Originally Posted by TombReader
The problem with the alleged John the Baptist cave is there is nothing to conclusively prove that it is what the excavator claims it is.Short of finding an inscription that says 'John the Baptist was here' they probably never will know for sure.This was an example of an archaeologist being very irresponsible and trying to make a name for himself.Instead of publishing his findings in a valid scientific journal,he published a popular book in an effort to win over the emotions of the public.If everyone believes something to be what you say it is,then I guess you really don't need proof.
Shoddy archaeology,if you ask me.
Agreed. The problem at present with Biblical Archaeology is that while some in the field are legitimate scholars, many more are charlatains hoping to make a buck, or even better, misguided zealots who make the search for the "true cross" look somewhat serious by comparison.
The same problem developed with this whole 'James Box' fiasco. It was obviously a fake, and has since been proven conclusively so - and a medieval fake at that. But publications such as the Biblical Archaeology Review will tell you that the James Box is real, that the true cross is still being held prisoner beneath Hagia Sophia, etc.
Unfortunately, these fakes, and their shameless tv evangelist like promotions, help to take away attention from other -legitimate- finds and help to cast further dispersions on the very intriguing goal of associating biblical references with historical sites.
For example, it has recently been argued fairly succinctly that the Shroud of Turin may date to the time of Christ, based upon errors found in the previous attempt to date the shroud. But we don't hear about this, because the academic community has been burned too many times by ridiculousness such as the James Box, the Cave of St. John, etc...
So, you'll get no argument from me here. Shoddy archaeology, indeed. And I consider myself a person of faith - I simply don't think my faith is trivial enough to waste on carnival hucksters and any fool with a spade.
(No offense intended to the gentleman who posted this topic originally.. I guess I just wanted to point out the extreme frustration in dealing with this material).