Saturday, December 09, 2006

St. Paul's Tomb Identified In Rome

Some years ago the Vatican determined that it had "rediscovered" what they believed was the actual sarcophagus of St. Peter, right where it should have been, under the altar in St. Peters basilica.

Now, at the nearby St. Paul Outside the Wall church (the second largest in the Vatican) Vatican archaeologists claim that they have found the Roman sarcophagus of St. Paul . The stone casket was found under the church altar, beneath a an inscription reading
Paulo Apostolo Mart (Paul, Apostle & Martyr")
John Hinderaker at Powerline shares my own opinion that "he was one of the most remarkable people in world history."

He also adds (with, I think, a bit of hyperbola) that St. Paul was also "one of the most brilliant of all world-historical figures."

Certainly Paul was equal to the greatest minds of his day and far beyond all but a very few. Yet his brilliance was in the challenge he faced in seeking a rational, cogent, coherent and convincing apologetic for the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

Paul, being versed in both classical philosophy and Pharasaic Judaism, used the best of both to frame his thoughts, his biblical (Old Testament) application and his reasoned application of what he saw as "God-revealed" truths to the daily lives of the first Christians.

Few, if any, writers in all of history have had such a profound effect on the world in which we all live. Paul's words, insights, guidance, instruction and the very adventure of his amazing life are still read by hundreds of millions of people every day.

I don't particularly plan on making a pilgrimage to see the tomb of St. Paul in Rome. But there are few people who have helped shape my own understanding of faith and life than Paul . . . who wrote with a passionate love for people like me so that the day would come when "at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow . . . and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."