Pool of Siloam

In the Gospel of John is the story of Jesus curing a blind man. At the time it was commonly accepted that if you were blind or had a deformity that it was caused by sin. The desciples asked Jesus whether the blindness was caused by the blind man’s sin or by the blind man’s parents. Jesus answered that it was neither, but rather an opportunity to show God’s work revealed. Jesus then spat in the dust to make mud, rubbed it in the blind man’s eyes, and told him to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam.

Archaeologists have announced that the Pool of Siloam has been uncovered in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Workers repairing a sewage pipe in the Old City of Jerusalem have discovered the biblical Pool of Siloam, a freshwater reservoir that was a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city and the reputed site where Jesus cured a man blind from birth, according to the Gospel of John.

The pool was fed by the now famous Hezekiah’s Tunnel and is “a much grander affair” than archeologists previously believed, with three tiers of stone stairs allowing easy access to the water, said Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, which reported the find Monday.

“Scholars have said that there wasn’t a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit” to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. “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 said.