The Historical Magdala Stone featured in Living Proof Series at Meadows Baptist Church in Texas
Monday, August 14, 2017, Migdal, Israel – One of the most important archaeological discoveries in Israel, the Magdala Stone, will be displayed alongside other historical artifacts at Meadows Baptist Church in Texas. A replica of the stone will be featured in ‘Living Proof: A Close-Up Experience with Biblical History’ presentation which will take place on Sunday August 20th, 2017 at 6:00 PM CT.
The presentation features archaeological findings in Israel that provide evidence and proof of the Gospels. “We are thrilled to display the stone at Meadows Baptist Church. The excellent collaboration between Meadows Church and Magdala has helped us recognize each other’s gifts and allows us to work together to bring blessing to others. Biblical archeology sheds a lot of light on the origins of our faith. Magdala is a prime example”, said Fr. Eamon Kelly, LC, Magdala’s vice director.
One of the highlights in current biblical discoveries is Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. Before construction of the guesthouse could begin, legal procedures required excavation of the ground where an entire town was discovered. A first century synagogue was uncovered and dated to the Second Temple Period and Jesus’ time. As a tractor was removing the first layer of topsoil, it hit the corner of what would be a miniature model of the Temple of Jerusalem carved in stone. A first century synagogue lay immediately below the surface, hidden for 2000 years!
The Magdala Stone has brought many biblical scholars and archaeologists together where they have reflected on the ancient practices in Judaism Prof. Rina Talgam from the Hebrew University, believes that it may indicate an early Jewish Movement in which the people understood themselves to be a ‘minor temple’ as they gathered together with the sacred Word. Currently, Talgam is about to publish a scientific publication of the stone alongside Archaeologist Dina Gorni and Arfan Njjar, from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
“Magdala, as a crossroads of Jewish and Christian History, is committed to continue fostering relationships among all Christian Churches and communities, and inspiring encounter and understanding between Jews and Christians”, said Fr. Kelly.
The original Magdala Stone is in safekeeping with the IAA and when the project is completed it will be returned to its original location. The ruins are currently open to the public and visitors can walk where Jesus walked and taught. A beautiful worship center has been built, inspired by the public ministry of Jesus (Duc in Altum). It is located next to the ancient harbor of Magdala. The project also includes a guesthouse which was delayed due to the archaeological discoveries, and is expected to open in 2018.
See the new video here: The Magdala Stone – Coming to a Town Near You!
About the Magdala Stone
One of the most significant recent archaeological finds in the Holy Land, the Magdala Stone holds clues that will help scholars establish a more complete picture of first century Judaism. The Magdala Stone is likely the earliest known artistic depiction of the Second Temple. The front of the stone depicts the oldest carved image of the Second Temple’s seven-branched menorah ever found, and it is this discovery that has produced intense excitement among the archaeologists at Magdala. The long side of the stone depicts the side of a building with pillared archways, with three-dimensional design to create the illusion of appearing inside the temple.
The back of the stone depicts a pillared structure with two wheels above a geometric shape, illustrating fire. Presumably, the front and sides of the stone carvings represent the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and the back side depicting wheels and fire represents the Holy of Holies.
Also of great interest to scholars examining the stone is the large rosette on the top side of the stone, consisting of six petals surrounded by six identical petals. The symbolic meaning of this rosette has not yet been established, but the number twelve could relate to several biblical traditions and its prominence on the stone indicates it is certainly of great significance.
The stone is covered in decorative symbols relating to the structure of the Temple and ceremonial Jewish objects that may unlock many unsolved mysteries which have long baffled archaeologists. The archaeological project is headed by Universidad Anahuac México Sur (Anahuac University of Mexico – South in partnership with Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM) and the Israel Antiquities Authority.