Criminal indictments brought in Jerusalem against four men, including the antiquities collector linked to the James ossuary, or bone box, have prompted museums and devotees of biblical archaeology to think again about the authenticity of artifacts that have turned up in recent years in Israel’s antiquities market.
The prophet Isaiah, whose words we read in Advent, gives us wonderful images of peace and of the restoration of Zion—images of the wolf living with the lamb, of waters breaking forth out of the wilderness, of a land where there shall be “no lion, nor any ravenous beast.”
Reeling from stinging criticism by Jewish leaders, officials of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said that comments made by members of a church delegation meeting last month with Hezbollah leaders were “reprehensible” and the controversial visit was “misguided at best.”
If mainline Protestant church groups divest from businesses operating in Israel, as some say they might, it could actually harden rather than soften Israel’s stance toward Palestinians, warn prominent pro-Palestinian groups in Israel.
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).