Prision to Church

Prision to Church

Wow – look at those Christian Fish!

Fish circling - photo copyright Ariel Schalit-AP

What a fabulous find! One of the most ancient christian churches – and where is it? In Megiddo. MEGIDDO! And how did they find it? Starting construction on a new prison wing for Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli prisoner Ramil Razilo was removing rubble from the planned site of a new prison ward when his shovel uncovered the edge of an elaborate mosaic, unveiling what Israeli archaeologists said Sunday may be the Holy Land’s oldest church.

The discovery of the church in the northern Israeli town of Megiddo, near the biblical Armageddon, was hailed by experts as an important discovery that could reveal details about the development of the early church in the region. Archaeologists said the church dated from the third century, decades before Constantine legalized Christianity across the Byzantine Empire.

GO! Look at it! There’s video too!

Two mosaics inside the church — one covered with fish, an ancient Christian symbol that predated the widespread use of the cross symbol — tell the story of a Roman officer and a woman named Aketous who donated money to build the church in the memory “of the god, Jesus Christ.”

Pottery remnants from the third century, the style of Greek writing used in the inscriptions, ancient geometric patterns in the mosaics and the depiction of fish rather than the cross indicate that the church was no longer used by the fourth century, Tepper said.

The church’s location, not far from the spot where the New Testament says the final battle between good and evil will take place, also made sense because a bishop was active in the area at the time, said Tepper, who works with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The inscription, which specifies that Aketous donated a table to the church, indicates the house of worship predated the Byzantine era, when Christians began using altars in place of tables in their rituals, Tepper said. Remnants of a table were uncovered between the two mosaics.

What a train of thought that sets off for me.

Incredible. Ironic. Funny. Sweet.

(Thank you Etherealgirl!- extra, extra !!!..!)

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