BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Colorful Wall Paintings Excavated at Galilean Sepphoris

Bible and archaeology news

sepphoris-fresco-1

A fresco fragment from Sepphoris depicting the head of a horned animal. Photo: G. Laron.

For the first time at the ancient city of Sepphoris in Israel’s Galilee, wall painting fragments displaying figurative images have been discovered. The fragments were part of plaster wall paintings known as frescoes that once decorated a monumental building from the second century C.E. Prof. Zeev Weiss, the Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, is Director of excavations at Sepphoris.

Just four miles north of Nazareth, Sepphoris (Zippori in Hebrew) was a thriving urban center during the time of Jesus in the first century C.E. With the conclusion of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome in 70 C.E., ancient Jewish historian Josephus reports that the residents of Sepphoris welcomed the Roman garrison into the city as a pacifist strategy.

Following the First Jewish Revolt, also called the Great Revolt, in the late first through third centuries, the city experienced a building boom with the construction of such structures as public buildings, a marketplace, a theater, an aqueduct system and public bathhouses.


The Galilee is one of the most evocative locales in the New Testament—the area where Jesus was raised and where many of the Apostles came from. Our free eBook The Galilee Jesus Knew focuses on several aspects of Galilee: how Jewish the area was in Jesus’ time, the ports and the fishing industry that were so central to the region, and several sites where Jesus likely stayed and preached.


 

sepphoris-fresco-2

A fresco fragment of the hind and tail of a tiger. Photo: G. Laron.

The building in which the fresco fragments were recently found was erected north of the city’s main colonnaded east–west street (called the decumanus). The fragments displayed a variety of bright colors and designs, including geometric and floral patterns. Of special interest were fragments depicting both human and animal figures: a lion, a bird, a tiger, a horned animal—maybe a bull—and a man holding a club.

According to a Hebrew University of Jerusalem press release, “[A]rchaeological finds dating [before the Great Revolt at Sepphoris] are particularly notable for the absence of figurative images—both humans and animals. The construction of the Roman city of [Sepphoris] after the Great Revolt … is indicative of a change in the attitude of Galilean Jews toward Rome and its culture.”

Who commissioned the building of this monumental structure decorated with colorful frescoes? Was the person Jewish? Roman?

“It is difficult to determine who was responsible for the construction and decoration of this monumental building at this stage of excavation,” reports the press release. “However, the new finds clearly reflect the multi-cultural climate that characterizes [Sepphoris] in the years following the Great Revolt.”

For more, read the Hebrew University of Jerusalem press release.


 

More on Galilee in Bible History Daily:

Sepphoris Inscriptions Reference Rabbis
Egyptian Scarab Amulet Unearthed at Sepphoris
Excavating in Jewish Galilee by James Riley Strange
An Ancient Jewish Lamp Workshop in the Galilee
2,200-Year-Old Duck-Shaped Shovel Unearthed in Ancient Galilee


 

More on Sepphoris in the BAS Library:

Mark Chancey and Eric M. Meyers, “Spotlight on Sepphoris: How Jewish Was Sepphoris in Jesus’ Time?” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2000.

Tsvika Tsuk, “Spotlight on Sepphoris: Bringing Water to Sepphoris,” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2000.

Richard A. Batey, “Sepphoris—An Urban Portrait of Jesus,” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1992.

Not a BAS Library member yet? Join the BAS Library today.


 

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1 Responses

  1. Jesus Disciple says:

    “Just four miles north of Nazareth, Sepphoris (Zippori in Hebrew) was a thriving urban center during the time of Jesus in the first century C.E. With the conclusion of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome in 70 C.E., ancient Jewish historian Josephus reports that the residents of Sepphoris welcomed the Roman garrison into the city as a pacifist strategy.”

    The word “Jewish” here is historically false. At this time in history the word “Jew” / “Jewish” didn’t exist in Greek or Hebrew, because these are recently invented words by Talmudists seeking to mislead gentiles, “Jew” and “Jewish” are trick words actually, which are revealed they are by quotes such as these;

    Excerpt from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4803.htm — [Jesus never told us to call anyone “RABBI” but Him, and neither did Jesus or the Apostles teach “Christianity” (it’s why the word isn’t in the Holy Bible) but for argument sake in the article below, for now in this article “Christianity” means “New Testament Faith” but that’s the funny thing.. “Christianity” was an Egypto-Greco cult from Egypt circa 200 years previous, not all us are deceived by the spiritual sons of satan who love going to the woman first to pull in men after so satan catches them both, just like the Garden of Eden;

    “Rabbi” Louis Finkelstein in Volume 1 of The Pharisees, the Sociological Background of their Faith says, “Pharisaism became Talmudism, Talmudism became Medieval Rabbinism, and Medieval Rabbinism became Modern Rabbinism. But throughout these changes of name, inevitable adaption of custom, and adjustment of Law, the spirit of the ancient Pharisee survives unaltered.”

    Biblical scholars Robert and Mary Coote clearly show in their book Power, Politics and the Making of the Bible that neither is Christianity a patched up Judaism, nor is Rabbinic Judaism automatically synonymous with the religion of Moses and the old Hebrews.

    The Cootes’ illustrate the religious climate in Judea two millennia ago: “The cults, practices, and scriptures of both groups, rabbis and bishops, differed from those of the temple; thus we reserve the terms Jew, Jewish, and Judaism for the rabbis and those under their rule and use Judean, contrary to custom, for the common source of Judaism and Christianity….”

    “Despite the ostensible merging of Judean and Jew even in certain New Testament passages and by the rabbis who became rulers of Palestine in the third century and continued to use Hebrew and Aramaic more than Greek, the roots of Christianity were not Jewish. Christianity did not derive from the Judaism of the pharisees, but emerged like Judaism from the wider Judean milieu of the first century. Both Christians and Jews stemmed from pre-70 Judean-ism as heirs of groups that were to take on the role of primary guardians or interpreters of scripture as they developed on parallel tracks in relation to each other.” (Power, Politics, and the Making of the Bible).

    The few New Testament ‘proof texts’ utilised by Christian Zionists and secular proponents of the modern Judeo-Christian myth are the product of poor translation. Messianic Jewish writer Malcolm Lowe in his paper “Who Are the Ioudaioi?” concludes, like Robert and Mary Coote, that the Greek word “Ioudaioi” in the New Testament should be translated as “Judeans”, rather than the more usual “Jews”. The Israeli scholar David Stern also came to the same conclusion when translating the Jewish New Testament.

    Few Christians are aware that the translators of Scripture often mistranslated the word “Jew” from such words as “Ioudaioi” (meaning from, or being of: as a geographic area, Judean). The word Judean, mistranslated as “Jew” in the New Testament, never possessed a valid religious connotation, but was simply used to identify members of the native population of the geographic area known as Judea.

    Also it is important to understand that in the Scriptures, the terms “Israel”, “Judah” and “Jew” are not synonymous, nor is the House of Israel synonymous with the House of Judah. The course of history is widely divergent for the peoples properly classified under each of these titles. Accordingly, the authoritative 1980 Jewish Almanac says, *”Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a Jew or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.”*

    A writer for The Dearborn Independent, published in Michigan back in 1922, summarised the problem thus: “The pulpit has also the mission of liberating the Church from the error that Judah and Israel are synonymous. The reading of the Scriptures which confuse the tribe of Judah with Israel, and which interpret every mention of Israel as signifying the Jews, is at the root of more than one-half the confusion and division traceable in Christian doctrinal statements.”
    —–

    Further Josephus was NOT a “Jew” as modern false history telling claims, Josephus was a “Judahite” which is a big difference;

    http://allcreatorsgifts.blogspot.ca/2010/01/false-jew-and-real-judahite-compared.html _(I do not endorse the error in the article of using a recently invented name for God (Jesus) which is a Talmudist invention from the late 1800s nor any ‘color’ motivated views – but other than that, this is quite historically accurate in parallel to Biblical reality)_.

    “is indicative of a change in the attitude of Galilean Jews toward Rome and its culture.””

    Again, they wouldn’t have been called “Jews”, see the above.

    “Who commissioned the building of this monumental structure decorated with colorful frescoes? Was the person Jewish? Roman?”

    Truthfully and accurate to honest history, it should be “..Was the man an alleged Israelite? Roman?”

    People who are reading my response, remember, this website is not run by born again believers in Jesus (John 3:3-5 / Matthew 8:34-38 / Luke 9:23-24, 14:27, 17:33 / John 12:24-25 / Galatians 5:19-26 / 1Corinthians 1:30-31/Matthew 6:1-34 etc), and at times, it’s clear some of these authors have been taught a FALSE Jesus who they claim was a “Jew” but if Jesus is God Incarnate (which he is) and God is Spirit and the OT in Numbers 23:19 / 1Samuel 15:29, and Job 9:32 make clear God is NOT a man (only became one temporarily) and God only put on flesh as a covering like a coat, therefore He is not a man and only became an Israelite of the Tribe of Judah temporarily (not a “Jew”). So you must be VERY CAREFUL not to embrace and believe certain claims put forth by these academics claiming it’s honest history about these histories that are given by non-born again believers for they obviously lack the born again understanding that only Jesus (God) can give to the born again believer to comprehend how to filter out the historical false claims made at times in these articles. Jesus didn’t tell you to believe the scholar over the true born again preacher or teacher. May you be edified in this in the name of Jesus the Christ of Nazareth.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


1 Responses

  1. Jesus Disciple says:

    “Just four miles north of Nazareth, Sepphoris (Zippori in Hebrew) was a thriving urban center during the time of Jesus in the first century C.E. With the conclusion of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome in 70 C.E., ancient Jewish historian Josephus reports that the residents of Sepphoris welcomed the Roman garrison into the city as a pacifist strategy.”

    The word “Jewish” here is historically false. At this time in history the word “Jew” / “Jewish” didn’t exist in Greek or Hebrew, because these are recently invented words by Talmudists seeking to mislead gentiles, “Jew” and “Jewish” are trick words actually, which are revealed they are by quotes such as these;

    Excerpt from http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4803.htm — [Jesus never told us to call anyone “RABBI” but Him, and neither did Jesus or the Apostles teach “Christianity” (it’s why the word isn’t in the Holy Bible) but for argument sake in the article below, for now in this article “Christianity” means “New Testament Faith” but that’s the funny thing.. “Christianity” was an Egypto-Greco cult from Egypt circa 200 years previous, not all us are deceived by the spiritual sons of satan who love going to the woman first to pull in men after so satan catches them both, just like the Garden of Eden;

    “Rabbi” Louis Finkelstein in Volume 1 of The Pharisees, the Sociological Background of their Faith says, “Pharisaism became Talmudism, Talmudism became Medieval Rabbinism, and Medieval Rabbinism became Modern Rabbinism. But throughout these changes of name, inevitable adaption of custom, and adjustment of Law, the spirit of the ancient Pharisee survives unaltered.”

    Biblical scholars Robert and Mary Coote clearly show in their book Power, Politics and the Making of the Bible that neither is Christianity a patched up Judaism, nor is Rabbinic Judaism automatically synonymous with the religion of Moses and the old Hebrews.

    The Cootes’ illustrate the religious climate in Judea two millennia ago: “The cults, practices, and scriptures of both groups, rabbis and bishops, differed from those of the temple; thus we reserve the terms Jew, Jewish, and Judaism for the rabbis and those under their rule and use Judean, contrary to custom, for the common source of Judaism and Christianity….”

    “Despite the ostensible merging of Judean and Jew even in certain New Testament passages and by the rabbis who became rulers of Palestine in the third century and continued to use Hebrew and Aramaic more than Greek, the roots of Christianity were not Jewish. Christianity did not derive from the Judaism of the pharisees, but emerged like Judaism from the wider Judean milieu of the first century. Both Christians and Jews stemmed from pre-70 Judean-ism as heirs of groups that were to take on the role of primary guardians or interpreters of scripture as they developed on parallel tracks in relation to each other.” (Power, Politics, and the Making of the Bible).

    The few New Testament ‘proof texts’ utilised by Christian Zionists and secular proponents of the modern Judeo-Christian myth are the product of poor translation. Messianic Jewish writer Malcolm Lowe in his paper “Who Are the Ioudaioi?” concludes, like Robert and Mary Coote, that the Greek word “Ioudaioi” in the New Testament should be translated as “Judeans”, rather than the more usual “Jews”. The Israeli scholar David Stern also came to the same conclusion when translating the Jewish New Testament.

    Few Christians are aware that the translators of Scripture often mistranslated the word “Jew” from such words as “Ioudaioi” (meaning from, or being of: as a geographic area, Judean). The word Judean, mistranslated as “Jew” in the New Testament, never possessed a valid religious connotation, but was simply used to identify members of the native population of the geographic area known as Judea.

    Also it is important to understand that in the Scriptures, the terms “Israel”, “Judah” and “Jew” are not synonymous, nor is the House of Israel synonymous with the House of Judah. The course of history is widely divergent for the peoples properly classified under each of these titles. Accordingly, the authoritative 1980 Jewish Almanac says, *”Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a Jew or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.”*

    A writer for The Dearborn Independent, published in Michigan back in 1922, summarised the problem thus: “The pulpit has also the mission of liberating the Church from the error that Judah and Israel are synonymous. The reading of the Scriptures which confuse the tribe of Judah with Israel, and which interpret every mention of Israel as signifying the Jews, is at the root of more than one-half the confusion and division traceable in Christian doctrinal statements.”
    —–

    Further Josephus was NOT a “Jew” as modern false history telling claims, Josephus was a “Judahite” which is a big difference;

    http://allcreatorsgifts.blogspot.ca/2010/01/false-jew-and-real-judahite-compared.html _(I do not endorse the error in the article of using a recently invented name for God (Jesus) which is a Talmudist invention from the late 1800s nor any ‘color’ motivated views – but other than that, this is quite historically accurate in parallel to Biblical reality)_.

    “is indicative of a change in the attitude of Galilean Jews toward Rome and its culture.””

    Again, they wouldn’t have been called “Jews”, see the above.

    “Who commissioned the building of this monumental structure decorated with colorful frescoes? Was the person Jewish? Roman?”

    Truthfully and accurate to honest history, it should be “..Was the man an alleged Israelite? Roman?”

    People who are reading my response, remember, this website is not run by born again believers in Jesus (John 3:3-5 / Matthew 8:34-38 / Luke 9:23-24, 14:27, 17:33 / John 12:24-25 / Galatians 5:19-26 / 1Corinthians 1:30-31/Matthew 6:1-34 etc), and at times, it’s clear some of these authors have been taught a FALSE Jesus who they claim was a “Jew” but if Jesus is God Incarnate (which he is) and God is Spirit and the OT in Numbers 23:19 / 1Samuel 15:29, and Job 9:32 make clear God is NOT a man (only became one temporarily) and God only put on flesh as a covering like a coat, therefore He is not a man and only became an Israelite of the Tribe of Judah temporarily (not a “Jew”). So you must be VERY CAREFUL not to embrace and believe certain claims put forth by these academics claiming it’s honest history about these histories that are given by non-born again believers for they obviously lack the born again understanding that only Jesus (God) can give to the born again believer to comprehend how to filter out the historical false claims made at times in these articles. Jesus didn’t tell you to believe the scholar over the true born again preacher or teacher. May you be edified in this in the name of Jesus the Christ of Nazareth.

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