A piece of Jesus’ cross? Relics unearthed in Turkey
2013 08 05

By Alan Boyle | NBCNews



Turkish archaeologists say they have found a stone chest in a 1,350-year-old church that appears to contain a relic venerated as a piece of Jesus’ cross.

The artifacts were unearthed during a dig at Balatlar Church in Turkey’s Sinop Province, and displayed this week by excavation team leader Gülgün Köroğlu. “We have found a holy thing in a chest. It is a piece of a cross," the Hurriyet Daily News quoted her as saying.

Köroğlu, an art historian and archaeologist at Turkey’s Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, said the team suspects that the chest served as a symbolic coffin for the relics of a holy person — and that the fragments within it were associated with Jesus’ crucifixion.

She showed reporters at the site a stone with crosses carved into it. "This stone chest is very important to us. It has a history and is the most important artifact we have unearthed so far,” she said. The chest has been taken to a laboratory for further examination.

Köroğlu said her team has been working since 2009 at the church — which was built in the year 660, during the Byzantine era. She said the ruins of an ancient Roman bath were also found at the site, along with more than 1,000 human skeletons.

Fragments associated with Jesus’ cross were sent far and wide as relics in ancient and medieval times. According to legend, St. Helena — the mother of Emperor Constantine — found the cross in Jerusalem and distributed pieces of the wood to church leaders in Jerusalem, Rome and Constantinople (present-day Istanbul in Turkey).

Later in the 4th century, St. Cyril of Jerusalem said the whole world "has been filled with pieces of the wood of the cross." St. Gregory of Nyssa said the wood had "saving efficacy for all men, though it is, as I am informed, a piece of a poor tree, less valuable than most trees are."

The 16th-century Protestant theologian John Calvin famously joked that if all the pieces linked to the "true cross" were assembled in one place, "they would make a big shipload."

[...]

Read the full article at: nbcnews.com




Related Articles
Balatlar Church
Stolen Religious Relic Sparks Searches
Relic reveals Noah’s ark was circular
Basilica of the Holy Blood: Christ’s Blood Preserved?
Shape-Shifting Jesus Described in Ancient Egyptian Text
The Little-Known Legend of Jesus in Japan


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »