A piece of a cross found at the site of the Church of the Apostles
Buried underground for 1,500 years, parts of the church are shockingly well-preserved.

After years of painstaking searching, a team of American and Israeli archaeologists has just unearthed what they believe could very well be the ancient home of Jesus' disciples Peter and Andrew by the Sea of Galilee in Israel.

Experts from both Israel's Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology and New York's Nyack College had already uncovered evidence of the Church of the Apostles' marble chancel screens and gilded glass block walls in previous excavations at el-Araj, which they believe to be the site of the Biblical Jewish fishing village of Bethsaida. "These discoveries already informed us that the church was waiting to be found somewhere nearby," explained Prof. Steven Notley in an email to Fox News.

Now they believe they've found it.

Ancient Discoveries

Commenting on the beautiful white and blue mosaic floor his team unearthed, Notley said that "it is always remarkable to bring these beautifully decorated floors to light after being buried for almost 1500 years."

A mosaic tile found at the Church of the Apostles

The discovery, if accurate, may silence scholars who have questioned the church's very existence. 

While early Christian pilgrims wrote about visiting the Church of the Apostles - the Bavarian bishop and saint Willibald amongst the most notable to do so in 725 A.D. No physical proof of a church built on top of the disciples' home existed - until now. And Notley and his team are just getting started. Electromagnetic imaging reveals there are more buildings and structures left to be excavated.

"Although it is mentioned in Byzantine pilgrimage itineraries, many thought these reports mistaken," says Notley. "Of equal importance, the church indicates that there existed a living memory in the Christian community about the location of Bethsaida, home of Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44)."

A Holy Site Unearthed

The New Testament also describes Bethsaida as the place where Jesus healed a blind man (Mark 8:22-26) and fed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish (Luke 9:10-17). Though it would become the Roman city of Julias during the first century, it now appears that local Christians continued to honor the New Testament village, even as it was largely abandoned during the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.- possibly for fluctuating lake water levels. "The discovery of the church strengthens our position that el-Araj should be considered the leading candidate for New Testament Bethsaida-Julias" said Notley.

Such discoveries tend to tug at the heartstrings and spark the imaginations of Christians, Jews, and Muslims eager to believe that Biblical references can be proven, lending historical legitimacy to stories many non-believers see as little more than legends no different from Greek mythology.

It is for this very reason that archaeologists continue to search for the Garden of Eden in modern-day Iraq. It is, of course, entirely possible that the Biblical paradise described in the Book of Genesis, where Adam and Eve ultimately succumbed to Satan's temptation, may never actually be located in the modern world.

Then again, if this alleged Church of the Apostles discovery proves anything, it's that it never really hurts to stop searching for religious sites of old. You never know what you'll find.

If you'd like to see more photos of the excavation site, you can do so here.


  1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

    How exciting. I can't wait to see and read more about it.

    1. Sandra Eileen Shea's Avatar Sandra Eileen Shea

      This is very interesting and hope it can be verified!

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    What’s in a name? Church of the Apostles, Church of the Nazarene, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    In my neighborhood we even have a Church of the Open Door, which funnily enough is currently closed.


  1. Christian's Avatar Christian

    Garden of Eden IS Planet Earth. - the whole planet can support life to varying degrees. Yay ! :-) The middle east is not really the best patch of land on Earth. It is very hot & a bit dry - but that can come in handy for the next Ice Age when it gets too cold. We have the technology to begin building Orbital Cities floating above the planet, if we dedicate ourselves, time & treasure to the task. Small cities of a few thousand people, but with time and dedication continually expanding it with supplies & materials from Earth. Even build a city on the moon ,or IN the moon underground if we like. But mostly the Garden of Eden Labs was the test bed fir humans to see if they could think independently. Yes, they can - and of course this is great! So they were freed from Eden Labs. Why would independent thought be a sin? The brains are designed by the Creator - so they think for themselves and Eat from all trees.
    So no worries - The Garden of Eden is anyplace WE Build It. So, save Planet Earth ! It was our first and greatest gift from our Creator. Love LOVE all the time. Love One Another. Love All Beings. Love your Self. & Love EARTH Too !! :-)

    Be Happy :-D

    1. sibyltheheretic's Avatar sibyltheheretic

      We are gardeners for the Lord.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Which one would that be? Lord Krishna?

        Just asking!


        1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

          My guess for lord would be either the Father God, or the horned God, the consort of the the Goddess, our Lady, unless we're talking about the House of Lords, for which I would say "Jolly good show, ol'chap,"and "That's a bit of alright," too.

    2. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      I've had a tomato plant for a few months, but it currently looks dead. I like gardens, and bet I'd have a lot of fun in the garden of Eden, but don't have a green thumb. I've got a few large, artificial, topiary trees and concrete, Roman style planters in my saved for later list, on my Amazon app. When I get them I'll put them in front of my home. And with Christian's comment in mind I'll post a sign above them that reads "Garden Of Eden". Hopefully that will attract women to my home who I can minister to. I better get through stocking (and decorating) my home bar first. The back of my liquor cabinet (facing my living room) has a 24"× 36" print of Michelangelo's The Last Judgement ( fall of the damned) on it, and I'm going to put statues of two lords on top: the Greek god of the underworld, Hades with his cute, little three-headed guard dog, Cerberus, and the Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis, holding the scales of justice above his shoulders. Another good choice for a religious Garden Of Eden bar would be a print of Hieronymous Bosch's Garden Of Earthly Delights. and maybe some Salvador Dali nudes. I'll try to squeeze all that in before I start having home services.

    3. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      I'll love the prettier ones, Christian, and you can have the rest, with my compliments.

  1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

    P.S. I wonder what they'll think of my home temple 1500 years from now, when they dig it up? If I live at least a few more years its bound to be unforgettable, to say the least.

  1. William Waugh's Avatar William Waugh

    Its great anytime solid evidence of early religious activity is confirmed. Everybody knows some of the oldest are the abrahamic religions. That just defines the history on this planet. Science is proving the universe itself is conscience and brains are more like radio receivers than the seat of conscienceness. Just because you are first not always means you are right. Just prototypes. Science is rediscovering everything that the chuches buried. Physical and spiritual. We are alive and always have been. In a material universe that is rudementally conscience at all levels and we as human lifeforms are climbing the ladder to success.[sorry I couldn't resist. (Climb the ladder to suck Sess!)] ...old joke....maybe had to have been there!

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      There will always be evidence of religious activities going back thousands of years. The pyramids and Stonehenge are two good examples that man has always had a thirst for knowledge of things it doesn’t understand. Sadly, there is a history of mankind making things up in a vain attempt to close the gaps of unanswered knowledge to appease their needs. Mankind still does it to this day.

      It’s strange how children are brought to believe in Santa Clause by their parents, but if a child still believes when they get to the ages of 9, 10, or 11, parents have the uneasy task of explaining and educating them that it was all a myth. These are the same parents that still believe in their own adult myths and hate to be educated differently.


    2. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      It's all because there's no business like show business, like no business I know. On with the show!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
Don't have an account yet? Create Account