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Ancient church found in Israel

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posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 09:21 AM
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I thought this news might be of interst for Christians:

An archaeological excavation conducted at the Megiddo Prison, ordered by the Israel Prison Service prior to construction of a new prison wing uncovered rare finds of unusual significance to the Christian world.

Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have revealed a Christian religious structure - mosaic and ruins of a small building - from the 3rd-4th centuries C.E. ,a period prior to when practicing Christianity was allowed.

Megiddo is close to the ancient Tel Megiddo, which is believed to be Christian “Armageddon“



www.haaretz.com...


One of the most dramatic finds suggests that, instead of an altar, a simple table stood in the center of the church, at which a sacred meal was held to commemorate the Last Supper.



Three Greek inscriptions were discovered on the mosaic floor, as well as decorations, geometric designs and a medallion decorated with drawings of fish

Photographs of three Greek inscriptions in the mosaic were sent to Hebrew University expert Professor Leah Di Segni, who told Haaretz on Sunday that the use of the term "table" in one of them instead of the word "altar" might lead to a breakthrough in the study of ancient Christianity. It is commonly believed that church rituals based on the Last Supper took place around an altar.

The northern inscription mentions a Roman army officer who donated the money to build the floor. The eastern inscription commemorates four women, and the western inscription mentions a woman by the name of Ekeptos, who "donated this table to the god Jesus Christ in commemoration."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



(source: IAA)




I do not know if this is of interst for Christians, however the Hebrew article states the (eastern inscription) women`s names were Primilia, Kirikea, Dorothea and Kresta – and the northern inscription was dedicated by a military officer named Gaianus who contributed to the construction of the mosaic floor from his own funds.

Additionally, a large Roman period Jewish ritual bath (miqweh) was found.




Related News Links:
isracast.com
Israel Antiquities Authority.org.il



[edit on 6-11-2005 by Riwka]




posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 10:29 AM
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Hey, great find!



"I don't know if this structure can even be called a church," Di Sengi said.


Their dating may be a little off.



"The problem is that in Israel we have no mosaic inscriptions from this period, and they will have to be compared with inscriptions from Antioch or Rome," she said.


I'm looking forward to further excavation of the site.



The earliest churches, dating from around 330 CE, are the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Nativity in Bethlehem, and Alonei Mamre near Hebron. However, they contain only scant remains of the original structures, which were built by Emperor Constantine I.


If this is indeed the oldest Christian church, that would be a fantastic find. It appears to be quite substantial and well preserved.

Zip



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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That is fascinating, looks like the sign of Pisces in thise fish, which tells a lot.
I am going to try to find [weekend lull] more on the news..
Thank you for the pictures..



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 12:59 PM
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Good point, Siriuslyone. I didn't really notice, jut noted that it was fish, but it does look like the double fish for pisces.

I find it interesting that the inscription says 'for the god jesus christ'. Not relevatory, just seems an odd way of saying it to me.

Also of interet:

Primilia, Kirikea, Dorothea and Kresta, ekeptos

These are not jewish names no, they are latinish names? Might've expected the earleist church to have a strong jewish element. Then again they're saying it might be, at earliest, from the 3rd century, so thats already pretty late. The Gospels are in full circulation at this point to I think.

I don't understand why the fact that its a table rather than an altar is significant, I thought it was understood that the early services were held in houses as communal meals? Unless this is significant because its a confirmation.


How ironic, that its at Armegedon and dug up by prisoners making a prison.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 01:33 PM
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[[[[These are not jewish names no, they are latinish names? Might've expected the earleist church to have a strong jewish element. Then again they're saying it might be, at earliest, from the 3rd century, so thats already pretty late. The Gospels are in full circulation at this point to I think.

I don't understand why the fact that its a table rather than an altar is significant, I thought it was understood that the early services were held in houses as communal meals? Unless this is significant because its a confirmation.


How ironic, that its at Armegedon and dug up by prisoners making a prison]]]]

Very fascinating, especially. how do they know it was a used for any meals???.
The genesis of thses female names are interesting
Primilia--mentioned in Homer's Odyssey
Dorothea-Gift of g-d--Greek
Kresta-no genesis

Ekeptos-nothing at all.
At least on Google.


Perhaps it was a place of goddess worship and may be earlier than they WISH to admit to.?
Something is screwy here..
I see no signs of Jewry yet.


[edit on 6-11-2005 by siriuslyone]

[edit on 6-11-2005 by siriuslyone]



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 02:30 PM
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Latest from Al-jazeera, five hours ago.
They have a different slant, but find it confusing too.

english.aljazeera.net...



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by siriuslyone

how do they kmow it was a prison???



Israeli archaeologists have found the ruins on the grounds of a todays maximum-security prison.

The excavation of this mosaic and and the remains of this building was begun prior to the issuing of building permits for a new wing of the Megiddo prison.



By now, this is considered by the archiologists to be the oldest church in the world.

Christian religious buildings from that period are rare archeological findings in Israel.

(The earliest churches, dating from around 330 C.E., are the "Holy Sepulcher" in Jerusalem, the "Nativity" in Bethlehem, and "Alonei Mamre" near Hebron).

According to the archeologists, the wording of the inscriptions, letter forms, finds and other epigraphical features date the structure to the 3-4th centuries C.E., and the problem is, since in Israel we have no mosaic inscriptions from this period, the mosaics will have to be compared with inscriptions from Antioch or Rome..


Originally posted by siriuslyone

Ekeptos-nothing at all.



I am sorry...the vowels....(hebrew alephbet does not have vowels)

IAA reported the correct name might be Akaptos .



Originally posted by siriuslyone

I see no signs of Jewry yet



The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and its Second Temple ca 70 C.E. and the vast majority of Jews were exiled. Jewish communities mainly concentrated in Jerusalem, Tsfat, Tiberias and Hebron at that time (3rd /4th C.E.)

(However, other discoveries at the prison include dwellings from the Roman times and Mikwee (a ritual bath), which was sealed and built on top of during the Byzantine period [4th-6th centuries])


Originally posted by Nygdan

I don't understand why the fact that its a table rather than an altar is significant, I thought it was understood that the early services were held in houses as communal meals?



To be honest: I quoted this from the source I provided, because this part is written as if it sounds important for Christians.

I am a Jew and I do not know much about Christian rituals except that Christian rituals were prohibited in the Roman Empire prior to the year 313 C.E., and Christians had to pray in secret in catacombs or private homes.


[edit on 6-11-2005 by Riwka]



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by siriuslyone
That is fascinating, looks like the sign of Pisces in thise fish, which tells a lot.
I am going to try to find [weekend lull] more on the news..
Thank you for the pictures..


I believe the significance of the fish is that in Ancient Greek the word for fish is 'ixthus' spelt with 5 Greek letter.

The first stands for 'Iesous' or the Greek for Jesus. The second character 'x' stands for 'Xristos' (Christ). The third is the Greek character 'theta', which stands for 'theos' (God), 4th = U or more accurately Ypsilon which stands for Yio or 'son.' The 5th character is 'S' which stands for 'sotira' or saviour.

So the fish is symbolic for the phrase 'Jesus Christ, son of God, saviour' and identified one Christian to another. Sometimes three fish are placed together which represents the trinity.

Of course I may be wrong, but I don't think it has anything to do with the zodiac.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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Thank you!!
This is wonderful wisdom for me, as I have been doing off and on visits to a Rabbi, so that I may understand more, as I admire Jewry so much, but you know how hard ir is if you are not half Jewish for them to speak to you, and I can understand that..
I looked for all variations of those names in a kabbalistic dictionary and found none.
Being a second decan Pisces, the fishes when I saw that told me..THIS is a find for Israel!!
This is just the OT working in strange ways to make it clear what we knowers already realize.shalom



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 11:24 PM
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This is cool. I was also wondering what Ekeptos meant so I tried what siriuslyone suggested with Akeptos, I typed in Akeptos in the search bar and the only link I found I keep having a hard time trying to paste it, maybe the address is too long or I am just a bonehead
anyways it came up as "Kajero 41 Lasta Kunveno de HALE" the word the word only comes up here in info on the link it says "Sil akeptos sian postenon" this all sounds Italian or maybe latin ? Here is the url sorry it is long maybe mod can fix for me or someone with brain. http:/www./gazetoteko.com/kajeroj/k41akto.htm If anyone out there understands what I think is Italian maybe you could translate some of this I'm also curious about the table, that was brought by 'akeptos', where did she bring it from and who built it?



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 11:55 PM
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Originally posted by siriuslyone
That is fascinating, looks like the sign of Pisces in thise fish, which tells a lot.


That was the first thing I noticed as well. It's amazing how blind Christians are to the significance of the age of Pisces and the dawn of their religion.



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 01:19 AM
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Great find Riwka!

Simon_the_byron///




I believe the significance of the fish is that in Ancient Greek the word for fish is 'ixthus' spelt with 5 Greek letter.

The first stands for 'Iesous' or the Greek for Jesus. The second character 'x' stands for 'Xristos' (Christ). The third is the Greek character 'theta', which stands for 'theos' (God), 4th = U or more accurately Ypsilon which stands for Yio or 'son.' The 5th character is 'S' which stands for 'sotira' or saviour.

So the fish is symbolic for the phrase 'Jesus Christ, son of God, saviour' and identified one Christian to another. Sometimes three fish are placed together which represents the trinity.

Of course I may be wrong, but I don't think it has anything to do with the zodiac.

You are not mistaken,
It has nothing to do with Astrology!

As for the female names mentioned,
DOROTHEA.......could also mean DORO....Gift.
KARASTA........not sure
AKAPTOS......?
Kiriaki......LORDS DAY...Sunday.....also the female equivalent of Sunday is KIRIAKA.

if I get some info, i will post it.

This was mentioned on the news tonight, but nothing much said as expected!

IX
helen



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 01:31 AM
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How is this a find fir Israel? And oldest christian church found in their backyard which says, jesus is God. I am confused, wouldn't that be more like a slap in the face for Isreal?



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 03:13 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

I don't understand why the fact that its a table rather than an altar is significant, I thought it was understood that the early services were held in houses as communal meals?


I found something on this question:

The second and third centuries were transitional periods where people sought to define their religious beliefs and modes of worship

The inscription, which specifies that a table has been donated, indicates the house of worship predated the Byzantine era, when Christians began using altars in place of tables in their rituals.


Originally posted by An_Absolute_Creation_help

And oldest christian church found in their backyard which says, jesus is God. I am confused, wouldn't that be more like a slap in the face for Isreal?


Why?

Jews do not believe in Jesus, Muslims do not believe Jesus is G-d, xyz... do not - but the Christians do.




[edit on 7-11-2005 by Riwka]



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 06:15 AM
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Originally posted by siriuslyone


english.aljazeera.net...


using this article as a jumping off point....

i recall that the early Christians were just a cult,
a radical sect...immersed in superstitions and magic according to Roman historians.

i sorta suspect that the early Jesus worshipers could very well have been mostly females...a natural evolution of the 'Oracles' (which were generally women), into the priestesses of the Jesus cult of magic.

just like in the overthrow of Matriarchal Social Order in the world
the Patriarchs took over the proto-christian cult,
did away with the priestess tradition & the 'tables' of magic paraphenalia
and installed the Priestly clerics and the robust Alter as the 'vortex' of energy & the 'transmutation rituals'...

I might suggest that the Roman military officer or maybe Centurion,
donated $$ to this bevy-of-beauties...not unlike the intrigues that occur in this day & age, with 'laundered' monies which is often expected to be returned by favors.....



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by siriuslyone
Perhaps it was a place of goddess worship and may be earlier than they WISH to admit to.?

I don't see why that'd be. Simply because there are women involed? THe early christian community had lots of 'church' services in people's houses, where, naturally (for the time) women would be important.
I don't think that they etymology of the names can be said to be significant, unless the names are 'new' latin names, proclaiming faith in the triune god or somesuch.

Also, this is in judea, where there wasn't much goddess worship, at least not at the time under consideration.


riwka
IAA reported the correct name might be Akaptos

This is a jewish name then? I had thought it was greek.

simon_the_byron
So the fish is symbolic for the phrase 'Jesus Christ, son of God, saviour'

Yes, and I should note that that would be the normal understanding of the usage of the fish, and indeed it makes sense as such. However, it is intersting that its the double fish of pisces.

helen
.....also the female equivalent of Sunday is KIRIAKA

Wow, interesting. That might settle that one. Might also indicate that sunday was the christian day of worship already at this point, indeed, for some years before if, not only was this person named that when born, but that the day was important enough to her parents that they'd use it. Might pull the rug out from under the idea that constantine 'decreed' that sunday was the holy day.


st udio
a natural evolution of the 'Oracles' (which were generally women), into the priestesses of the Jesus cult of magic.

Women were often oracels yes, but not average women. I think that the connexion with the House Services is the place to look for why this 'church' had three women invovled in it.

Also note of interest that a military officer is inovlved in it. The legions tended to favour Mithraism, from what I understand, so this is interesting too.


Also, if the church is as old as suspected, then its also important insofar as, apparently, the other oldest churches are ones made by the emperor Constantine, so this is really siginificant.

Might represent the state of the christian community immedeately prior to legalization, and again the support/patronage of an army official is significant in this 'mainstreaming' process.


And to again clarify on the fish element, its already known that christers used the fish as a symbol for jesus, long long before anyone was using the cross.
Also, the use of the fish here, especially if we accept it as a duplicate of the zodiac sign of pisces, might infact be a way of hiding the worship, assuming that the worship was still illegal or unpopular. They could say, we're not christers, we're just good 'ol latins, like you.


I would like to see a better pic of the inscriptions also. I just realized that its significant if it uses the phraseology jesus christ, because often we hear that that simply wasn't the usage. It also shows that this first church was already well accepting of the divinity of christ, which was contested, but that contestation might be a very small minority.

Also of interest, there is no mention of any apostles.

Also of interest, what is the rank of Gaianus? I doubt it says 'military officer gaianus', it almost certainly will give a word that would indicate it. Might be centurion, but there are lots of other offices within the military.

Indeed, what's his social status too. That doesn't look like a patrician's name to me. Does that indicate that, perhaps, christianity was more accepted by the lower classes? Mere inclusion as an officer doesn't mean too too much in terms of social status.

So much tantalizing information here.



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 12:08 PM
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Nygdan, I am still new to being a member, so bear with me. I posted earlier the address for a site ,which I am still having a hard time trying to paste the link, the site seems to contain some kind of musical score, but refers to the word ( akeptos ) also there is line that says (Jesuo del Heras) it could be the name of an opera?, but in previous post I thought it was Italian but I am pretty sure that this site is in Spanish. Maybe "Jesuo " is spanish or spanish slang for Jesus. I will keep trying to paste the link, I know you are a Moderator, and you have much superior power.
All I did was type in "Akeptos" in the MSN search bar and this is the link I got. If it is some sort of opera or musical score I wonder where or what the name refers to ? I am hoping someone else can find this site too.



posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by helen670
You are not mistaken,
It has nothing to do with Astrology!


The fish symbol itself dates to the origins of the church (and long before!), but the assignment of the Ichthus acronym came later on and is clearly ad hoc.

There are other hidden symbols in the Bible that demonstrate the origin of the fish symbol is related to Pisces. For example, John 21:11:

Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.

Why 153 fish? 153 is a coded reference to the Vesica Pisces. The w/h ratio = 265/153 for the Vesica Pisces as defined by Pythagoras 500 years before Christianity. 153 was considered a sacred number known as "the measure of the fish" by the mystical Pythagoreans.

Archaeology is finally revealing what the church has succesfully hidden for nearly 2000 years.



posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 01:37 PM
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Washington Post Article

Pointed out by someone else.

Gaianos, also called Porphyrio, centurion, our brother, having sought honor with his own money, has made this mosaic. Brouti has carried out the work

So it looks like he was a centurion.
and another

The God-loving Aketous has offered this table to the God Jesus Christ, as a memorial



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 07:35 AM
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Simon_the_byron

You are correct, the Fish was a very popular symbol for early Chritisans since it was a way to identify fellow christians without being percecuted. But the double fish would have to be a Roman slant on the same theme.

As far as the alter/table, an alter is nothing more then a table use for religious practices, but the fact it is CALLED a table instead of an alter is strange.

Spamandham, i think you still ahve me on ignore, but I would like to make a clarification before people join you on the limb you ahve gone out on. The 153 Fish is only significat, in that it shows the Gospel of John was HISTORICAL and based on a witness of the events. Someone actually counted all the fish and decided to record it.


John 21:11-12 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord.




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