Professor Believes 1st Century House In Nazareth Could Be Jesus' Home
Professor Ken Dark says there is a 'strong case to be made' for the 1st century dwelling sitting underneath a modern convent in the Israeli city being the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Dark, a professor from the University of Reading, said the case for it being Christ's childhood stomping ground was first made back in the 1800s, but then dismissed by other archaeologists in the 1930s.
However, Dark has now spent 14 years studying the site, and is therefore pretty well placed to make suggestions about what it was.
He reckons it isn't out of the question that Jesus and his family could have lived there.
Dark told BBC News: "I didn't go to Nazareth to find the house of Jesus, I was actually doing a study of the city's history as a Byzantine Christian pilgrimage centre.
"Nobody could have been more surprised than me."
The site is located underneath a church from the Byzantine era, which is itself underneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, which is what stands on the location today.
The professor continued: "We know from written evidence this church was believed in the Byzantine period to have been built on the site of Jesus' home and the dwelling preserved in its crypt.
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"It's almost certainly the Church of the Nutrition, which was dedicated to the upbringing of Christ, and mentioned in a 7th Century pilgrim's account."
Throughout his work since 2006, Dark has confirmed that the house is certainly from the 1st century, putting it right at the correct time, and has been hewn out of a rocky hillside.
Whoever crafted the house obviously knew how to work stone properly, and could have been something which - at the time - would have been referred to as a tekton.
That's an ancient word that basically describes a master craftsman, and is also - coincidentally or not - the word that is used to describe Jesus' father - well, one of them at least - Joseph in the Bible.
While we traditionally think of Joseph as a carpenter, that may not be the case. It could just be a slight mistranslation that has become popular over the centuries that have passed.
However, Dark is quick to point out that there is no concrete evidence to prove that it is Jesus' childhood home, but added that 'this is about as close as we will probably ever get to being able to say it was'.
Featured Image Credit: K.R. Dark
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