Anyone paying attention to biblical archaeology knows that there have been stunning findings in recent years, with excavations unveiling important revelations that both back and shed further light on events described in the gospels.
The most recent archaeological claims surround an ancient dwelling in Nazareth, Israel, that some believe could be Jesus Christ's childhood home.
FAITH, HOPE & INSPIRATION: Get a Free Trial of Pure Flix to Stream Thousands of Movies & TV Shows
The structure, which is located under the Sisters of Nazareth Convent and is made of mortar and stone, was first discovered in the 1880s and has been extensively analyzed in recent years, according to The Christian Post.
Dr. Ken Dark of the University of Reading in the U.K. is one expert who has spent the past 14 years exploring whether the structure could have been Jesus' childhood home. He believes the home dates back to the First Century and was potentially considered noteworthy by early Christians, especially due to churches built nearby.
Childhood home of Jesus Christ excavated by archaeologist Professor Ken Dark in Nazareth, Israel, after a 14-year study of a stone and mortar dwelling in Nazareth, Israel, underneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent. #biblicalarchaeology @BibArch https://t.co/wBvKdEWNS8 pic.twitter.com/0w19NKvsfy— European Association of Archaeologists (@archaeologyEAA) November 23, 2020
"Five years of intensive research on the fieldwork data has consolidated the evidence for the first-century house and fourth-fifth century churches, shedding new light on them," Dark told the Daily Mail. "It has become clear that whoever built the house had a very good understanding of stone-working."
READ ALSO: 10 Must-Watch Jesus Movies & TV Shows
Considering Joseph, Christ's father, was a carpenter, the notion that the home's design required a skilled craftsmen helps add to the belief some have had in Jesus' connection to the structure — a belief that gained international attention when media first picked up the story in 2015.
Biblical Archaeology wrote the following at the time:
The remains combined with the description found in the seventh-century pilgrim account De Locus Sanctis point to the courtyard house found beneath the convent as what may have been regarded as Jesus’ home in Nazareth. Archaeological and geographical evidence from the Church of the Annunciation, the International Marion Center and Mary’s Well come together to suggest that this location may be where Jesus transitioned from boy to man.
Let's expand upon the church elements around the home that have added to the belief that it could be connected to Christ. First, a cave-church was constructed on a nearby hill likely in the Fourth Century, and another church was later constructed above the home — realities that seemed to indicate an effort to celebrate this home.
"Whoever built that with the house preserved, and probably venerated, in its crypt must have thought it pretty significant site in religious terms, especially given what texts tell us the Byzantines perceived to be other places of religious importance in the centre of Nazareth," Dark told the Daily Mail.
READ ALSO: Movies About Jesus For the Whole Family
Dark told the BBC that there's "written evidence" that a church was built on the site of Jesus' home and that the house was preserved. This was mentioned in the aforementioned pilgrim's account.
Still, the researcher was careful to note that nothing has been discovered to definitively prove this was Jesus' childhood home, but that the information "considerably strengthens the case since it was first reported in 2015."
In the end, it might never be possible to definitively prove that this is Jesus' home. Either way, the developments are fascinating, and you can read more about Dark's writings on the matter here, and in his new book, "The Sisters of Nazareth Convent: A Roman-period, Byzantine, and Crusader site in central Nazareth."
Want to learn more about Jesus? Consider watching these movies about Jesus for the whole family. You can also stream thousands of entertaining and inspiring TV shows and movies right now on Pure Flix with a free trial.
And if you want inspiring news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for the Pure Flix Insider email newsletter!