Jesus’ Childhood Home Found?

Archaeologists working in Nazareth believe they may have found the home where Jesus grew up as a child.

The house, made of mortar and stone walls, was cut into a rocky hillside.  The building was first found by nuns in the 1880s and not formally investigated until 2006.  

The lead professor on the investigation, Ken Dark of the University of Reading, says that while they can’t confirm definitively for Jesus’ childhood home, you can’t discount it.

“Was this the house where Jesus grew up? It is impossible to say on archaeological grounds,” Dark wrote in an article published in the magazine Biblical Archaeology Review. “On the other hand, there is no good archaeological reason why such an identification should be discounted.”

The archeologists noted that in the Byzantine Empire decorated the house with mosaics and constructed a church called the “Church of the Nutrition” over it.  It leads the investigators to believe that the Byzantines and Crusaders believed it was Jesus’ home.

Ruins of Old Testament City Found

Archaeologists believe they have found the city of Libnah, an ancient city mentioned multiple times in the Bible.

The scientists have been studying the remains of a ancient village since 2009 at a site 20 miles southwest of Jeruslaem.  The site, Tel Burna, is on a strategic borer region between ancient Israel and the Philistines in the west.

“The identification of the site has been debated for more than a century,” Dr. Itzhaq Shai, director of the Tel Burna dig project, told Popular Archaeology. “There are scholars who have claimed that Tel Burna is biblical Libnah, which was mentioned several times in the Bible. This identification was based mainly on geographical and historical arguments.”

Libnah was visited by the Israelites as they fled Egypt according to Leviticus 33.  Joshua and the Israelite army conquered the city as they went to the Promised Land (Joshua 10).

“The site of Tel Burna is located in the Shephelah region, which served as a border between the kingdoms of Judah and Philistia in the Iron Age,” explains The Tel Burna Excavation Project’s website. “A fertile area that supported agricultural production, the region became known as the breadbasket of the south. … Survey finds from the 2009 season indicate that the city was an important entity in the Bronze and Iron Ages.”

The study is the latest in discoveries in Israel that prove the Bible.

Israeli Divers Discover 1,000 Year Old Coins

A group of Israeli divers are being hailed as heroes after uncovering what one government agency calls the “biggest ancient coin find in the nation’s history.”

The divers said they first found what looked like a toy coin from a children’s game on the ocean floor.  Curious to see how it came to rest there, they discovered that the coin was part of a treasure trove of coins with Arabic writing.

The coins were dated to the 11th century when the Fatimid Islamic dynasty was the dominant power of the Middle East.

“(This is) a great treasure from a (vessel) that was probably taking the hoard, possibly tax revenue, to Cairo but sank in Caesarea harbour,” Jacob Sharvit of the Israel Antiquities Authority told Reuters during a visit to the site.

“Perhaps the treasure of coins was meant to pay the salaries of the Fatimid military garrison which was stationed in Caesarea and protected the city,” Sharvit added.

The value of the gold is around $240,000.

Archaeologists that have studied the coins say they have found tooth marks and bent edges that indicate the coins were tested as part of trading.

Ancient Tablet Confirms Jewish Exile in Babylon

Over 100 tablets that have been dated back to Nebuchadnezzar’s era in Babylon have provided further support for the Scriptures showing the exile of the Jewish nation.

The tablets, which have just gone in display in Jerusalem, provide a look into the lives of the Jews as they lived in exile.  Among day to day life items, the tablets trace a Judean family over four generations.

The tablets had been discovered in Iraq and rescued from ISIS by a UK-based Israeli collector.  The artifacts are written in ancient akkadian cuneiform script.

“We started reading the tablets and within minutes we were absolutely stunned,” Babylonian expert Filip Vukosavovic told reporters. “It fills in a critical gap in understanding of what was going on in the life of Judeans in Babylonia more than 2,500 years ago.”

“On the one hand it’s boring details, but on the other you learn so much about who these exiled people were and how they lived,” he added.

The tablets will be displayed for one year at the Bible Land Museum in Jerusalem.

Ancient Synagogue Discovered In Israel

An ancient synagogue has been discovered in Magdala, Israel that archaeologists say may be a major part of Biblical history.

They believe that Jesus taught at the synagogue.

The discovery in Magdala is the latest in a series of ancient finds.  The city is just five miles from the Biblical city of Capernaum.  A first century A.D. boat, an ancient harbor and other Biblical times buildings have been found in the city.

“This stone is really unique, we’ve never excavated anything like it,” Dino Gorni of the Israeli Antiquities Authority said. “It took me three days to believe what I was seeing—that we are standing in a synagogue from the time that the temple in Jerusalem was functioning.”

Juan Solana of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, says it’s impossible to believe Jesus did not go to that synagogue at some point.

“From the Jewish point of view, the position is clear,” Solana told WorldNetDaily. “It’s a first century synagogue, beautifully decorated, with pieces of art and an altar such has never been found in any other synagogue from that time. Never, ever.”

“From the Christian point of view, we cannot doubt that Jesus would have been there sometime,” he said. “The first Christian communities used to gather in the synagogues. They were observant Jews. So it’s clear that the first generation of Christians used to gather there.”

Ancient Monastery Found In Israel

A 1,500-year-old Byzantine monastery has been discovered in Israel according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The monastery is described as having been a place of Christian worship during the 6th century.  The structure was found as part of an excavation before construction of a new highway through the Negev Desert.

The IAA said the structure was 65 feet wide by 115 feet long.  Four rooms were found including a prayer room and a dining room.  The mosaics on the floor were found to be typical of Christian mosaics of the time.

The mosaics also contained discretely placed crosses that obeyed an order from leaders of the time to not have crosses on the floor where someone could step on them.

In addition to the mosaic floors, the excavators discovered pottery, coins and glass that are believed to have been used as part of the worship of the time.

The discovered items are going to be removed from the site and moved to an agricultural and tourism project area.

Ancient Church Discovered In Israel

A major archaeological find has been discovered in southern Israel.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a Byzantine-era structure that they said likely “served as a center of Christian worship for neighboring communities.”

The discovery was made during a routine salvage operation in preparation for a new neighborhood in the area of the discovery site.

The building is about 72 feet long and 40 feet wide.  It contains a central hall with two side aisles divided by marble pillars.  A courtyard area features a white mosaic floor and a cistern.

Also found were five inscriptions including references to Mary and Jesus.

The IAA also recovered glass vessels, oil lamps, cooking pots and bowls.  They estimate the church and items to be at least 1,500 years old.