Archeologists have for hundreds of years believed they knew exactly where Jesus performed his first recorded miracle — turning water into wine — but new discoveries are now calling the location into question.
According to John 2, Jesus performed the miracle during a wedding at Cana. When the wine ran out during the celebration, the son of God transformed the water into wine in what is believed to be, according to the biblical account, his first miracle.
Archeologists are, based on new research, now confident the real site of the miracle — in Cana — is actually on a hillside five miles further north of the previously understood location in Israel, The Daily Mail reported.
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There is an altar and a shelf along with the remains of one stone vessel, much like the ones that Jesus would have used to store the wine, in the newly discovered location.
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— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) August 30, 2018
Dr. Tom McCollough, who directed the excavations at the site, said there are three other credible potential locations for the biblical Cana, but “none has the ensemble of evidence that makes such a persuasive case for Khirbet Qana.”
“The pilgrim texts we have from this period that describe what pilgrims did and saw when they came to Cana of Galilee match very closely what we have exposed as the veneration complex,” he explained.
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McCollough went on to say much of the evidence that convinces him of the location’s veracity comes from Flavius Josephus, the first century Jewish historian. The archeologist said Josephus’ work includes references to Cana that “align geographically with the location of Khirbet Qana and align logically with his movements.”
“The reference to Cana in Josephus, the New Testament and in the rabbinic texts would argue the village was a Jewish village, near the Sea of Galilee and in the region of lower Galilee,” he added. “Khirbet Qana fulfills all of these criteria.”
The discovery could have substantial ramifications for Christianity, too, according to McCollough, who said the recently found location could make a strong case for the authenticity of the gospel of John. He said their discoveries “warrant at least a reconsideration of the historical value of John’s references to Cana and Jesus.”