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December 17, 2015 11:16 am

Marble Slab Found Near Sea of Galilee Proves Ancient Jewish Settlement in Area

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The ancient marble slab found near the Sea of Galilee. Photo: Jennifer Munro/University of Haifa.

The ancient marble slab found near the Sea of Galilee. Photo: Jennifer Munro/University of Haifa.

JNS.org – A 1,500-year-old marble slab found on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee Wednesday provides the first real proof of ancient Jewish settlement in the area, archaeologists said. The large slab, which bears an Aramaic inscription in Hebrew script, was dug up on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee as part of an ongoing excavation in the ancient town of Kursi.

Experts say the slab probably dates to around 500 C.E., when the Hebrew alphabet was used by Jews and some local Christian communities. This suggest that Kursi was either a Jewish community or a mixed Christian-Jewish settlement. Researchers could only discern two words: “Amen” and “Marmaria,” the latter possibly referring to Jesus’s mother, Mary.

Professor Michal Artzi, an archaeologist from the University of Haifa and one of the supervisors of the excavation efforts, said that while it had been assumed that Jews had inhabited Kursi, Wednesday’s find provides the first proof.

“It is a rarity to discover proof of a Jewish presence on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Up to now, we had nothing proving that Jews settled on the lake’s shores during that era, other than in the town of Migdal,” Artzi said.

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Kursi is associated with the town of Garasenes or Gadarenes, where according to the New Testament, Jesus performed the Miracle of the Swine, in which he exorcised evil spirits from a man and cast them into a herd of wild pigs, which then rushed into the lake and drowned.

The excavation is being run under the auspices of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, with the support of the Avery-Tsui Foundation.

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  • To Don Krausz;Please do see a rabbi;learning from him may help you refrain from ignorant,mean spirited comments about Judaism.The”New”Testament that you refer to,came thousands of years after our Jewish laws were given to us.This”miracle
    of the swine”is of Christian belief;no relation to jewish dietary laws what so ever.If you are so inclined to learn and understand jewish law,it would surprise you that contained within the 613 laws(mitzvahs)given us,”kosher” has many,many rules about proper,humane treatment of all animals in the wild,on the field,and for our consumpion.

  • Jews DO NOT NEED archeological evidence to prove that the Land of Israel belongs to them; nor do they need archeological evidence to prove that their ancestors lived in the Land of Israel.

    Both of these facts are proven by the great-and-holy Tanach [Bible], which is often referred to as the OT [Only Testament].

    Furthermore, Cornelius Tacticus, the famous Jew-hating Roman historian who lived from year 56 CE (approximately) to year 120 CE said:

    “Much of Judea is thickly studded with villages, and the Jews have towns as well.

    Their capital is Jerusalem.

    Here stood their Temple with its boundless riches.”

    MODERN SOURCE OF QUOTE:
    The Western World (page 141) by Pearson Custom Publishing, year 2009 CE

    ORIGINAL SOURCE OF QUOTE:
    The Histories by Tacitus, The Jews (Book 5), paragraph 8 of 13.

    CONCLUSIONS FROM THIS QUOTE:
    {1} Muslims are LYING when they deny that Jews trace their historical origins to the Land of Israel.

    {2} Muslims are LYING when they deny that Jerusalem is the historical capital of the Jewish state.

    {3} Muslims are LYING when they deny that the Jewish Temple existed in Jerusalem.

    {4} Notice that Tacticus mentioned Judea, NOT Palestine.

    {5} Tacticus never mentioned the Palestinian people, even though he wrote
    much about Jews and their land, because there were no Palestinian people in his time.

    PS: http://www.camera.org * http://www.HonestReporting.com * http://www.memri.org * http://www.ActForAmerica.org * http://www.IsraelLawCenter.org

    • Muhammad Zafrullah

      “Jews DO NOT NEED archeological evidence to prove that the Land of Israel belongs to them; nor do they need archeological evidence to prove that their ancestors lived in the Land of Israel.”
      Correction:
      Jews DO NOT NEED archaeological evidence to prove that the Land of Israel belonged to them; nor do they need archaeological evidence to prove that their ancestors lived in the Land of Israel.
      No one has ever disputed that Israelite lived in this area thousands of years ago. But then they left for greener pastures in Egypt and didn’t look back until they were brought back and then they spread in the Muslim world. Only after problems in Spain they came to Europe in large numbers. If they didn’t have problems in Germany they would probably not want to come back to the old place reeking of old Biblical crime and punishment stories.

  • As a vegetarian and supporter of animal welfare I strongly object to this biblical example of cruelty to animals. Is there no veterany medicine that acts against evil spirits without having to drown the pigs? With the miracles attributed to Jesus, was there no other way? What does the drowning of pigs suffering from evil spirits do the the purity of the water and the fish?

    Presumedly the fish would have eaten the pigs, been caught by local fishermen and their evil spirits would have passed on to those that consumed those fish. Could this be a source of the biblical prohibition of the consumption of pork by Jews? What are the chances of the local consumers of fish caught in Lake Kinneret still being at risk of this devilish contamination? How long does it take for such contamination of pork to dissipate?
    I have swum in Lake Kinneret. Would it now be advisable for me to see a rabbi or get a medical examination? Do I need to go to a mikveh?

    • isahiah62

      Don if you are JEWISH why believe the tall tales told about Jesus at all? We don’t worship men who made magic tricks or miracles. Do you think he turned water to wine? or walked upon water?
      Don’t worry be happy you are watched over by a higher authority.

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