Archaeologists excavating at el-Araj, one of the candidate sites for the lost New Testament town of Bethsaida, have carefully removed the mosaic floor of the apse of a Byzantine church and have identified two earlier walls beneath it. One of the walls appears to have been “boxed in” by the apse and dates to the second or third century AD. Nearby, the team discovered an earlier wall perpendicular to the first and dating to the first century AD. The Byzantine church is believed to be the one mentioned in the writings of Willibald, the bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria, who visited Bethsaida in AD 725 and described a church that was built over the house of Peter and Andrew. The team's hypothesis is that the Byzantines venerated the second- or third-century wall, mistakenly believing it to belong to the house of Peter and Andrew, since the first-century wall was likely under centuries of dirt by that point. This, of course, presumes that the first-century wall belonged to the house of Peter. More research is needed to determine whether it belongs to a house.
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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