Bysantinsk kyrkjefunn (i Betsaida?)


Oppdatering 28.07.2019: Nå har Vårt Land skrive om saka, sjå her: Kan ha funnet Apostlenes kirke.

Arkeologar har denne veka informert om funnet av ei stor bysantinsk kyrkje nordaust for Gennesaretsjøen. Funnet er gjort i El-Araj, éin av to stadar som kan vera lokaliseringa av den bibelske byen Betsaida. Utgravingane er avslutta for i år og held fram neste år.

Den israelske avisa Haaretz har eit stort oppslag om saka:

Church of the Apostles Found by Sea of Galilee, Archaeologists Claim
A bishop trekking around the lake in 725 saw and described the Church of the Apostles — exactly where this one has been found, archaeologists say

Archaeologists believe they have likely found the Church of the Apostles, which Christian tradition says had been built over the home of Jesus’ disciples Peter and Andrew in the village of Bethsaida, today part of the Bteikha Nature Reserve, by the Sea of Galilee.


Finding a Byzantine-period church is one thing, but why do the archaeologists, whose work is supported by the Israel Antiquities Authority, think it’s the Church of the Apostles, no less?

«It’s the historical tradition we possess, and there is no good reason to question it,» Notley tells Haaretz. Namely, in the year 725, a Bavarian bishop named Willibald was touring the Holy Land and wrote about walking from Capernaum to Kursi, and on the way seeing the church of Peter and his brother Andrew, Aviam explains.

“No other churches have been found between those two towns,” Aviam clarifies. And the el-Araj church seems to be from the appropriate period.

The ruins have not been precisely dated yet, but based on more than 100 coins, the church seems to have been built in the fifth century, nearly 500 years after the apostles would have lived, and to have been abandoned in the late seventh century or eighth century.

Les meir.

Sjå også arkeologane si heimeside med fleire bilde:

Biskop Willibald sin omtale av kyrkja er elles relativt kort. Han reiste i fleire år i Hellas og Midt-Austen, og dikterte ei bok på dødsleiet sitt om kva han hadde opplevd. Her står det:

Then they went to Bethsaida, the native place of Peter and Andrew. A church now occupies the site where their home once stood. They passed the night there, and on the following morning set off for Corazain, …

Frå The Hodoeporicon of St. Willibald

Her på bloggen har eg tidlegare skrive om El-Araj i notatet Ny lokalisering av Betsaida? (2017) og om et-Tell, den andre moglege lokaliseringa av Betsaida, i notatet Om Betsaida (2011).

(via Agade og BiblePlaces Blog)

Ny lokalisering av Betsaida?

Betsaida, heimstaden til tre av Jesu disiplar, er ein av dei nytestamentlege byane som hittil ikkje er sikkert lokalisert. Arkeologar som denne sommaren har arbeidd på staden El Araj nordaust for Gennesaretsjøen, meiner det nå er gode grunnar for å anta at dette er den korrekte lokaliseringa av byen.

Eg har nokre gonger vore på et-Tel, ein stad som i dag blir vist fram som det bibelske Betsaida. Eg har visst at det har vore fagleg tvil om denne lokaliseringa, men har likevel opplevd det interessant å oppleva utgravingane der.

Det kan forresten vera verdt å merka seg at dei to stadane ikkje ligg langt frå kvarandre. Betsaida låg uansett på nordaust for Gennesaretsjøen, på bildet over i området øverst til høgre der det er ein del grønt. Det at det nå kjem fram ny kunnskap som opnar opp for ei ny geografisk forståing, er bare flott.

I tillegg til spørsmålet om kvar det bibelske Betsaida låg, gir også utgravingane i El Araj ny kunnskap om nivået på Gennesaretsjøen i romersk tid. Funn på staden viser at sjøen må ha lege minst 211 meter under havet, noko som visstnok er lågare enn tidlegare antatt.

Has the Lost City of Jesus’ Apostles Finally Been Discovered?

NEW YORK, NY — Excavations this summer on the north-eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee have uncovered what may appears to be evidence forof the ancient city, Bethsaida-Julias, home to three of Jesus’ apostles: Peter, Andrew, and Philip (John 1:44; 12:21). It was also a location for Jesus’ ministry (Mark 8:22), and is near the land place where Luke’s gospel reports the miracle of Jesus feeding five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish (Luke 9:10-17).


Because of its importance in Christian tradition, scholars have long tried to identify the site. Historical sources place the site near the Jordan river, in the large valley between the Galilee and the Golan Heights. For the last 30 years, popular opinion identified it with at the site of et-Tel where archaeologists found settlement in the late Hellenistic (2nd cent. BCE) and Roman periods (1st-2nd cent. CE), including two private houses. However, traces of the Greco-Roman city developments reported by in historical reports are lacking. Now new evidence suggests that Bethsaida-Julias was located at another site, El Araj, located in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

At El Araj, Roman pottery dating between the 1st – 3rd centuries was uncovered under the a Byzantine level floor discovered in the previous season. A bronze coin of the late 2nd century CE and a beautiful silver denarius of the emperor Nero that reads “Nero, Caesar Augustus” from the year 65-66 CE were also found. Additionally, a Roman wall was discovered at a depth nearly 693 feet (211.16m) below sea level, completely rewriting the assumed level of the lake in the first century by seven feet. Adjacent to the the Roman wall there was found a large piece portion of mosaic flooring with a white and black meander pattern still attached to the its original plaster and similar to other mosaics known from the first- century villages settlements around the lake. The discovery of clay bricks and ceramic vents (tubuli), which are typical to Roman bathhouses, strongly indicates the presence of Roman period urbanization and evidence of the first- century improvements on the village of Bethsaida-Julias.

(Les meir)

Eg har tidlegare skrive om et-Tel i notatet Om Betsaida. Sjå også notatet Gennesaretsjøen.

Om Betsaida

Jesus var i Betsaida fleire gonger. Fleire av disiplane hans var frå denne fiskarbyen ved Gennesaretsjøen. Men veit me nøyaktig kvar byen låg?

Arkeologar har truleg funne staden ved et-Tell på den nordaustre delen av Gennesaretsjøen. Her er det gravd fram interessante restar etter eit bysamfunn. Det er nok framleis dei som er kritiske til lokaliseringa, men stort sett er det semje om at dette må vera det bibelske Betsaida.

Jerusalem Post har denne veka ein artikkel om staden i serien Sights and Insights. Forfattar er Dr. Wayne Stiles.

Sights and Insights: Casting a long line to the lake

Dr. Wayne Stiles ponders whether the site of et-Tell truly is the place of biblical Beit Saida and why it is so fascinating.


The slopes near the site of et-Tell offer some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen in the Galilee. In the spring, wildflowers burst open to drink in the sun, and the surrounding meadows paint the whole area a bright green. From certain vantage points, I have looked at the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and observed no modern distractions. It seemed as if I was looking on the lake in the first century.


The archaeological remains in Beit Saida are sketchy and remain a source of conflicting views on the validity of the site. Even though most signs point to et-Tell as biblical Beit Saida, there just isn’t enough evidence to make it conclusive. The site sits some distance from the Sea of Galilee and about seven meters above the level of the water in the first century. Moreover, after twenty years, the archeologist’s spade has discovered little evidence that would support the existence of a substantial first-century city.

One house dates from the second century BC to the first century AD. A typical home of the period, it has a central courtyard surrounded by rooms and a kitchen. Found here were items such as lead weights, a fishhook, and a curved bronze needle—all items from a fisherman’s trade. It has therefore received the name, “House of the Fisherman.” Beit Saida’s name itself means, “House of Fish.”

Beit Saida finds its place in the Scriptures as one of the three primary locations where Jesus performed miracles. The plain next to Beit Saida, with its green grass, served as the area where thousands of people ate a meal from a few fish and loaves that Jesus had multiplied (Mark 6:35-44)—similar to Elisha’s miraculous multiplication of bread centuries earlier (2 Kings 4:42-44.)

If there was ever a place in Israel that fits the title of this column, “Sights and Insights,” Beit Saida was that place. Jesus healed a blind man here by an unusual process. First, there was partial sight restored to the man, and then, full sight was resorted (Mark 8:22-37). Why the two-stage miracle? Was Jesus having an off day? No, he was teaching his followers that God often reveals insight to his people in stages—little by little—rather than all at once. The gradual sight became a metaphor for growing insight.

Les meir

Det er elles interessant at forfattaren heilt naturleg refererer til Jesu liv og til tekstar i NT i den israelske avisa. Kanskje det kan føra til at nokre jødar skaffar seg eit NT og les i det?

Gullfunn i Betsaida

Ein romersk gullmynt frå 2. hundreår e. Kr. er eit spennande funn i arkeologisk samanheng. Ein slik mynt blei nyleg funnen i Betsaida ved Gennesaretsjøen. Funnet kan vera med og kasta nytt lys over Galilea si historie i følgje Rami Arav, som leier utgravingsarbeidet på staden.

Arutz Sheva skriv:

2,000-Year-Old Gold Coin a Testament to Galilee Ancient History

A 2,000-year-old gold coin discovered by a West Virginia University student at an archaeological site in the upper Galilee has proven to be the find of the season.


The coin, which Arav described as a discovery of Biblical dimensions, weights 7 grams of 24-karat gold – 97.6 percent gold, to be exact. It depicts the portrait of Antonius Pius, a Roman emperor who rules from 138-161 CE.


The coin also supports the theory that Pius embraced the Jewish population in Rome, unlike his father, who brutally oppressed the Jewish revolts. Pius is considered to have been a personal friend of Rabbi Yehudah (Judah) the Prince, creator of the Mishnah.

Bethsaida was founded as a capital of the ancient kingdom of Geshur and was the birthplace of at least three Christian apostles – Peter, Andrew and Philip. The ancient town is located at Park HaYarden, north of Lake Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee. The site, discovered by Arav in 1987, has seen 24 seasons of excavations thus far.

Les meir

Les også om funnet i Omaha World-Herald.

(via PaleoJudaica)