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Friday, July 11, 2008

Earliest Church Found in Jordan?

An archaeologist believes he may have discovered the world's oldest Christian church.

Beneath St. Georgeous in Rihab, Jordan, one of the oldest known places of worship in the world, archaeologists discovered a cave in which they found relics including iron crosses, pottery shards, and lamps inscribed with 'Georgeous.'

Dr Abdul Qader Al-Hassan says there are steps leading to a circular worship area with stone seats separated from living quarters, called an apse. Only one other cave has this feature and that cave was also used for Christian worship. Farther on, a tunnel leads to a cistern. In the floor of the church above is an inscription which reads, "70 beloved by God and teh Divine." Dr. Al-Hassan believes the cave was a church for 70 Christian refugees from Jerusalem.

Other archaeologists are skeptical and want to see the evidence. The earliest known churches are from the 3rd-Century; this one is believed to date 33-70AD.

- Source: BBC

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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