A biblical archaeologist believes he has found the site where Jesus turned water into wine – and it’s not in the location where Christians have long thought it was.
The northern Israel town of Kafr Kanna – located a few miles northeast of Nazareth – is the traditional site of the New Testament town of Cana, where John 2 records Jesus as performing his first miracle and changing water into wine at a wedding.
But Tom McCollough, professor of religion at Centre College in Danville, Ky., says he has found evidence that the location of Cana actually is modern-day Khirbet Qana, a village that is a few miles north of Kafr Kanna.
McCollough wrote about the find in an edition of Biblical Archaeology Review. He and others found tunnels at Khirbet Qana that were used for Christian worship and had been marked with crosses and other references to the faith, according to the Daily Star.
Villages like Kafr Kanna have been thought to be the site, but “none has the ensemble of evidence that makes such a persuasive case for Khirbet Qana,” he said, according to the newspaper.
Christians centuries ago, he said, apparently came to the location because they believed it is where Jesus performed the miracle.
“We have uncovered a large Christian veneration cave complex that was used by Christian pilgrims who came to venerate the water-to-wine miracle. This complex was used at the beginning of the late fifth or early sixth century and continued to be used by pilgrims into the 12th century Crusader period,” he said. “The pilgrim texts we have from this period that describe what pilgrims did and saw when they came to Cana of Galilee match very closely what we have exposed as the veneration complex.”
Text by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who lived in the first century, also supports Khirbet Qana as being the site, McCollough said.
“His references to Cana align geographically with the location of Khirbet Qana and align logically with his movements,” he said. “The reference to Cana in Josephus, the New Testament and in the rabbinic texts would argue the village was a Jewish village, near the Sea of Galilee and in the region of lower Galilee. Khirbet Qana fulfills all of these criteria.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Jamie Street
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.