The inscription was engraved in Greek into a stone originally from the lintel of a Byzantine church
A stone, engraved in Greek, reading “Christ born of Mary.”, was found at el-Taiyiba in the Jezreel Valley in the Upper Galilee. It had originally been part of the lintel of a Byzantine (5th-century C.E.) church. The church was part of the religious authority of the metropolis of Bet She’an, which included el-Taiyiba. The discovery was announced on January 20, 2021 by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Their excavation was directed by Tzachi Lang and Kojan Haku.
Dr. Leah Di-Segni, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, deciphered the dedication. It read, “Christ born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation – – Whoever enters should pray for them.” Theodosius was the archbishop of Bet She’an.
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The stone was found where it had been repurposed and placed in one of the walls of a majestic building, from the late Byzantine or early Islamic period. The building excavations revealed mosaic floors in two rooms, designed with a geometric pattern. The inscription on the stone was a greeting to visitors, supporting researchers’ conclusions that it had been a dedication to a church, not a monastery. The excavation directors further explained that, “The excavation yielded finds from a variety of periods, shedding light on the long settlement sequence at et-Taiyiba in the valley, and on its status among the local settlements.”
This story originally appeared in Bible History Daily in January of 2021
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“Jesus son of Mary” is how the Qur’an refers to Christ regularly, rather than “Son of God.” It is interesting to see that this nomenclature was still being used by the Byzantine Christians in the 5th century, which makes the transition to Islam a continuation of language rather than a radical break in describing Christ.
The title quotes “Jesus, son of Mary,” but the photo caption says “Christ born of Mary”. Which is it? Jesus is a name while Christ is an anointed one.