When archeologists and volunteers started digging, they were astonished to find a treasure: A 1st-century synagogue, one of only seven in Israel - and in the entire world.
"This is the first synagogue ever excavated where Jesus walked and preached," says the father, calling it "hugely important" for both Jews and Christians.
Experts say it's highly likely that Jesus would have preached in the recently uncovered synagogue, believed to have first been built in the year 1 as a simple structure which was then upgraded into a more ornate one in the year 40.I always feel skeptical when an article refers to "experts" who are equal parts confident and anonymous. I'm also skeptical when a news source reveals some new discovery around Christmas or Easter. That said, Jesus may well have visited this synagogue. Perhaps Mary was in some way connected to the group that met in this place.
What is even more interesting - and enjoys the stronger claim - is that this site may also boast the oldest etching of a menorah. Koopmans writes, "A sculpted limestone block found in the center was probably used for writing or reading the Torah. Its relief depicts the oldest menorah ever found on stone."