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Giant Marble Cross Found in N. Pakistan Hints of Christianity’s Early Presence There

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  • Giant Marble Cross Found in N. Pakistan Hints of Christianity’s Early Presence There

    A 1200 year old white marble cross weighing between three and four tons (2721 to 3628 kg) and spanning seven feet (over 2.1 meters) from top to bottom and nearly six feet across (1.8 meters) was discovered near the city of Skardu, and village of Kavardo, in Gilgit-Baltistan (an administrative territory of Pakistan) near the western Himalaya and Karakoram Mountains. While there are no Christians in the region today this provides evidence that in earlier times there was Christian community there well before Islam took control of the area.

    This isn't that surprising given that one of the major routes along the historic Silk Roads, which stretched from East Asia to the Western Mediterranean, passed through Kashmir (Gilgit-Baltistan constitutes the northern portion of the larger Kashmir region). It is entirely reasonable to suppose that Middle Eastern merchants brought the Gospel to the region given that Nestorian Christian churches were in China by the 7th century and in the Indus Valley by the 5th century (although Church tradition tells of Christians first arriving in the latter in the first century).

    Source: Archaeology breakthrough: 1,200-year-old find 'rewrites Christian history'


    ARCHAEOLOGISTS believe they have uncovered a giant cross in Pakistan that "implies Christianity was in the region before Islam", new reports claims.

    The 1,200-year-old cross - which is made of marble and weighs around four tons - was discovered by a team of experts from the University of Baltistan, Skardu, the Union of Catholic Asian News. Their report, entitled '1,200-Year-Old Cross Found in Pakistan Implies Christianity Was There 'Before Islam Came', claims that the find was made in the mountains of the Himalayan mountains and is around seven feet in size. Experts say that although no Christians live in the area of Skardu, it proved that worshippers of that religion were previously present in the region.

    Pakistan is made up of around 96 percent of people who practise Islam, and shares its borders with Afghanistan, Iran, India and China.

    The discovery was celebrated by Caritas Pakistan, a Catholic group, and executive director Mansha Noor said: "It is indeed great news for all of us that an ancient cross was found in Skardu.

    "It shows that Christianity existed in this area and there must be a church and houses of Christians.

    "There are currently no Christian families in that area, but they were once present.

    "I request the authorities invite international historians to find out more about the accurate history of the cross."

    Reports by the Christianheadlines.com say that Christians in Pakistan are often faced with dire scenarios where they are persecuted as a result of their faith.

    Beatrice Caseau, a byzantine history expert, argued that the find could prove that Middle East merchants brought "the gospel to the region".

    She said: "Even if we lack the sources to know with certainty where they passed, we know that Christians from the Persian world, using the Syriac language, came to the Indus region between the fifth and eighth centuries, until the arrival of Islam."

    Another Pakistani Christian leader told Barnabus Fund: "Praise the Lord, this makes me very joyful.

    "It will be a great encouragement to Christians in Pakistan to show that our faith was here many, many generations ago, before Islam came.

    "This is amazing news. I am looking forward to what the research outcome will reveal about Christianity in Pakistan."


    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    [*The article continues with a brief mention concerning another archaeological discovery of a 1300 year old church in Israel, near to where the traditional site of Jesus' transfiguration was made*]





    Last edited by rogue06; 12-21-2020, 04:31 PM. Reason: Forgot imagification

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

  • #2
    Interesting.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting find - although the news is a few months old. It would appear that forms of Christianity were being spread into the region, but if, as some articles suggest, this was a form of Nestorian Christianity, was it the "true" faith?
      faith?
      "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        Interesting find - although the news is a few months old. It would appear that forms of Christianity were being spread into the region, but if, as some articles suggest, this was a form of Nestorian Christianity, was it the "true" faith?
        faith?
        It does not resemble, in any way, any form of Nestorian Cross, which was much more like the Maltese Cross. I don't know why one would jump to that as even a possibility when it appears to be a traditional Christian Cross in all its simplicity.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

          It does not resemble, in any way, any form of Nestorian Cross, which was much more like the Maltese Cross. I don't know why one would jump to that as even a possibility when it appears to be a traditional Christian Cross in all its simplicity.
          I mentioned how the Nestorian Church had spread to China and into India at an early date as to illustrate how reasonable it was to assume that Christianity itself had spread into the western Himalaya region of northern Pakistan/Kashmir -- especially given that one of the routes of the Silk Road went right through the area.

          But you are corrrr... You are corre... You aren't wrong about the Nestorian cross, which is not what was uncovered.









          As Wikipedia puts it

          The Nestorian Cross is associated with the Church of the East. It is composed of a cross similar to the Maltese cross, with three dots lining the left cross bar, three dots lining the right, two dots lining the top bar, and one dot on the bottom bar. These nine dots represent the nine orders of ministry within the church. Between the two dots on the top bar is a crown with three prongs, representing the Trinity.


          It appears the number of dots could vary but it does not resemble what looks like an excellent copy of a Greek cross like that found in Pakistan (see image in OP)
          Last edited by rogue06; 12-22-2020, 04:06 PM.

          I'm always still in trouble again

          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

          Comment


          • #6
            As I understand it, sure, of course Christianity spread along the Silk Roads, as it did everywhere, as did all religions - the first official Christian nation was in Armenia, for instance - it's the oldest national Christian Church. Ethiopia was one of the first significant Christian areas - King Ezana of the Ethipian kingdom converted to Christianity about the same time as Constantine did. It was significant place at the time, controlling much of the trade around the Indian Ocean.
            .

            In the first few centuries missionaries took Christianity into the Western reaches of the Roman Empire where, under the influence of Greek philosophy and state control, and assimilating pagan trappings and ideas, it changed into the religion we know today. But missionaries also went East. Here, in India and China, they encountered societies far more sophisticated and literate than those to be found in Europe after the fall of Rome. The first recorded use of the Christian calendar anywhere in the world is in China, in AD 641. One of the earliest printed books in the world, now in the British Museum, is a copy of what is probably a Chinese Christian calendar. It’s dated AD 877, over half a millennium before printing was “invented” in Europe, with Gutenberg. And Christians in the East followed a policy of nonviolence, not just toward people (like the first Christians in the West also did, before it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, when killing people over minor theological points became a godly thing to do) but to all living things. Vegetarianism was obligatory. Maybe the Eastern Christians got it more right than the Western ones. Maybe the kingdom of God is not just for us, in the West, today. God, and our interpretations of Her, could be bigger than we think.
            In the seventh to ninth centuries followers of the “Religion of the Light,” as it came to be called, may have outnumbered Christians in the West two or threefold to one, with churches in most Chinese cities, and cathedrals even in remote Tibet. So they would certainly have passed through Pakistan. But they were largely destroyed by first the Muslim and then the Mongol onslaughts, much as the English church nearly disappeared under the Viking invasions of the eighth to tenth centuries. Only traces of them survive. The liturgy of the Eucharist that the Nestorian Church in India still uses, for example, The Anaphora of the Apostles Addai and Mari, is the oldest in use anywhere.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by John Hunt View Post
              As I understand it, sure, of course Christianity spread along the Silk Roads, as it did everywhere, as did all religions - the first official Christian nation was in Armenia, for instance - it's the oldest national Christian Church. Ethiopia was one of the first significant Christian areas - King Ezana of the Ethipian kingdom converted to Christianity about the same time as Constantine did. It was significant place at the time, controlling much of the trade around the Indian Ocean.
              .

              In the first few centuries missionaries took Christianity into the Western reaches of the Roman Empire where, under the influence of Greek philosophy and state control, and assimilating pagan trappings and ideas, it changed into the religion we know today. But missionaries also went East. Here, in India and China, they encountered societies far more sophisticated and literate than those to be found in Europe after the fall of Rome. The first recorded use of the Christian calendar anywhere in the world is in China, in AD 641. One of the earliest printed books in the world, now in the British Museum, is a copy of what is probably a Chinese Christian calendar. It’s dated AD 877, over half a millennium before printing was “invented” in Europe, with Gutenberg. And Christians in the East followed a policy of nonviolence, not just toward people (like the first Christians in the West also did, before it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, when killing people over minor theological points became a godly thing to do) but to all living things. Vegetarianism was obligatory. Maybe the Eastern Christians got it more right than the Western ones. Maybe the kingdom of God is not just for us, in the West, today. God, and our interpretations of Her, could be bigger than we think.
              In the seventh to ninth centuries followers of the “Religion of the Light,” as it came to be called, may have outnumbered Christians in the West two or threefold to one, with churches in most Chinese cities, and cathedrals even in remote Tibet. So they would certainly have passed through Pakistan. But they were largely destroyed by first the Muslim and then the Mongol onslaughts, much as the English church nearly disappeared under the Viking invasions of the eighth to tenth centuries. Only traces of them survive. The liturgy of the Eucharist that the Nestorian Church in India still uses, for example, The Anaphora of the Apostles Addai and Mari, is the oldest in use anywhere.
              Not much of this has anything to do with the OP.

              Christians were in India well before the Fall of Rome. We have many reasons to believe that this is so.
              • the apocryphal Acts of Thomas, written in the 3rd century A.D. testifies about Christianity being there at that time
              • the historian Eusebius Pamphili (more commonly known as Eusebius of Caesarea), records that Pantaenus (died c. 200 A.D.), who was Clement of Alexandria's (c. 150 A.D.--c. 215 A.D.) teacher, journeyed to India in the 2nd cent. A.D.
              • Arnobius of Sicca (died c. 330 A.D.), in the second book of his Adversus Gentes ("Against the Nations" or Heathen), c. 303 A.D.,wrote about about the various lands that Christianity had spread to "For the deeds can be reckoned up and numbered which have been done in India..." More on this later.
              • the Christian community in Kerala, South India, almost certainly stretches back to the 1st cent. A.D., especially among Jewish settlers who were already there.

              As for China, according to a 9' tall tall limestone stela discovered in the early 1600s, and written by a Chinese Christian monk named Jingjing in 781 A.D., Christianity arrived in there when a Nestorian monk named Aluoben entered the ancient capital of Chang’an (modern-day Xi'an or Shian, capital of Shaanxi Province) in central China, and received recognition by the second emperor of the Tang dynasty in 635 A.D. But again, there is strong evidence that Christians had already been in China well before then
              • a century earlier, in the early 550's A.D., a pair of monks from Persia, with the support of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, smuggled silkworm eggs out of China in bamboo staves back to the Byzantine Empire[1], which led to the establishment of an indigenous Byzantine silk industry in Constantinople, Antioch, Beirut, Tyre, and Thebes
              • the aforementioned Arnobius of Sicca, while referring to the spread of Christianity into distant lands mentions that it had spread "among the Seres, Persians, and Medes." Seres (a.k.a., Serica, which meant silk in Latin) was an old Roman name for northern China, and known to both Greek and Roman cartographers.





              1. Gibbons, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referred to them as "missionaries of commerce"

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                Not much of this has anything to do with the OP.

                Christians were in India well before the Fall of Rome. We have many reasons to believe that this is so.
                • the apocryphal Acts of Thomas, written in the 3rd century A.D. testifies about Christianity being there at that time
                • the historian Eusebius Pamphili (more commonly known as Eusebius of Caesarea), records that Pantaenus (died c. 200 A.D.), who was Clement of Alexandria's (c. 150 A.D.--c. 215 A.D.) teacher, journeyed to India in the 2nd cent. A.D.
                • Arnobius of Sicca (died c. 330 A.D.), in the second book of his Adversus Gentes ("Against the Nations" or Heathen), c. 303 A.D.,wrote about about the various lands that Christianity had spread to "For the deeds can be reckoned up and numbered which have been done in India..." More on this later.
                • the Christian community in Kerala, South India, almost certainly stretches back to the 1st cent. A.D., especially among Jewish settlers who were already there.

                As for China, according to a 9' tall tall limestone stela discovered in the early 1600s, and written by a Chinese Christian monk named Jingjing in 781 A.D., Christianity arrived in there when a Nestorian monk named Aluoben entered the ancient capital of Chang’an (modern-day Xi'an or Shian, capital of Shaanxi Province) in central China, and received recognition by the second emperor of the Tang dynasty in 635 A.D. But again, there is strong evidence that Christians had already been in China well before then
                • a century earlier, in the early 550's A.D., a pair of monks from Persia, with the support of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, smuggled silkworm eggs out of China in bamboo staves back to the Byzantine Empire[1], which led to the establishment of an indigenous Byzantine silk industry in Constantinople, Antioch, Beirut, Tyre, and Thebes
                • the aforementioned Arnobius of Sicca, while referring to the spread of Christianity into distant lands mentions that it had spread "among the Seres, Persians, and Medes." Seres (a.k.a., Serica, which meant silk in Latin) was an old Roman name for northern China, and known to both Greek and Roman cartographers.





                1. Gibbons, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referred to them as "missionaries of commerce"
                Google is popular isn't it? How much of Gibbon have you actually read?


                "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                  Google is popular isn't it? How much of Gibbon have you actually read?
                  Got it right now. Pretty musty smelling after the flood in my basement around 2014 after the water heater broke. I think I should move some of the books up into one of the bedrooms on the second floor.

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                    Got it right now. Pretty musty smelling after the flood in my basement around 2014 after the water heater broke. I think I should move some of the books up into one of the bedrooms on the second floor.
                    I ask again, how much of Gibbon have you actually read? It is also more honest to cites one's sources. I sincerely doubt anything you wrote at post #7 is from memory, for example, which volume of Gibbon? Hence my question.
                    "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                      I ask again, how much of Gibbon have you actually read? It is also more honest to cites one's sources. I sincerely doubt anything you wrote at post #7 is from memory, for example, which volume of Gibbon? Hence my question.
                      Volume 3 page 508 from a version that included notes from someone named Milman in an edition published in the second half of the 19th cent.

                      To the historians of that prince, a campaign at the foot of Mount Caucasus has seemed more deserving of a minute relation than the labors of these missionaries of commerce, who again entered China, deceived a jealous people by concealing the eggs of the silk-worm in a hollow cane, and returned in triumph with the spoils of the East.


                      Further,

                      When I was younger and got bored on a rainy day I was the sort of kid who would pull out a volume from one of the sets of encyclopedias we had (Britannica, Colliers and Compton's) and start reading. Being a natural speed reader I could easily read a 200+ page book in an evening. Now my vision no longer permits for such reading. I get sleepy after about 10 pages which I read much slower now.

                      I still have the first three volumes of the Decline and Fall (I'm hoping my brother has the rest), and never finished reading all of them. I did use them while in college for references (long before the interwebz). It was the first thing I turned to hoping that the ones I had mentioned the account of the silk worms being brought from China. As an aside I also have several German Bibles stretching back to the early 19th century that I inherited (same with the Decline and Fall). Unfortunately printed Bibles from that time are not particularly valuable and neither are the vast majority of later editions of printed material.

                      Also, I have a subscription from Academia.com that allows me to access a large number of publications but I'm loathe to use them since they also keep sending nearly everything even remotely related. I requested "Caveat emptor: toward a study of Roman slave-traders," by John Bodel, published in the Journal of Roman Archaeology, back when we were discussing the use of slaves to build the ramp at Masada, which I got -- again and again at least once a week since then -- as well as a slew of other works. I just checked my inbox of my email and today I got as a "related paper"

                      Finally, I'm not writing something for publication so you'll have to excuse me for not including complete bibliographies every time I post. If that continues to be a problem for you, frankly I could not care any less and you are invited to go stuff it.

                      And moreover, if you have nothing to contribute to the thread except the sort of drek you've posted you are also invited to stop posting in it.
                      Last edited by rogue06; 12-23-2020, 10:05 AM.

                      I'm always still in trouble again

                      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                        It does not resemble, in any way, any form of Nestorian Cross, which was much more like the Maltese Cross. I don't know why one would jump to that as even a possibility when it appears to be a traditional Christian Cross in all its simplicity.
                        If indeed this cross is determined to actually be Christian in origin, I am only surprised you are not suggesting that those early Christian settlements were protestant!
                        "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                          If indeed this cross is determined to actually be Christian in origin, I am only surprised you are not suggesting that those early Christian settlements were protestant!
                          Aside from just being your typical snotty self, why would you think that the poker of bovines would suggest they're Protestant?

                          I'm always still in trouble again

                          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                            Volume 3 page 508 from a version that included notes from someone named Milman in an edition published in the second half of the 19th cent.

                            To the historians of that prince, a campaign at the foot of Mount Caucasus has seemed more deserving of a minute relation than the labors of these missionaries of commerce, who again entered China, deceived a jealous people by concealing the eggs of the silk-worm in a hollow cane, and returned in triumph with the spoils of the East.


                            Further,

                            When I was younger and got bored on a rainy day I was the sort of kid who would pull out a volume from one of the sets of encyclopedias we had (Britannica, Colliers and Compton's) and start reading. Being a natural speed reader I could easily read a 200+ page book in an evening. Now my vision no longer permits for such reading. I get sleepy after about 10 pages which I read much slower now.

                            I still have the first three volumes of the Decline and Fall (I'm hoping my brother has the rest), and never finished reading all of them. I did use them while in college for references (long before the interwebz). It was the first thing I turned to hoping that the ones I had mentioned the account of the silk worms being brought from China. As an aside I also have several German Bibles stretching back to the early 19th century that I inherited (same with the Decline and Fall). Unfortunately printed Bibles from that time are not particularly valuable and neither are the vast majority of later editions of printed material.

                            Also, I have a subscription from Academia.com that allows me to access a large number of publications but I'm loathe to use them since they also keep sending nearly everything even remotely related. I requested "Caveat emptor: toward a study of Roman slave-traders," by John Bodel, published in the Journal of Roman Archaeology, back when we were discussing the use of slaves to build the ramp at Masada, which I got -- again and again at least once a week since then -- as well as a slew of other works. I just checked my inbox of my email and today I got as a "related paper"

                            Finally, I'm not writing something for publication so you'll have to excuse me for not including complete bibliographies every time I post. If that continues to be a problem for you, frankly I could not care any less and you are invited to go stuff it.

                            And moreover, if you have nothing to contribute to the thread except the sort of drek you've posted you are also invited to stop posting in it.
                            And today I received the following by Bodel

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                              If indeed this cross is determined to actually be Christian in origin, I am only surprised you are not suggesting that those early Christian settlements were protestant!
                              That doesn't even make sense -- you're doing that thing again where you're trying to sound smarter than you are, and exposing your true nature.
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                              Comment

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