Church of the Apostles is FOUND: Israel's graves uncovered ruins of a vast religious complex

Archaeologists in Israel's Galilee have discovered the remains of an ancient building that is now said to be the Church of the Apostles – a long-discussed Biblical site built on top of the homes of the apostles Peter and Andrew.

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Although mentions of the church can be found in Christian texts dating from the year 725 AD, there is no confirmation of its existence, so some people doubt that it was once real.

Now a team from Kinneret College in Israel and the Center for the study of ancient Judaism and the Christian origins of Nyack College have found what could be the first physical evidence at the el-Araj site in Beit Habek, near the north shore of the Sea of ​​Galilee.

Excavations this summer have yielded ornate mosaic floors, gilded remains of a wall mosaic and the fragments of a marble choir screen that was once adorned with a wreath.

Archaeologists in the Galilee of Israel have discovered the remains of an ancient building that is now said to be the Church of the Apostles - a long-discussed Biblical site built on top of the homes of the apostles Peter and Andrew. The Byzantine church was found near the remains of a Roman settlement, appropriate to the location of Bethsaida

Archaeologists in Israel's Galilee have discovered the remains of an ancient building that is now said to be the Church of the Apostles – a long-discussed Biblical site built on top of the homes of the apostles Peter and Andrew. The Byzantine church was found near the remains of a Roman settlement, appropriate to the location of Bethsaida

Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret Academic College, on the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee in northern Israel, said this season's excavation in nearby El-Araj confirmed that it was the site of Bethsaida, a fishing village where Peter and his brother Andrew were born according to the Gospel of John.

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The Byzantine church was found near the remains of a settlement from the Roman era, appropriate to the location of Bethsaida as described by Roman historian Flavius ​​Josephus from the first century AD, said Aviam.

The newly discovered church, he added, fit into the account of Willibald, the Bavarian bishop of Eichstaett who visited the area around 725 AD and reported that a church in Bethsaida had been built at the site of the home of Peter and Andrew .

According to Willibald, Aviam said, Bethsaida lay between the biblical places of Capernaum and Kursi.

Excavations this summer have yielded ornate mosaic floors (photo), gilded remains of a wall mosaic and the fragments of a marble choir screen that was once decorated with a wreath

Excavations this summer have yielded ornate mosaic floors (photo), gilded remains of a wall mosaic and the fragments of a marble choir screen that was once decorated with a wreath

Excavations this summer have yielded ornate mosaic floors (photo), gilded remains of a wall mosaic and the fragments of a marble choir screen that was once decorated with a wreath

The Byzantine church was found near the remains of a settlement from the Roman era, appropriate to the location of Bethsaida as described by Roman historian Flavius ​​Josephus from the first century AD, said Aviam. The team also found pottery and other artifacts in the area as proof of the size and complexity of the old site

The Byzantine church was found near the remains of a settlement from the Roman era, appropriate to the location of Bethsaida as described by Roman historian Flavius ​​Josephus from the first century AD, said Aviam. The team also found pottery and other artifacts in the area as proof of the size and complexity of the old site

The Byzantine church was found near the remains of a settlement from the Roman era, appropriate to the location of Bethsaida as described by Roman historian Flavius ​​Josephus from the first century AD, said Aviam. The team also found pottery and other artifacts in the area as proof of the size and complexity of the old site

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Although the researchers have so far dug up the southern chambers of the church, they say the evidence indicates that it was part of a monastery complex.

In the above engraving, Jesus Christ transforms water into wine during the marriage in Cana (John 2: 7)

In the above engraving, Jesus Christ transforms water into wine during the marriage in Cana (John 2: 7)

In the above engraving, Jesus Christ transforms water into wine during the marriage in Cana (John 2: 7)

& # 39; We have just dug up a third of the church, a little less, but we have a church and that is for sure, & # 39; Aviam told AFP.

& # 39; The plan is for a church, the dates are Byzantine, the mosaic floors are typical … choir screens, everything that is typical for a church. & # 39;

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& # 39; Between Capernaum and Kursi there is only one place where a visitor is described by the visitor in the eighth century and we have discovered it, so this is it & # 39 ;, he said.

Christians recognize Saint Peter, originally a fisherman, as one of the first followers of Jesus and the leader of the early church after ascension.

The Catholic Church also honors him as his first pope.

El-Araj, known in Hebrew as Beit Habeck, is not the only candidate for the Bethsaida site.

About two kilometers (more than one mile) away from e-Tell, dug since 1987 and according to the National Geographic website, important nineteenth-century BC fortifications and houses from the Roman period with fishing equipment, including iron anchors, have been dug up and fish hooks, and the remains of what a Roman temple can be & # 39 ;.

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Aviam is convinced that he and his international team, with Professor R. Steven Notley of Nyack College of New York City as the academic director, are digging in the right place.

The team says the newly discovered church was in line with Willibald, the Bavarian bishop of Eichstaett who visited the area around 725 AD and reported that a church in Bethsaida had been built at the site of Peter and Andrew's home

The team says the newly discovered church was in line with Willibald, the Bavarian bishop of Eichstaett who visited the area around 725 AD and reported that a church in Bethsaida had been built at the site of Peter and Andrew's home

The team says the newly discovered church was in line with Willibald, the Bavarian bishop of Eichstaett who visited the area around 725 AD and reported that a church in Bethsaida had been built at the site of Peter and Andrew's home

& # 39; We have a Roman village, in the village we have pottery, coins, also stone barrels that are typical of Jewish life in the first century, so now we reinforce our suggestion and identification that El-Araj is a much better candidate is for Bethsaida then e- Tell it, & he said.

& # 39; It has been dug up in the last 32 years. We started digging two years ago because we thought it was the better and now we have the evidence. & # 39;

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Notley, interviewed in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, is a bit more cautious and says the clincher will be when the full excavation of the El-Araj church reveals an inscription.

& # 39; It would be normal to find an inscription in a church from the Byzantine period, which describes, for example, in whose memory it was built & he said the newspaper.

WHAT WAS BETHSAIDA?

A fishing village that once sat on the north shore of Lake Galilee would be the place where Peter and his brother Andrew were born.

The two were among the first disciples of Jesus.

The site where Bethsaida existed in the first century is now in the Buteiha Valley Nature Reserve.

After the foundation, the old village was later re-founded by the Jewish tetrarch Herod Philip and it was again called Julias.

By that time it had become much larger and it became a policy.

Recent excavations seem to have uncovered the old site.

Mordechai Aviam of the Kinneret Academic College said that this season's excavation in nearby El-Araj confirmed it as the place where Peter and his brother Andrew were born according to the Gospel of John.

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