Discovery of Tomb of Apostle Phillip

An Italian archaeologist has announced that he discovered the tomb of one of the twelve apostles, Phillip. You can read the story here.

If this proves true, it adds to the hard, physical evidence in support of the Biblical account. The holy land has already produced the grave and skeleton of Caiphas the high priest, Kind Herod, a crucifixion victim with a nail still in his foot, and many other accurate historical corroborations. With every discovery, it is increasingly unreasonable to deny the historical accuracy of the New Testament accounts.

 

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About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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7 Responses to Discovery of Tomb of Apostle Phillip

  1. mokus says:

    I wonder why it makes me sad to read a post like this. I certainly do not think that evidence is bad—Thomas had every right to ask to see Jesus’ wound (that is, it was not unreasonable). However, there is still something unfortunate about a people who seem to favor the ‘hard’ evidence of science, combing through the dusty rubble of time, rather than the living testimony from generations of believers. For me, the reasonableness of the gospel is made manifest in the word and deed of the church, not in some bones in an ossuary.

    I worry that if one needs the backing of science to sound credible today, that no matter what level of CSI treatment we give the Levant, it will never be enough to convince the skeptic… People will simply demand for more evidence and become even more distracted from the real witness to the truth, the Word of God as lived and proclaimed by His church…

    • humblesmith says:

      Thank you for your comments, you make some important points. It certainly is vital for Christians to show the truth of the gospel via good deeds toward those who are in the world. As I’m sure you know, the New Testament commands us to reach out to those in need. To many people, such actions speak louder than any evidential argument ever could.

      However, it is equally wrong to separate faith and reason to the point where we teach that faith does not involve thinking, or that faith is illogical and does not use reason. Soren Kierkegaard expressed a view that we should ignore reason and doctrine, and concentrate only on faith and good works. As a result, liberal churches have lost the historic teachings of the faith, including that the bible is true. Many people have lost their faith because of this tradition, and it has done great damage to the cause of Christ.

      Our faith is not grounded in mid-air, and we do not have a blind faith. Our faith is based on objective truth that is outside of our own minds and hearts, and we are able to know this truth.

      I presented a very brief biblical case for my position; you can read it here: http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/what-is-apologetics-why-should-we-use-it/

      Blessings

  2. mokus says:

    Humblesmith, note I never said, nor did I mean to imply, that our faith should be groundless or ‘blind’. Perish the thought! But there is a difference between reason/logic and archeological digging. We have all the facts we need in order to accept or to deny the testimony of the church. We do not need new evidence to bolster or to discount it. I don’t deny using reason and logic, I do disagree with the value placed on certain kinds of evidence.

    I think you have misread Kierkegaard (or have received bad information about him, perahsp from reading Francis Schaeffer). I don’t think Kierkegaard ever asks us to have ‘blind faith”. Kierkegaard does, however, disrupt and uncover our deeper faith and allegiances to other modes of trust—perhaps here a misappropriated trust in the ‘facts’ of science over and against the testimony of God and His church. That if a scientist somehow verifies the testimony of the bible that then we should believe it all the more readily…no!

    But leaving Kierkegaard aside for the moment (since he was dealing with specific issues in a specific time and place, and too many have misread him), I wonder how many of the great rational Fathers of the church would laud this new discovery of some apparent tomb of an Apostles. Would Gregory of Nyssa or Clement of Alexandria have seen this as a great discovery? Getting into their minds, and reading their words, would Irenaeus or Athanasius, Chrysostom or Augustine be amused? I don’t think so…

    “If it were so, as conceited sagacity, proud of not being deceived, thinks, that we should believe nothing with our physical eyes, then we first and foremost ought to give up believing in love. If we were to do so and do it out of fear lest we be deceived, would we not then be deceived? We can, of course, be deceived in many ways. We can be deceived by believing what is untrue, but we certainly are also deceived by not believing what is true. We can be deceived by appearances, be certainly are also deceived by the sagacious appearance, by the flattering conceit that considers itself absolutely secure against being deceived. Which deception is more dangerous? Whose recovery is more doubtful, that of the one who does not see, or that of the person who sees and yet does not see? Which is more difficult-to awaken someone who is sleeping or to awaken someone who, awake, is dreaming that he is awake?” (Kierkegaard – Works of Love, p. 5)

    “From a Christian point of view, everything, absolutely everything, must serve for edification. That type of scientific knowledge which is in the end unedifying, is precisely thereby unchristian..This Christian relationship to life (in contrast to a scientific remoteness from life), or the ethical side of Christianity is precisely the edifying, and this type of production, however rigorous it may otherwise be, is absolutely different, qualitatively different from that type of scientific knowledge, which is “indifferent,” whose exalted status is, seen Christianly, so far from being heroism, that it is Christianly a type of inhuman curiosity…” (Anti-Climacus – Sickness unto Death, p.5)

  3. humblesmith says:

    I have a copy of a very old book titled “Christianity Not Founded On Argument” where the author goes to great length to show that true Christianity should not be based on argument. He has chapter after chapter giving reasons why an apologetic approach should not be used. He makes point after point about how true Christian faith should avoid the use of evidences. The book builds a lengthy case on how we should use neither logic nor reason to prove the Christian faith. In effect, it builds a reasonable case that we should not use reason, makes a logical point that we should not use logic, and is a 250-page argument on how we should not make arguments. While the book is titled “Christianity Not Based On Argument” some cynic wrote on the bottom of the title page, “argument not based on Christianity.”

    Forgive me, for I do indeed see your points and support you to a degree. But I do maintain, as I said in one of the posts I linked, that we are commanded in the NT to reprove, exort, defend, and answer those who contradict. This is a command to us all, and Paul lists it as a mandatory requirement of leaders in the church.

    What is the balance? I think one of Aquinas’ illustrations is good. He mentions a stone which is hard and gray. While we can distinguish between the two, we cannot truly separate them and hold gray in one had and hard in the other. Instead, we can talk about each as if it were separate, but in the end, they are both bound up together in the stone. at the beginning of His ministry Jesus said “blessed are those who do not see” but then He also invited Thomas to come and put his finger in His side.

  4. mokus says:

    Again, I’m not against reason—quite the opposite, depending on how one defines his/her terms—but I would wager that finding a tomb won’t make a lick of difference as far as belief in Christianity goes. I don’t think this will encourage people to remain Christian, or for non-believers to believe. To think otherwise is to confuse the foundations of personal belief and the demands of a personal allegiance to Jesus as Lord. Sometimes, though, it seems like Christians do believe that if people could only be shown the evidence for Christianity that they would then automatically put their faith in it. Again I disagree. It is very possible that we could amass incorrigible data to support everything in the bible and yet still people would reject God’s demands on their lives.

    In my opinion, this find, or any other—even finding Paul’s long lost cloak—will have a null net effect on the faith. And I worry for the Christian who finds solace for themselves in this news, as if a sigh of relief has been expelled as the inner scales of belief tipped a little closer toward Jesus. But that is just my opinion…

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