Simcha Says There Were Christians At Masada… Early… Among the Rebels in 70

masada_cross…  archaeologists have found crosses painted in red in the southern caves of Masada. On flimsy evidence, they date them to the Byzantine period. Because of the possible ramifications of this find, to the best of my knowledge, the crosses have never been published. I reveal them here for the first time. 

If the cross was already a Christian symbol in 72, the crosses at Masada may have been painted by some of the rebels themselves. This would require a total rethinking of Christians in the 1st century. Both Jewish and Christian scholars would like to think of the early followers of Jesus as pacifists who sat out the great revolt against Rome. That way, both Jews and Christians don’t have to deal with the ramifications of thinking of early Christians as Jewish patriots. Put differently, Jews don’t want to “Christianize” the rebels and Christians don’t want to “Judaize” the early Christians. Revisiting the archaeology might even force us to think of some of Jesus’ followers as Sicarii e.g., Judah “Iscariot”. And this might put the events leading up to the crucifixion in a totally new light. The evidence is mounting and it’s time we rethink our prejudices.

So Simcha.

The problem?  There’s no reason to date the crosses to the first century as actual experts have deemed them Byzantine.  There’s also ample evidence of a Byzantine presence on the mountain.  And the supposition that some of the rebels themselves were Christians during the siege of Masada is unsupported by any facts.

When Simcha writes

To understand how explosive this issue can become…

he’s simply being a sensationalist.  It’s not an explosive issue, it’s a non issue because, as presently framed, Simcha’s suggestions are pure, and I mean only, speculation.

Sensationalism sells tv shows, but it doesn’t prove anything to scholars.

3 thoughts on “Simcha Says There Were Christians At Masada… Early… Among the Rebels in 70

  1. Pardon my ignorance, but is there, nowadays, still a difference between scholarship and sensationalism? When I think of the palace of David, the house of Elisa, the fortress of VI Fretensis, or that Maccabee inscription from Rome, I only see similarities.

    Jacobovici is the future – not because he is so smart, but because scholars have been so stupid.


  2. So Jim. You ignore Simcha’s refutation of the cross symbol being a late phenomenon. Simcha gives specific examples of 1st century crosses – some of which I’m sure you’ve never seen – from Bethsaida, Ashkelon and Pompeii. “Experts” dated the Masada cross to the Byzantine period based on nothing but their prejudices. As you might know, it’s nearly impossible to date wall paintings. There is no strata! Why did they say the crosses are Byzantine? Because there was a Byzantine Church on top of the rock and because crosses are assumed to be late. The particular crosses that Simcha points to are not part of the Church and Simcha has demonstrated that crosses can be 1st century. But you guys can’t listen to anything Simcha says because he keeps showing you up. While all you guys boo from the sidelines, he keeps scoring goals on the field.


    • it’s very hard to take simcha seriously when he doesn’t know where ashkelon is. anyway, the fact that you work for him and are writing what you do leads me to suspect that you are doing so only because you have a financial stake in the matter.

      finally, let’s face it, he isn’t scoring any points with folk who are actual experts in archaeology, early christian art, and the related fields. they know better.


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