Seems as necessary a question as this one to me: Where was Jesus really baptized?
As in, not necessary at all. But, people actually do seem to care about where the man may have wet his head and want to make sure others aren’t standing on the wrong side of the river when they wish to emulate him. It all comes down to the authentic tourist
Christian leaders in Jordan on Wednesday established “beyond doubt” that the country hosts the holy site where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist on the east bank of River Jordan.
They denied an Israeli claim that Jesus Christ was baptized on the west bank of River Jordan at what had come to be called the Judith Church, which was recently renamed as “Baptism Church” by the Israelis.
“There is no doubt that Jesus Christ had been baptised on the east bank of River Jordan and that the site was honoured by Christians from the early days of Christianity and still so until nowadays,” said a statement issued by leaders of churches in Jordan.
Apparently their “beyond doubt” proof isn’t merely scraps of scripture they can quote verbatim. They’re claiming to have archeological evidence of the area in use and also point to writings still in existence by pilgrims who’d done the “Walk In Jesus’ Footprints!” tour back in the first century.
Why does it matter to get this specific life moment exactly right? Is it going to make people better Christians to stand on the very same bank he stood on? That’ll work as well as standing on the very stage Elvis stood on to improve your ability to belt out “Blue Suede Shoes.” It’s ridiculous to think it could possibly matter that much. But it seems like it’s going to continue to matter to those who rely on a tourist trade for their livelihood. If both countries want to lay claim to the same holy moment in time, are tourists likely to check out both locations? Maybe some will, just to be on the safe side (Pascal’s watery wager?) but the rest will pick one or the other and spend accordingly.
And no matter what side of the river they stand on, they’re probably standing in sewage. Does that somehow make the moment even more authentic?