October 25, 2021
For over a thousand years, the fabled Church of the Apostles was lost, if not forgotten. According to Christian tradition it was erected in the village of Bethsaida, the home of Jesus’ apostles Peter and Andrew, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Now archaeologists argue they not only found Bethsaida but the church itself – and a mystery.
During the summer excavation just completed under the direction of Steven Notley of Nyack College and Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret Academic College of the Galilee, the researchers found categorical proof that the Byzantine-period edifice was a church, and a major one at that. This was no picayune chapel for kneeling by the wayside but an elaborately decorated house of worship built in the late fifth or early sixth century with gorgeous mosaic floors and inscriptions.
But at some point after the church was destroyed by an earthquake in 749, it was mysteriously “buried.” Walls were built atop it along the exact path of the building’s original structure – so their location was clearly no coincidence – but they had no doors. There was no way to get in. Why this could have been done is quite the head-scratcher.
... Read the rest at Haaretz.com.