Workers find pool where Jesus healed blind man

Workers in Old Jerusalem have stumbled onto the ruins of the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus, in the Gospel of John, heals a man blind from birth.

Catholic News Agency reports that the new find is being praised as a discovery which helps to prove the historical authenticity of John's Gospel.

James H. Charlesworth, a New Testament scholar at the Princeton Theological Seminary in the USA, was quoted by the Los Angeles Times saying, "Scholars have said that there wasn't a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit" to illustrate a point… "Now we have found the Pool of Siloam … exactly where John said it was."

A gospel that was thought to be "pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history," he claimed.

Sewer workers discovered the pool some 180 metres from another Pool of Siloam, this one constructed somewhere between 400 and 460 AD by the Empress Eudocia of Byzantium, who, experts say, commissioned the rebuilding of several biblical sites.

Archeologists say that the pool which appears in John's Gospel was built around the 1st century BC and destroyed by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 AD.

The sewer line repair which led to the discovery was being overseen by Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority who, according to the LA Times report, was "100% sure it was the Siloam Pool," when his group saw two steps unearthed by the workers.

The account of the pool in the Gospel of John shows Jesus encountering a man there who had been blind since birth. Jesus' disciples thought that the man was blind because of some sin of his own or his parents.

Jesus then responds that the man is blind so that God's work might be revealed in him, spits in the dust to make mud and rubs it in the man's eyes telling him to wash himself in the Pool of Siloam.

Ruins of pool where Jesus healed blind man found; helps prove authenticity of John's Gospel (Catholic News Agency 10/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Pool of Siloam Revealed (bibleplaces.com) | Pool of Siloam: New Information
James H. Charlesworth

Biblical Pool Uncovered in Jerusalem (Los Angeles Times 9/8/05)

11 Aug 2005