Tuesday, May 24, 2005

When Science, Classic Literature, and Religion Come Together...

This is definitely something to file in the historical records under "wow". Multispectral imaging, a technology developed by NASA and used for filming the surface of Mars, was first applied to piles of papyrus that was charred and buried when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in a.d. 79. The result? Long-lost ancient writings now clearly legible.

The scientists then applied the technique to massive stacks of burnt papyrus found in vast rubbish heaps in the ruins of the long-lost city of Oxyrhynchus, unearthed in the 19th century.

We now have several new pages to add to the chronicles of the Trojan War. We have a lost tragedy by Sophocles. We also have some early Gospels, such as the Gospel of Thomas, which was not included in the New Testament but is believed to be a more authentic record of Christ's actual words.

And people say space exploration is a waste of time and money...

18 comments:

Don Snabulus said...

space exploration is a waste of time and money.





Wait, I thought you were telling me to say that.

Pa've said...

I never said that. I think we could save lots of money by sending things into space. Like Congress...

Don Snabulus said...

...and the other two branches.

DewKid said...

Multispectrally image THIS!!

Gack!!!!!!!!! said...

Naw, keep the executive branch. You know our country can only be saved by strong, centralized authority.

Hail der Fuehrer!!!!!!!!!

Vulgarius said...

And the trees were all made equal...

Neil Peart said...

Watch it, buster...

thehim said...

We also have some early Gospels, such as the Gospel of Thomas, which was not included in the New Testament but is believed to be a more authentic record of Christ's actual words.

It's like a lost episode of a TV series, except that more people wouldn't believe it was real.

Pa've said...

Yes, there were a lot of Gospels and other books, which all may in fact be perfectly good, but when the Catholic Church assembled the Bible as we know it today, each book had to pass a rigourous test called cannonization, where what happened in one book had to be reasonably supported by what was said in other books, and be consistant with Biblical prohecy...OH, DON'T GET ME STARTED!

Anonymous said...

Eltigris: We have additions to lost work .... "they smited the trojan horse on the first day and ...Ahhhhrrrgghhh~" thats what it said right there uhuhhhh.

Gospels and early writing were subjected to political scrutiny as well. Thats how the King james version came about. To be rich is to be divine ...to be poor is to be a crime. To be more is to be closer to Christ Uhhuhhhh he siad that too

The Moody Minstrel said...

The Word of God Revealed was edited and bits left out? Hmm...

Pa've said...

Yes, it was. BUt the reason for cannonization was to search for the books that were truly inspired by God, and not merely some philosophical rant by someone who had a tale to embellish.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Hmm... To search for the books that were truly inspired by God, eh?
And what was their criteria for proof, I wonder? Was the angel Gabriel a member of the review board?
That kind of subjective judgment is always suspect, because there are so many things that can influence the outcome, such as politics, prevailing cultural trends, an institution seeking to justify itself, etc..

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that, while some of his letters do appear, there is no Gospel of Peter in the New Testament. The sect he founded in Greece got lumped in with the Gnostics and wound up being exterminated by the Roman church. On the other hand, the same thing happened to John's followers, so the inclusion of the Gospel of John is actually a bit of a surprise (though the content is definitely "safe").

Pa've said...

I think what we're proving here is that you can't have a rational arguement about a belief system.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Well, "belief" is, in and of itself, an irrational concept. You are accepting something as fact without proof. "Theory" is rational, but it seems to be losing popularity these days.

Don Snabulus said...

I'll have to trust you on that one...

Gack!!!!!!!!! said...

Trust this, you loser!

Don Snabulus said...

I'll have to lose you on that one...