Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Intriguing evidence suggests you might be wrong about those first century Christians...

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In the minds of some, Christians and Jews are supposed to be natural adversaries, at least they were in the ancient world in the decades following the death of Christ. However, historians have long disputed that assumption and now they have the evidence to back their claim. Christians and Jews actually got along just fine and perhaps better than anyone imagined.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - New excavations in the town of Magdala, Israel, a site where Mary Magdalene is believed to have lived and Jesus walked, suggests that Christians and Jews got along just fine and even worshiped together in the same synagogues.

We know that the first Christians were largely thought to be Jews, after all, Jesus was Jewish himself. Historians refer formally to the first Christians as "Jewish Christians." The Romans certainly made little distinction during that time.

It is believed that the split between the two faiths was more gradual than popularly assumed.

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The excavations at Magdala reinforce this notion. The synagogue, uncovered in 2009, dates back to the first century AD and evidence suggests it was in use until about 68 AD, around the time of a major Jewish revolt against Roman occupation.

Archaeologists from the Ark New Gate Company think the synagogue represents evidence of friendly cohabitation between Christians and Jews because at the same time the synagogue operated, Magdala was also a Christian enclave.

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In the Christian tradition, it is also the place from whence Mary Magdalene came. It is known that Christ visited the town at some point in his travels. Mary Magdalene was one of Christ's most devoted followers.

To be fair, the suggestion that early Christians and Jews got along well is hardly new. The find represents new evidence of what has long been believed by many historians. Both Christians and Jews were persecuted by the Romans and believed in God, so they had much more in common than not. Like Christians of various sects today that sometimes worship together, the notion that early Christians and Jews also gathered to worship God together shouldn't come as a great shock.

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What is tantalizing is the amazing number of archeological discoveries that modern science and research are uncovering. As we learn more about the Holy Land, we find that there is in fact plenty of historical, physical evidence to suggest the stories we read about in Scripture are entirely accurate. It is a common claim of non-believers and critics that the Bible is a collection of myths. This is definitely not the case.

Each new discovery reveals that the people, places, and events often read about in scripture were quite real and that we now have physical evidence to bolster our long-held, cherished faith.

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