Archaeology

Blind Man and the Pool of Siloam

The pool had two phases. The stone steps are part of the second phase. Under the stone steps and in places where the stones are missing, the excavators were able to see that in the first phase the steps were plastered. Only in the second phase were the steps faced with stones. The excavators went over the early steps with a metal detector, and in four places it beeped, revealing four coins in the plaster. These coins would date the first phase of the pool.
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Blind Man and the Pool of Siloam

Article#: 896

The Words of God found in the majority-text King James Version of the Bible, properly titled the Authorized Version, are a lamp unto our feet. It is the foundation of all that is true. It has the answer to all of life’s questions. God’s Word doesn’t change with the mores of the day or political mood. God’s Word is sure, steadfast, and fully reliable, both spiritually and physically. His truth of the past 6,000 years still stands as truth today. It will instantly answer age-old questions such as, "Where did I come from? Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?" If you have yet to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, click on to "Further With Jesus" on this website for immediate resolution. If you have questions, God has answers. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, John 9:1-11:

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?

11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

MAN SAID: The Biblical record is not reliable. In many instances, the stories are outright fairy tales. Intelligent people pay no attention to it.

Now THE RECORD. The skeptics attempt to disavow any account recorded in the Word of God. They must somehow believe that if they can discredit the Scriptures, it will justify their unbelief and their sins will not be remembered by an angry God. Many are not aware that pseudo-science has been forced to abandon contrary Christian positions countless times. Yet, its proponents persist to cling to unbelief as a drowning man to an inner tube.

At the time of the airing of this article, there are 250 subjects on this website that endorse the Words of God from a myriad of scientific disciplines. The veracity and supernatural origin of the scriptures are supported over and over and over again. Every Thursday, God willing, a new subject is published. Archaeology stands up this week to say, "Yes!"

John 9:11:

He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary weighed in with the following: "Scholars have said there wasn’t a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit" for the purpose of illustrating a point, but "Now we have found the Pool of Siloam...exactly where John said it was." In regard to the Gospel of John, Mr. Charlesworth said what scholars considered to be "pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history." [End of quote]

The headline on MSNBC.com reads, "Archaeologists identify traces of ‘miracle’ pool," and the subhead reads, "Siloam Pool was where Jesus was said to cure blind." The cover title of the September/October 2005 issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review reads, "The Siloam Pool in Jesus’ Time." The following excerpt is from that article:

As with so much in archaeology, it was stumbled on, not part of a planned excavation. In June 2004 archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron were digging in the area of the Gihon Spring where Hezekiah’s Tunnel begins. Far to the south, between the end of the rock ridge that forms the City of David and a lush green orchard that is often identified as the Biblical King’s Garden, is a narrow alley through which a sewer pipe runs carrying waste from the valley west of the City of David into the Kidron Valley east of the City of David. The city authorities needed to repair or replace this sewer and sent workers with heavy equipment to do some excavating. Eli was watching the operation, when suddenly he saw two steps appear. He immediately halted the work and called Ronny, who came rushing down. As soon as Ronny saw the steps, he exclaimed, "These must be steps going down to the Pool of Siloam during the Second Temple Period." He took a few pictures and wrote a report to Jon Seligman, the district archaeologist for Jerusalem. A quick response was called for because the winter rains were fast approaching and the sewer pipe had to be repaired or replaced. Ronny and Eli were quickly authorized to excavate the area on behalf of the Israeli Antiquities Authority. The more they excavated, the more steps they found, and the wider the steps became.

They have now excavated the entire length of the steps on the side adjacent to the rock ridge of the City of David. There are in fact three short segments of descending stairways of five steps each. The first leads down to a narrow landing. The second leads to another landing and the third leads down to the final level (so far). The size of the pool itself would vary, depending on the level of the water. When it was full, it probably covered all of the steps. The landings served as a kind of esplanade for people to stand on when the steps were submerged in water. [End of quote]

The archaeologist, Ronny Reich, mentioned in the above excerpt is Jerusalem’s leading archaeologist. Again from the article in Biblical Archaeology Review:

Many times archaeologists are unsure of the date of what they find. But in this case, there is no question. Ideally, archaeologists want two dates: the date of construction and the date when the facility went out of use. Here the archaeologists are fortunate to have both.

The pool had two phases. The stone steps are part of the second phase. Under the stone steps and in places where the stones are missing, the excavators were able to see that in the first phase the steps were plastered. Only in the second phase were the steps faced with stones. The excavators went over the early steps with a metal detector, and in four places it beeped, revealing four coins in the plaster. These coins would date the first phase of the pool.

They were all coins of Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 B.C.), one of the later Hasmonean (Jewish) kings who were succeeded in 37 B.C. by Herod the Great. The excavators cannot be sure precisely how long these coins were in circulation before being embedded in the plaster of the first phase of the Pool of Siloam. But they can say with some assurance that the pool was constructed in the late Hasmonean period or early Herodian period. They may know more precisely if they dig under the steps and find a coin from Herod’s time. Then the pool would be Herodian.

We also know from coins how long the pool was in use. Near one corner of the pool they excavated part of a plaza or terrace and found nothing but late Second Temple pottery (which ended with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.). Most significantly, they found a dozen coins from the period of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome. The revolt lasted from 66 to 70 A.D. The excavated coins date from years 2, 3 and 4 of the revolt. The pool was therefore used until the end of the revolt, after which it was abandoned. [End of quote]

It is now known that the Pool of Siloam is connected to the Temple Mount. Legend claims the waters of this pool were so pure they could even purify a leper.

The skeptics challenged the credibility of the Word of God and once again they have been proven wrong. After over 1,900 years, the Pool of Siloam lives again.

GOD SAID, John 9:1-11:

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?

11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

MAN SAID: The Biblical record is not reliable. In many instances, the stories are outright fairy tales. Intelligent people pay no attention to it.

Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

King James Bible

MSNBC.com, "Archaeologists identify traces of ‘miracle’ pool," 12/23/04

Shanks, H., "Where Jesus Cured the Blind Man," Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2005, pp16-23.

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