Ancient Church of the Apostles Uncovered Near Sea of Galilee

Mosaic of Church of the Apostles (Breaking Israel News/Zak Wong)

The Church of the Apostles, which is said to have been built over the house of Jesus' disciples Peter and Andrew, has been unearthed by a team of Israeli and American archaeologists along the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.

For the past four years, the international team of experts has been uncovering the ancient Jewish fishing village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Bethsaida eventually became the Roman village of Julias

The story of this ancient find started in A.D. 725 with a Christian pilgrim named Saint Willibald, the 8th-century bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria. During his travels in the Sea of Galilee, he set sail from Capernaum to Kursi. On the way, he stopped in Bethsaida and saw the Church of Peter and Andrew. This church was built over the homes of the houses of Jesus' disciples – Peter and Andrew.

In an exclusive interview with Breaking Israel News, Dr. Moti Aviam, professor of archaeology at the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College, said, "There is no other church that is known between Capernaum and Kursi. We also assume that the site we are digging in El Araj is a more likely candidate to be the location of Bethsaida than is the Jordan Park, which is a few kilometers away".

Aviam and his colleague, R. Steven Notley, knew that they discovered a church when they saw common indicators such as tessera and other pieces of marble that coincide with the design of a church during that time period. Until now, the team has unearthed the southern wall and mosaic floors. However, Aviam admits that they need at least another two to three years to uncover the rest of the church.

This article originally appeared at Breaking Israel News.

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