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August 7, 2017 10:54 am

Roman City That Was Home to Jesus’ Apostles Found in Israel, Archaeologists Say

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Ruins of Bethsaida in 2011. Photo: Petr Brož via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Archaeologists say they have discovered a lost Roman city that was home to three of Jesus’s apostles — Peter, Andrew and Philip — on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.

The Israeli researchers’ claim centers on the discovery of remains from a Roman-style bathhouse in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve, which is said to be the former location of the lost Roman city of Julias.

The Jewish historian Josephus Flavius wrote that the son of the biblical King Herod had built Julias, which was named after Julia Augusta, the mother of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. In the New Testament, Philip, Andrew and Peter are said to be from the town of Bethsaida.

Researchers said the bathhouse’s discovery denotes the existence of a large advanced city in the area.

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“Josephus reported that the king had upgraded Bethsaida from a village into a polis, a proper city,” said Dr. Mordechai Aviam of the Holy Land Studies department at Israel’s Kinneret College, Haaretz reported. “He didn’t say it had been built on or beside or underneath it. And indeed, all this time, we have not known where it was. But the bathhouse attests to the existence of urban culture.”

The archaeologists discovered the remains of the Roman bathhouse some 700 feet below sea level, and also found pottery shards and a mosaic at the site.

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