In A Saxon Grave

The BBC has a story about the discovery of a Saxon grave dating from the mid-seventh century A.D.  The burial site was discovered near Cambridge.

The interesting aspect of the find is that the individual who was buried, thought to be a 16-year-old girl, was found with an exquisite gold and garnet cross on her chest.  Scientists believe that the burial site dates from the point at which Christianity was introduced to the otherwise pagan British Isles, and therefore the cross indicates the girl may have been one of the early converts.  Even more interesting, the girl was buried with a bag of precious stones and a small knife — which indicates that some of the pagan beliefs that the body would need material goods at some point still held sway.  The cross, precious stones, and knife also suggest that the girl was from a noble family, and perhaps even royalty.

Although I think the find is interesting, because you learn a lot about a people from what they choose to be buried with, it always makes me uneasy when scientists invade gravesites.  I don’t care how ancient they may be, human remains deserve to lie undisturbed.

Coming Saturday: Jesus Christ?

Some people are saying that “The Rapture” will happen on Saturday, May 21.  That’s right:  they believe that Jesus Christ himself will reappear in two days, identify the faithful, and take them up to Heaven.

Apparently this prediction originated with an 89-year-old guy from Oakland named Harold Camping, who started Family Radio Worldwide, a radio ministry.  Camping performed some kind of complicated calculations based on his reading of the Bible and concluded — “beyond a shadow of a doubt,” he says — that Saturday will be The Day.  It sounds similar to the work of Bishop Ussher, who performed similar calculations and determined, with scientific precision, that the world began on Sunday, October 23, 4004 B.C.

The Rapture is not quite the End of the World, however.  As I understand the concept, The Rapture describes the event when all humans are judged and those found worthy go to Heaven.  Some believers envision the process as involving people disappearing as they go about their everyday lives.  (If it happens on Saturday, it won’t be a good time to be out driving.)  Then, after The Rapture occurs, the rest of us apparently get to stay on Earth to deal with a period of disaster and chaos and turmoil before the world eventually ends.

Wouldn’t you know it?  Russell is supposed to graduate on Sunday!