A team of American and Israeli archaeologists claim they found the Church of the Apostles supposedly built over the home of Jesus Christ’s apostles Peter and Andrew. From Fox News:

Experts from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College, Israel and Nyack College in New York, have been excavating the site of el-Araj on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The archaeologists believe that el-Araj is the site of the ancient Jewish fishing village of Bethsaida, which later became the Roman city of Julias.

Prof. Steven Notley of Nyack College told Fox News that the group’s previous annual excavations at the site had uncovered evidence of the church’s existence, such as pieces of marble from its chancel screen and small gilded glass blocks called tesserae that were used in ornate church wall mosaics. “These discoveries already informed us that the church was waiting to be found somewhere nearby,” he explained, via email.

Mordechai Aviam from the Kinneret Academic College said the objects found during the excavations matched descriptions given by early Christian pilgrims and Bavarian Bishop St. Willibald.

Willibald claimed “Bethsaida lay between the biblical sites of Capernaum and Kursi.”

The archaeologists have only uncovered the southern portion of the church. From The Daily Mail:

‘We excavated only one third of the church, a bit less, but we have a church and that’s for sure,’ Aviam told AFP.

‘The plan is of a church, the dates are Byzantine, the mosaic floors are typical… chancel screens, everything that is typical of a church.’

‘Between Capernaum and Kursi there is only one place where a church is described by the visitor in the eighth century and we discovered it, so this is the one,’ he said.

Notley said it will take the archaeologists another full season to uncover the rest of the church.

However, some believe e-Tell, located a little more than a mile from el-Araj, may have been the original site of Bethsaida. Archaeologists have found in the dig, which started in 1987, “major ninth-century BC fortifications and ‘Roman-period houses with fishing equipment, including iron anchors and fishing hooks, and the remains of what may be a Roman temple.'”

 
 
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