The Biblical Archaeology Society is updating information released in 2020. Scholars and archaeologists have known about the excavation site under the Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Nazareth since 1887. It wasn’t until excavation was properly done 2006 that its full and extraordinary meaning was understood. The society says there’s strong evidence this is the home where Jesus grew up.
We are excited about the news because it is just 1,200 feet from the site of ancient Nazareth’s wine press. That site is under the protection of Nazareth Village, a living-history museum where we take tour groups to learn about life in the time of Jesus.
And it all makes sense. The wine press would have been just on the edge of Nazareth, and farmers would have brought in their harvest for the annual wine or olive oil production. While not farmers, Jesus and his family would have lived nearby in the vilage.
A big surprise
Discovered by Prof. Ken Dark of the University of Reading in England, he previously published details about the discovery in his book The Sisters of Nazareth Convent: A Roman-period, Byzantine, and Crusader site in central Nazareth.
Nobody could have been more surprised than me.”
“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 told the BBC. “Nobody could have been more surprised than me.”
So what about the house of Jesus? The excavations found a typical Jewish “courtyard house” from the first century that was built partly from natural rock and partly with walls made of stone. Amazingly, many of the original parts of the house are still there, like the doors and windows, a cistern! Also there are and the remains of an early Byzantine church that were built over the house to protect it.
Other clues to authenticity
There are other archaeological and physical clues from the nearby Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well that all point to this place as the home of Jesus, states the society.
News like this excites Anita and me. The goal of our Israel tours is to make the scriptures come to life for each of our guests in a very personal way! We do this through archaeology, history, geography, culture, botany and language. Even food! This sheds new light on the Scriptures and provides a deeper understanding. As someone once said, reading the Bible after walking in the steps of Jesus is like reading it in color, where before it was only black and white.
We plan to add this site to our itinerary next year!
We also have a Steps of Paul cruise and tour through Greece and Turkey in October 2024.
We would love to have you join us on for an exceptional time, hosted by Anita and me. Don’t delay. Health concerns, weddings, the birth of a grandchild and more compete for your time. If it’s on your bucket list, just make it happen. We would be honored for you to join us.