Excavators at El-Araj, a candidate for the site of New Testament Bethsaida, unearthed two inscriptions which they believe demonstrates they have found the remains of the Byzantine “Church of the Apostles.” The Byzantine church is said to have been built over the house of Peter and Andrew in Bethsaida, and was described by Willibald, Bishop of Bavaria, in AD 725. The two inscriptions are incomplete, but enough is left to determine that one is a dedication to a bishop and describes renovations to the church during his time in office, and the other mentions the church deacon who built the compound. In addition, more flowing mosaics and walls were unearthed, which are oriented in an east-west direction, typical of many Byzantine churches. The excavators also discovered that the church was mysteriously buried after it was destroyed by an earthquake in AD 749. Walls were built on top of it along the exact outline of the original structure. In recent years, the excavators of both El-Araj and Et-Tell (located 3 km inland from the shore of the Sea of Galilee), have claimed to be the site of Bethsaida. A link to ABR’s Digging For Truth episode entitled, “Where is Biblical Bethsaida?” is included below.
DIGGING FOR TRUTH – EPISODE 85 - WHERE IS BIBLICAL BETHSADA?
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