Author Archives: holynewsdaily

Arrest Made in Murdered LA Bishop Case

The authorities have identified the alleged perpetrator in the tragic and violent incident that resulted in the death of a beloved and long-serving Catholic bishop in Los Angeles, who was known for his dedication to promoting peace and harmony among people.

According to the reports shared during a press conference on Monday, a man named Carlos Medina, aged 65, has been arrested in connection with the murder of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell. As per the statement made by the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, Robert Luna, Medina is the husband of the bishop’s housekeeper.

The deceased bishop had spent 45 years of his life serving the church as a priest and then as a bishop. He was found dead in a home in the unincorporated neighborhood of Hacienda Heights on Sunday after the sheriff’s deputies responded to an emergency medical call.

The investigation revealed that the suspect had been acting erratically and had accused the bishop of owing him money. This news has left the religious community in deep sorrow and anguish, as they mourn the loss of a compassionate and dedicated spiritual leader.

The authorities have identified the alleged perpetrator in the tragic and violent incident that resulted in the death of a beloved and long-serving Catholic bishop in Los Angeles, who was known for his dedication to promoting peace and harmony among people.

According to the reports shared during a press conference on Monday, a man named Carlos Medina, aged 65, has been arrested in connection with the murder of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell. As per the statement made by the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, Robert Luna, Medina is the husband of the bishop’s housekeeper.

The deceased bishop had spent 45 years of his life serving the church as a priest and then as a bishop. He was found dead in a home in the unincorporated neighborhood of Hacienda Heights on Sunday after the sheriff’s deputies responded to an emergency medical call.

The investigation revealed that the suspect had been acting erratically and had accused the bishop of owing him money. This news has left the religious community in deep sorrow and anguish, as they mourn the loss of a compassionate and dedicated spiritual leader.

The killing of the beloved bishop sent shock waves through the Los Angeles Catholic community, prompting some parishioners to go to the scene of the O’Connell’s death to pray.

José H. Gomez, the archbishop of Los Angeles, said O’Connell was known as a “man of deep prayer.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators said they received a medical emergency call at 12:57 p.m. Sunday and deputies responded to a home in Hacienda Heights. There, they found the 69-year-old O’Connell unresponsive and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. It’s unclear how long O’Connell had been dead before sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home.

“He was a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant, and he had a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honored and protected,” Gomez said.

“It broke me and I was scared to tell my wife because my wife loved him so much,” parishioner Johnny Flores told ABC Los Angeles station KABC.

Another parishioner, Glendy Perez, described O’Connell as “a humble soul.”

“He was not the type that would have confrontations with nobody,” Perez told KABC. “He was very loving, and he had like a gift of healing. When you would attend his ceremonies, it was like a gift of healing.”

O’Connell, who was born in Ireland, was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope Francis in 2015.

O’Connell studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin and was ordained in 1979 to serve in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. After ordination, he served as associate pastor and pastor at several parishes in Los Angeles.

Bear Grylls Has Amazing Jesus Story

Bear Grylls, the TV host and author who describes himself as an unconventional Christian, recently shared with his 5.6 million followers on Instagram that Jesus was not religious and “a wild one”.

Grylls shared a controversial image of Jesus taking a selfie and explained that he was “totally non-religious, 100% free, fun, loving & insanely generous and kind.” According to Grylls, Jesus was always healing and caring for the poor and sick, and he hung out with those who society had shunned.

Grylls has been known for his appearances in Discovery’s “Man vs. Wild” and hosting “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” on National Geographic.

Grylls cited Matthew 9:10-13.

The verse reads: “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

In an interview with The Christian Post last month, Grylls said he believes Jesus “would really struggle with 99% of churches nowadays.” 

“Our job in life is to stay close to Christ and drop the religious, drop the fluff, drop the church if you need to because that means so many different things to different people anyway,” he said. “Keep the bit of church which is about community and friends and honesty and faith and love. All the masks, performances, music and worship bands and all of that sort of stuff — I don’t think Christ would recognize a lot of that.”

Grylls, who released the new book Mind Fuel: Simple Ways to Build Mental Resilience Every Day, expressed distaste for what he called “religious language,” sanitizing messages in such a way that people “can’t be honest, can’t express doubt and can’t fail.” The Church, he said, is “the place to have doubts and questions.”

Grylls, a former United Kingdom Special Forces soldier, remarked on how the early Church was a group of individuals who gathered together to eat, drink, doubt, struggle and argue. He believes that many churches today have moved away from that.

He suggested that many people in modern congregations are likely struggling with things like substance abuse and pornography and that it would be a relief if pastors acknowledged this reality before their congregation.

Grylls is known for going on many dangerous expeditions. He has scaled Mount Everest and survived a 1996 free-fall parachuting accident in Africa. Grylls’ books have sold over 15 million copies worldwide, ranging from survival skills guides to fiction.

The Search for Noah’s Ark: Why It Will Never Be Found

The story of Noah’s Ark, one of the most famous parts in the Old Testament, tells of a massive flood sent by God to wipe out humanity, except for the patriarch and his family who were saved with pairs of every animal in a large wooden vessel.

Some believers who regard the religious text as a historically accurate account have searched for evidence of the Ark on the slopes of Mount Ararat in Armenia and beyond.

Though many “discoveries” have been claimed, from a piece of wood retrieved in 1876 to petrified wood found in the early 2000s, there is no conclusive evidence of the Ark’s existence.

But searches for the Ark draw everything from exasperation to disdain from academic archaeologists and biblical scholars. “No legitimate archaeologist does this,” says National Geographic Explorer Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, of modern searches for evidence of Noah.

“Archaeology is not treasure hunting,” she adds. “It’s not about finding a specific object. It’s a science where we come up with research questions that we hope to answer by excavation.”

Flood or fiction?

Stories of destructive floods and those who survive them predate the Hebrew Bible, the oldest parts of which are thought to have been written in the 8th century B.C. Legends about a deluge that destroys civilisation at the behest of a supernatural deity can be found in multiple Mesopotamian texts, from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was written around the early second millennium B.C., to a recently deciphered Babylonian cuneiform tablet from about 1750 B.C. describing how the ark was built.

Could these flood myths be based in fact? “There does seem to be geological evidence that there was a major flood in the Black Sea region about 7,500 years ago,” says National Geographic Explorer Eric Cline, an archaeologist at George Washington University. But scientists disagree on the extent of that event, just as historians of the era differ on whether writings about a deluge were inspired by real life. It seems likelier that floods were simply experienced in different places and at different times—and that those events naturally made their way into the world’s oral and written lore.

Complicating the issue even further, scholars differ on the precise location of Noah’s Ark according to the Hebrew Bible. In the Book of Genesis, the ark came to rest  “upon the mountains of Ararat” located in the ancient kingdom of Urartu, an area that now includes Armenia and parts of eastern Turkey and Iran—not the single, iconic peak that bears its name today.

“There’s no way we can determine where exactly in the ancient Near East it occurred,” says Magness.

And both Cline and Magness say that even if artefacts from the Ark have been or will be found, they could never be conclusively connected to historical events.

“We have no way of placing Noah, if he really existed, and the flood, if there really was one, in time and space,” says Magness. “The only way you could determine that would be if you had an authentic ancient inscription”—and even then, she points out, such an inscription could refer to another Noah, or another flood.

That hasn’t stopped the proliferation of pseudoarchaeology that upholds the Bible as literal truth. The fruitless searches are often aligned with adherents of “young-earth creationism,” the belief that, despite evidence to the contrary, Earth is only thousands of years old.

Same evidence, very different conclusions

Such groups use secular archaeological evidence to bolster their literal interpretation of Scripture—and simply disregard or attempt to disprove evidence to the contrary. But they don’t all share the same tactics. Answers In Genesis, a self-described apologetics ministry that focuses on scientific issues and even runs a Noah’s Ark-themed amusement park in Kentucky, acknowledges the ubiquity of flood-related myths beyond the Old Testament story of Noah, and even concedes that the Ark could never be found.

“We do not expect the Ark to have survived and been available to find after 4,350 years,” says Andrew A. Snelling, a geologist and Director of Research for Answers in Genesis who has spent decades attempting to prove Earth’s youth.

Snelling differs from archaeologists, however, about why the vessel’s remains will never be found. “With no mature trees available for Noah and his family to build shelters after they got off the Ark, there is every reason to expect they dismantled the Ark (which they didn’t need anymore) to salvage timber from it,” he says. While the ministry does not rule out the potential of one day finding the Ark, Snelling rues what he calls “questionable claims” by Ark-seekers that “blunt the potential impact of a true discovery.”

For Magness, who currently leads excavations at a late-Roman synagogue in Galilee. the search for Noah’s Ark not only confuses the public, but diminishes excitement about actual archaeological finds, even ones that offer support for parts of the Bible such as the existence of the House of David.

“We know a lot about the biblical world, and it’s very interesting,” she says.

Setting the record straight

Part of the problem, says Cline, is that the public has unrealistic expectations of the discipline of archaeology—and popular media highlights the thrill of the chase instead of the slow accretion of archaeological knowledge. “We’re not like Indiana Jones,” he says. “It’s a scientific procedure. It’s painstaking. But what excites us does not necessarily excite other people.”

In his younger years, says Cline, he spent significant time and energy attempting to rebut the purported biblical evidence that enchants the public year after year. Eventually, though, he quit—and now focuses his time on both his expeditions and translating his research for those willing to accept the results of the scientific process. “People are gonna believe what they want to believe,” he sighs.

That won’t change any time soon—so in the meantime, he’s focused on unearthing an 18th-century B.C. Canaanite palace at Tel Kabri in what is now northern Israel. Following a pandemic-related pause on fieldwork, he anticipates returning next summer to continue excavating a painted plaster floor at the Old Testament-era site. “For us, [the floor] is incredibly important, because it shows international relations and contacts from almost 4,000 years ago,” he says.

“It’s not Noah’s Ark, but it’s a painted floor,” the archaeologist says, “which is good enough for me.”

8 Sins Christians Ignore the Most

What is the meaning of Sin?

Christians tend to be skilled at identifying certain sins, often in others. Some sins shock and appall us more than others, and we tend to view them as worse. However, the truth is that all sin causes a separation between us and Christ. There are no degrees of separation; we are either reconciled to God or we are strangers to Him (see Colossians 1:21-22).

Are there any Sins that are Worse Than Others?

All sins are equal in that they all create a division between us and God. The Bible’s declaration that “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) refers to all sin, whether in thought, word, or deed. We may deceive ourselves into thinking that we only need to avoid the “big” sins, while ignoring the deadly sins in our own lives. Let us be clear that all sin is wrong and requires confession. We must all turn away from our sinful tendencies and, through humble and dependent faith, walk in righteousness.

Here are 8 sins we tend to ignore but can’t afford to ignore any longer.

1. Selfishness/Self-Righteousness

How often did Jesus call out the Pharisees in the New Testament? All. The. Time. And it was always for self-righteousness or selfishness. If you have to compliment yourself on something good you’ve done, then you aren’t doing it right. So many of us like to display our faithful acts so that others will know what good Christians we are. Christ doesn’t care what everyone else thinks of your generosity. He cares about your heart and your motivation. If you need other people to know about the good things you do, feel, or think in order to feel validated, then you need to re-evaluate.

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4

2. Patriotism

For the record, I do NOT think patriotism in and of itself is a sin. I put this here because all too often we put faith and Christian values in the same box as political party and patriotism. The bible is clear about the fact that Jesus’ name will be declared to ALL nations and peoples of the world. We shout, “‘Merica!” and talk about how much better we are than everyone else, but that’s not biblical. We project Christianity onto the American flag and assume that God acts American, but that’s not how it works. Celebrate American values and understand how blessed you are to live here, but remember that at the end of the day you are a citizen of heaven, and heaven will be full of people from all over the world. 

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ ~ Philippians 3:20

3. Fear/Worry

Jesus is very clear about worrying. He flat-out tells us not to worry. Faith requires trust. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. . .” God is love. He loved us enough to send his son to die to atone for our sins. His love is perfect; therefore, we should have nothing to fear. I know fear is inevitable sometimes. It is a major struggle for me. We are not perfect, but fear and worry are not part of the equation with Christ. These attitudes imply a lack of faith. All we can do is remember that God is sovereign and always in control.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10

4. Pride

We talk about pride all the time in church. We consistently discuss how detrimental and dangerous it is, but it seems like we don’t recognize what pride actually is. We don’t realize that every time we refuse someone forgiveness we are acting in pride. Every time you argue with a friend, family member, or spouse and insist that you will not be the one to apologize first then you act out of pride. Remember the grace that Christ extends to you and try to extend that same grace and forgiveness to others.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” ~ James 4:6

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. ~ Proverbs 16:5

5. Gluttony/Coveting

This sin is closely related to pride. We bury ourselves in debt in order to make sure we have the best and newest things. The disciples often lived off of the generosity of others and Jesus was a poor carpenter. I’m not saying that wealth is inherently bad. It’s not. If you can afford that Mercedes, by all means, buy it. But if you can’t; if you are spending hundreds of dollars each month paying off debt, then you could be committing a modern form of gluttony. You need to look inside yourself and search your heart. If your nice things were taken away, would you still be satisfied and able to find joy in Christ? Why are you really in debt? Who are you trying to impress, God or men?

Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. ~ Philippians 3:19

6. Gossip

I’m from the South, and there is an unspoken rule here that you can say whatever you want about someone as long as you follow it with, “Bless her heart!” I am as guilty of this as anyone. We like to talk about other people’s lives as if we live in their heads and know everything about them. This is something “churchy” people are constantly accused of, and is often the result of a judgemental attitude (covered below). Why won’t the woman who had an abortion come to your church? Because she’s afraid of the looks you’ll give her and the distance at which you will keep her. The same could be said for the pregnant 16-year-old or the man who cheated on his wife. Sure, it’s nice to escape our own issues by talking about someone else’s for a while, but let’s try to remember to speak with grace and that our sin is just as sinful as anyone else’s.

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. ~ Proverbs 20:19

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~ Ephesians 4:29

7. Hatred

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us what we already know – that murder is wrong – but he follows that up by saying that anyone who has harbored hatred towards someone has committed murder in his heart. Hatred is connected intimately with fear. We fear people we don’t understand and that fear causes us to hate them irrationally. The general attitude towards all Muslims based on the acts of a small sect is a perfect example of this. We also tend to harbor hatred against those who have hurt us. We constantly need to be searching our hearts and monitoring our thoughts and feelings.

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. ~ 1 John 2:9

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. ~ Proverbs 10:12

8. Judgment

This one is the kicker. This is what will be the death of our faith and our influence. I know that Paul tells the churches to expel sinners from their midst. He encourages us not to indulge someone in sinful behavior. We use those verses to justify the judgment of others and I believe this is a gross misinterpretation of scripture. 

The truth of Jesus is in our equality. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Christians have accepted Christ and avoided condemnation based on faith and the grace of God. We do not avoid condemnation based on our own actions. Every time we think less of someone else, we forget that we are also sinners. The only way to avoid this sin is to acknowledge our own weaknesses and embrace humility. In fact, that could help us avoid a multitude of sins.

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. ~ Romans 14:12-13

Have We Already Encountered the Beast in Revelation 13?

You may have come across the concept of the “mark of the beast” in your religious studies.

As a child, I learned about it in church, where my mother and various pastors, including Bishop Milton Hawkins and John Hagee, regularly discussed and preached about it. While different religious leaders may focus on different aspects of the Bible, the mark of the beast is mainly mentioned in Revelation 13.

The identity of the beast, however, is a subject of much speculation and debate. Some believe it to be Satan in physical form, while others see it as the antichrist, a servant of Satan.

Regardless of personal opinions, the beast is said to appear shortly after the rapture of the Saints.

Revelation 13:1 starts out with “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” From previous teachers that I have heard, the 10 crowns are countries or kingdoms that will form alliances with the beast on that day.

It is important to be prepared because you do not want to get left behind, depending on your particular view of when the rapture will occur.

Those who are left behind are not Christians. They more than likely had an opportunity to become saved but turned the other cheek and followed other religions or procrastinated.

If you follow any ministries especially some of the ones on television, you know that the mark of the beast represents a few things. Those who are left behind will have the option of taking a mark of the beast in their forehead or hand.

This will enable them to obtain food or buy and sell etc. You do not want to take this mark. I do not care how desperate you get for food. You can survive without it. This mark also makes you ineligible to go to heaven.

That is why it is important that people are educated about the mark of the beast and that it is not relegated to science fiction. You will also hear reference to the Antichrist or the mark of the beast. These are in the same family.

‘Miracle Baby’ Discovered in Rubble With Umbilical Cord Still Attached

The aftermath of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday continues to unfold, with the heartbreaking loss of over 11,000 lives. Amidst this tragedy, a story of a newborn baby’s survival has captured the attention of many and is quickly spreading online.

The infant, dubbed a “miracle baby,” was reportedly discovered in the rubble in Jinderis, Syria, with her umbilical cord still attached.

Her mother, Afraa Abu Hadiya, tragically died during the earthquake, The Daily Wire reported.

Hadiya appears to have given birth during the earthquake, with the umbilical cord still attached to her child when the newborn was recovered. The mother is believed to have died after the birth.

According to The Associated Press, the baby is the only member of her family to have survived a building collapse, with other family members’ bodies discovered near the building’s entrance. The family was reportedly trying to escape their five-story apartment building during the ordeal, CNN reported.

Dr. Hani Maarouf, the doctor treating the child, believes the baby wouldn’t have survived much longer in the elements had she not been discovered Monday afternoon. He also said the infant was likely born about three hours before rescuers located her in the rubble.

“Had the girl been left for an hour more, she would have died,” he told the AP.

Khalil al-Suwadi, a cousin, told Agence France-Presse what happened when rescuers dug through the rubble and heard a noise.

“We heard a voice while we were digging,” al-Suwadi said. “We cleared the dust and found the baby with the umbilical cord [intact], so we cut it, and my cousin took her to hospital.”

The infant has a bruise on her back doctors are watching to assess whether she sustained any spinal cord injuries; so far, she appears to be moving normally.

Continue to pray for this infant, her extended family, and the millions impacted by this dire tragedy.

The Satanic Obsession of Grammy Producers

Sam Smith and Kim Petras performed their contentious track “Unholy” at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. Smith sported a top hat with devil horns while Petras danced in a cage surrounded by fiery red lights.

“Unholy,” which won Smith and Petras the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, tells the story of a man carrying out an extramarital affair.

The performance was introduced by Madonna, who Petras, the first transgender woman to ever win the pop duo category, thanked for advocating for the LGBTQ community during her acceptance speech. According to People, while introducing Smith and Petras, Madonna asserted, “If they call you shocking, scandalous, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you are definitely onto something.”

Following the performance, host Trevor Noah pretended to answer a phone call from his concerned mother.

“No, mom, it wasn’t the actual devil. They were just dressed like the devil… Yeah, you did warn me about Hollywood,” Noah said. “She said she’ll be praying for all of us,” he added.

The energetic performance drew criticism on social media, with Christians and conservatives condemning it as “evil” or “diabolical.” Conservative commentator Liz Wheeler expressed her disgust in a tweet accompanied by a video of the performance, writing, “People say don’t get involved in the culture wars, but meanwhile, demons are teaching kids to worship Satan. I feel sick.

Christian apologist Solomon Buchi wrote, “If as a Christian, you think we are reaching when we talk about the dominance and normalization of Satan worship in pop music, you need discernment. Sam Smith’s performance at the Grammy’s last night was satanic, gory. No, it’s not art; it’s symbolic of who they serve.”

After the show, Petras told backstage reporters that the performance was inspired by “not being able to choose religion.”

“I think a lot of people, honestly, have kind of labeled what I stand for and what Sam stands for as religiously not cool, and I personally grew up wondering about religion and wanting to be a part of it but slowly realizing it didn’t want me to be a part of it,” she said. 

“So it’s a take on not being able to choose religion. And not being able to live the way that people might want you to live because, as a trans person, I’m already not kind of wanted in religion. So we were doing a take on that, and I was kind of hellkeeper Kim.”

In recent years, many music artists have used controversial religious symbolism to promote their work.

In 2021, singer Lil Nas X collaborated with a company called MSCHP to create a pair of sneakers that had a drop of human blood in the soles. The shoes were also decorated with a pendant of a pentagram and a reference to Luke 10:18, which says, “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.”

Last year, pop singer Demi Lovato released an album called Holy F**k. The album art is a photo of Lovato in a BDSM bondage costume lying on a cross.

Evidence of the Great Flood

One of the most well-known tales from the Bible is that of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood. Robert Ballard, a renowned underwater archaeologist, believes that he has discovered evidence that supports the reality of the biblical flood.

Ballard, who is considered one of the top underwater archaeologists in the world, spoke about his findings in an interview with Christiane Amanpour for ABC News. He and his team are exploring the depths of the Black Sea near Turkey in an effort to uncover the remains of a civilization that has been submerged since the time of Noah.

Ballard’s track record for finding the impossible is well known. In 1985, using a robotic submersible equipped with remote-controlled cameras, Ballard and his crew hunted down the world’s most famous shipwreck, the Titanic.

Now Ballard is using even more advanced robotic technology to travel farther back in time. He is on a marine archeological mission that might support the story of Noah. He said some 12,000 years ago, much of the world was covered in ice.

“Where I live in Connecticut was ice a mile above my house, all the way back to the North Pole, about 15 million kilometers, that’s a big ice cube,” he said. “But then it started to melt. We’re talking about the floods of our living history.”

The water from the melting glaciers began to rush toward the world’s oceans, Ballard said, causing floods all around the world.

“The questions is, was there a mother of all floods,” Ballard said.

According to a controversial theory proposed by two Columbia University scientists, there really was one in the Black Sea region. They believe that the now-salty Black Sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland, until it was flooded by an enormous wall of water from the rising Mediterranean Sea. The force of the water was two hundred times that of Niagara Falls, sweeping away everything in its path.

Fascinated by the idea, Ballard and his team decided to investigate.

“We went in there to look for the flood,” he said. “Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed… The land that went under stayed under.”

Four hundred feet below the surface, they unearthed an ancient shoreline, proof to Ballard that a catastrophic event did happen in the Black Sea. By carbon dating shells found along the shoreline, Ballard said he believes they have established a timeline for that catastrophic event, which he estimates happened around 5,000 BC. Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah’s flood could have occurred.

“It probably was a bad day,” Ballard said. “At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under.”

The theory goes on to suggest that the story of this traumatic event, seared into the collective memory of the survivors, was passed down from generation to generation and eventually inspired the biblical account of Noah.

Noah is described in the Bible as a family man, a father of three, who is about to celebrate his 600th birthday.

“In the early chapters of Genesis, people live 800 years, 700 years, 900 years,” said Rabbi Burt Visotzky, a professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. “Those are mythic numbers, those are way too big. We don’t quite know what to do with that. So sometimes those large numbers, I think, also serve to reinforce the mystery of the text.”

Some of the details of the Noah story seem mythical, so many biblical scholars believe the story of Noah and the Ark was inspired by the legendary flood stories of nearby Mesopotamia, in particular “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” These ancient narratives were already being passed down from one generation to the next, centuries before Noah appeared in the Bible.

“The earlier Mesopotamian stories are very similar where the gods are sending a flood to wipe out humans,” said biblical archaeologist Eric Cline. “There’s one man they choose to survive. He builds a boat and brings on animals and lands on a mountain and lives happily ever after? I would argue that it’s the same story.”

Catastrophic events of this kind are not unique to the Bible. Some contemporary examples include the 2004 tsunami that wiped out villages on the coasts of 11 countries surrounding the Indian Ocean. There was also Hurricane Katrina, described as the worst hurricane in United States history.

Scholars aren’t sure if the biblical flood was larger or smaller than these modern day disasters, but they do think the experiences of people in ancient times were similar to our own.

“If you witness a terrible natural disaster, yes, you want a scientific explanation why this has happened,” said Karen Armstrong, author of “A History of God.” “But you also need to something that will help you to assuage your grief and anguish and rage. And it is here that myth helps us through that.”

Regardless of whether the details of the Noah story are historically accurate, Armstrong believes this story and all the Biblical stories are telling us “about our predicament in the world now.”

Back in the Black Sea, Ballard said he is aware that not everyone agrees with his conclusions about the time and size of the flood, but he’s confident he’s on the path to finding something from the biblical period.

“We started finding structures that looked like they were man-made structures,” Ballard said. “That’s where we are focusing our attention right now.”

At first Ballard’s team found piles of ancient pottery, but then they made an even more important discovery. Last year, Ballard discovered a vessel and one of its crew members in the Black Sea.

“That is a perfectly preserved ancient shipwreck in all its wood, looks like a lumber yard,” he said. “But if you look closely, you will see the femur bone and actually a molar.”

The shipwreck was in surprisingly good condition, preserved because the Black Sea has almost no oxygen in it, which slows down the process of decay, but it does not date back as far as the story of Noah.

“The oldest shipwreck that we have discovered so far of that area is around 500 BC, classical period,” Ballard said. “But the question is you just keep searching. It’s a matter of statistics.”

Still, Ballard said the find gives him hope that he will discover something older “because there, in fact, the deep sea is the largest museum on Earth,” he said.

Ballard does not think he will ever find Noah’s Ark, but he does think he may find evidence of a people whose entire world was washed away about 7,000 years ago. He and his team said they plan to return to Turkey next summer.

“It’s foolish to think you will ever find a ship,” Ballard said, referring to the Ark. “But can you find people who were living? Can you find their villages that are underwater now? And the answer is yes.”

The Legend of Adam’s First Wife

Lilith is a mysterious figure in Jewish mythology, believed by some to be the first wife of Adam. According to legend, Lilith was created by God at the same time as Adam and was intended to be his equal partner. However, Lilith refused to submit to Adam and left the Garden of Eden to live on her own.

There are several different versions of the Lilith story, but most depict her as a powerful and independent woman who refused to be subjugated to a man. In some versions, Lilith was depicted as a demon or a succubus who preyed on men while they slept. In other versions, she was seen as a symbol of independence and resistance to patriarchal authority.

Despite her controversial reputation, Lilith has long been a popular figure in Jewish and feminist circles. Some feminist groups have embraced Lilith as a symbol of women’s independence and empowerment, and she has been the subject of numerous works of art and literature.

In recent years, Lilith has also become popular in the New Age movement, where she is seen as a symbol of the feminine divine. Proponents of this view believe that Lilith represents the female aspect of God and is an important figure for those seeking to balance the masculine and feminine aspects of the divine.

Overall, the story of Lilith represents a complex and nuanced figure in the history of religious and mythological beliefs. Whether viewed as a demon or a symbol of female empowerment, Lilith continues to inspire and intrigue those who seek to understand her place in history.

Revealed: Ark of the Covenant

The Bible is a rich source of history, spirituality, and morality, but it is also filled with mysteries and enigmas that have captivated scholars and laypeople alike for centuries. One such mystery is the exact location of the Ark of the Covenant.

According to the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was a wooden chest covered in gold, inside of which were kept the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron’s rod. The Ark was considered the holiest object in Jewish culture and was central to their worship. However, its fate has been the subject of much speculation and debate for millennia.

There are several theories about the final resting place of the Ark. Some believe that it was taken to Ethiopia by Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Another theory posits that the Ark was hidden in a cave near the Dead Sea, waiting to be discovered. Yet another theory claims that the Ark was taken to the temple in Jerusalem, where it remained until the temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

The most popular theory, however, is that the Ark was hidden away in a secret chamber beneath the Temple Mount, waiting to be rediscovered in the end times. This theory is based on passages in the Book of Jeremiah and the Second Book of Maccabees, which state that the Ark was to be hidden away for safekeeping until the time when God chose to reveal it once again.

Despite the numerous theories, the exact location of the Ark remains unknown. Many have searched for it over the centuries, but so far, no one has been able to uncover definitive proof of its existence. Some archaeologists and historians believe that the Ark may have been lost or destroyed during one of the many wars and conquests that have plagued the region over the millennia.

In conclusion, the Ark of the Covenant remains one of the greatest biblical mysteries of all time. Its exact location is still unknown, and the search for it continues to captivate the imagination of people all over the world. Whether it will ever be found remains to be seen, but its legacy as a symbol of divine power and protection will endure for generations to come.