Archeologists have uncovered what was likely a synagogue in the center of Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene, the witness of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.
that Father Juan Solana purchased land in northern Israel to build a Christian retreat center six years ago. By law, he was required to perform test excavations, and soon discovered a first-century synagogue underneath the dirt.
"This is a holy site, I am sure of that," Solana told reporters.
According to scripture, Jesus was said to have preached in the synagogues of the Galilee region. The recently unearthed synagogue is the only one in the area that would have existed during Jesus' lifetime, so it's very likely that he preached there.
"She lived here and she met Jesus here and she continued with Him. Yes, it's that place," senior Israeli archaeologist Arfan Najar, who oversees the excavation at Magdala, told CBN News
"This is the closest synagogue to Capernaum where He lived. So it was likely He was here many times," added Solana.
So far, archeologists have uncovered mosaic flooring, frescos, pottery, and coins. Their biggest find, however, is the Magdala Stone, an alter or bimah.
In speaking about the carved platform, Solana explained, "This is the first time ever a menorah carved in stone has been found out of Jerusalem."
Additionally, archeologists have uncovered the town's purification baths and a bowl that was likely for the washing of hands before citizens entered the synagogue. The bowl is over 2,000 years old, and Jesus himself may have washed his hands there.
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