Find is first synagogue discovered in Galilee region and is believed to have been site where Jesus taught
Last week archeologists discovered an ancient synagogue in the Galilee region where Jesus is believed to have taught.
The synagogue, dating back to the Second Temple era (first century AD) was discovered last week during an ongoing, 10-year excavation at Tel Rechesh in the lower Galilee, the find significant as it is the first synagogue discovered in Galilee region and the eighth discovered synagogue dating to the Second Temple Era.
According to Dr. Motti Aviam of the Kineret Institute for Galilean Archeology, the synagogue is the “first synagogue discovered in the rural part of the Galilee and it confirms historical information we have about the New Testament, which says that Jesus preached at synagogues in Galilean villages.”
He explained that “The New Testament describes how Jesus delivered sermons in a synagogue in Capernaum and other synagogues in the Galilee… Christianity developed after he placed an emphasis on his sermons at synagogues in the Galilee. This makes the place very important for Christians.”
The findings shed light on the lifestyle of Jewish communities in that region. From initial understanding, the synagogue was constructed on the community’s agricultural estate where the Jewish families lived, as a synagogue would have been too far of a walking distance on the Sabbath. Aviam also pointed out that “We now know that if there is a Jewish settlement that is identified by stone vessels and an absence of pig bones and we find a building with benches along the walls, that is a synagogue.”
The synagogue was most likely abandoned following the Bar Kohba Revolt.