Current Events Articles: December 2009

First Century House Unearthed in Nazareth posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The building that we found is small and modest and it is most likely typical of the dwellings in Nazareth in that period. From the few written sources that there are, we know that in the first century CE Nazareth was a small Jewish village, located inside a valley. Until now a number of tombs from the time of Jesus were found in Nazareth; however, no settlement remains have been discovered that are attributed to this period”.

For the Very First Time: A Residential Building from the Time of Jesus was Exposed in the Heart of Nazareth (offsite link)

Fraud and Forgery in Paleoanthropology posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

A review of the history of paleoanthropology leads to the conclusion that the discipline is far less objective than that for physics, chemistry, or even biology. The field is rife with controversy and fraud, including outright faking. Classic examples include Piltdown man and Hesperopithecus, but many other less well-known examples exist that are reviewed in this paper. Several well-documented examples are cited in some detail to illustrate the types of problems encountered, and the results of fraud in paleoanthropology.

First Century Burial Casts Doubt on Shroud of Turin posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Researchers said Wednesday for the first time they have found what they believe to be pieces of a burial shroud from the time of Jesus. The find is of importance because tests on the shroud and the body it wrapped revealed the earliest proven case of leprosy in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Gibson, the excavation director, said the remains of the man covered in the cloth consisted of different wrappings for the body and the head, which was consistent with burial practices of the era. He also said research had shown that the weave of the cloth was a simple one, much different from the more complex  Shroud of Turin's.

The first of their kind discovered in Jerusalem, the shroud fragments date from the same time of Christ's death, but are very different than the Shroud of Turin. One of the most controversial relics in Christendom, the Turin linen features an intricate twill weave. The newly found cloth is made up of a simpler two-way weave.

Christmas 2009: A Message from ABR's Executive Director posted by Scott Lanser MA

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”  Hosea 4:6


Dear friend of ABR,


God’s plan to rescue mankind from sin was perfectly fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!  Indeed, the Apostle Paul tells us in his epistle to the Galatians that God sent Jesus into the world “in the fullness of time.” (Gal.4:4)  God had planned for this and Jesus perfectly fulfilled God’s plan.  Jesus was actually born in true space and time in real history.  God acted on purpose with a plan that was according to the “counsel of His own will.”  In advance of the actual events the prophetic revelation (vision) for his purposes was communicated to the prophets and those He had chosen to record His words, and we find God’s vision laid out for us in the Old Testament scriptures. Without that vision and the knowledge that the revelation contained the people were utterly lost, spiritually blind and incapable of knowing or doing the will of God.  This explains Jesus’ own incredulity when “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”  (John 1:11)  They were unprepared for the events that were unfolding at His birth and throughout His life because they had rejected the revelation of God.  When God’s chosen ones refuse to believe what He has supernaturally revealed in the prophetic word then darkness surrounds His people.  And this tragic reality is going on again today within the church of Jesus Christ.


The symptoms of this tragedy are readily apparent:


  • Open and flagrant belief and statements among professing Christians claiming that the Bible contains errors and mistakes.
  • Using preaching, biblical research, and the Bible as a means of personal gain and for personal advancement (seeking one’s own glory, not God’s glory.)
  • The intentional misuse and misinterpretation of Scripture to teach ideas foreign to biblical revelation.
  • Using the Bible for proof-texts for business principles, personal schemes and programs instead of teaching the Bible in its historical context.
  • Forcing the Bible to fit within the framework of post-modern philosophy, instead of making post-modern ideology submit to the revelation of Scripture. 
  • The continuing collapse of a sound doctrine of Scripture at Christian institutions of higher education from the undergraduate to the post-graduate level.
  • The willingness to deny the plain statements of Scripture in order to accommodate unproven “scientific” dogma that supports humanist philosophy that openly contradicts the accounts of Creation and the other historical narratives of the Old Testament.
  • Christians who are seeking spiritual experiences and signs BEYOND the boundaries of and in place of biblical revelation.

These symptoms are profoundly serious.  And as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, countless numbers of “believers” will gather to worship a Jesus that they aren’t even sure truly existed.  Pastors will preach sermons devoid of power because doubts were sown into their mind and hearts by cynical professors who have openly undermined the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture.  When God’s people are under such a cloud of doubt and darkness, there are destructive consequences for the body of Christ.  “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…”


In response to these issues ABR is responding with leadership and a number of important initiatives that need your support. 


  • We support the local church!  We will answer questions and provide resources that will help the seeker, the new believer, or the mature in the faith so that their walk with Christ will grow.  Our seminars, website, and individual responses help many in the body of Christ to stand strong upon the word of God.
  • We support Pastors and teachers.  We stand ready to provide apologetic resources for those leaders in ministry who are already stressed with the demands of their calling.  Pastors, let us be a resource for you in dealing with complicated questions and assertions that undermine the authority of the Bible. 
  • We perform original fieldwork and research.  Our professional research staff are experts in the field of biblical archaeology and questions related to the history of the Bible. 
  • We confront the outrageous claims of those intentionally trying to attack the Bible and those scholars who are simply misguided in their interpretations of history, the Bible, and archaeology. 

During this Christmas season we are asking you to help us to continue this important mission.  You can be a part of our work through your regular prayers and generous financial support.  We hope you will consider giving a very special gift at this time of year so that our programs and ministries can go on without interruption.  Thank you for standing with us!  And may you and yours have a most blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our loving Savior.


For Jesus’ Sake,


Scott Lanser


Scott Lanser, Director

Associates for Biblical Research



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Egypt To Ask For Return of Rosetta Stone posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Egypt is preparing to make a formal request for the return of the Rosetta Stone, the ancient artefact that helped to unlock the secrets of the pharaohs, from the British Museum. Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said he is preparing to "fight" for the restitution of the stone which has been on display in the museum in London since 1802.

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