Archaeologists May Have Found Ruins Of Town Where Jesus Appeared After Resurrection
Archaeologists claim they may have found the ruins of the biblical town of Emmaus - where Jesus is said to have appeared before two of his apostles after his resurrection.
A joint excavation project between Tel Aviv University and the Collège de France at Kiriath-Jearim, a hill on the outskirts of village Abu Ghosh, near Jerusalem, has uncovered the 2,220-year-old remains of a fortification that Professor Israel Finkelstein believes could be the town.
Speaking to Haaretz, the professor said: "The importance of this site, its dominant position over Jerusalem, was felt again and again through time: in the eighth century BCE, and then again in the Hellenistic period and then again after the First Jewish Revolt and the sack of Jerusalem in 70 CE."
The remains fit the bill in terms of how the town is described in Luke 24:13-35 - in that they are that of a fortification seven miles west of Jerusalem. However, Benjamin Isaac, emeritus professor of ancient history from Tel Aviv University, reckons that Finkelstein and Thomas Römer (who joint lead the project) can't say for definite that they have found Emmaus.
He said: "Finkelstein and Römer have a good case archaeologically, geographically, and topographically, however, it is a hypothesis and remains a hypothesis."
As well as being the town where Jesus rocked up after his crucifixion and resurrection, Emmaus is also named in the Bible as one of the places where the Ark of the Covenant was prior to King David taking it to Jerusalem. If you've not brushed up on your Bible studies in a while, the Ark is the thing that was built to hold the Ten Commandments.
The latest findings of the dig will be published in a paper in the journal 'New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region.'
Speaking to Fox News, Professor Finkelstein said: "The finds at Kiriath-Jearim hint at its long-term role as guarding the approach to Jerusalem.
"This can be seen in the Iron Age, Hellenistic and early Roman periods. The Hellenistic and Roman period remains shed light on the much-debated issue of the location of the New Testament's Emmaus.
"Reading the Bible, it is important to distinguish historical facts from the ideological/theological stances of the authors."
Römer added: "Geographically I think that the distance to Jerusalem fits well, so I do think that Kiriath Yearim could have been the Emmaus of the New Testament."
Featured Image Credit: The Shmunis Family Foundation Excavations at Kiriath-Jearim