One of the most important sites in Christianity, the Garden of Gethsemane, is the scene of some current archaeology. Working in the shadow of the Church of All Nations and the Church of Mary Magdalene (Russian Orthodox), workers began preparing the way for a new visitors center and a tunnel under the highway that cuts across the Kidron Valley. There they found remains of earlier Byzantine and Crusader churches and, most interestingly of all, a first century Mikve.
On this week’s program, professor Clyde Billington and I discuss this latest discovery and its significance. We also discuss, as reported in the latest issue of our biblical archaeology newsmagazine ARTIFAX, the discovery of two other churches, a possible first century house church in Laodicea and a fourth century church built over a shrine of the pagan god Pan at Banias (Caesarea Philippi). These are some of the earliest churches of Christendom.