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The Church of the Apostles, which is said to have been built over the home of Jesus’ disciples, Peter and Andrew, it has been found in the vicinity of Israel, in the Sea of Galilee, according to a team of U.s. and Israeli archaeologists.
Experts are of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archeology at Kinneret College, Israel, and Nyack College in New York, New York, is the excavation of the site of el-Araj, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Archaeologists believe that el-Araj, is the site of the ancient Jewish fishing village of Bethsaida, which later became the Roman city of Julias.
Fr. dr. Steven Notley of Nyack College, told Fox News that the first annual excavations at the site uncovered evidence of the church’s existence, such as a piece of marble on the chancel screen, and a small, gold-plated, glass blocks, called tesserae, which were used in the ornate church wall mosaics. “These discoveries have also informed us that the church is just waiting to be found somewhere in the area,” he said via e-mail.
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Following the clues, the archaeologists found out that the church is a mosaic floor. “It is always remarkable to be in this beautifully designed floors, the light, after being buried for almost 1,500 years,” Notley explained.
Archaeologists have discovered a mosaic floor from the Byzantine church at el-Araj.
The Byzantine church was referred to by early Christian pilgrims, with the name (s) bishop of (saint) Willibald in 725 A. D. “[Willibald] suggests that it was in Bethsaida, built over the home of Peter and Andrew, the first disciples of Jesus,” Notley told Fox News.
The professor also added that it is the church that the discovery is important for at least two reasons. “First of all, some of the recent discoveries, many scientists have questioned its very existence. Even though it is mentioned in the Byzantine pilgrimage routes, a lot of people thought that these reports are wrong,” he said. “Of equal importance, the church indicates that there was a living memory of the Christian community in relation to the location of Bethsaida, home of Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44).”
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The ancient Roman city of Julias, was born in the Jewish village of Bethsaida in the first century A. D, according to the Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius. In the New Testament, Bethsaida! if the home of Jesus’ apostles, Peter, Andrew and Philip. Jesus heals a blind man at Bethsaida, according to Mark 8:22-26, as Luke 9:10-17, describes an adjacent location, and the feeding of the five thousand people.
Aerial view of the excavation site of el-Araj.
While the site appears to have been unused for approximately two centuries in the 4th and 5th centuries A. D., local Christian community to remember the New Testament times the village was situated, according to Notley. “The discovery of the church and further strengthens our position and that of el-Araj should be considered as the primary candidate for the New Testament, Bethsaida-Julias,” he added.
A Roman bath-house was discovered at el-Araj at least 2017 is an important look into the area of the old urbanism, and Motti Aviam of Kinneret College and have chosen to have a site, which is more than 100 m from the main excavation site for a future dig. The excavation found a Roman-era houses, and the pottery, with an indication of the existence of a small town.
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Experts are of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archeology at Kinneret College, Israel, and Nyack College in New York city, and the excavation of the site of el-Araj, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. (Zachary Wong)
Experts are convinced that in the next excavation season at el-Araj, more will be seen of the ancient site, the secrets, and the plan is to complete the tombs of the Byzantine church. “So far, we have only discovered some of the southern rooms of the church, probably in the south aisle,” Notley said. “At the end of the season, we were just beginning to explore the mosaic of what is likely to be in the nave of the church, which is the central part of the church.”
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Archaeologists believe that el-Araj, is the site of the ancient Jewish fishing village of Bethsaida, which later became the Roman city of Julias.
Electromagnetic imaging also suggests that there will be more buildings and structures to be excavated at el-Araj. At the end of next year, we expect that we will be able to publish a preliminary report on our first five and a half seasons, and is sure to provide an answer to the question of the location of New Testament Bethsaida-Julias,” Notley explained.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers