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Christ Inscription Unearthed in Israeli Village

Christ Inscription Unearthed in Israeli Village

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A 1,500-year-old Greek Christ inscription bearing the words “Christ born of Mary” has been discovered at an excavation at the ancient village of Taibe, in northern  Israel. This finding has not only revealed the first Byzantine church in the ancient settlement of Taibe, but it represents early evidence of  Christianity in the region.

The Israel Antiquities Authority  (IAA) announced on Wednesday that a team of archaeologists were excavating ahead of the building of a new road inside the Muslim Arab village of Taiba in northeastern Israel’s Jezreel Valley. The researchers discovered the faded ancient inscription built into a wall at the entrance of an impressive  Byzantinebuilding that was decorated with geometrically designed mosaic pavements.

IAA archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre told  The Jerusalem Post  that the team knew this was an area where many archaeological remains had already been found, but when they came across the “ Christ born of Mary” inscription, “we knew we had a church.” What they didn’t know at first, however, was that they had discovered the first  Byzantinechurch in the ancient settlement of Taiba and evidence of early Christians in the area.

The Christ inscription was found when excavating a building in the Muslim Arab village of Taiba in northeastern Israel. (Tzachi Lang / Israel Antiquities Authority)

The Christ inscription was found when excavating a building in the Muslim Arab village of Taiba in northeastern Israel. (Tzachi Lang /  Israel Antiquities Authority )

An Ancient Blessing Protecting All Who Enter from Evil

Dr. Leah Di Segni is a researcher at the  Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem . According to the professor, the term “Christ born of Mary” is a greeting, or a blessing, cast over all those who entered the holy building. Di Segni added that the inscription confirms the building was a  church, and not a monastery, because ancient churches “greeted believers at their entrance, while monasteries tended not to do this.”

In the 5th century AD, Theodosius was the regional archbishop of the metropolis of Bet She’an, the center of the religious life and the capital of Palaestina Secunda, a Byzantine province from 390 AD until the Muslim invasion of circa 636 AD, which incorporated Taibe. Di Segni explained that Theodosius’ name appears on documents related to archbishops’ meetings, and that the words “Christ born of Mary” were widely used at the beginning of his documents. It is thought that the term served as a sort of blessing, spell,  charm or incantation serving to “protect from evil,” and similarly, this is most probably why the words were originally installed above the church door.

Excavations at Taibe have unearthed this most recent Christ inscription. (Einat Ambar-Armon / Israel Antiquities Authority)

Excavations at Taibe have unearthed this most recent Christ inscription. (Einat Ambar-Armon /  Israel Antiquities Authority )

The First Byzantine Church in Taibe

The blessing originally stood above the entrance of the church but it was discovered in the more modern church walls, so it had been reused as construction material at some time in the past when the building collapsed and was rebuilt. Taibe was a Christian village in the Byzantine period between the 5th to 7th centuries and later became the site of a Crusader fortress. IAA archaeologist Dr. Walid Atrash points out that while archaeologists have explored the  Jezreel Valley  for many years, most of their findings relate to ancient Christians, but this discovery is “the first evidence of the Byzantine church’s existence in the village of Taibe.” 

Putting this discovery into historical context, according to C.R. Conder and H.H. Kitchener’s 1882 book  The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology , in ancient times Taibe was known as “Tubi,” and it was listed among the places paying tribute to  Thutmose III of Egypt . This was confirmed when sarcophagus remains were found northeast of the village. This area later functioned as a graveyard during the Roman and Byzantine eras. 

The Times of Israel  says that the ruins of the Crusader-period church that were previously discovered at Taibe were the most significant archaeological Christian features at the village, but now, this carving is the “first evidence of a Christian presence from the earlier Byzantine era.” And even though  Taibe is not mentioned in the  New Testament , this singular  inscription has finally “closed the circle, and now we know there were Christians in this area during this era,” said the researchers. 

Top image: The phrase “Christ born of Mary” was found carved in stone on the Christ inscription discovered during excavations in Taibe, Israel. Source: Tzachi Lang / Israel Antiquities Authority

By Ashley Cowie

Comments

Hi All,

If this wasn't a New Feature article; pertaining to the discovery of an early Church in Israel with Special inscription and The mentioning of Jezreel I would not be discussing these two Topics. Since these Subjects are here then I'll address a few minor details in this comment section and it is a Great Article.

This is an exciting find proof the church building was just a Church and not a huge Monastery where Real Greeters Met both Strangers and friends to the Door.

Strangely I do find it fascinating that it was uncovered in Jezreel, that area saw more action depicted in The Scriptures; than in other places in Israel save maybe The Southern Kingdom of Judah.

Jezreel is where the Palace of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel resided. As I understand Jezreel's Palace had been built for Queen Jezebel as a gift from Ahab. Occasionally King Ahab remained at his palace that He had built for Himself in Samaria.

Jezreel is where Jehu Newly Anointed King with Olive Oil, upon the instruction of The God of Israel Yahweh through the Prophet Elijah, the Tishbite, from Gilgal, blotted out the Bloodline of Ahab and Queen Jezebel.

As everyone can see we have A Biblical Game of Thrones taking place in these Scriptures, minus Dire Wolves; however, in those places in The Ancient World; Royalty may have kept Lions or other Big Cat's as Pet's.

Thus becoming The New King of The Northern Kingdom of Israel, The Southern Kingdom in Judah near Jerusalem was ruled by King David's Bloodline.

Another odd occurrence regarding Jezreel; The Prophet Hosea, was instructed from The God of Hosea's Father's (this is how The Bible words it in the Old Testament), to marry a prostitute Homer I believe her name was whom He had 3 Children by.

Oh before I forget I know this wouldn't be of any interest to the Ancient Origins; community but, I still would like to share this the Bishop T.D. Jakes', He did a sermon titled; "Woman Thou Art Loose".

The sermon was a big deal because Bishop Jakes did it Live on TV/Radio at an All Women's Prison, this Sermon was based on the Biblical Account of Hosea.

Okay, before, I side track to share about an special event and name of a sermon; Unto Hosea's 3 Children and Jezreel.

God told Hosea to name one of his Son's Jezreel because of the Judgement God would Render Against Jehu's bloodline; for what Jehu did too King Ahab's Bloodline apparently, Jehu took it too far. It's a thing of Beauty with Irony at least, in my Book.

If anyone is confused why did God tell Hosea to marry a prostitute? She was to Symbolize Israel constant cheating on God that's why some Biblical Text in The Old Testament; got harsher overtime.

God was calling out Israel, Judah, and Samaria for Cheating on Him with Idol's and taking part in ceremonies; around those Idol's that the people of God were worshipping.

I'm aware that people might cheer Israel choosing to worship these Idol's, but, the reason why Israel, Judah, an Samaria got called out for this behavior is because Generationally Israel had agreed to the Terms of The Covenant that had been established between First Abraham and God, and later agreed to by Isaac, and Israel after those 3 Patriarchs an after, 430 years of Slavery in Egypt, All of Israel at Mount Sinai Said Yes.

This symbolically with Israel was a Spiritual Marriage Contract with God. This is why God used the example with Hosea's Marriage to Gomer.

Alright, that's all I have too say on this Topic I hope future discoveries are made in Jezreel, Israel also this is who I am,
I do believe in the Bible; always-have-always will so until next time Everyone, Goodbye!

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