Oh Look, It’s the Actual Tree Zacchaeus Was In!

Tourists, visit Jericho and see the very tree that Zacchaeus was in!   No kidding…  Z. must have carved his initials in one of the branches.  Otherwise how would they know it was the right tree?  Unless…  that is…. they’re just pimping the Bible again…  Nah.  People wouldn’t do that.

With a giant trunk and boughs towering 60 feet high, a gnarled sycamore near Jericho’s main square has long been touted as the very tree that the hated tax collector climbed to get a glimpse of Jesus. Now it’s taking center stage in a plan to transform this ancient desert backwater into a tourism hub. The tree, once tucked obscurely away on a side street, is a featured attraction of a Russian-funded museum complex to be unveiled this month as part of Jericho’s 10,000th birthday celebrations.

Yeah, I guess they would.

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14 thoughts on “Oh Look, It’s the Actual Tree Zacchaeus Was In!

  1. doug 3 Oct 2010 at 9:04 am

    its obviously a fake, otherwise they would be charging good money to see it.

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  2. arenmaeir 3 Oct 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Jim,
    Don’t be harsh on various traditions of the location of holy sites. These locations often have very little connection to what we call historical evidence, but that does not make them any less meaningful or important.
    A good example is the Via Dolorosa (and related sites), which based on just all we know about the archaeology and history of Jerusalem, could not have been the path in which Jesus was led after his crucifixion.
    Does that make it a less important and significant religious site? Does that negate its importance? Absolutely no – the faithful are not looking for that type of reasoning, and thus, I strongly believe that those of us with a “historical inclination” (such as yours truly), must respect this (without any cynicism).

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    • Jim 3 Oct 2010 at 1:30 pm

      i understand what you’re saying but i think that in the long run such sites do more harm to faith than good. especially when competing sites vie for tourist dollars and tourists (who are mostly religious people) are left just utterly confused.

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  3. arenmaeir 3 Oct 2010 at 1:49 pm

    But this has been going on since the beginning of time (e.g., Helena’s tour of the Holy Land) and people have been just as believing and pious despite this…

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    • Jim 3 Oct 2010 at 1:53 pm

      except those ‘jerusalem syndrome’ people.

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  4. arenmaeir 3 Oct 2010 at 2:06 pm

    And there are plenty of ’em

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  5. […] Oh Look, It’s the Actual Tree Zacchaeus Was In! (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com) […]

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  6. Ian Webster 7 Nov 2010 at 8:22 am

    Of course pieces of the ‘true cross’ were bought and sold for centuries, at a handsome profit no doubt. But as a physical, tangible symbol of the presence of Jesus, I don’t have a problem with the focus on this tree. It can be a reminder to me that Zacchaeus was real, that Jesus was even more real, and that what Zacchaeus learned that day is a lesson for me today.
    Your post came up as a suggested link on my Zacchaeus story. As you can see from the pingback, I was happy to accept it.

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    • Jim 7 Nov 2010 at 8:32 am

      i agree to an extent. the problem i have with all those pieces of the ‘true cross’ is that they are ‘the boy who cried wolf’. if the true cross were ever found 1) no one would believe it and 2) no one should believe it- because too many false claims have been made. and i therefore have a problem with the zacch tree too for the same reason. a falsehood used to bolster faith simply bolsters false faith.

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  7. Ian Webster 7 Nov 2010 at 8:49 am

    Not so much to bolster faith but to jerk me awake or call my attention. But you’re probably right; there is too much room for error and falseness–a worshiping of the icon. Perhaps, then, we should stick to Galilee and the Jordan if we want physical reminders.

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    • Jim 7 Nov 2010 at 8:50 am

      have you ever been to israel? it’s quite an experience.

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  8. Ian Webster 7 Nov 2010 at 9:02 am

    No I haven’t. I dream of meditating on some quiet bank (if there is one) of Galilee…..
    But with children (and a grandchild) scattered around the world my meagre travel budget is focussed elsewhere.

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    • Jim 7 Nov 2010 at 9:03 am

      completely understandable. and, btw, you have a very nice looking family (i looked).

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  9. Ian Webster 7 Nov 2010 at 9:40 am

    Thanks!
    Fortunately the next generation seems to have inherited their mother’s looks and brains…..

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