AFTER BIBLE TIMES

DEATH OF CAPERNAUM: The village remained exclusively Jewish, according to Epiphanius, a church leader born in the country in the AD 300s. In time, many Capernaum Jews converted to Christianity and are referred to in Jewish writings as minim, or heretics. By the AD 400s, Gentiles were living there. That’s when a church was built around Peter’s house-and archaeologists say gentiles did the building.

Jesus predicted death for Capernaum. That came in the AD 600s, with Arab invaders. Residents abandoned their homes. In time, wind and earth consumed the village. It lay dead and buried for more than a thousand years.

SYNAGOGUE DISCOVERED: mapmaker discovered Capernaum’s synagogue in 1866. Initially, archaeologists couldn’t agree on when this synagogue was built. But the general consensus today is that the synagogue, which has been partly restored, was built in the AD 300s to 400s.

Though it wasn’t the synagogue in which Jesus taught Capernaum citizens about the “bread of life,” there was another synagogue underneath. Visitors who look closely at the west foundation will can see blocks of black stone about four feet long and a foot high. Those are most likely foundation stones from the synagogue in Jesus’ day.

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