Beliefnet
Christ News Today

moses2

A group of Bible scholars from the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation (DTRF) believe they have discovered the route Moses took when he led the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt and to the Promised Land and they have proof!

In an interview with Daily Star Online, they scholars shared that they found evidence that traced the most authentic route traveled – taking the Israelites from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.

Researcher Ryan Mauro told the Daily Star Online that the findings were mind-blowing.

The group, who have made three trips to Saudi Arabia searching for the Exodus route, believe the most plausible route is one where the Israelites left Egypt through Cairo and crossed into the Sinai Peninsula.

This would have been the land of Midian.

Mauro believes they crossed into ancient Midian and stopped at Mount Sinai, which he claims is the peak of Jabal al-Lawz in eastern Saudi Arabia. This is one of their biggest discoveries.

Mauro told the Daily Star, “After three trips to Saudi Arabia, and I’m fully convinced that the Israelites went into the ancient land of Midian where they fled slavery in Egypt.”

While some academics have challenged the historical accuracy of the Exodus, Mauro urged skeptics to keep an open mind. He said, “all the pieces fit.”

The DTRF team traces their findings in the 25-minute documentary “Finding the Mountain of Moses: The Real Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia.”

Mauro also told the Daily Star that there is evidence that Moses split the sea at the Gulf of Aqaba on the modern0day beach of Nuweiba.

At this point, the crossing would be only eight miles wide with a depth of only 33 meters (108 feet).

Mauro acknowledged that it will take some time for people to buy into this alternative theory but is optimistic that their research is a major archaeological breakthrough.

“It’s going to take some time to bring this alternative theory into mainstream historiography, but I believe that our work is going to seriously shift the landscape on the subject,” Mauro said.

Check out the documentary below for more detail on their incredible findings.

We want to know what you think!

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

It is hard to imagine an archaeological discovery coming out of Israel that is not exciting. Some, however, make more headlines than others. Many of the discoveries that capture the world’s collective attention are those that lend further credence to the idea that the Bible contains an accurate chronicling of ancient history. Sometimes, the biblical events that archaeological discoveries support are major such as the asteroid that leveled Sodom and Gomorrah or ancient documentation of Jesus of Nazareth’s crucifixion. Other discoveries are smaller and may be less interesting to the average person, but they get archaeologists and scholars just as excited as uncovering a new city.

One could argue about which category should hold the latest find from the City of David National Park in Jerusalem. Archaeologists were excavating the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David when they uncovered the remains of an ancient building. Based on the stones which made it and size of the building, the building was at last two stories tall and was probably the home of someone very wealthy.

“This house was not a regular dwelling,” said Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “It was probably the house of a very rich person, maybe an officer or someone from the administration of Jerusalem.”

Based on a small bulla, a seal impression, found in the remains of the house, that rich person may well have been someone mentioned by name in the book of 2 Kings.

“This is the bulla of one Natan-Melech Servant of the King,” said Dr. Anat Mendel-Geberovich from the Hebrew University and the Ancient Jerusalem Research Center. “Since he is not mentioned by his last name, only his first name, we can understand that he was a pretty famous person here in Jerusalem during the mid-seventh century at the time of King Josiah.”

According to the Bible, Natan-Melech  was an official of King Josiah, a position that would fit both Shalev’s statement that the house belonged to someone from the administration of Jerusalem and Mendel-Geberovich’s assertion that the owner of the bulla was famous.

“The one million dollar question is, ‘Am I holding in my hand the bulla of the same Natan-Melech that was mentioned in the Bible?’” said Mendel-Geberovich. “Well, I can never say that for certain, but what I can say is that there is an overlap in three things. First, the name Natan-Melech, which is rare. Second, the period we are talking about — mid-seventh century B.C., King Josiah. Third, the fact that we have the title. So, Natan-Melech was someone who was close to the king.”

All of these facts suggest that the Natan-Melech mentioned on the thumbnail-sized bulla is none other than the official mentioned in 2 Kings. This makes the tiny seal impression yet another extraordinary discovery that was once hidden in the soil of the Holy Land.

On Easter Sunday, explosions rocked Sri Lanka’s churches and hotels as Muslim terrorists executed a carefully coordinated and devastating attack against their Christian neighbors. The death toll from the terrorist attack has soared past 200 and over 450 people were injured. The victims were almost entirely Christian and of a mix of nationalities. The majority of the victims were Sri Lankan natives, but foreigners from at least five countries were also killed in the vicious attack.

The Islamic terrorists unleashed six nearly simultaneous blasts on the holiest day of the Christian calendar and two more several hours later. They targeted churches and hotels that catered to foreigners. The deadliest blast occurred at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, and all were aimed at “innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal.”

Given the choice to attack Christian churches on the morning of Easter Sunday, there is no doubt that the terrorists meant to kill Christians. Some on the Left, however, have refused to recognize this basic fact. Rather than condemning an attack on Christians in the same way they condemned the New Zealand mosque shootings, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both carefully avoided using the word “Christian” or “terrorist” in their condemnations. Clinton even managed to dodge mentioning the fact that the attack occurred on Easter. Both Obama and Clinton claimed that those killed were “Easter worshippers.” Easter, however, is the name of a Christian holiday and not something to be worshipped in and of itself. It is also the name of a pagan goddess. Suggestions that the victims were worshipping a pagan goddess or man-made holiday are equally offensive to the Christians who were murdered for daring to celebrate a holy day with peaceful prayer. To make matters worse, Clinton not only avoided mentioning that the targets of the terrorist attack were Christians, she ignored the fact that the bombings occurred on Easter Sunday. Instead, she emphasized that it was a “holy weekend for many faiths.”

There is nothing wrong with remembering that Easter and Passover overlap, but the attack was clearly aimed at Christians. All three churches were openly Christian and had a good chance of being packed on Easter Sunday when the terrorists attacked. This attack was obviously targeting Christians. Despite this, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro all carefully avoided using the word “Christian” to describe the victims. Of the four, Warren was the only one to label the bombings a terrorist attack. She did, however, stop short of noting that the perpetrators were Muslim terrorists.

Some people scoff when Christians claim that they are being persecuted both abroad and in the United States, but the fact that some of the leaders of the Left could not even find the common decency to correctly identify the victims’ religion gives credence to such claims. After all, it is far harder to find sympathy or empathy for an amorphous group like “Easter worshippers” than it is to express solidarity with a visible community like “Christians.”

Nearly 300 people were killed and hundreds more wounded after eight explosions tore through Sri Lanka in a series of coordinated blasts that struck three churches and three hotels. There were more than 500 more injured.

The first wave of attacks struck during packed Easter Sunday services between 8.45 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. local time. At St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo more than 1,000 people had gathered for the holiest day in the Christian calendar. Christianity is a minority religion in Sri Lanka, accounting for less than 10 percent of the total population of 21.4 million.

The other churches were in the cities of Colombo, the capital, and Batticaloa. The bombs blew out the roofs and killed many worshipers. The images that have been released from the churches have been horrifying.

“You can see pieces of flesh thrown all over the walls and on the sanctuary and even outside of the church,” Father Edmond Tillekeratne, social communications director for the Archdiocese of Colombo, said.

One of the images that has gone viral is of a blood-soaked Jesus statue that sits inside the St. Sebastian church. It has become a symbol of the acts and reminds other Christians the true violence this bombing caused.

More blasts ripped through three luxury hotels in Colombo. The three hotels, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury, are all popular with foreign tourists and the country’s business community.

A top police official reportedly had alerted security officials 10 days earlier about a threat to churches from a radical Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath. It is still not completely clear if any precautions were taken, or who is to blame for the attack.

Security precautions are still being taken. Police have found another 87 detonators in a private terminal of the main bus station in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. On Sunday evening, an improvised explosive device was defused near the capital’s Bandaranaike International Airport.

The explosions marked the country’s worst acts of violence since the end of its civil war in 2009.

5a572ca3a75e205e138b4b5f-750-398A city in southern China is offering cash to citizens willing to inform on “illegal religious groups,” ramping up China’s crackdown on underground churches.

The Guangzhou Department of Ethnic and Religious Affairs officially announced the offer on its website to anyone who provides information about the structure of an illegal religious group, or information leading to the capture of key members and leaders of those groups.

Reporters could receive monetary amounts of 3,000, 5,000 or 10,000 yuan ($450, $750 and $1,500 USD) for providing them with information. The size of the prize will depend on the scale of the illegal activity.

The regulation, called “Incentives to Motivate the Masses to Report on Illegal Religious Activities,” will provide clues and assistance to “relevant government departments” for tracking down “illegal religious groups or members.”

Guangzhou authorities characterized “illegal activities” as establishing places of religious worship without government approval, holding religious activities in non-religious institutions or locations, accepting religious donations, organizing Chinese citizens to go abroad for religious activities such as seminars, meetings, or worship without approval, or providing religious education without approval.

According to the South China Morning Post, the city’s crackdown has come down hardest on unregistered Protestant churches. The government has also demolished Catholic churches, Buddhist temples and Muslim mosques that were not government-approved.

Ying Fuk-Tsang, who is the director of the Divinity School of Chung Chi College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the crackdown is more common than people think.

“This will compress the survival space of house churches,” he told the Morning Post. “Not only will they have to deal with the official crackdown but now also the threat from their neighbors.”

Recently, Chinese authorities arrested just over 40 Christians worshiping in homes after the closure of Chengdu’s Early Rain Covenant Church. Their arrests came after over 160 more arrests of church members were made last year.

China ranks as the 27th worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List.