Throughout our history, the location of the site where Jesus Christ performed his ‘first miracle’ remained shrouded in mystery.
The Gospel of John tells us that during the ‘Wedding at Cana’, Jesus Christ turned water into wine.
The Gospel actually tells us that Jesus was invited to a wedding together with his mother, as well as his disciples. During the wedding, eventually the wine ran out, and it is at that time when Jesus delivered a sign of his glory and turned water into wine:
On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus Christ was there too. Jesus has also been invited to the wedding, together with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, that there is no wine anymore So, Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not come yet.” His mother said to the servants that they should do whatever Jesus tells them.
Now, there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rite of purification, each of them holding twenty or even thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants to fill the jars with water. And, they filled them up to the brim. Then, he said to them to draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. So, the servants took it. When the master tasted the water which now became wine, and he did not know where it came from, though the servants that had drawn the water knew, so the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then they serve the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.
This is the first of his signs that Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in his actions.
The right location where the first miraculous act attributed to Jesus took place is a great mystery, however. Throughout the years, the location of Cana was widely attributed among Biblical Scholars to some Villages in Galilee, but no one exactly could confirm it.
Thousands of pilgrims were also convinced that the exact location of where Jesus Christ performed his first miracle was Kafr Kanna, which is a town in northern Israel.
Now, one group of researchers says that the location is not Kafr Kanna, but a hillside which is some 10 kilometers further north.
So, what have the experts founded?
The site experts identified Khirbet Wana, which is a Jewish village which existed between the years 323 B.C.E. and 324 A.D. There, the experts have uncovered a number of clues which they say suggest it was there where Jesus did his first miracle.
Archaeological excavations also proved the existence of a vast network of underground tunnels which were used for Christian worship, where researchers founded some crosses, as well as references to Kyrie Iesou, which is a Greek phrase meaning Lord Jesus.
Experts also discovered an altar and shelf which contained the remains of a stone vessel. Archaeologists recovered about six stone jars, which are similar to the jars which are described in some Biblical account of the miracle.
Dr. Tom McCollough, the lead archaeologist at the site, speaking about the discovery said that three other sites also have some credible claims of being the Cana of Biblical accounts.
But, there is always that but – he said:
But none has the ensemble of evidence which makes such a persuasive case for Khirbet Qana.
We have uncovered one large Christian veneration cave complex which has been utilized by Christian pilgrims that came to venerate the water-to-wine miracle. This complex has been utilized starting in the late fifth or early sixth century and continued to be utilized by pilgrims into the 12th century Crusader period.
The pilgrim texts which we have from this period, which describe what pilgrims did and saw when they came to Cana of Galilee, match very closely what we have exposed as the veneration complex.
Moreover, his references to Cana align geographically with the location of Khirbet Qana and align logically with his movements.
The reference to Cana in Josephus, the New Testament, as well as in the rabbinic texts would argue that the village was a Jewish one, near the Sea of Galilee and in the region of lower Galilee.
Khirbet Qana fulfills all of these criteria.
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