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Was Jesus' 'Miracle of the Swine' location really found?

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By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
12/21/2015 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

The story of when Jesus freed a man 'possessed by the devil' by casting demons into pigs is believed to have been in the same location as the recently discovered marble slab.

A marble slab has been discovered off the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The stone has Hebrew words etched into them and could indicate the exact location of the Miracle of the Swine.

The Miracle of the Swine location may have been recovered (Wikimedia Commons).

The Miracle of the Swine location may have been recovered (Wikimedia Commons).

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Archaeologists believe the slab adds to the belief that Jesus performed the Miracle of the Swine in Kursi, which is also known as the Land of Gederenes.

The Miracle of the Swine is mentioned in Mark 5, which reads: "They reached the territory of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake, and when he disembarked, a man with an unclean spirit at once came out from the tombs towards him. 

"The man lived in the tombs and no one could secure him any more, even with a chain, because he had often been secured with fetters and chains but had snapped the chains and broke the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him.

"All night and all day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and fell at his feet and shouted at the top of his voice, 'What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? In God's name do not torture me!'

Miracle of the Swine.

Miracle of the Swine.

"For Jesus had been saying to him, 'Come out of the man, unclean spirit. Then he asked, 'What is your name?' He answered, 'My name is Legion, for there are many of us.' And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the district.

"Now on the mountainside there was a great herd of pigs feeding, and the unclean spirits begged him, 'Send us to the pigs, let us go into them.'

"So he gave them leave. With that, the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand pigs charged down the cliff into the lake, and there they were drowned."

The 1600-year-old marble slab was transcribed in Hebrew and found on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee.

The 1600-year-old marble slab was transcribed in Hebrew and found on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee (Jennifer Munro).

The marble slab, discovered in what is believed to have been Kursi, is 55 inces by 26 inches. Experts have identified the words "amen" and "marmaria" inscribed in it, which could either refer to marble, Mary or Rabbi.

Researchers at the University of Haifa, Israel, along with the Antiquities Authority and the Nature and Parks Authority, are currently trying to decipher the other words that have been engraved.
Though the slab's presence is not indisputable evidence of Kursi's location, it does confirm the settlement was Jewish or Judeo-Christian.

The slab was discovered on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

The slab was discovered on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Jennifer Munro).

Dr. Haim Cohen said, "The presence of a Jewish site on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee is a very rare phenomenon. Until now we have not had any proof that Jewish settlements existed during this period along the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee."

The settlement's existence has been known since 1960. Many other discoveries, such as the remains of what could have been a public building, have been uncovered.

When a sharp decrease in the Sea of Galilee allowed researchers to further investigate the excavations around breakwater, they discovered an ancient harbor that was much larger than previously believed.

The discovery led them to the Bible in search of answers. After consulting the text, researchers believe the site is the Land of the Gederenes, which is mentioned in the New Testament.

The archaeologists specified that the slab does not mention the miracle, but it does indicate the site could be Kursi, based on the fact that it is the only site nearby with a harbor mentioned in the New Testament.

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