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252BOOK REVIEWS addition to the English literature on Sino-Western contacts and the Physiocratic school of the eighteenth century. Mount St. Sepulchre, Washington, D.C. Bernward H. Willeke, O.F.M. DISCOVERIES AT ST. JOHN'S, 'EIN KARIM, 1941-1942. By Fr. Sylvester J. Sailer, O.F.M. Printed by the Franciscan Press, Jerusalem, 1946. Pp. xvi+200. This is the third of the biblical studies published by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum. As the author suggests, the title of this work indicates its purpose ; it is a study and a record of the discoveries made at 'Ein Karim in 1941 and 1942. Although these discoveries are important from a historical point of view, nevertheless, they are not conclusive enough to substantiate every detail concerned with the history of the town or its beautiful monument in memory of Saint John the Baptist. St. Luke, the Evangelist, tells us that the Baptist was born in the city of Juda. Unfortunately, the Evangelist does not tell us the name of that city but Tradition definitely points to the present city of 'Ein Karim. This town, a typical oriental hamlet, is situated in the hills of Judea, not very far from the City of Jerusalem (7 kilometers). There are a group of buildings erected here in memory of the Precursor and it was along the western side of these buildings that extensive excavations were made with the hope of finding some trace of its earlier history. The Ancient Cities of Jerusalem were never so completely destroyed as to leave no trace whatsoever of their former existence. Therefore, it is with confidence that these scholars hope to find some trace of the city of Juda where John was born. We know that St. John was born towards the end of the 1st century B.C. At that time, this country was under the rule of Herod the Great. Archaelogists believe that the City where John was born should have some remains belonging to the Herodian period. It is the purpose of the present work to show that such remains have been found at 'Ein Karim and that there is some foundation for the constant tradition that this city was the birthplace of the Precursor. At least from these discoveries the Biblical Scholar can derive new and refreshing inspirations for the Scriptural event. The buildings surrounding this site (a monastery, church and hospice), are memorials to John the Baptist's birth. Father Sailer has shown that the recent archeological discoveries prove that these buildings already existed in Byzantine times. Ant it seems reasonable, as he shows, that these buildings were associated with this holy thought from the very beginning. Before the existence of these ecclesiastical buildings, there are indications that other buildings existed, i.e., that there was some kind of a settlement here from the first century B.C. until these ecclesiastical buildings were erected. When the "new archaeological evidence is linked up with the literary evidence, we have a bridge which BOOK REVIEWS253 completely spans the long interval between the Precursor's birth and our own times. Such a tradition, supported by oral and written evidence and by ancient monuments, commands a respect and, if heeded, may prove to be a useful signpost to scholars endeavoring to solve topographical problems of the Bible." The archaeological discoveries by the Franciscan Fathers in collaboration with competent archaeologists, go back as far as the first century B. C. These discoveries consist primarily in a certain type of pottery (which have been associated with certain coins of the Herodian dynasty) so that it has become customary to speak of Herodian pottery. These discoveries were made in the Southern rock chamber and hence the excavators logically conclude that the chamber itself existed about the same time. Among others, these form the principal reasons for assuming that a community existed in the place during the Herodian dynasty. Moreover, the author points out, that this conclusion is further established if we take into consideration that other rock-cut-tombs have been discovered in 'Ein Karim which, beyond doubt, solidly establishes the tradition that this town is the scene of John's birthplace. For evidence of the continuity of the community on...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 252-253
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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