Kyrkjefunn, Aluma i Israel


Denne veka har israelske arkeologar presentert eit nytt kyrkjefunn frå bysantinsk tid. Funnet er gjort i Aluma, 50 km sør for Tel Aviv.

Eg syns det er interessant å følgja med i pressemeldingane frå Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Det er mange arkeologiske utgravingar i Israel kvart einaste år, og mange av funna kan relaterast til Bibelen eller den eldste kristne kyrkja.

Kyrkja som nå er funnen, er ca 1500 år gamal. Den er relativt stor, 22 x 12 meter. Det er gjort interessante funn av mosaikk med kristen symbolikk i kyrkjegolvet. Dei viktigaste mosaikkane vil bli stilt ut for publikum, elles vil funnet av kyrkja og staden bli dekt til igjen og bevarast for seinare generasjonar.

Live Science skriv om funnet i artikkelen: Ancient Church Mosaic With Symbol of Jesus Uncovered in Israel.

Her er eit utdrag frå IAA si pressemelding:

Discovery of a major church with a splendid mosaic from the Byzantine period


Impressive archaeological finds including a major church some 1,500 years old with a magnificent mosaic and five inscriptions were uncovered during Israel Antiquities Authority salvage excavations, prior to the construction of a new neighborhood at Moshav Aluma in Shafir Regional Council, near Pelugot Junction.


An impressive basilica building was discovered at the site, 22 meters long and 12 meters wide. The building consists of a central hall with two side aisles divided by marble pillars. At the front of the building is a wide open courtyard (atrium) paved with a white mosaic floor, and with a cistern. Leading off the courtyard is a rectangular transverse hall (narthex) with a fine mosaic floor decorated with colored geometric designs; at its center, opposite the entrance to the main hall, is a twelve-row dedicatory inscription in Greek containing the names Mary and Jesus, and the name of the person who funded the mosaic’s construction.

Les meir


Dei eldste kristne symbola


Dei eldste kristne symbola var truleg T-forma kors, fisk – både som bilde og som ordspel – og (den gode) gjetaren.

Professor Larry Hurtado, Edinburgh, har arbeidd mykje med dei første kristne hundreåra. Nå har han nyleg vore her i Norge og halde foredrag om “Early Christian Writers on Christian Symbols” på ein konferanse på Universitetet i Oslo.  Han gjengir i dag hovudinnhaldet på bloggen sin:

Earliest References to Christian Symbols
I’ve just returned from a mini-conference held in Oslo, “Between Image and Text: The Early Medieval ‘Iconology’ of Graphic Representational Signs.” As the title suggests, the participants were pretty much all people with expertise in the medieval period . . . with me being a conspicuous exception! But the principal investigator of the funded research programme behind the conference generously invited me to contribute from within the limits of my own competence, thinking it helpful to have some input from my own very early period of Christianity.

My paper was on “Early Christian Writers on Christian Symbols,” and within the time allotted I focused on Christian texts of the late second and early third centuries. In these texts I was able to find references to the Christian use of the cross-symbol (typically referred to as having a T-shape in these early texts), fish-symbols (sometimes symbolizing Christians and sometimes Jesus), the acrostic of the Greek word for “fish” (ΙΧΘΥΣ = “ichthus”, representing “Jesus Christ God’s Son Saviour”), and the (good) shepherd image.

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Her er UiO sine sider om konferansen.

Bysantinsk kyrkjelykt

photographs: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

photographs: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Eg syns denne 1500 år gamle lykta er fascinerande.

Det er israelske arkeologar som denne veka har presentert funnet av ei keramikk-lykt frå bysantinsk tid, forma som ei kyrkje.

Hovudfunnet på staden er ei stor vinpresse.

IAA skriv:

The owner of the wine press was probably a Christian, because near it we found a ceramic lantern decorated by five crosses. The lantern was designed as a miniature church building, with an oval opening on one side that enabled to insert an oil lamp. The other sides of the lantern were decorated by geometric impressions creating a design of palm branches. The crosses were carved in the walls of the lantern, so when the lantern was lit in a small room glowing crosses were projected on the walls and the cieling.

(Les meir) skriv også om funnet:

A ceramic model of a church from the Byzantine period, which is somewhat a rarity in archaeological research, was found near the wine press. This object is a kind of clay box that has an accentuated and decorated opening in its broad side. Floral decorations and crosses appear on the other three sides. The roof of the model is fashioned in the shape of a sloped tile roof, and in its four corners are four decorative knobs meant to accentuate the corners. On the top of the roof a large loop handle, also flanked by crosses, was attached for holding or suspending the object. The variety of decorations and building-like features of the object suggest this is a miniature model of a church. According to Dr. Avner, “Objects of this kind are known from archaeological research as lanterns: they were used as practical ritual objects that were hung or placed inside buildings. An oil lamp inserted into it through the decorated opening illuminated the inside of the model. Since the crosses also served as narrow openings, the light was disseminated via them and shadows of crosses were projected onto the walls of the building where the object was placed.

(les meir)

Funnet er gjort i ei utgraving i Hamei Yoav nær Ashkelon (eller Asjkalon, som Bibelselskapet skriv i sine kart).

(via PaleoJudaica)

Loeb 100 år


Loeb Classical Library er 100 år nå i 2012. Dette er ein serie med viktige greske og latinske klassiske verk på originalspråket og med engelsk omsetjing på motståande side. Mange av desse bøkene har stor tyding for bibelske og kyrkjehistoriske studier.

Det var James Loeb (1867-1933) som tok initiativ til serien, som nå blir gitt ut av Harvard University. Her er James Loeb sin introduksjonstekst frå 1912.

Med åra har dette blitt ein stor serie på over 500 bøker, og det blir framleis gitt ut nye band. Harvard University Press skriv:

The Loeb Classical Library® is the only existing series of books which, through original text and English translation, gives access to all that is important in Greek and Latin literature. Epic and lyric poetry; tragedy and comedy; history, travel, philosophy, and oratory; the great medical writers and mathematicians; those Church fathers who made particular use of pagan culture—in short, our entire classical heritage is represented here in convenient and well-printed pocket volumes in which an up-to-date text and accurate and literate English translation face each other page by page. The editors provide substantive introductions as well as essential critical and explanatory notes and selective bibliographies.

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Mange band i den store serien er nå tilgjengeleg på nettet. BiblePlaces Blog hadde nyleg eit oppslag om dette:

Many volumes in the Loeb Classical Library are now in the public domain and available for free download in pdf files. Loebolus has made these conveniently available, including a zip file with all 245 volumes. The list there is organized by volume number, but we find organization by author easier to navigate. Below we have listed the available volumes of works most relevant to our studies. These are not necessarily the best editions to read. For instance, for Josephus’s Jewish War, we recommend the Penguin edition. But for study and access to the original language, the Loeb Classical Library is best.

Les meir

Det bør her også nemnast at det finst norske utgåver av enkelte klassiske verk som er av tyding for bibel- og kyrkjehistoria, f eks av Josefus sine verk og av dei apostoliske fedrane. Og når det gjeld Eusebius si kyrkjehistorie, er eg godt nøgd med mi svenske utgåve. Men skal ein ha originalteksten til slike tekstar, er det Loeb som er løysinga.


Larry Hurtado skriv her om ein grafittitekst frå før år 125 i det gamle Smyrna, dvs dagens Izmir. Teksten inneheld orda herre og tru, og det er ikkje usannsynleg at dette er ein kristen tekst. Les gjerne heile det interessante innlegget hos Larry Hurtado, som altså skriv om boka Everyday Writing in the Graeco-Roman East.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

In my previous posting I briefly described Roger Bagnall’s new book, Everyday Writing in the Graeco-Roman East, and I mentioned his lead chapter on a body of graffiti from ancient Smyrna. Among the items he discusses in this chapter, I was particularly (predictably!) intrigued with one that Bagnall confidently claims must be Christian (pp. 22-23).  Here are the basic data:

  • The graffiti in question are on plastered surfaces in the basement of a city structure, and there are multiple layers of plaster laid on across time.
  • One graffito includes a date, which Bagnall correlates to 125/126 CE.
  • The layer of plaster beneath the layer on which this dated graffito is written is partially exposed, and on this exposed plaster is «a most remarkable graffito, incised into the plaster rather than written with ink or charcoal.»   This graffito reads:


κυριος  ω

πιστις  ω

  • The first word, ισοψηφα, means «of…

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Den bysantinske kyrkja Kathisma låg ved vegen mellom Jerusalem og Betlehem, ved det som i dag heiter Hebron Road (nær Eliaklosteret). Kyrkja var bygd på 400-talet på ein stad der Maria i følgje tradisjonen sette seg og kvilte på veg til Betlehem. Kathisma (καθισμα) betyr sete.  Tradisjonen kjem frå Jakobs protevangelium.

Sjå omtale av kyrkja her.

Tidsskriftet «Atiqot har nå ein artikkel om dei siste utgravingane som er gjort på staden. Artikkelen kan kjøpast online. Her er omtale av artikkelen på «Atiqot si nettside:

The Upper Aqueduct to Jerusalem, the Church of the Kathisma and Other Remains near Hebron Road, Jerusalem (with a contribution by Gabriela Bijovsky)

(Hebrew, pp. 69*–90*; English summary, pp. 160–162)

Ya‘akov Billig

Keywords: Water system, Christianity, agriculture, burial, numismatics, chronology

Sections of the Upper Aqueduct to Jerusalem were revealed while widening Hebron Road in Jerusalem, enabling a better understanding of its original route and date. Most of the finds scattered on surface level near the aqueduct—mainly pottery and coins—dated to the Late Roman and Byzantine periods; finds dating to the First and Second Temple periods were found as well. Other elements discovered during the excavation and surveys in the area include: agricultural terraces, burial caves, a winepress, a cistern and a quarry. In the surveyed area, at the site of Bir Qadismo, were numerous finds scattered on the surface, which pointed to the presence of a large public building, possibly a church from the Byzantine period: ashlars, column fragments, a pedestal, marble items, roof tiles and a colorful mosaic floor. These were identified as the remains of the Church of Kathisma Palaeon.

Historisk kyrkje blir moské


Hagia Sophia i Nikea (i dag: Iznik)

Hagia Sophia, Nikea. Foto: Arne Berge 2005

I Tyrkia er dessverre den historiske kyrkjeruinen etter Hagia Sophia i Nikea nyleg gjort om til moské.

Staden har ei tyding i kyrkje-historia ved at det sjuande og siste økumeniske konsilet var samla her i 787.

Eg hadde ei flott oppleving då eg besøkte staden i 2005. Les om besøket i kyrkja og byen Iznik i notatet Nikea. Mens me var samla i kyrkjeruinen oppstod ideen til studiegruppa Oldkyrkja som framleis eksisterer på Bryne.

Hagia Sophia i Nikea blei bygd på 500-talet av keisar Justinian. I 1331 blei den gjort om til moské og i 1920 blei den museum. Og nå er den altså gjort om til moské igjen.

Les om saka på Erdogan’s religious acrobatics: Nicaea council church back to being a mosque

(via BiblePlaces Blog)

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