Visit our website to hear this program free!
Subscribe to podcast.
"Out of Tsiyon,
the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth"
July EBD Crossword Contest
Why not enter the
new crossword puzzle contest for July, posted on my Eliyahu ben David website blog at
eliyahubendavid.com. Give it a try. You might win like Jim
did last month. Congratulations to mail-in contestant, Jim. You
won a "Judgment Day" book!
We Need Audio Recording Volunteers!
Would you like your voice to
be heard on Tsiyon Radio? We are working on an audio
project right now and would like to include voices of our
listeners. Worried that your accent might not be accepted? No
worries! We would like to include the real voices of our
listeners from everywhere! You don't need a studio either. We
can record you over Skype! If you are interested, let me know.
We like to include music from
various independent Messianic artists. Let us know if you would like
your music included here at Tsiyon Radio.
Cave linked to John the Baptist
Karin Laub/AP - 8/16/2004
KIBBUTZ TZUBA, Israel — Archaeologists think they’ve found a cave
where John the Baptist baptized many of his followers — basing their
theory on thousands of shards from ritual jugs, a stone used for
foot cleansing and wall carvings that tell the story of the biblical
Only a few artifacts linked to New Testament figures have ever been
found in the Holy Land, and the cave is potentially a major
discovery in biblical archaeology.
“John the Baptist, who was just a figure from the Gospels, now comes
to life,” British archaeologist Shimon Gibson said during an
exclusive tour of the cave given to The Associated Press.
But some scholars said Gibson’s finds aren’t enough to support his
theory, and one colleague said that short of an inscription with
John’s name in the cave, there could never be conclusive proof of
his presence there.
Matching tradition with the evidence
John, a distant relative of
Jesus — their mothers were kin, according to the Bible — was a fiery
preacher with a message of repentance and a considerable following.
Tradition says he was born in the village of Ein Kerem, which today
is part of modern Jerusalem. Just 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) away, on
the land of Kibbutz Tzuba, a communal farm, the cave lies hidden in
a limestone hill — 24 yards (meters) long, 4 yards deep and 4 yards
It was carved by the Israelites in the Iron Age, sometime between
800 B.C. and 500 B.C, the scientists said. It apparently was used
from the start as a ritual immersion pool, preceding the Jewish
tradition of the ritual bath.
Over the centuries, the cave filled with mud and sediment, leaving
only a tiny opening that was hidden by trees and bushes. Yet in
recent years, it had occasional visitors — Reuven Kalifon, an
immigrant from Cleveland who teaches Hebrew at the kibbutz, took his
They would crawl through the narrow slit at the mouth of the cave,
all the way to the back wall, though they saw nothing but dirt and
walls. In December 1999, Kalifon asked Gibson, a friend, to take a
Five years of excavation
Gibson, who has excavated in the Holy Land for more than 30 years,
moved a few boulders near the walls and laid bare a crude carving of
a head. Excited, he organized a full-fledged excavation.
Over the next five years, Gibson and his team, including volunteers
from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, cleared out
layers of soil, picking up about 250,000 shards from small jugs
apparently used in purification rituals.
Israeli archaeological site manager Rafi Lewis places his foot on a
stone that the excavation team believes was used for ceremonial foot
washing, during a tour of the Kibbutz Tzuba site on Monday.
The explorers uncovered 28 steps leading to the bottom of the cave.
On the right, a niche is carved into the wall — typical of those
used in Jewish ritual baths for discarding the clothes before
immersion. Near the end of the stairs, the team found an oval stone
with a foot-shaped indentation — about a shoe size 11. Just above, a
soapdish-like niche apparently held ritual oil that would flow
through a small channel onto the believer’s right foot.
On the water-covered floor of the cave, stones and boulders were
moved aside by the worshippers, and a middle path was filled with
gravel, said Egon Lass, an archaeological consultant at Wheaton
College, near Chicago, who also worked on the dig.