CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

From Jewish Catacomb Predates Christian Ones :

Scholars have long believed that early Christians were the first to bury their dead in Roman catacombs. But Dutch experts from Utrecht University who dated organic material from a Jewish catacomb in the city say it appears that early Christians inherited the practice from Jews.

"Perhaps it doesn't clinch the argument, but it makes it very likely," said Leonard Victor Rutgers, an antiquities professor who led the university's team.

This bit of news, while interesting to those who follow early Christian history, seems to have no real impact on historical Christianity. Am I wrong?


If anything it reinforces the connection between early Christianity and ancient Judaism. If memory serves, cremation was the preferred funerial rite for the pagans. That Christians chose to bury their dead like the Jews is likely a result of their common belief in the resurrection of the body.

The reality is that most Christians considered themselves a sect of Judaism well into the third century. The fact the Jews and Christians chose the same method of burial and similar methods of worship and veneration of their dead is further establishment of that connection. Of course the Jewish catacombs would be older since they were there first. When the Christians arrived they merely continued the traditions of their Jewish brethren.

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