Unearthing the World of Jesus

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Unearthing the World of Jesus

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:38 pm

Surprising archaeological finds are breaking new ground in our understanding of Jesus’s time—and the revolution he launched 2,000 years ago

As he paced the dusty shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, Father Juan Solana had a less-than-charitable thought about the archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority: He wanted them to go away.Everything else had fallen into place for the Christian retreat he planned to build here. Just up the road was the “evangelical triangle” of Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida, the villages where, according to the Gospels, Jesus mesmerized crowds with his miraculous acts and teachings. Across the modern two-lane highway was a small town Israelis still call Migdal, because it was the presumed site of Magdala, the ancient fishing city that was home to Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’s most loyal followers.

Solana is an urbane, silver-haired priest with the Legionaries of Christ, a Catholic order founded in Mexico. By that summer of 2009, he’d already raised $20 million for his retreat, which he was calling the “Magdala Center.” He’d bought four adjoining parcels of waterfront land. He’d gotten building permits for a chapel and a guesthouse with more than 100 rooms. Just three months earlier, Pope Benedict XVI had personally blessed the cornerstone. All that remained now was an irksome bit of red tape: a “salvage excavation,” a routine dig by the Israeli government to ensure that no important ruins lay beneath the proposed building site. The IAA archaeologists had mucked around on Solana’s 20 acres for a month and found little. “Almost done?” he’d ask, emerging in his clerical robes from a shipping container that served as a makeshift office. “I have a budget! I have a timetable!”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/unearthing-world-jesus-180957515/#tdxggltPhRLXOHYI.99
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