A Thorny Issue

In 2007 and 2009 John Mackay and colleagues found fossils of plant stems with sharp thorny projections. Some critics have questioned whether these are really thorns. One botanist has asserted that technically these are not thorns, but spines.

So let us deal with two questions:

First: Would the hard pointed structures on our fossil stems be called “thorns” in the way the Bible refers to “thorns”?

Second: Are they thorns, spines or prickles according to modern botanical definitions, and does it matter?

For the answers to these questions see the article Biblical Thorns. PDF here.

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