Archaeologists Excavating a site near the sea of galilee have discovered an ancient structure that they believe is a synagogue where Jesus may have preached, and also the possible home of Mary Magdalene reported several media outlets.
According to archeologists, the synagogue dates to the first century AD. The New Testament says Jesus preached in synagogues in the Galilee, and this is the only one that dates to Jesus’ lifetime that has been excavated in the area.
The structure is ornate with frescoes and mosaic floors. It has an altar, called a bimah in Hebrew, in the center. People call this the Magdala stone. It has on it a rare menorah carved into the stone.
According to Ancient Origins, the team of archaeologists and assistants also found coins and shards of pottery, which they are restoring.
Mary Magdalene was a leading figure in the life of Jesus. When the men in that company abandoned him at the hour of mortal danger, Mary of Magdalene was one of the women who stayed with him, even to the Crucifixion. The Bible says she was present at the tomb, the first person to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection and the first to preach the “Good News” of that miracle. These are among the few specific assertions made about Mary Magdalene in the Gospels.
In a dramatic moment described in the 20th chapter of the Gospel of John, Mary encounters Jesus after his resurrection on Easter Sunday morning but does not recognize him at first. Jesus then asked her:
“Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him,” she responded, thinking he was the gardener.
Then Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
In a recent article, Smithsonian.com wrote that Mary Magdalene “became the embodiment of Christian devotion, which was defined as repentance.” She is identified in the gospels of Mark and Luke as “a woman from whom seven demons had gone out.”
This is one of several biblical discoveries made in recent years. As excavations around Israel continue, many expect revealing Biblical discoveries in the near future.
H/T: Smithsonian, Ancient Origins