GENERICO.ruScienceIn Israel, archaeologists have found the home of the apostles Peter and Andrew

In Israel, archaeologists have found the home of the apostles Peter and Andrew

Scientists believe there is enough evidence to date the find to the time of Jesus' disciples

Archaeologists may have found the traditional home of Jesus' apostles on the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee in Israel. Scientists believe that they have every reason to correlate the find with New Testament history.

Scientists believe that there is sufficient evidence to attribute the find to the time of Jesus' disciples Photo: Kinneret Academic College

On the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee, just below the apse of a Byzantine-era basilica in what may be the lost village of Bethsaida, archaeologists have discovered the remains of a wall that existed before the church was built. The builders of the ancient church may have believed that the wall, which they apparently revered and carefully built under the apse of their building, belonged to the house of Jesus' apostles: Peter and Andrew.

But, according to Haaretz, the wall dates back to the second or third century, according to the researchers who led the excavations at El Araj, Professor Mordechai Aviam of the Kinneret Academic College and Professor Stephen Notley of the Kinneret Academic College and Yeshiva University.

< p>However, perpendicular to it, in the lower archaeological layer, also under the floor of the apse, there was another wall. This remnant actually dates back to the first century – the time of Jesus and his apostles. Whether this was actually part of the house of the Apostle Peter, we cannot know, but it dates back to the right time, notes Haaretz.

Two walls – one of which dates back to the second or third century, and the other to The first was discovered when the mosaic floor of the apse was expertly dismantled by excavation restorer Yehoshua Dray. (The floor is expected to be rebuilt eventually.)

There is plenty of evidence to support the interpretation of el-Araj as Bethsaida, and the church as the Church of Peter, aka the Church of the Apostles, writes Haaretz. First of all, the Byzantines didn't just build their basilicas anywhere: they were always built with an apse located above the sacred relic, explains Aviam.

Moreover, the Byzantine faith was fascinated by the apostles, Haaretz notes. The last Christian herald of the late Roman period (20 years before the start of the Byzantine period) was Eusebius, who wrote the Onomasticon in 304, Notley points out, and Eusebius mentioned Bethsaida only for one thing: “it was the home of the apostles. Not for the healing of the blind man in Mark's Gospel or the feeding of the multitudes described in Luke's Gospel on the outskirts of Bethsaida, but for the fact that it was the city of the apostles,” says Notley.

“In my opinion, his mention in the Onomasticon is evidence of the continuity of Christian memory of the close connection of Bethsaida with the house of the apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip, described in the Gospel of John 1:44.”

Moreover, the position of this wall and the loving care with which the builders of the church “wrapped” it and preserved it, suggest that it was a sacred relic; that the Byzantines revered this wall.

Reverence for the wall of a long-vanished sacred building is not unusual, Haaretz further writes. The Western Wall in Jerusalem is venerated as a remnant of the Second Temple, or at least the wall surrounding its courtyard. Now archaeologists have found evidence that the Byzantines venerated the wall at a fishing village on the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee in what is now northern Israel.

Bethsaida suddenly disappeared from Jewish and Christian historical records in the late 3rd century, perhaps because it flooded when the lake level rose. At some point, memory of the location of this Roman-era Jewish village was lost, not to mention the monuments within it.

But perhaps these memories were only lost later, perhaps after the earthquake that devastated Galilee in eighth century. Perhaps when the Byzantines combed the area in search of sacred places, the memory of the village and the house of Peter and Andrew was still alive.

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