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Israeli archaeologists find an ancient Christian site described in the book of Acts


Assaf Peretz/Israel Antiquities Authority

Daniel Esparza - published on 02/05/18

The 1500-year-old Byzantine pool might have been built in the place Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in Acts 8.

Archaeologists in Israel just discovered a large 1,500-year-old pool at an ancient Christian site, Ein Hanniya Park, near Jerusalem. The pool, dated to the Byzantine era, between the 4th and 6th centuries, might have been the place where the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in the Book of Acts, chapter 8, might have been baptized by the Apostle Philip.

According to articles published by the Christian Post and World Israel News, the excavation director for the Israel Antiquities Authority, Irina Zilberbod, explained “this pool was built in the center of a spacious complex at the foot of a church that once stood here. Roofed colonnades were built around the pool that gave access to residential wings.” The pool might have been built on top of what some early Christian commentators claimed was the site where Saint Philip baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch, according to Acts 8:26–40. Dr. Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem District Archaeologist, explained “the baptism of the eunuch by St. Philip was one of the key events in the spread of Christianity. Therefore, identifying the place where it occurred occupied scholars for many generations and became a common motif in Christian art.”

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) filled the pools and took video to show the elaborate process of drainage, which culminates in a magnificent fountain. This is the oldest example of such an architectural feat in the Israel region.

Anyhow, archaeologist Irina Zilberbod also explained that, at the moment, it is difficult to know whether the pool was used for “for irrigation, washing, landscaping or perhaps as part of baptismal ceremonies at the site.”

You can read the article published by World Israel News here.

ArchaeologyCatholic historyChurch HistoryHistory
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