Archaeologists in Israel have claimed to have discovered the true location of the biblical city of Emmaus, where Jesus first appeared to two followers after being crucified and resurrected.
The remains of a 2200 year old fortress in Kiriath-Jearim, a hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh, a village near Jerusalem, have been discovered by researchers.
The massive walls of the Hellenistic fortress are believed to have been built by the Seleucid General who defeated Judah the Maccabee, the Jewish leader mentioned in the Hanukkah story.
Tel Aviv University professor Israel Finkelstein, who leads the archaeologists project with Thomas Romer and Christophe Nicolle from the College de France, now claims that the hill and the village should be identified as Emmaus.
Archaeologists believe that the remains of a 2200-year-old fortress in Kiriath-Jearim (photo), a hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh, a village near Jerusalem, prove that the hill and the village are the biblical city of Emmaus
Emmaus is important in Christianity when Jesus appeared to two of his apostles on the way to the city after his crucifixion and resurrection
Emmaus is important in Christianity because Jesus appeared on the road to the city after his crucifixion and resurrection to two of his apostles.
Luke 24: 13-35 describes the city as fortified and about seven miles west of Jerusalem.
This corresponds to the location of Kiriath-Jearim, Abu Ghosh and Jerusalem, as well as the distance between them.
However, Benjamin Isaac, emeritus professor of ancient history at the University of Tel Aviv, warned that there are at least two other locations nearby that also claim to be strong Emmaus.
He said: & # 39; Finkelstein and Römer have a good archaeological, geographical and topographical point.
& # 39; However, it is a hypothesis and remains a hypothesis. & # 39;
Kiriath-Jearim is also described in the Bible as one of the places where the Ark of the Covenant stood before King David brought him to Jerusalem.
According to the Bible, Moses had the Ark of the Covenant built to keep the Ten Commandments.
Judah the Maccabee, a priest who led a Jewish uprising against the Seleucid Empire, was defeated and killed in Kiriath-Jearim in 160 BC by the Seleucid army led by General Bacchides.
The project in Kiriath-Jearinm (photo) is being carried out by the University of Tel Aviv and the College de France. It is supported by the Shmunis family from San Francisco
Tel Aviv University professor Israel Finkelstein claims that the hill and the village that the project is working on should be identified as Emmaus
Bacchides fortified the cities around Jerusalem with large walls, including the biblical city of Emmaus.
Archaeologists believe they have found the walls that were built to strengthen Emmaus.
Describing the site, Finkelstein told Haaretz: & The importance of this site, its dominant position in relation to Jerusalem, was felt over and over again: in the eighth century BC, and then again in the Hellenistic period and then again after the first Jewish uprising and the sack of Jerusalem in 70 CE & # 39;
The latest research, including claims about Emmaus, is described in detail in an upcoming publication published in the journal & # 39; New Studies in the Archeology of Jerusalem and the Region & # 39 ;.
Luke 24: 13-35 describes the city as fortified and about seven miles west of Jerusalem. This corresponds to the location of Kiriath-Jearim, Abu Ghosh and Jerusalem, as well as the distance between them
The project in Kiriath-Jearinm is being implemented by the University of Tel Aviv and the College de France.
It is supported by the Shmunis family from San Francisco.
Finkelstein told Fox News: & # 39; The finds in Kiriath-Jearim indicate his long-standing role as guardian of the approach to Jerusalem.
& # 39; The Hellenistic and Roman period continues to shed light on the much-discussed issue of the location of the Emmaus of the New Testament. & # 39;
Romer added: & # 39; Geographically, I think the distance to Jerusalem fits well, so I think Kiriath Yearim could have been the Emmaus of the New Testament. & # 39;
WHAT DO PEOPLE BELIEVE ABOUT THE TRADITIONAL PLACE OF BIRTH OF JESUS?
The Nativity, ten kilometers outside of Jerusalem, is one of the most important religious places in the world.
It has been recognized as the birthplace of Jesus since the second century and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.
The original church was built in 339 AD, but was rebuilt after the fire in the 6th century and it is one of the oldest churches in the world that is still used daily.
An estimated two million people make a pilgrimage each year to the site to visit the church and the sanctuary below, the cave, where Jesus of Nazareth is believed to have been born.
But the region is also of great importance for other religions. Almost 1000 years before Jesus, Bethlehem was the city of King David.
Today the site in Bethlehem is part of a large religious complex.
In the marble floor of the Grotto is a silver star representing the place where Jesus was born, installed in 1717 and surrounded by lamps to represent the various Christian communities.
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