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Byzantine Inscription Uncovered in Israel

Friday, January 22, 2021

Israel Greek InscriptionJERUSALEM, ISRAEL—According to a statement released by the Israel Antiquities Authority, a Greek inscription including the phrase “Christ born of Mary,” was found in the village of et-Taiyiba in northern Israel’s Jezreel Valley, on a stone that had been reused in a wall dated to the Byzantine or Early Islamic period. The inscription itself is thought to date to the late fifth century, when the stone was originally used as part of a church’s doorway frame. Leah Di-Segni of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said that the formula “Christ born of Mary” was commonly used at the beginning of inscriptions and documents as a protection and blessing, and indicates that the building was a church, and not a monastery, since monasteries did not tend to greet those who entered. The inscription also names Theodosius, a Christian bishop, as the founder of the building, and asks those who enter it to pray for him and for the “miserable” Thomas. To read about literacy among seventh-century B.C. Israelites, go to "Reading, Writing, and Algorithms."

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