The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, seen from Manger Square
Israeli archaeologists have recovered a seal containing the oldest mention of Bethlehem ever found. It dates back to 2,700 years old. “The Bible mentions Bethlehem. Now, this is proof that the city existed at the time,” declared Eli Shukron, archaeologist of Israel Antiquities Authority, reports Vatican Insider.
The seal, 1.5cm long, was found in the City of David, a huge archaeological site just outside the walls of Jerusalem where it is believed king David built his castle. Vatican Insider interviewed Simone Venturini, Bible expert and writer, researcher of the Secret Vatican Archives and professor of Biblical Science at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He is also the author of the book ‘ The secret book of Jesus’ (Newton Compton).
What does this discovery concerning the origins of Jesus’ birthplace mean?”
"It is easy for those used to ‘denying’ the historicity of the Bible to find any possible excuse to claim that this or that city mentioned in the Scriptures never really existed. Especially in Italy, where the press knows everything about Belen and the UEFA Champions League, but little or nothing of the book that is the foundation of European civilization.
"All this is true for Nazareth. Until a few years ago there was no evidence of its existence before the third century AD, but in 2009 the archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre proved beyond any doubt the existence of a house dating back to the 1st century, when Jesus lived. The discovery of the seal that was made in the archaeological site near the Jerusalem National Park is just as important.
"The seal that was probably used to dispatch the tax payments owed by Bethlehem to king Judas dated back to around eight or seven hundred years BC. The seal bears the inscription “l’shvat – bat-lechem – [l’mele]ch”. This contains basic information of a dispatch to the king ruling over the southern kingdom, in other words Judea. For the first time the city of Bethlehem is mentioned outside the Bible.
FULL STORY The Bible is not fiction, archaeologists say so (Vatican Insider)