Archaeologists Find A Second Synagogue In The Hometown Of Mary Magdalene

In the ancient Jewish community of Migdal, also known as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, archaeologists discover the ruins of a 2,000-year-old synagogue found just within the vicinity of another synagogue known as Magdala. This is the first time two synagogues dating back to the Second Temple period have been discovered in a single community. 

Where Is Migdal

Migdal is a town in the Northern District of Israel that has a shoreline on the Sea of Galilee including the Tamar, Ilanot, and Arbel beaches. Its name came from a city in the Second Temple period called Magdala. In 1908 a group of German Catholics identified the site as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. The closest towns are Tiberias and Ginosar. 

During the first century, Migdal was known as a popular fishing village and the center of Jewish living.  In biblical texts, it is referred to as the ‘Tower of Fishes’ or ‘Magdala Nunayya’. The recently found ruins fit the description and location within ancient texts. 

Who Was Mary Magdalene

It might be interesting to know that Magdalene is not actually Mary’s last name but comes from the area in which she lived, Magdala. She was a follower of Jesus, a witness to his crucifixion and his resurrection. She is mentioned twelve times in the New Testament which is more than any other woman named in the Bible. There are many controversies surrounding who Mary Magdalene was; one of which is that she was never a prostitute. What is not debated is that Mary Magdalene spent a lot of time with Jesus and his disciples and is often referred to as the ‘apostle of apostles’ for that reason. 

sea of galilee

How Can I Visit Migdal

Friendships tours offer an Israel tour that tours many biblical sites mentioned in the Bible. Along this tour, you will take a memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where the Migdal shore shares its sands. Migdal sits between Tiberias and Ginosar. Another tour offered is the Israel and Jordan tour which will also land in Tiberias near Migdal. Though these tours have similar sites that are visited they do have their differences making them unique tours in themselves. 

In light of the recent findings, it is imagined that Mary Magdalene along with her family and other community members visited this synagogue to participate in religious and communal events. According to the ancient texts, early Christians were known to gather socially and study biblical teachings. With more discoveries of ancient ruins, we can learn and understand in greater detail the people and their cultures that lived thousands of years ago. 

Photo @Steven_Van

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