Site where Jesus Christ drove demons into the sea uncovered, confirming biblical event
In the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ was described to have confronted Satan directly in the land of the Gadarenes or Gerasenes where the Miracle of Swine took place. This dramatic confrontation when Jesus cast out demons was recounted by no less than three apostles—Matthew, Mark and Luke with varying nuances.
Archaeologists from Israel now believe they have found evidence of the biblical event in Kursi, the historically Gentile district of the Decapolis on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee, Breitbart reported.
Kursi is the spot traditionally associated with the miracle of Jesus' banishment of demons into a herd of swine.
This is the place where they recently unearthed a 1,500-year-old marble slab with Hebrew inscriptions.
The archaeologists believe the slab to be a commemoration tablet dating from around 500 AD. The inscription in Hebrew begins with the words "Remembered for good."
On the slab, scientists also identified the words "amen" and "marmaria," which could refer to marble or to Mary, Jesus' mother.
As described by the apostle Mark, the Miracle of the Swine took place after residents in Kursi tried to restrain a man possessed by the devil by shackling and chaining him.
The man had lived among the dead in the tombs, howling night and day and gashing himself with stones, terrifying the locals who dared not go near him.
They finally managed to put shackles on him while he was asleep. But the crazed man had super-human strength and easily broke free from the chains.
But before he could terrify the locals again, Jesus approached.
Surprisingly, to the locals' utter amazement, the man ran and bowed down before Jesus. The demons inside him howled and begged Jesus not to torment them.
Then Jesus commanded, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!"
The demons inside the man then replied, "My name is Legion; for we are many."
Jesus then cast the demons into a herd of about 2,000 swine grazing on a nearby hillside. The pigs rushed headlong down the steep bank into the sea, where they drowned.
The man now released from demonic possession then pleaded for Jesus to take him, but Jesus told him to stay and proclaim the mercy of God to his family and friends.
In the fifth and sixth centuries, a Christian church was built to mark the spot of the biblical location of the Miracle of the Swine, but this was destroyed by the invading Persian army in 614 AD, Breitbart said.
The church was rebuilt, but was again destroyed, this time by a fire that struck it. The site remained abandoned for most of the following 1,300 years.
The church was forgotten until it was uncovered by accident during the building of a new road in 1970.
Near the vicinity of the church ruins, caves are still visible, and there is a mountain that drops down into the sea, exactly as the Bible describes it.
Christian apologist Steve Ray told Breitbart News that since Kursi had the largest monastery in Israel, it was obviously held in high esteem by the first Christians.
"The early Judeo-Christians remembered the places and events surrounding the life of Christ, and as soon as Christianity was legalised, churches were built on these different sites," he said.
"The more archaeology uncovers," Ray said, "the more the Bible is confirmed."