Archaeologists digging at et-Taiyiba, in the northern Jezreel valley, have unearthed the remains of a Byzantine church, along with a Greek inscription with the phrase, “Christ, born of Mary". The inscribed stone was once part of the lintel at the entrance of the church, which dates to the 5th century; the church was discovered in preparation for the construction of a road. The full inscription reads, "Christ born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation - -. Whoever enters should pray for them." The inscription would have greeted the worshipers to bless them; the phrase “Christ, born of Mary,” may have been intended to protect people from evil. In addition to the inscription, archaeologists discovered mosaic pavements arranged in geometric designs. Theodosius, one of the men the inscription refers to, was a Christian bishop of nearby Bet She’an and likely the building's founder. The Byzantine church will add to our knowledge of the life and worship of Christians who lived in the region during the Byzantine era.
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