Israeli and American archaeologists working together near the Sea of Galilee may have found an inscription that points towards the Apostle Peter’s home. It’s a 1,500-year-old inscription on the floor of an ancient basilica, suggesting the structure was built on top of Peter’s former house.
The Greek inscription references “Constantine, the servant of Christ” — the Roman Emperor who converted to Christianity, quickly transforming Christians from an obscure religious community to a powerful group in the world’s dominant empire. The inscription then makes a plea from the “chief and commander of the heavenly apostles.”
That’s probably a reference to Peter, according to a news release. “The title’ chief and commander of the apostles’ is routinely used by Byzantine Christian writers to refer to the Apostle Peter.” Kinneret College in Israel and Nyack College, NY, led by Professor Mordechai Aviam and Professor Steven Notley, say it helps confirm their suspicion that this basilica is the long-rumored “Church of the Apostles” — an ancient church building that had a special relationship to Peter.
“This discovery is our strongest indicator that Peter had a special association with the basilica, and it was likely dedicated to him,” said Steven Notley, academic director of the dig. “Since Byzantine Christian tradition routinely identified Peter’s home in Bethsaida, and not in Capernaum as is often thought today, it seems likely that the basilica commemorates his house.”