Oppdatering: Eg besøkte denne synagogen for første gong i februar 2015, og skreiv etterpå dette notatet her på bloggen: Synagogen i Magdala.
Det følgjande er skrive i desember 2010:
I fjor blei det gjort interessante arkeologiske funn i Magdala ved Gennesaretsjøen. Det blei funne restar av ein bygning som truleg er ein synagoge frå 1. hundreår. Det blei også funne ein stein med ein menorah, noko som er svært spesielt i eit så gamalt funn.
Viss denne synagogen er frå tida omkring år 30, er det svært sannsynleg at dette var ein stad Jesus var innom. Men er det naturleg å seia at dei som brukte synagogen truleg var slike som følgte han?
Who is the go-to guy for the inside story on a rare Second Temple–era synagogue discovered last year in Magdala, Israel?
That would be Father Eamon Kelly, vice chargé of the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. The ruins of the synagogue were found on land owned by the center. Kelly spoke about the significance of the discovery on Dec. 1 at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology in Berkeley.
Believed to date back 2,000 years, the synagogue is only the seventh Second Temple–period synagogue uncovered and the oldest ruins found in the area. In the center of the 1,292-square-foot building, workers discovered a stone engraved with a seven-branched menorah. That footed stone dates back to before 67 C.E., which makes it the oldest engraved menorah, older even than the menorah carved on the Titus Arch in Rome, which had previously been deemed the oldest.
The discovery of the Magdala synagogue occurred after the center, a Christian guesthouse in Jerusalem operated by the Legionaries of Christ, decided to build a hotel and visitor center near the Sea of Galilee. They chose to build in Magdala, said to be the home of Mary Magdalene, about 100 miles north of Jerusalem.
Before the complex could be built, however, the government required that there be an archaeological investigation on the site. The dig, directed by Dina Avshalom-Gorni and Arfan Najar of the Israel Antiquities Authority, began in July 2009. One month later, workers uncovered the first remains of the synagogue.
Archaeologists have since unearthed pottery, coins and frescoes that have retained their vivid colors through the centuries. Magdala was one of several Galilean towns where Christians often shared the synagogues with Jews. The synagogue may have been destroyed during a Jewish revolt against Roman rule between 66 A.D. and 70 A.D.
Since the discovery, the Israel Antiquities Authority has given the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center permission to build the hotel and visitor center, with a projected opening date of July 2012. New construction plans add an ecumenical chapel on the spot where the ancient synagogue was found.
In addition to the synagogue’s historical significance to Jews, Kelly sees it as a possible moment of interfaith harmony, telling an Irish newspaper that “there is a high probability that the people from this synagogue were followers of Jesus and may have witnessed his miracles firsthand.”
Eg har kome over artikkelen via PaleoJudaica, som kommenterer den siste påstanden slik:
That last comment is wild speculation, but it’s nice to have the background to the discovery anyway.