The remains of the first-century home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph may have been found, a British archaeologist says. Ken Dark, a professor of archaeology and history at the University of Reading, told the BBC there is a “strong case to be made” that the site – which lies beneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent – was the home in which Jesus and his siblings were raised.
He began researching the site in 2006 and wrote about his findings in a new book, “The Sisters of Nazareth Convent: A Roman-period, Byzantine, and Crusader site in central Nazareth.” The dwelling dates to the first century, he said.
“I didn’t go to Nazareth to find the house of Jesus, I was actually doing a study of the city’s history as a Byzantine Christian pilgrimage center,” he said. “Nobody could have been more surprised than me.”
Whoever built the house would have had excellent knowledge of stone-working. The Bible, in Greek, calls Joseph a “tekton,” which can be translated “craftsman” or “builder” – particularly with stone.
“We know from written evidence this church was believed in the Byzantine period to have been built on the site of Jesus’ home and the dwelling preserved in its crypt,” Dark told the BBC. “It’s almost certainly the Church of the Nutrition, which was dedicated to the upbringing of Christ, and mentioned in a Seventh Century pilgrim’s account.”
Still, it is impossible to conclude for certain that the house was Jesus’ earthly home.
“It’s by no means a conclusive case,” he said. “On the one hand, we can put forward a totally plausible case that this was Jesus’s childhood home. But on the other hand, actually proving that is beyond the scope of the evidence. It’s debatable whether it would ever be possible to prove that.”
Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice