Friday, July 28, 2017

New finds suggest Second Temple priests who fled the Romans kept up holy rituals in the Galilee

From Times of Israel-

The hometown of the most popular sinner of the New Testament may also have been the seat of one of the priestly families that fled Jerusalem to the Galilee after the fall of the Second Temple at the hands of the Romans.

A combination of recent findings at Magdala — home of Jesus disciple Mary Magdalene (who was recently celebrated by Catholics on her July 22 feast day) and the Jewish historian Joseph Flavius — point to a developed priestly culture with echoes of ancient Jerusalem at the site.

The question scholars are now exploring is just how much of the Temple practice the priests took along with them when they fled.

In 2009, the Israel Antiquities Authority began salvage excavations of the site ahead of the construction of a proposed visitors center and hotel, and found an extremely rare early synagogue. As recorded in a May 2017 article in Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), “One of perhaps only eight synagogues identified so far in Israel as dating from the first century C.E., it provided one splendid find — the so-called Magdala Stone, a Torah reading table sculpted in stone with reliefs depicting a seven-branched menorah and possibly the Jerusalem Temple.”

More here-

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