Friday, December 08, 2006

FINDING PAUL

Vatican archaeologists say the have found the tomb of the apostle Paul. It is a sarcophagus (stone tomb) under a basilica in Rome. Tradition has it that a church was first build on the site where Paul was buried. A second church was built by Theodosius in the fourth century. It supposedly was built so that the sarcophagus was visible. That church burned in 1823. The current church was then build, but covered the tomb. Tradition also has it that the altar was built over the tomb. Tradition, of course, means Roman Catholic tradition.

I guess the only problem at the moment, as far as verication, is that they have only dated the tomb to 390 A.D, a few centuries away from Paul's death. However, that would be consistent with the idea that the Emperor Theodosius was responsible for preserving the remains. The question is, how did E.T. know they were Paul's remains?

Vatican archaeologists previously excavated at St. Peter´s Basilica, looking for Peter's tomb. This was in 1939. They found the tomb in 1941. Thirty-five years later, they claimed to have authenticated the remains as those of Peter. I don't know how they did that. But, it could be a while before the Roman church is willing to attest to Paul's remains.
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