Early (3rd Century A.D.) Christian Church at Megiddo, Israel1
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Dan Brown's book, and recently released movie adaptation, The Da Vinci Code, makes the claim that Christianity as we know it today was not invented until the fourth century, after the council of Nicaea. Skeptics often claim that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and the worship of Jesus was not "invented" until that time. Now, the discovery of a third century church in Megiddo, Israel discredits that claim.

New evidence

While digging to expand the Israeli prison at Megiddo, Israel, prisoners found a large tile floor. Further excavation revealed the remnants of the walls of the church, within a larger Roman villa. In addition to beautiful fish mosaics (the original symbol of Christianity), a number of inlaid inscriptions were found in the tile. The site was dated to the third century through pottery remnants (first half of the third century) and the style of Greek writing in the inscriptions. One inscription indicated that Gaianus, a Roman military officer, helped pay for the mosaic. A second inscription was in remembrance of four Christian women (maybe martyrs?) - three with Greek names, and the fourth with a Roman name. However, the most compelling inscription is the one that was a tribute to Jesus, "Akeptous, the God-loving, offered this table for (the) god Jesus Christ, as a remembrance." Obviously, the discovery of a third century inscription calling Jesus God discredits the idea that Jesus Christ was not worshipped until the fourth century.

Conclusion Top of page

The discovery of a 3rd century Christian church at Megiddo, Israel, along with an inscription to the "god Jesus Christ" confirms that Christians worshipped Jesus Christ as God before the council of Nicaea.



References Top of page

  1.  Excavation of an early christian building in Megiddo, with floor mosaics (fish) and three inscriptions

http://godandscience.org/apologetics/megiddo_church.html
Last Modified June 9, 2006

 

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