Tag Archives: Kefar Othnay

Near Megiddo — A House Church from AD 230!

Virtually all tour groups will visit Tel Megiddo on the south side of the Jezreel Valley.  From the mound, I have often pointed out the Israeli prison located to the southeast of Megiddo.  Why?  See below!

View from Megiddo looking southeast toward the prison—located beyond the trees in the upper right part of the image.  Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download.

The above view is from the top of Megiddo, looking over the dump of the archaeologists toward the junction where the Wadi Ara enters the Jezreel Valley.  The prison is located beyond the trees in the upper right of the image.

Why is this prison important?  Well, in 2005 the remnants of a village were found there including wonderfully preserved mosaics from a Christian “house church” that dates to AD 230!  OK.  There might be some earlier house churches in Israel, but none, to my knowledge, that have mosaics like these.

This discovery is clearly reported, with multiple clear images,  in Haaretz “A Jew, an Early Christian and a Roman Meet in Archaeological  Park to Be built on Evacuated Prison.”  Note the following image, from the article, that mentions “to God Jesus Christ!”

Inscription found in Roman-era prayer house in Othnay, inside Megiddo Prison compound: “The god-loving Akeptous has offered the table to God Jesus Christ as a memorial” Dr. Yotam Tepper . — from Haaretz article

There are many many implications of this discovery, please see the article (6 minute read).