UK archaeologist ‘reveals childhood home of Jesus’

UK archaeologist ‘reveals childhood home of Jesus’
Prof. Ken Dark of Reading University says that a convent in the city of Nazareth is the site of the childhood home of Jesus. (Courtesy Professor Ken Dark)
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Updated 23 November 2020

UK archaeologist ‘reveals childhood home of Jesus’

UK archaeologist ‘reveals childhood home of Jesus’
  • Following 14 years of work on the site, Dark said the ruins at the Sisters of Nazareth convent stand over a first-century home that is believed to have been where Jesus grew up
  • Home revealed ‘excellent craftsmanship’ and a ‘structural understanding of rock’ that would ‘be consistent with it having been constructed by a tekton’ — Joseph’s occupation

LONDON: A convent in the city of Nazareth is the site of the childhood home of Jesus, a British archaeologist has claimed.

Prof. Ken Dark of Reading University said a designation of ruins at the Sisters of Nazareth convent as the house of Joseph was denied by researchers in the 1930s, and has been dismissed by academia since.

But following 14 years of fieldwork and research on the site, Dark said the convent stands over a first-century home that is believed to have been where Jesus grew up.

The home, which is in a well-preserved condition, was partly built into a limestone hillside and uses sections of a natural cave for space.

Dark has revealed his theory in his new book “The Sisters of Nazareth convent: A Roman-period, Byzantine and Crusader site in central Nazareth.”

He says the study of the home revealed “excellent craftsmanship” and a “structural understanding of rock” that would “be consistent with it having been constructed by a tekton” — the original Greek description of Joseph’s occupation.

Dark’s fieldwork and research also reveal that a cave church was constructed on the hillside sometime in the fourth century, when the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as the state religion under Constantine.

The professor said while there is no way to prove that the first-century home had any relation to Jesus, “all the reasons to doubt that it might possibly have been, have gone — this is exciting stuff.”

In his book, he also examines whether the significance of the home’s history was “transmitted” from the first century to the fourth century, when the first church was built on the site.

“My conclusion is that, from anthropological evidence and studies of oral tradition, there’s absolutely no reason why they couldn’t have known,” Dark said.

The first discoveries on the site were made in the 1880s by a religious order who completed excavation work until the 1930s. Dark began his work in 2006.

He wrote an article five years ago that said the claim that the home belonged to Joseph “was possible.”

Subsequent analysis confirmed its status as a first-century dwelling, strengthening the claim, while “no such case could be made for any other sites in the city,” Dark said.

The Gospels say little about the childhood of Jesus.


Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation
A military vehicle is stationed on the tarmac of Yemen’s Aden airport. Yemen says the Stockholm Agreement has failed to bring peace to the country. (File/AFP)
Updated 18 January 2021

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation
  • International community urged not to surrender to ‘blackmailing and intimidation’ 
  • Stockholm Agreement has failed to bring peace, Yemen PM said

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s prime minister has vowed to address any impact on humanitarian assistance or the remittances of citizens abroad following the US move to designate the Iran-backed Houthis as a terrorist organization.

Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed also urged the international community not to surrender to “Houthi blackmailing” and intimidation.
Saeed defended his government’s strong support of the designation during a virtual interview with foreign journalists sponsored by the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies.
He said that his government had formed a committee to handle any effects on the delivery of humanitarian assistance inside Houthi-controlled areas and the remittances of Yemenis abroad.
“We are determined to prevent any impact of the decision on the Yemenis. We have formed a committee to mitigate effects of the decision,” he said.
When the US announced its intention to designate the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization last week, Yemen’s government quickly urged the US administration to put the decision in place, predicting it would stop Houthi crimes and their looting of humanitarian assistance, and would smoothe the way for peace.
Referring to the impact of the US designation on peace talks between the Yemeni government and the Houthis, Saeed said that the decision would not undermine peace efforts. He said that the Houthis would be accepted as part of the Yemeni political and social spectrum when they abandoned hard-line ideologies and embraced equality and justice.

The Yemeni government agreed to go to Stockholm for reaching a solution to stop fighting and saving the city. This model has failed.

Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed, Yemen’s prime minister

“This is an important pressure card on them and a real definition of them,” he said, adding that the Yemenis would not allow the Houthi movement to rule them.
“Yemen would not be ruled by a racist and terrorist group,” he said.
Formed under the Riyadh Agreement, Yemen’s new government’s ministers narrowly escaped death on Dec. 30 when three precision-guided missiles ripped through Aden airport shortly after their plane touched down.
The government accused the Houthis of staging the attack, saying that missile fragments collected from the airport showed that they were similar to missiles that targeted Marib city in the past.
The prime minister said that the Yemeni government had offered many concessions to reach an agreement to end the war. It had agreed to engage in direct talks with the Houthis in Stockholm in 2018 despite the fact that the Yemeni government forces were about to seize control of the Red Sea city of Hodeidah. However, the Stockholm Agreement had failed to bring peace to Yemen, he said.
“The government forces were about to capture the city within five days maximum. The Yemeni government agreed to go to Stockholm for reaching a solution to stop fighting and saving the city. This model has failed,” Saeed said.
In Riyadh, Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Friday appointed Ahmed Obeid bin Daghar, a former prime minister and a senior adviser to the president, as president of the Shoura Council.
Hadi also appointed Ahmed Ahmed Al-Mousai as the country’s new attorney general.
Fighting continues
Heavy fighting between Yemeni government forces and the Houthis broke out on Sunday for the third consecutive day in contested areas in the districts of Hays and Durihimi in the western province of Hodeidah. Official media said that dozens of Houthi rebels and several government troops were killed in the fighting and loyalists pushed back three assaults by Houthis in Durihimi district.
In neighboring Hays, the Joint Forces media said on Sunday that the Houthis hit government forces with heavy weapons before launching a ground attack in an attempt to seize control of new areas in the district.
The Houthis failed to make any gains and lost dozens of fighters along with several military vehicles that were burnt in the fighting, the same media outlets said. Heavy artillery shelling and land mines planted by the Houthis have killed more than 500 civilians since late 2018, local rights groups said.