The city of the Bible, where the Gospels say that Jesus is performing some of his most famous miracles, is now a source of controversy among archaeologists.
The New Testament describes a town called Bethsaida. JesusBelieved to have been born around 4 BC, he regained his blindness and confirmed that it was near the Sea of Galilee, where the Gospels famously tell Jesus that he was walking on the water.
Today, two archaeological sites (et-Tell and el-Araj), about 1.2 miles (2 km) apart, are considered the main candidates for Bethsaida, but archaeologists say which one is the city of the Bible. I don’t agree with you.
Since 1987, a team led by Rami Arav, a professor of religious studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha, has been excavating at et-Tell, Bethsaida, a site he is convinced of.
For decades, they have been gradually excavating cities that have been inhabited for thousands of years, dating back more than 3,000 years. The case of et-Tell being Bethsaida seemed so convincing that the Israeli government recognized the site as Bethsaida around 1995. Both the location and size of the site were deciding factors.
However, due to recent discoveries from other competing sites, el-Araj, the government has loosened its support and instead declared a general region that includes both et-Tell and el-Araj. Besaida Valley Nature Reserve..
Some archaeologists have expressed concern that et-Tell did not seem to be particularly large when Jesus was alive. That’s a problem, as ancient reports suggest that Bethsaida was quite large.
Jodi Magness, a professor of religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and not participating in the excavations at either location, said the Iron Age (1200 BC-550 BC) remains in et-Tell. .. , “It shows that it was a pretty city at that time. But importantly, Magnes added that the early Roman ruins where Jesus lived were “relatively scarce”, suggesting that they had become relatively small settlements. However, she warned that no conclusions should be drawn until the remains from both sites have been fully explained.
Alav believes that the discovery of Rome in Etel was considerable and was built after Bethsaida was upgraded to a city and renamed Julius in honor of his wife Julia (also known as Revere). I disagree with the inclusion of Roman temples of Roman emperor Augustus.
“We found a doll showing that the temple was dedicated to Augustus’ wife Julia / Libya,” Alav told Live Science in an email.City walls built by his son Philip Herod the Great, He said, was also found around et-Tell. The fact that Philip had a hard time building a wall around the place suggests that it was quite big and important at the time Jesus was alive.
Settlement in El Alaji dates back to at least the first century C.E. Ancient IsraelMordechai Aviam, director of the Galilee Archaeological Institute at the University of Galilee in Lake Galilee, told Live Science by email. He co-directs the archaeological excavation at El Arazi with Stephen Notry, a professor of Bible studies at Nyack College in New York.
One of the most striking discoveries in el-Araj is a large church with a mosaic floor dating back about 1,500 years. Researchers believe that a text written by a Bavarian bishop named Willibald in 724 AD refers to the church. Willibald describes the pilgrimage to the church as follows: “Then they went to Bethsaida, the residence of Peter and Andrew. [apostles of Jesus], Currently there is a church on the grounds of their home. Archaeologists in El Alaji also discovered the ruins of a Roman bath dating back to ancient times.
One of the problems in identifying El Alaji as Bethsaida is that geological studies in the area show that much of El Alaji was underwater during the first-century AD in which Jesus lived. is. Geology of Omaha University. At that time, Schroeder wrote in a paper published in “A Collection of Commemorative Papers in Honor of Lami Arazi” that “El Arazi was large enough and stable enough to accommodate some buildings at the water’s edge. It won’t be. ” I came to Bethsaida'”(Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019).
Scholars on the el-Araj team disagree with these findings, claiming that there were enough places on the surface of the water for substantial settlements to prosper in Jesus’ day.
In the 2020 article Release In the Biblical Archeology Review magazine, Arav suggested that part of El Araji may have been used as a temporary military camp in the first century C.E. Jewish rebellion against the Romans between 66 and 73 AD.
Robert Cargill, an archaeologist at the University of Iowa and a professor of Judaism and Christianity, said he was convinced that El Alaj was Bethsaida. “In the case of El Alaji, it’s not only convincing, it’s overwhelming and persuasive every season of excavation,” Cargill told Live Science in an email. Jonathan Reed, a religious professor at the University of La Verne in California, agreed that El Arazi was a “very likely” Bethsaida.
Can both sites be Bethsaida?
Scholars unrelated to either excavation had different views on which location was the real Bethsaida. One possibility is that both sites are biblical cities. He holds a PhD in archeology from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom. Bible archeology.. “Et-Tell is Bethsaida, [Bethsaida’s] The harbor was in El Alaji, “Graves, an independent researcher, told Live Science by email.
According to Abiam, researchers at El Alaji believe that both sites are unlikely to be Bethsaida. Historical records indicate that Bethsaida was upgraded to a city in the first century AD, and El Alaji is considered to be a larger site than Etel. At the moment.
Arav agreed that neither site could be Bethsaida, but after the devastating blow to Etel in the 4th century AD earthquake, people moved to areas, including El Araj, and named. He said he may have retained Bethsaida.
Other scholars said they would wait for more excavations and more information to be released before getting a job. Robert Gordon, Professor Emeritus of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge, said:
Archaeological investigations are underway at both sites.
Originally published in Live Science..
Is this really the biblical city where Jesus walked on the water?
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