In a city where Jesus' companion Mary Magdalene lived and perhaps even met with Jesus, the discovery and excavation of a first-century synagogue is shedding new light on Judeo-Christian worship 2,000 years ago.
In 2009 a team of researchers in the town of Migdal on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel discovered an ancient synagogue, one of only a handful dating back to the time of Jesus, when the town was a small fishing village known as Magdala. An ongoing excavation at the Magdala synagogue has since turned up valuable artifacts including a rosette mosaic and a special table that may once have displayed Torah scrolls with a stone relief of a seven-branched candelabrum, according to Haaretz.
What archaeologists know about the synagogue's construction also suggests to some scholars that Jews and the earliest Judeo-Christians may have worshipped together at the holy site, per Haaretz.
Jesus' crucifixion, meanwhile, is generally believed to have been around 30 A.D., with a recent study suggesting an exact death date of April 3, 33 A.D.
In the Bible, Magdala is listed as the home of one of Jesus' most prominent female followers. According to The Jerusalem Post, the Gospels of Luke, Mark and John say Mary of Magdalene accompanied Jesus in Galilee, witnessed his crucifixion and then became one of the first to speak with him after he rose from the dead.
The historical possibilities are therefore tantalizing for biblical archaeologists, who continue to examine the site for evidence of a meeting between Mary and Jesus in Magdala.
See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.
This is an interesting article about a recent archealogical discovery in what used to be the city of Magdala. The article is accompanied by a couple of features showing pictures from the dig, as well as other findings from other digs. Many questions are raised - many of which can be answered by reading The Urantia Book.
But the primary subject of the article is this discovery of a synagogue in what is now called Migdal. In Jesus' times, it was called Magdala, and as Urantia Book readers know, Magdala was one of the first towns in which the Women's Corps went to work proclaiming the gospel and ministering to women. It was indeed, the town in which Mary (the Magdalene) was won for the kingdom:
Never heard of the Women's Evangelistic Corps? You can read about it here.
Magdala was one of the women's first outreach projects:
150:2.2 It was at Magdala that the women first demonstrated their usefulness and vindicated the wisdom of their choosing. Andrew had imposed rather strict rules upon his associates about doing personal work with women, especially with those of questionable character. When the party entered Magdala, these ten women evangelists were free to enter the evil resorts and preach the glad tidings directly to all their inmates. And when visiting the sick, these women were able to draw very close in their ministry to their afflicted sisters. As the result of the ministry of these ten women (afterward known as the twelve women) at this place, Mary Magdalene was won for the kingdom. Through a succession of misfortunes and in consequence of the attitude of reputable society toward women who commit such errors of judgment, this woman had found herself in one of the nefarious resorts of Magdala. It was Martha and Rachel who made plain to Mary that the doors of the kingdom were open to even such as she. Mary believed the good news and was baptized by Peter the next day.
So, not only did Mary Magdalens and Jesus know one another, Mary Magdalene became one of Jesus' most devoted followers, and was active in his life until the end. And even after his resurrection, Mary was witness to four out of the first five of Jesus' appearances.
Our study on Mary Magdalene can be accessed HERE
One other note: in this article, a date of April 3, 33 A.D. is posited as the possible actual time of Jesus' crucifixion. It's pretty close, but in The Urantia Book, we do learn the real date of the Master's death as April 7, 30 A.D.
And yes, Mary Magdalene was in attendance:
187:3.2 Standing near the cross at one time or another during the crucifixion were Mary, Ruth, Jude, John, Salome (John’s mother), and a group of earnest women believers including Mary the wife of Clopas and sister of Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdalene, and Rebecca, onetime of Sepphoris. These and other friends of Jesus held their peace while they witnessed his great patience and fortitude and gazed upon his intense sufferings.