate the church” is that apse.

I can’t help but be a little offended for Saint Georgeous Church. It’s beautiful and way old in and of itself. It doesn’t deserve to be upstaged by its own basement, although of course any attention the cave gets will spill over to St. George.

Anyway, Monsters and Critics has some killer pictures of the cave and the remains of the actual church above it, so I figure it’s my duty to share the goods.






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