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Bible Discoveries: The top biblical news of 2018 which SHOCKED the world

Bible Discoveries: The top biblical news of 2018 which SHOCKED the world (Image: GETTY)

Many dismiss it as fiction whereas others claim it is literally gospel, but there is no denying the huge impact it has had on society. This is why the Bible continues to be hugely influential for our culture, and so many stones remain unturned. However, Express.co.uk rounds up some of the biggest biblical talking points of 2018.

What Jesus really looked like

At the beginning of the year, a British historian claims to have given the most accurate account of what Jesus would have really looked at.

Professor Joan Taylor of King’s College London, believes the lack of detail on Jesus’ appearance in the Gospel’s actually speaks volumes.

In fact, the only mention of Christ’s looks comes in the Book of Isaiah which reads: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”

Prof Taylor, who wrote the nook, ‘What Did Jesus Look Like?’, believes Christ would have been a short man who looked Middle Eastern who would have been disfigured and scarred.

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As an outdoors carpenter, it is likely that Jesus’ face would have been leathery as he was constantly exposed to the searing sun of the Middle East.

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What did Jesus really look like? (Image: GETTY)

Broken limbs and scarring would have also been common practice for this profession at the time and, without modern medical techniques, the bones would not have been able to set properly nor the scars sufficiently healed, which would have led to disfigurement.

Ms Taylor also believed Jesus was a short man compared to today’s standards.

The historian wrote for the Irish Times: “What I have learnt is that Judaeans of this time were closest biologically to Iraqi Jews of the contemporary world.

“In terms of a colour palette then, think dark-brown to black hair, deep brown eyes, olive-brown skin. Jesus would have been a man of Middle Eastern appearance.

“In terms of height, an average man of this time stood 166 cm (5 ft 5 in) tall.”

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Sodom and Gomorrah (Image: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The truth behind Sodom and Gomorrah

In the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God because the residents lived a life of sin.

According to the book of Genesis, “the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.

And He destroyed these cities, and all the country about, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and all things that spring from the Earth.”

However, in November this year, scientists announced the discovery of the Biblical sites but offer a more scientific explanation as to why the locations were wiped out.

Archaeologists state the cities were located on the northeastern edge of the Dead Sea, now called Middle Ghor.

What is interesting is that in the sites, scientists have discovered strange minerals which they say are the result of a super-heated asteroid exploding in the region.

Radiocarbon dating ages this asteroid explosion at around 3,700 years ago – which would fit in with the biblical timeframe.

Trinity Southwest University archaeologist and biblical researcher Phillip Silvia says the explosion would have blasted outwards in a 25km wide circular plain, destroying any nearby settlements.

Prof Silvia and his team write on their research website the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project: “The physical evidence from Tall el-Hammam and neighbouring sites exhibit signs of a highly destructive concussive and thermal event that one might expect from what is described in Genesis 19.

“The soil/ash samples gathered from Tall el-Hammam contain evidence of topsoil destruction and subsoil contamination with Dead Sea salts that would have prevented the cultivation of crops for many centuries following the event.”

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Jesus Christ at his baptism (Image: DROR MAAYAN)

Historians find drawing of Christ at his baptism

The art-piece depicting Jesus Christ was discovered in an ancient church in southern Israel in the ancient town of Shivta.

The drawing date back almost 1800 years, and it gives the world a different look at Jesus.

Christ is often depicted as almost western-looking, with long, straight flowing hair and chiseled features.

However, in this image a young Jesus Christ is painted clean shaven with curly hair and a long, thin nose.

Emma Maayan-Fanar from the University of Haifa told Haaretz: “I was there at the right time, at the right place with the right angle of light and, suddenly, I saw eyes.

“It was the face of Jesus at his baptism, looking at us.”

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Lost city of Zer where Jesus fed masses uncovered (Image: GETTY)

Lost city of Zer where Jesus fed masses uncovered

Experts excavating a site in Jerusalem were convinced they have found the gates to the ancient city of Zer – a site mentioned in the New Testament where Jesus Christ supposedly fed thousands with just five loaves of bread and two fish – in early July.

A team of 20 archaeologists said they found a series of brick works which they believe are gates and date back to the First Temple period – 1000 BC to 586 BC.

The researchers add that the size, wealth and impressive fortifications indicate Zer – now in an area called Bethsaida – was a major city.

Lead archaeologist Dr Rami Arav said: “There are not many gates in this country from this period.

“Bethsaida was the name of the city during the Second Temple period, but during the First Temple period it was the city of Zer.

“The fortified towns were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinnereth.”

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