An incredible mosaic of Jesus has been revealed at an archaeological site located near the Sea of Galilee.
Believed to be 1,500 years old, the mosaic illustrates “The Feeding of the 5,000.” The Biblical event is also sometimes referred to as the “miracle of the five loaves and two fish.”
A layer of ash helped preserve the fifth-century mosaic-paved floor, so it is in remarkably good condition.
An Exciting Surprise
Uncovering the work of art has thrilled archaeologists who’ve been stationed at the dig site all summer.
Their painstaking work at the so-named Burnt Church, located in Hippos in northern Israel, is what lead to the discovery.
The church, located right in the heart of the Holy Land, was destroyed in 700AD. Although it was discovered in 2005 by a team from the University of Haifa, excavation only just began this year.
Depicting a Miracle
The artwork purportedly depicts one of the well-known miracles Jesus performed in the New Testament.
“There can certainly be different explanations to the descriptions of loaves and fish in the mosaic,” said head archaeologist Michael Eisenburg, “but you cannot ignore the similarity to the description in the New Testament.”
Eisenburg cited similarities between the Bible passage and the scene captured in the mosaic. Both include two fish and five loaves of bread in a basket.
He also said the location of where the miracle is believed to have taken place might need to be reconsidered.
Rethinking the Miracle’s Location
According to the historian, it is often believed that the Feeding of the 5,000 occurred at the Church of Multiplication. This location would be north-west of the Sea of Galilee in Tabgha. However, Eisenburg thinks that the event may have rather occurred north of Hippos.
He notes that the scripture lends some credence to his theory.
“Jesus crossed the water to the northwest of the Sea of Galilee, to the area of Tabgha/Ginosar,” Eisenburg explains, after the miracle took place.
Therefore, “the miracle,” he claims “had to take place at the place where he began the crossing rather than at the place he finished it.”
Notably, the Church of Multiplication’s mosaic also only shows four loaves, whereas the Bible – and this newfound mosaic – tell of five.