Tag Archives: Synagogue

A First Century Synagogue

Excavation of a first century synagogue where our Lord preached.

It is thought that it was a wealthy synagogue because of the mosaic work.

Looking into the synagogue.

This is a representation of the temple found in the excavation. Notice the wheels spoken of by Ezekiel.

The top of the stone.

The menorah.

midgal-044054This is a model of the boats of Jesus’ time.

The is a 2000 year old boat excavated from the mud. What a find!

Capernaum, Part 1

Capernaum figured largely in Jesus’ ministry.

The church is built over the excavation of a house that was used church by early Jewish Christians in mid to late first century.

The church offers a commanding view of the synagogue built over the one in which Jesus preached.

Surrounding the synagogue are excavated remains of first century homes.

Under the glass floor of the modern church are the excavations of a fifth century church and also a fourth century synagogue, and under that was a first century house church, called the “House of Peter,” where there were discovered hundreds of Christian inscriptions in Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew saying Jesus, Lord, and Peter.

The altar where we offered Mass.

Excavations in the early 20th century revealed a fourth century synagogue.

The fourth century synagogue was built over the first century synagogue where Jesus preached. Notice the basalt foundation of the synagogue from the time of Jesus.

The Bulgarian Rescue of Its Jewish Citizens

SaintSofia-073231When I walked out of Saint Sofia church I noticed three marble slabs set up in a garden space in the side yard. Not knowing to what they were dedicated, I was very intrigued. When I walked up I rejoiced. They commemorated how the Bulgarian people resisted the Nazi program of extermination of their Jewish citizens.

Click these to enlarge. The slabs have inscriptions in Hebrew, English, and Bulgarian.

The first was dedicated to King Boris III and Queen Giovanna who contributed to the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews during the dark days of the Nazi anti-Semitism.

The second was dedicated to Metropolitan Kril that is the chief bishop and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and other brave Bulgarians who struggled to rescue Jews.

The third states how eminent political leadership and the leadership of the church enlightened the people so that they stood united and rescued all 49,000 Jews from deportation.  A memorial outside of one of Sofia’s oldest Christian churches spoke to me of how the faith informed the conscience of the Bulgarian people to resist this Nazi anti-Semitism which the Christian faith not only condemned, but empowered everyone to take action and resist evil. That was an exceptional witness to power of the Gospel.

The Jewish synagogue is the largest Sephardic synagogue and a magnificent structure that was dedicated on September 9, 1909 in the presence of the family of the Russian Tsar. The Jewish community was wealthy and respected.