by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Archaeologists excavating in Israel’s Galilee region have discovered what they believe is the lost Byzantine-era Church of the Apostles that was built over the home of Jesus’ first two disciples, Peter and Andrew, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports. The site is located in the biblical village of Bethsaida, near the Sea of Galilee.
The discovery was made by archeologists from the Kinneret Institute for Galilee Archeology at Kinneret College and Nyack College, led by Prof. Mordechai Aviam and Prof. Steven Notley, TOI reports.
In a statement published Wednesday, the researchers said that an inscription found in a mosaic floor at the site of the ancient church has strengthened their belief that this is the location where Peter lived, TOI reports.
The inscription is written within two lines of black stones and is part of the mosaic floor in the church’s diaconicon room. The inscription “clearly indicates that the church was dedicated” to Peter, the researchers said.
Translated by Prof. Leah Di Segni from the Hebrew University and Prof. Jacob Ashkenazi from Kinneret College, the inscription starts with the name of the donor “Constantinos the Servant of the Messiah,” and then reads the “Head and Leader of the Heavenly Messengers,” a Byzantine phrase that refers to Peter, TOI reports.
“Byzantine Christian tradition routinely identified the house of Peter and Andrew as in Bethsaida. It is likely that the basilica commemorates their house,” Notley, the academic director of the excavation, told TOI.
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