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Is This Where John the Baptist Was Condemned to Death?
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Is This Where John the Baptist Was Condemned to Death?

A yard exposed amongst the ancient ruins at Machaerus, a prepared hill palace in  Jordan, might have extensive historic significance. According to one popular scholastic,  this yard is where John the Baptist was condemned to death  by the Roman-appointed ruler of Galilee and Peraea (the east bank of the  Jordan River), Herod Antipas.

This is the assertion of Gyozo Voros, an archaeologist from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the director of a continuous massive excavation job at Machaerus. Voros exposed his intriguing conclusions in the just recently launched book  Holy Land Archaeology on Either Side: Historical Essays in Honour of Eugenia Alliata

Salome, Herod Antipas, and the Death of John the Baptist

Taking his lead from  a story from the Gospel of Mark  in the Bible, Voros now thinks this yard is the real area where Herod Antipas was asked by Salome, his future stepdaughter, to bring her the head of  John the Baptist  (which he eventually did, and on a plate no less). 

Salome (the child of Herodias, Antipas’s fiancé) allegedly carried out an envigorating dance regimen in a yard at Machaerus, in front of Herod Antipas as he rested on his throne. The dance was meant to be a birthday present, and it obviously made rather an impression. Completely (and wrongly) enchanted, Antipas guaranteed he would meet her fondest desire, as a benefit for her caring dedication to her king.

After seeking advice from her mom, who was obviously not troubled by her future spouse’s infatuation with her young child, Salome informed Antipas to sever John the Baptist’s head and bring it to her as an offering. At that time  John the Baptist  was a spiritual figure of some significance, and his opposition to the union of Antipas and Herodias (both were formerly separated) exasperated the future very first woman of Galilee and Peraea.  

While Antipas was presumably surprised by the demand, he eventually gave in. He purchased John the Baptist’s arrest and subsequent beheading, which was how the venerated spiritual prophet who predicted the birth of  Jesus lost his life. Or so it is composed.

In the New Testimony, Salome is declared to have actually required the head of John the Baptist at the birthday events of her stepfather Herod Antipas. ( Public domain )

Searching For the Throne of Herod Antipas 

Possibly this story held true, and was not simply a tawdry tall story developed to make a reviled previous Roman leader appear like an ethical degenerate. However that alone doesn’t imply the yard discovered at Machaerus was the real area of Salome’s dance flooring. More proof would be required to draw that conclusion—proof that Gyozo Voros is persuaded he has actually discovered.

The Scriptural story that explains the death of  John the Baptist  does not point out Machaerus particularly as the website from which Herod Antipas ruled his little kingdom. However Machaerus was determined by the ancient very first century author and scholar Flavius Josephus as the area of Herod Antipas’s palace, and archaeologists and historians have actually discovered no factor to contest that assertion. 

The yard Voros has actually tabbed as the most likely website of Salome’s well-known dance and notorious demand was initially found in 1980. However it wasn’t determined as a traditionally substantial area up until just recently, when Voros revealed his conclusion that a semicircular-shaped specific niche situated surrounding to the yard was when the website of Antipas’s throne. Because Salome performed her dance in front of that throne, if Voros is ideal it would imply this yard had to be the location where she was standing when she asked Antipas to order the arrest and harsh execution of John the Baptist.

Restoration of the dance flooring where Salome is stated to have actually required the head of John the Baptist from her stepfather. (Győző Vörös)

It’s All a Matter of Faith. Or Archaeology and History?

For Voros’s theory to be thought, the story of Salome and John the Baptist in the New Testimony should be accepted as gospel, both figuratively and actually. It ought to be kept in mind nevertheless that Flavius Josephus, whose claim that Herod Antipas ruled his appointed area from Machaerus has actually been generally presumed to hold true, provided an alternative description for John the Baptist’s death. He composed that Antipas felt threatened by John’s increasing appeal with his Jewish topics, who acknowledged John as a real prophet and an essential spiritual leader. Antipas’s insecurity is what led to the arrest and murder of John the Baptist,  Flavius Josephus  asserts, and he makes no reference of beheading as the recommended technique of execution.

Some scholars want to grant the possibility that the Scriptural description for John’s death might be precise. However they stay doubtful of Voros’s theory regardless. For instance, Jodi Magness, a teacher of spiritual research studies at the University of North Carolina, keeps in mind that the structure discovered at  Machaerus appears little compared to the structure that when supported the throne of Antipas’s daddy, the initial  King Herod . Magness informed  Live Science  that the semicircular specific niche found at Machaerus more carefully looks like a set of structures discovered at one of  King Herod ’s palaces, which specifically nobody thinks are the stays of ancient thrones.

Another moderate however considerate doubter is Eric Meyers, a retired teacher of Jewish Research studies from Duke University. He credits Voros with making a strong case for his hypothesis, prior to specifying that it stays to be seen whether “a perfect match between literary and archaeological sources that places the execution of John the Baptist is that very spot” can ever be developed.

Pleasantly, Meyers is mentioning the impossibility of ever conclusively showing that John the Baptist was eliminated for the factors given up the  Bible, or that the occasions depicted in the Gospel of Mark relating to John’s execution occurred at all. While the faithful who accept the  Bible as conclusive history might have no issue supporting Voros’s theory, most severe scholastic scientists require a more convincing structure of evidence.

As a guideline, they base their last conclusions on the presence of sound physical proof (in the case of archaeologists) or textual verification from several modern sources (in the case of historians). In this circumstances, it appears not likely that such unassailable proof will ever be found.

Leading image: Archaeologists think that this specific niche represents the stays of the throne of Herod Antipas. Now Gyozo Voros has actually concluded this is the precise area where Salome required the head of John the Baptist. Source: Győző Vörös

By Nathan Falde

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Hmm. yes i understand the
question, you know it's been at least
15 years since I've been following the news, no 10 my folks do that, hmm. what was the question again !?
Excuse me, do you remember
where you read about this ?
Are you kidding !?
of course I can, it was here
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