New Discoveries Provide Clues to Jewish Life in Galilee After Christ
Israel Today, David Lazarus, July 15, 2019
Scholars previously concluded that Jewish life came to an end in Galilee. They were wrong.
As Christianity spread throughout the Galilee during the first centuries after Christ, and the Romans cast the Jewish people into a 2000-year-exile, historians have concluded that Jewish life in the region was unheard of because it had been wiped out.
New discoveries at an ancient 5th century Huqoq synagogue now reveal that Jewish life not only continued but flourished even in the region most identified with nascent Christianity and the teachings of Jesus. Huqoq is a village located near the Sea of Galilee just up the hill from Capernaum and not far from Magdala. This is the region where Jesus gave his revered Sermon on the Mount and performed most of his miracles. Peter grew up in Capernaum and many of the Apostles came from this region. Magdala is the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ closest followers and witness to his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Recent archeological finds at Magdalene indicate the presence of Messianic Jewish believers worshipping in the town’s synagogue. Huqoq is also not far from Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown and neighboring Zippori, a major Jewish community where important archeological finds have helped us understand the Jewish lifestyle of Jesus. See: https://www.israeltoday.co.il/read/how-jewish-was-jesus/
The idea that centuries of Christian conquerors succeeded in supplanting Jews from what they called the “Holy Land” are being challenged by the Huqoq synagogue findings. The synagogue reveals a rich and well-developed Jewish community that continued uninterrupted in the land of Israel for the past 2000 years, not only in the most Christianized regions of Israel, but also in the face of Roman, Byzantine, Crusader and finally Muslim invaders.