A team from the New York-based Nyack College may have just discovered the ancient city of Julias, near Bethsaida, that the Bible describes as sitting on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It is believed that this site may be the long lost birth place of three of Jesus’s apostles. Marc Turnage, the director of the Center for Holy Lands Studies and Professor Mordechai Aviam, part of the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee say that previous researchers have been looking in the wrong place.
Julias May Have Been Discovered Near the Ancient Site of Bethsaida
Archeologists have searched for the ancient site of Bethsaida for many years as Apostle James names it as being the lost birth place of Andrew, Philip, and Peter. The Bible also describes it as being the city in which Jesus did much of his earthly ministry. Previous attempts to find the city focused on three possible areas. However, all of them proved inconclusive.
Now, a team of archaeologists has unearthed a mosaic floor along with other evidence that this site contained an ancient Roman bathhouse.
Professor Aviam says that this is significant because first-century historian Josephus Flavius “wrote that the Roman King Philip Herod transformed the small village of Bethsaida into a polis, or city state, called Julias.”
Teams of students from Nyack College have been working at the current site for more than three years. They have now unearthed golden glass mosaics. These are traces which indicate that a church dedicated to Peter and Andrew once stood on the site. An eighth-century Christian Pilgrim also noted that a church was constructed on the former site of Bethsaida.
Professor Aviam says that students from Nyack College will continue the excavation work at what may prove to be Julias. He predicts that his student team will soon discover more evidence that this is the former site of Bethsaida.
Not everyone agrees with Professor Aviam, however, that he has found the right place where three of the apostles were born.
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