Time is past for new books of the Bible, but new discoveries are being made in Biblical archeology all the time. Here are three amazing discoveries from 2016:
1. Stone Jar Factory Near Cana
Researchers found a cave they thought may have been used as a workshop to produce stone goods in 2001, but only began a detailed dig in August 2016. They found various limestone goods (bowls, cups, etc) in various stages of completion, cementing their earlier hypothesis.
While they’ve only found fragments of smaller items, it’s thought that the water jugs that were used at the Wedding at Cana depicted in John 2:1-11 may have been manufactured in this cave, or if not, in one very much like it. Adding evidence to that claim is the cave’s location one mile from the town Kafr Kanna, which is identified with the biblical town of Cana.
2. Jewish Temple Tile Designed Recreated
The Temple Mount Sifting Project has been examining tons of dirt from some excavations done in 1999. In September 2016, they announced they’ve been able to recreate seven different tile designs they believe were used in the Temple.
Ceaser Augustus gave these tiles as a gift to King Herod. Yes, that Ceaser Augustus and that King Herod. Some of the reconstructions of tile designs fit so well that “one could not even insert a sharp blade between them.” Wow! The Temple has always been described as beautiful, and now we have a chance to see some of it. Really cool!
3. Unsealing Jesus’ Tomb
Constantine searched for Jesus’ tomb in 325. That search led him to a Roman pagan temple built in the 100’s to discourage Christians from visiting the holy site. Later, that temple was destroyed and a new church was built. That church was destroyed in 1009 and another was later rebuilt. That rebuilt church stands today.
Historians and researchers haven’t been able to tell for sure if the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is really built on top of Jesus’ tomb. The best way to find out? Crack open the decorative and protective covering and see what’s inside.
Researchers had only 60 hours to get in and get out. After digging through many layers of marble and fill dirt, they finally found what they believe to be the rock on which Jesus’ body laid after the crucifixion.
According to Dan Bahat, former city archaeologist of Jerusalem, “We may not be absolutely certain that the site of the Holy Sepulchre Church is the site of Jesus’ burial, but we certainly have no other site that can lay a claim nearly as weighty, and we really have no reason to reject the authenticity of the site.”
These three discoveries were chosen from Christianity Today’s Top 10 2016 Discoveries. Check out the whole list on their site.
Jewish ‘Stone Age’ factory from time of Jesus surfaces in Galilee | The Times of Israel
Archaeologists restore Second Temple flooring from Waqf’s trash | Haaretz
Unsealing of Christ’s Reputed Tomb Turns Up New Revelations | National Geographic
Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2016 | Christianity Today
Photo: Menahem Kahana, AFP, featured in the Haaretz article about Temple Tiles