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Archaeologists Discover Evidence Of Lost Legendary Church Built On Top Of Jesus’ Disciples’ Home

by : Hannah Smith on : 22 Oct 2021 18:13
Alamy/Achia Kohn-Tavor

More evidence linking ancient ruins discovered in Israel to a long-lost church said to have been built on the house of two of Jesus’ disciples has been discovered, archaeologists have revealed.

A mosaic flooring uncovered during an excavation in El-Araj, the site of the biblical village Bethsaida, has been dated back more than 1,500 years, and has provided new evidence suggesting the site is the location of the legendary Church of the Apostles.

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Mosaic flooring discovered by archaeologists (Achia Kohn-Tavor)Achia Kohn-Tavor

The Byzantine-era ruins were first discovered in 2019, with archaeologists at the Kinneret Academic College of the Galilee having worked for several years to confirm whether the structure was that of the famed church.

Though mentioned in several historical texts dating back to 725AD, the existence of the Church of the Apostles has long been a mystery, with a lack of physical evidence causing many to question whether it ever actually existed.

Archaeologists Steven Notley and Mordechai Aviam have remained convinced the ruins they discovered are those of the church, which was said to have been destroyed in an earthquake more than 1,200 years ago, and say the new mosaic discovery may provide irrefutable proof.

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Ruins believed to be from biblical village BethsaidaAlamy

‘We identified a large apse in the east and uncovered two inscriptions. While the smaller one mentions a deacon and a building project, the larger inscription is a half medallion and speaks of the bishop and reconstruction of the building,’ Aviam said, per the Centre for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins.

The location of the church is in an area near the sea of Galilee, where Jesus is said to have performed several of his miracles including the feeding of the 5,000 and walking on water. In historical records the church is said to have been built on the former house of Jesus’ disciples Peter and Andrew.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Life, Archaeology, Israel

Credits

Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins
  1. Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins

    Church of the Apostles Discovered in Biblical Bethsaida