In the deserts of Israel, archaeologists have rediscovered what they believe to be the lost Roman city of Julias, claimed to be the Biblical home of three of Jesus’s apostles. They have been digging near the modern city of El-Araj along the Sea of Galilee. It is a city long lost to time, and the fact that it has been found has sparked a new conversation about where the stories of the Bible actually fits into the scientifically discovered evidence.
Julias, the Lost City of the Apostles
The city was once known as Bethsaida, and it was built by King Phillip, the son of Herod the Great. It is mentioned by the Roman historian Josephus Flavius as having been built by the Romans into the city of Julias out of the older Hebrew fishing village. That village is claimed in the Bible as the home of three of Jesus’s original twelve apostles, Peter, Andrew, and Phillip. It was also referred to in the Book of Luke as a possible location for the feeding of 5,000 miracles.
“There are indications that we’re excavating Bethsaida-Julia — we have to continue digging to confirm and clarify,” Nyack College’s Steven Notley, the director of academics of the archaeological dig. “This is really one of the few [sites from the Bible] that has remained lost.”
The team exploring the site is a group of scientists from both Nyack College in New York and from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology and Israel. Notley is just one of several involved in the project. Their discovery of a Roman bath led them to believe they had found an urban area during their dig. The only lost Roman city known to have been built in the area was Julias.
According to the researchers, they also discovered marble tile floors and other elements indicating the possible presence of a metropolis. Archeologists will be looking for further proof and continuing their excavations.
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