The Israel Antiquities Authority announced today the discovery of a church building dating to the Byzantine period. This one is located near Moshav Nes-Harim, about 3.11 miles east of Beth Shemesh. The full press release may be read here. The Byzantine period in Israel may be dated from about A.D. 325 to the early part of the 7th century.
Christianity grew out of the soil of Judaism. In the early part of the first century Jesus said, “for salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).
Max Miller says,
The population of the Holy Land became almost entirely Christian, except for Jewish enclaves primarily in Galilee. moreover, Christian pilgrims flocked to the Holy Land from all over the Roman-Byzantium world and Christian churches were built over virtually every spot which could be imagined to have any connection with a biblical event. (Introducing the Holy Land, 130-131).
He continues to say,
By 640 most of Egypt, the Holy Land and Syria were under Islamic control.
Evidence for the existence of Jewish and Christian buildings and settlements continues to become known rapidly. It has become common among some Muslim sources to deny the existence of Jews in the land of Palestine before the 20th century. The evidence of archaeology says otherwise. The Old Testament scriptures say otherwise. The New Testament, and the existence of the church in those early centuries, say otherwise.
The sad thing is that buildings are found, not churches composed of Christians. The church had so departed from the New Testament order that it was not able to effectively survive the pressures of the Muslim invasion. The church of our day appears very weak as it faces the cultural pressures of the postmodern world.
HT: Joseph I. Lauer