An ancient Christian mosaic currently situated in a prison in Israel could soon find its way to the U.S.
The Megiddo Mosaic, located in what was once a Roman-era village in northern Israel, is believed to be a remnant from the world’s earliest Christian prayer hall, according to The Associated Press.
The Megiddo Mosaic could be loaned to Museum of the Bible in Washington. It was discovered by Israeli archaeologists in 2005 during a salvage excavation conducted as part of the planned expansion of an Israeli prison.
The IAA said that it will decide about the move in the coming… pic.twitter.com/VHt440tuQp
— Ticia Verveer (@ticiaverveer) August 15, 2023
Archeologists first discovered the historically significant mosaic during an excavation from 2004 through 2008. During the dig, researchers with the Israeli Antiquities Authority found the Greek inscription “to the God Jesus Christ,” The Times of Israel reported. As a result of the discoveries — significant to Christian heritage — there were discussions about relocating the prison.
“This structure is interpreted as the oldest Christian prayer house in the world … and, in fact, it tells the story of Christianity even before it became official,” the IAA stated at the time.
It seems, though, the prison expansion is set to move forward. With that in mind, the IAA more recently said the best way to protect the mosaic is to uproot it from its original location.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast
The artifact — should it be removed — could soon be loaned to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., co-founded in 2017 by Jackie and Steve Green, who also created Hobby Lobby.
There is another piece of biblical significance tied to the plain of Megiddo.
As explained by GotQuestions, Megiddo has been predicted as the location of Armageddon, the coming battle between Jesus and the forces of evil in this world. The word “Armageddon” originally comes from the Hebrew “Har-Magedone,” which is translated to “Mount Megiddo.”
There is only one passage in Scripture in which the term “Armageddon” appears, Revelation 16:12-16.
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. . . . Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
The IAA will reportedly make a decision about the mosaic’s fate in the coming weeks, after consulting with an advisory board of experts on the matter.
“There’s an entire process that academics and archaeologists are involved with,” explained IAA Director Eli Eskozido.
As for the Museum of the Bible, Chief Curator Jeffrey Kloha told The AP the museum “would welcome the opportunity to educate our thousands of visitors on important pieces of history such as this mosaic.”
CBN’s Faithwire has reached out to the Museum of the Bible for a statement on the mosaic. If a representative for the organization responds, this story will be updated to include those comments.