Archaelogists Report: Evidence Suggests This Could be the House Jesus Grew up in!

Archaeologists working in Nazareth — Jesus’ hometown — in modern-day Israel have identified a house dating to the first century that was regarded as the place where Jesus was brought up by Mary and Joseph.

The house is partly made of mortar-and-stone walls, and was cut into a rocky hillside. It was first uncovered in the 1880s, by nuns at the Sisters of Nazareth convent, but it wasn’t until 2006 that archaeologists led by Ken Dark, a professor at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, dated the house to the first century, and identified it as the place where people, who lived centuries after Jesus’ time, believed Jesus was brought up.

A British archaeologist has identified what he believes could have been the house (exterior pictured) where Jesus was raised. Dr Ken Dark said that the humble first century home in Nazareth, Northern Israel, could have been where Mary and Joseph brought up the son of God.

Whether Jesus actually lived in the house in real life is unknown, but Dark says that it is possible. [See Images of the ‘Jesus’ House and Nazareth Artifacts]

“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.”

Jesus is believed to have grown up in Nazareth. Archaeologists found that, centuries after Jesus’ time, the Byzantine Empire (which controlled Nazareth up until the seventh century) decorated the house with mosaics and constructed a church known as the “Church of the Nutrition” over the house, protecting it.

The Sisters of Nazareth Convent matches this because there is evidence of a large Byzantine church with a spring and two tombs in its crypt, Dr Dark writes.The house he believes was Jesus’ boyhood home stands in between the two tombs which also matches with Adomnàn’s account .

Crusaders who ventured into the Holy Land in the 12th century fixed up the church after it fell into disrepair. This evidence suggests that both the Byzantines and Crusaders believed that this was the home where Jesus was brought up, Dark said.

The story of the Jesus house

Until recently few archaeological remains that date to the first century were known from Nazareth and those mostly consisted of tombs. However in the last few years, archaeologists have identified two first-century houses in this town. (The other house was discovered in 2009 and is not thought to be where Jesus grew up.) [The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds]

The nuns’ excavations of Jesus’ possible home in the 1880s were followed up in 1936, when Jesuit priest Henri Senès, who was an architect before becoming a priest, visited the site, according to Dark. Senès recorded in great detail the structures the nuns had exposed. His work was mostly unpublished and so it was largely unknown to anyone but the nuns and the people who visited their convent.

The last attempt to identify the house where Jesus grew up was in 2009 when archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority found another 1st century home they believed had been occupied by a Jewish family. Pictured an Israeli Antiquities Authority worker clears debris during the 2009 excavation.

In 2006, the nuns granted the Nazareth Archaeological Project full access to the site, including Senès drawings and notes, which they had carefully stored. Dark and the project’s other archaeologists surveyed the site, and by combining their findings, a new analysis of Senès’ findings, notes from the nuns’ earlier excavations and other information, they reconstructed the development of the site from the first century to the present.

From simple dwelling to sacred site

The artifacts found in the first-century house include broken cooking pots, a spindle whorl (used in spinning thread) and limestone vessels, suggesting possibly a family lived there, the archaeologists said. The limestone vessels suggest a Jewish family lived in the house, because Jewish beliefs held that limestone could not become impure. If a Jewish family lived here it would support the idea that this could have been Jesus’ house.

The house is thought to be located beneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent which is across the road from Church of Annunciation in Nazareth.

The first-century house “had been constructed by cutting back a limestone hillside as it sloped toward the wadi (valley) below, leaving carefully smoothed freestanding rock walls, to which stone-built walls were added,” Dark wrote in a Biblical Archaeology Review article.

“The structure included a series of rooms,” he wrote. “One, with its doorway, survived to its full height. Another had a stairway rising adjacent to one of its walls. Just inside the surviving doorway, earlier excavations had revealed part of its original chalk floor.”

Dark and his colleagues found that the house was abandoned at some point during the first century. After that, the area was used for quarrying and then later in the first century it was reused as a burial ground. Two tombs (now empty) were constructed beside the abandoned house, with the forecourt of one of the tombs cutting through the house, the researchers said.

In the first century, two tombs were built beside what is believed to be Jesus’ home. The forecourt of the tomb seen here passes through the abandoned home. Dr Ken Dark describes it as having been cut out of a limestone hillside and having a series of rooms and a stairway.

Centuries after Jesus’ time, the Church of the Nutrition was built around this house and the two adjacent tombs, but the church fell into disuse in the eighth century. It was rebuilt in the 12th century, when Crusaders were in control of the area, only to be burnt down in the 13th century, Dark said.

The fact that the house was protected explains its “excellent preservation,” Dark wrote. “Great efforts had been made to encompass the remains of this building within the vaulted cellars of both the Byzantine and Crusader churches, so that it was thereafter protected,” he said.

“Both the tombs and the house were decorated with mosaics in the Byzantine period, suggesting that they were of special importance, and possibly venerated,” he wrote.

In addition to the archaeological evidence, a text written in A.D. 670 by abbot Adomnàn of the Scottish island monastery at Iona, said to be based on a pilgrimage to Nazareth made by the Frankish bishop Arculf, mentions a church “where once there was the house in which the Lord was nourished in his infancy” (according to a translation of Adomnàn’s writing by James Rose Macpherson).

The key piece of evidence linking the site to Jesus is pilgrim text called ‘De Locus Sanctis’ written in 670 AD by abbot Adomnàn of Iona (pictured) It was supposedly based on a pilgrimage made to Nazareth and talks about a church ‘where once there was the house in which the Lord was nourished in his infancy’.

The tomb that cuts through the house was also venerated as being that of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary. [Proof of Jesus Christ? 7 Pieces of Evidence Debated]

“The tomb cutting through the house is today commonly called ‘the Tomb of St. Joseph,’ and it was certainly venerated in the Crusader period, so perhaps they thought it was the tomb of St. Joseph,” Dark told Live Science. “However, it is unlikely to be the actual tomb of St. Joseph, given that it dates to after the disuse of the house and localized quarrying in the first century.”

What was Nazareth like?

Archaeologists also discovered a number of sites nearby that hold clues as to what Nazareth was like in Jesus’ time.

Along with the home, a number of water sources have also been found at Nazareth. They would have been accessed with Jesus was alive. This image shows a famous source known today as “Mary’s Spring”

Rulers in Rome began to take control of Israel during the first century B.C. But Dark and his team found evidence that, despite Rome’s increasing influence, the people living in and near Nazareth rejected Roman culture.

The house is located near the Basilica of the Annunciation (pictured). Overall the design was typical of early Roman settlements in the Galilee.

The archaeologists surveyed a valley near Nazareth called Nahal Zippori, finding that people who lived on the northern side of the valley, close to the Roman town of Sepphoris, were more willing to embrace Roman culture than those to the south, nearer to Nazareth, who appear to have rejected it.

 “This suggests that the Nazareth area was unusual for the strength of its anti-Roman sentiment and/or the strength of its Jewish identity,” Dark said.

Dark and his team have published journal articles on their work in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly and The Antiquaries Journal. More publications on the team’s archaeological work at Nazareth are forthcoming. It may be some time before scholars not affiliated with the project fully analyze the findings, and weigh in on the team’s conclusions.

Source:  Live Science and Daily Mail

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Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again for the sole purpose of saving us from our sins.  Are you saved?  The bible declares that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (KJV). Salvation is turning your life over to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the son of God, and renewing your mind with his spirit, that is done through repentance of sin, and following JESUS with all your heart, mind and soul. JESUS transforms lives, if you are ready for this life saving step, call upon your savior TODAY! Learn more here.

PROPHECY:

“…many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” – Daniel 12:4 (KJV).   

For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof – Psalm 102:14 (KJV).


Childhood of Jesus

What little we know of Jesus’ childhood is recorded in Luke 2:41-52. Between the age of 13 until 30 there is nothing else written. So this discovery gives us an idea of how Jesus lived!

Here is what we do know:

We know that Jesus was the son of Mary and Joseph, whom were both devout believers in God.

  • At the age of 12, Jesus had his first feast in preparatin for his bar mitzvah at age 13.
  • Jesus made the yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover
  •  He was asking questions and learning, and revealed remarkable knowledge.
  • We know that Jesus’ adopted father Joseph was a carpenter and that Jesus was too (Matthew 13:55 & Mark 6:3).
  • There is a recording of Jesus lingering in the temple. Mary and Joseph were anxiously trying to find him and when they did, Jesus answered:

How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?  – Luke 2:49 (KJV).

  • Jesus left Jerusalem and returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:51)
  • He was submissive to his earthly parents (Joseph was only considered an “adoptive father”) as the law of Moses required Fulfilling the Fifth Commandment.

 The bible ends the childhood recoding with:

 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” – Luke 2:52 (KJV).

We just have to trust that this is all God wanted to be recorded. The next recorded events is the Baptism at age 30.

AND of course, the most glorious thing we know is the sacrifice that Jesus made up on the cross, rose again, and is coming back very soon!


ANCIENT DISCOVERIES PROVING JESUS’ EXISTENCE

One ossuary was finely carved with a decoration which the researchers believe is “a clear image of a fish, complete with tail, fins, and scales.” According to Tabor, it has “a stick-like human figure with an over-sized head coming out of its mouth.” He interpreted the drawing as a representation of the biblical story of Jonah and the “big fish.” In the earliest gospel materials, the “sign of Jonah,” as mentioned by Jesus, has been interpreted as a symbol of his resurrection.

Image: CGI enhanced image of Jonah and the Big Fish

“As Jonah was in the fish for three days and three nights, but emerged alive, Jesus would likewise emerge from the tomb/death,” wrote Tabor. Jonah images only appear in the third and fourth centuries A.D., but never earlier, given the prohibition within Judaism of making images of people or animals. In this view, the fish would represent the oldest Christian art ever discovered, predating the earliest Christian symbol in the catacombs of Rome by at least 200 years. It would also represent the first archeological evidence related to faith in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead — “presumably by his contemporary 1st-century followers,” said Tabor.


Photo: The unique four-line Greek inscription ‘Jesus-Era’ Burial Cloth Casts Doubt on Turin Shroud

Another finely decorated ossuary contained an intriguing four-word Greek inscription. There are several ways to read the inscription, but according to Tabor, almost all of them have to do with resurrection, some linking directly to Jesus. The most likely readings are: “The Divine Jehovah raises up from (the dead)” or “The Divine Jehovah raises up to the Holy Place” or “God, Jehovah, Raise up! Raise up!” or “Lord, Jesus, Rise up! Rise up!” “We are dealing here with a family or clan that is bold enough to write out the holy name of God in a tomb, with a declaration about ‘raising up’ or resurrection — something totally unparalleled in any of the 900 tombs from the period known in Jerusalem,” wrote Tabor.


Photo: Complete Findings from the Patio Tomb Explore Evidence for the Lost Tomb of Jesus

According to Tabor, the family buried in the tomb was undoubtedly Jewish. Apart from the Greek epitaph and fish image, “the style of the tomb, the ornamentation of the ossuaries, and everything else about it is nothing out of the ordinary,” he said. Yet, taken together, the fish image and the inscription represents the earliest archaeological evidence of faith in Jesus’ resurrection, the first witness to a saying of Jesus that predates the New Testament gospels, and the oldest Christian art ever discovered. “We are convinced that the best explanation for these unusual epigraphic features is its proximity to the Jesus family tomb,” wrote Talbot. “What we apparently have is a family connected to the Jesus movement who reaches beyond the standard burial norms of the Jewish culture of the period to express itself individually in these unique ways,” he said.

Source: Discovery

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