Israeli prison to evacuate for excavations on 3rd-century mosaic describing Jesus as God
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israel’s Prison Service is preparing to evacuate a prison in Megiddo so that archaeologists can excavate a 3rd-century mosaic describing Jesus as God that was found underneath it, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.
The mosaic about Jesus is one of three discovered during Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) salvage operations in northern Israel between 2004-2008, TOI said.
The mosaics lie in a structure believed to have been the oldest Christian church in the world, located in the ancient Jewish village of Kfar Othnai, TOI reports. IAA archaeologist Dr. Yotam Tepper said in a statement: “This structure is interpreted as the oldest Christian prayer house in the world… and in fact, it tells the story of Christianity even before it became official.”
One of the mosaics has the words “to the God Jesus Christ” inscribed in Greek, another is dedicated to a soldier who contributed to the paving of the church floor, and a third is dedicated to four women, TOI said.
On March 24, together with Megiddo Regional Council and Israel Antiquities Authority representatives, Israel Prisons Service officials toured Megiddo Prison to discuss transferring all inmates to another structure so as to facilitate the excavation, bring the mosaics to light and transform the building into a tourist site, TOI said. Excavation may begin in June.
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