Archaeologists find oldest artifact to mention Bethlehem, traditional birthplace of Jesus

Here we go again: Archaeologists in Israel have found an allegedly biblically relevant artifact, an ancient seal with the Hebrew word “Bethlehem” on it that apparently dates to the seventh century BCE. Bethlehem, of course, is represented in the New Testament (Mt 2:1) as the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Well, that’s clear proof of the baby Jesus! Don’t forget, he’s also “Jesus of Nazareth,” which evidently didn’t even exist as a city/polis when he was supposedly born. Christ’s nativity was located in Bethlehem because that town was purportedly the birth and coronation place of King David, and the awaited messiah was supposed to be from the House of David. Bethlehem is mentioned over 40 times in the Old Testament, so this find is important not to establish the town’s existence in the pre-Christian written record but to push the earliest reference to the seventh century BCE. One of these biblical references in particular, Micah 5:2, serves as a “messianic prophecy”:

But you, O Bethlehem Eph’rathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.

It is commonly averred that Micah is the “prophet” mentioned at Matthew 2:5: “They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet…'” It is clear that, rather than representing “prophecy,” various “messianic scriptures” were strung together using midrash/interpretation as “blueprints” to create the Christ character.

The first biblical mention of בית לחם or Beyth Lechem – Βηθλεεμ in the Greek Old Testament or Septuagint – meaning “house of bread (food),” appears in Genesis (35:19, 48:7). The earliest extant text of Genesis is from the Dead Sea and dates from the first centuries around the common era, but the earliest layers of the text were composed several centuries previously. Attributed to the Israelite prophet Moses, who purportedly existed in the 13th century BCE, the oldest strata of Genesis apparently were not composed initially until the sixth century or so, making that text later than this seal. In any event, there is reason to surmise that Bethlehem existed in myths before it was established on Earth and that the “house of bread” concept reflects an Egyptian origin.

Archaeologists in Jerusalem dig find oldest seal inscribed with ‘Bethlehem’ in ancient Hebrew

JERUSALEM — Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,700-year-old seal that bears the inscription “Bethlehem,” the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday, in what experts believe to be the oldest artifact with the name of Jesus’ traditional birthplace.

The tiny clay seal’s existence and age provide vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem, archaeologists said.

Eli Shukron, the authority’s director of excavations, said the find was significant because it is the first time the name “Bethlehem” appears outside of a biblical text from that period.

Shukron said the seal, 1.5 centimeters (0.59 inches) in diameter, dates back to the period of the first biblical Jewish Temple, between the eighth and seventh century B.C., at a time when Jewish kings reigned over the ancient kingdom of Judah and 700 years before Jesus was born.

The seal was written in ancient Hebrew script from the same time. Pottery found nearby also dated back to the same period, he said.

Shmuel Achituv, an expert in ancient scripts at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University who did not participate in the dig, said the discovery was the oldest reference to Bethlehem ever found outside of the Bible. Apart from the seal, the other mentions of Bethlehem, Achituv said, “are only in the Bible.”

The stamp, also known as “fiscal bulla,” was likely used to seal an administrative tax document, sent from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, the seat of Jewish power at the time.

It was found as archaeologists sifted through mounds of dirt they had dug up in an excavation outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls.

Shukron said the first line most likely read “Beshava’at” — or “in the seventh” — most likely the year of the reign of a king. The second line, he said, has the crumbling letters of the word “Bethlehem.” The third line carried one letter, a “ch” which Shukron said was the last letter of the Hebrew work for king, “melech.”

Hebrew words often do not have vowels, which are understood from the context, making several interpretations of the same word plausible. Some of the letters are crumbled, or were wiped away. Three experts interviewed by the AP, one involved in the text and two independents, concurred the seal says Bethlehem.

There are only some 40 other existing seals of this kind from the first Jewish Temple period, said Achituv, making this a significant find, both because such seals are rare, and because this is the first to mention Bethlehem.

The dig itself has raised controversy.

It is being underwritten by an extreme-right wing Jewish organization that seeks to populate the crowded Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan with Jewish settlers, arguing that they have ancient links to the area. The dig is being undertaken in a national park in the area of Silwan, known to Jews as “the City of David.”

Shukron said the seal was found some months ago, but they needed time to confirm the identity of the artifact.

Further Reading

The Nazareth Debate


  1. Long time ago in egypt
    Oh yeah!!! Just like the Shroud of Turin, Catacombs, Remnant of his cross, James Ossuary, Christ tombs and bone boxes…maybe soon they’ll find falsified birth certificate written either in Hebrew, Aramaic, or whatever language.

    How sure are they that the name imprinted there is the same with the sun of god, if he even existed but the odds are there’s no core for this jewish/egyptian myth called Christianity.

    And after this, I’m pretty sure that this post will be trolled and much vitriol and calumny will be dished upon Acharya S.

    my blog:

  2. The problem is that many of the so-called discoveries have later proven to be frauds. I was surprised Jacobovici’s name wasn’t in the article!

  3. Interesting
    I discovered you on a youtube video explaining Christmas. I understand you skepticism about how is it that the story of the Messiah seems so similar to other religious groups that came prior to him. Well the answer to that is simple. The Creator had and still has a tendency to use things that are already familiar to humanity in order to connect and communicate his message.

    He did it in the old covenant in Genesis 15 with Avraham when he entered a blood sacrifice with Avraham that included the sacrifice of animals. Why? because that’s what Avraham was familiar with and he came down to his level in order to gain Avrahams trust.

    That’s how the Creator works he comes down to your level and uses the things you already know to communicate and to connect. The Apostle Paul even bears witness to this is 1 Corinthians 9:22 when he said he becomes ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN so that he might win some.

    There is another scripture that bears witness that says he takes the foolish things of this world to confound the wise in 1Conrinthains 1:27

    You basically summarized saying that Sun Worship was something that was common and wide spread. So it makes sense that the Creator would come down to their level of their knowledge of Sun Worship in order to communicate and connect the message of the Messiah

    Also Christianity is actually the Mystery whore prophesied in Revelations chapter 17.

    Even though the Creator used Sun worship as a REFERENCE to communicate the MANNER in which the Messiah came to the earth does not mean that the actual rituals of this religion is part of the Gospel of the Messiah

    Just like the Apostle Paul when he said he has become all things. He’s basically saying he comes down to there level and meets them where they are it does not mean that he’s apart or involved in what they are doing. There is a difference.

    This is where it should’ve ended. The early Congregation was doing just fine with the Gospel that the Messiah left behind but this foreign thing call Christianity came in to hijack and contaminate and this is what we’ve been dealing with today.

    Also seen as though you are into all this research. Are you aware that the Messiah is actually equivalent to a Negro man and that the Hebrews were are dark skin nation and that there is a small percentage of these people in Israel today who actual bloodline descendants but are actual descendants of European converts.

    If you doubt they were a dark skin nation then I’ll give you this quick fact. Skin that is prone to sunburn would not survive 40 years in a hot desert.

    Its quite obvious that these people who lived in this hot desert for 40 years hand an abundance of melanin in their skin.

    I find it hilarious when I see these images allegedly depicting the Messiah as a Caucasian man with thin fine hair. When the scriptures clearly said that his skin was the color of burnt brass and his hair was the texture of wool basically the equivalent of kinky hair.

    This just proves that people rarely study or READ the bible yet they have so much to say and comment on it.

    And these European converts are playing games in Israel and they are shameful and a disgrace. It’s sickening what they are doing to the Palestinians but that’s all I’ll say about that.


    1. You had me right up too the skin and hair info , first people have and do live in the desert for more than 40 years easy with less than dark skin. If you have proof what Hebrews looked like that’s great! But that kind of info can be easily misconstrued , besides gods word forbids idolatry both in jewish and muslim books so any image of any man may not be made an idol to be falsely worshiped. How be that it may, correct imagery when researching Jesus could be helpful if any acceptable historical account can be found besides Gods word. Peace

    2. Also I wanted to suggest a re-evaluation: christiany existed before it was hijacked by religion, Christianity is a life choice lived by being in agreement to gods word not religious perfunctory . At least the Christians I know( ain’t that many)-peace

    3. Lord,
      save me from your followers. Please. :Pinch:

  4. So what
    So what! Open scholarly debate needed for all discoveries! Continuing evidence for Jesus’s existance will not unharden people’s hearts, understanding his message undiluded by religious zealots should however. Unless they are weeds and bear no fruit . Acharya is just calling em like she sees em, subject to debate and scepticism.And rightfully so. The burden of proof is required by some however before they can unharden their hearts, just like the Japanese who refused to believe they would be bombed in their homeland by the U.S. required proof before they would admit to not defeat but only admit they would no longer pursue a war with the US. And face it a lot of Christians just want to be left alone while others want to see everybody bombed( for shame). This is the reality folks, if there is brought before you undeniable evidence of Jesus’s existance , it just might be to late to unharden your heart , just like all those innocent victims of Japan . This is sad but true. If my remarks are veiwed as too inflammatory , forgive me please. If your unwilling to unharden your heart no matter who you affiliate with ( religious or non religious) there would be no need for you in a just and equatable society , for surely you would sacrifice wisdom for sake of another’s destruction- peace

  5. maximus confusionus

    T- Rex Probably believed in something. Acharyra S is one smokin’ hot BABE. Other than that; as Tracy Lawerance said : Time Marches On.

  6. Pre-Christian Europe – What Do We Know?
    Yes, “maximus confusionus”, the idea of giving the lovely Acharya S what every woman deserves (an all night-er) had passed through my mind (several times) also.

    Meanwhile, I was wondering if Acharya S (and her associates) would like to take a rest from the great Jewish fairy tale, and give us a balanced analysis of the original belief system that once gave the original Europeans their spiritual sustenance. I believe it has the name Asatru (or alternatively, “Norse Heathenism”).

    Many former Euro-Christians are now returning to Asatru.

  7. Who Is Behind These Discoveries?
    Those in power are absolutely behind the Timely releases of such FARCE-eological finds around the planet. There will be many more, including outer space stuff. All to construct a new history for the people, a history that will ‘prove’ a superior race, and the masses will just eat it up as they drop to their knees.

    Timing is Indeed Everything.

    1. The hidden hand will strike again. As an ex- CIA man I once knew said to me,” the easiest way to fool any person or gov. Is to tell the truth but add details so superfluous that the entire story is made subject to scrutiny despite the truth laid before them. This was confirmed by Ted gunderson or was it? Scrutiny has laid to waste to heart of the matter, so a superior race does exist; it is us,humans, with capacity to overcome any obstacle if we unite together in peace and love,,, but,,, that is postulation for we have been divided sooo much already it might seem hopeless to some who deem there is no reason not to get along they will eat up lies that divide us- peace

  8. Go Ahead
    Open the NUT can and watch all the programmed fanatics spill out.
    Stupid fairy tales to control all the idiots.

  9. I think the inscription says “made in Taiwan”

    1. Lmfao , funny

  10. A catholic curate once told me when I was In my infants school that the Catholic church has no evidence that proves god exists, but have much evidence that proves that (he) does not.

  11. Bibi next?
    Perhaps some day real soon they’ll find a new/old stone with Mileikowsky carved into it, proving Bibi “Netanyahu” really is an Israeli Hebrew who came from the future to prove.. wait.. what is it they’re trying to prove again?

    Oh riiiiight. Never mind..

  12. Went and looked at ancient hebrew alphabet , does not corespond to my eye, and it looks like one line is upside down, I got bsb, bet sin bet,, and taw lamed het, tlh, or even get this; tgh taw gimel het?? I’m going go bury my old school homework and mabye someday it will determine someone’s entire life’s work, and with no real way to determine the rate of material decay many years ago ( an atomic blast or sun activity will decay it very fast) they’ll carbon date it a millions years old. 100 years from now lol- peace

  13. One Inch In Thousands Of Cubic Feet
    Yeah! You bet! One tiny broken piece of clay with the word “Bethlehem” conveniently molded onto it.

    Out of all of the thousands of square miles of land, and thousands (or millions?) of cubic feet of soil in Israel, a one inch piece of clay with the word “Bethlehem” molded onto it is found. Talk about coincidence!

    The economies of Israel and Italy would be drastically depressed if the world were to learn that there was never on this earth the New Testment’s “Jesus Christ.”

    The economies of Israel and Italy need tourists. Religious tourists play a major part in their economies.

    My guess is that most tourists who visit Israel and Italy go for the purpose of visiting religious sites – churches, where Jesus walked, etc.

    I believe that the bones box, the Shroud of Turin, the “Bethlehem” seal, etc. were manufactured in studios and labs. Some antique stores, today, sell furniture, clothing, vinyl phonograph records, and other items that are so close to the originals that it takes an Antiques Roadshow style expert to determine if the item is the original or a recently manufactured copy.

    Hundreds of years ago some oil painting artists had such mastery of their art that they were able to create paintings so perfectly that they were falsely attributed to the (famous) artists.

    The Israeli archaeologists who supposedly “discovered” the “Bethlehem” seal are about as believable as the moon being made of green cheese.

    Israel’s economy survives partly because of its “Holy Land” mirage that tantalizes tourists like the dangling chain of the hypnotist.

    Italy’s economy survives because of its Jesus tale and its artistic masterpieces that are also like the dangling chains of the hypnotist.

    The “Bethlehem” seal is probably another dangling chain of the religious hypnotist that was manufactured in a chemistry lab.

    The beautiful, magnificent churches in Italy that were built before the 20th century must cost Italy a fortune to maintain. And I believe that they (should) be preserved but not because of their religiousness; but rather because they are artistic masterpieces. Just like the Egyptian pyramids should be preserved.

    The Vatican should just be honest with the world. The Vatican should just admit to the world that the story of Jesus is a fabricated novel. The Vatican should apologize to the world for fabricating this novel and using it as a financial rip off scheme of 1700 years. What’s really sad about this is that the Vatican, which has been controlled mainly by Italians, has ripped off millions of (their own) Italian people by way of this lie. And Protestants have done the same thing to their people in other countries.

    Just like the popularity of the great buildings of the Roman Empire, the magnificent Christian churches in Italy (will) maintain their abilitiy to attract tourists even IF the Vatican were to tell the world the truth about the fable of Jesus.

    Just you wait! Next year they’ll “discover” Jesus’ high school diploma.

    1. Peter’s In-Law’s House at Capernaum
      Last year, I heard a commercial on an area Christian radio station promoting a Holy Land tour which would include a stop at Capernaum to visit the home (I can not member exactly) of either Peter or his in-laws. The announcer exclaimed that here is the chance to visit where Jesus and Peter sat at table and engaged in discussions.

      Also, last year, a successful man took me out for a business lunch meeting at which he gushed about how he had visited Holy Land, including the shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus had walked. I found myself unable to say that I believe that the books of the New Testament are the product of fanciful story-telling and that Jesus, Paul, Peter, and the rest of the disciples are fictional.

      As for the fragment with the name Bethlehem, I do not know enough about the history of that town to offer insight. However, by my logic, it seems that, even if the town existed in the first century and seven hundred years prior thereto, and even if references to the town found their way into writings of uncertain vintages which later evolved into the books of the Old Testament, such facts would not be evidence that Jesus of Nazareth ever existed.

    2. Just another …
      roadside attraction …

  14. Reposting Comment
    Don’t know what happened to my second post but I wrote more that this. I will post again:

    “But that kind of info can be easily misconstrued” ::::Actually there is nothing misconstrued about that. There are countless scriptures in the bible including the several descriptions given of the Messiah to let you know that this was a dark skin nation.

    Also archaeology proves that the Hebrews were are dark skin nation. That region in general were majority all dark skin people. Even the original Egyptians of the bible was a dark skin nation and they are still there today you just don’t see them on TV same in present day Iraq, Iran, Palestine etc. there are dark skin people that are [b]NATIVE[/b] to the region that if they were to come here to the US they would be the equivalent of a “African American”.

    Also the word semite means “half” you here a lot of contemporary Jews throw this word around but Semite is literally the equivalent of a mulatto the so call biracial

    A lot of contemporary jews today often bare physical traits of their semite ancestors. Below is an excerpt from a woman that I was speaking with on the Huffington Post about her Jewish husband.

    “I see my family isn’t the only one who affectionately refers to Semitic hair as the Jew Fro. 🙂 With absolutely NO disrespect intended, mind, my husband has the very classical large nose, large ears, and extremely curly thick hair that explodes out into a Jew Fro if he lets it grow. Unfortunately, while he got the slightly olive-dark skin tone, he didn’t get the tanning genes”

    These physical traits that this woman just described are the traits of Real Hebrews that are descendants of Semitic (mixed) Hebrews who had a parent that was the original dark skin Hebrew.

    And being a New Yorker, I personally have met lots of contemporary Jews that bore these physical traits and are clearly real Hebrews and not just descendants of European converts.

    There is nothing misconstrued about this. If that’s the case then why is Israel excepting the Falasha in Ethiopia as real Hebrews and allowing them to move to Israel (Obviously they know something). These are dark skin people who thought they were the only Hebrews left in the world So before you dismiss it do proper research and have an open mind.

    Our mindset of the scriptures has become too Europeanized. This was a world that the Europeans stumbled upon they did not originate this. They only changed the skin colors obviously to make it more appealing to them.

    Secondly there is a difference between idolizing verses truth. Having a clear description of what the Messiah looked like is not idolizing it’s called Knowing the truth. His early congregation knew who he was and exactly what he looked like so there is no reason why his modern day congregations shouldn’t have clarity of who he is and what he looks like. After all we are suppose to be in a divine relationship with him and good, healthy relationships are to be built on HONESTY and TRUTH

    The Creator said they that worship me must worship me in spirit and in truth not fairy tales and false ideologies!!! (John 4:24)

    It’s not OK for people to think that he was a Caucasian man when in reality he is a dark skin man from a Dark skin nation.

    And I’m not sure what you mean when you are referring to Christianity being around longer. The Gospel of the Messiah is not to be confused with Christianity. The Gospel of the Messiah was a complete separate entity and a continuation of the Law of Moses & The Prophets which should not be confused with Judaism. Judaism consist of traditions and ideas that the Hebrews made up that had nothing to do with the Law Of Moses & The Prophets.

    Unfortunately today we have blurred the lines between the two and now we identify the Law of Moses and The Prophets with traditions of talmudism (that is now Judaism) that the Creator never gave to him Moses or any of the prophets. The original Hebrews had a tendency of liking to make things up and create traditions that were never approved by the Creator.

    This is why the Messiah fiercely addresses them when he said:
    “Making the word (Law of Moses & The Prophets) of God of no effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such things do you”.- Mark 7:13

  15. Those Christians will try to use any archaeological find containing even the slightest biblical reference as “proof” that the bible is a true historical document.
    The ironic thing is that if archaeologists were to find something that provided strong evidence for historical accuracy in any pre-Christian mythology, those same Christians would likely try to find even the slightest excuse for rejecting said evidence.

  16. It used to be that …
    alcoholism and religion went hand in hand … Reading many of these posts, it must be meth and religion now. Damn … :Pinch:

    1. Randomized Rants

      I think the christian apologists trolling this site are smoking crack. Maybe some crystal meth as well. So much addicted to find anything that would suffice their claims of grandeur and power of a guy with long hair and a beard presented in the Jewish myth named Christianity.

  17. If you can’t love the one you want
    Love the ones your with- peace

  18. The Hungarians are stolen again?
    The Jews suddenly find everything? :woohoo:

  19. The markings would have been eroded.
    The piece of clay displayed is claimed to be over 2700 years old and there is hardly any erosion of the markings. There are some chips and cracking, but if it were authentic the raised markings would have been worn smooth. Look at any old coin from the Roman era. They’re made of metal and the markings are worn smooth. This fragment is made of clay and looks like it could have been made a few years ago. It is either a fake or if real could not date to more than a few hundred years old.

    1. Why are you comparing a clay seal with a coin ? A metal has the same erosion as clay ? You don’t know of what you are talking about . You are insinuating that the official archeology department in Israel is none less then fraud . And what is even more disgusting without any scientific proof . Why must a clay tablet (concealed and stabilized in dry rubbish for thousands of years ) have the same erosion as a coin ?

  20. instead
    of digging up stuff wouldn’t it be better if Jesus appeared unto many now ….changed some water into plonk on TV..and as in the past astounded his disciples to greater faith ? or doesn’t he really give a sh*t ? see ? christians are deluded by bullsh*t priests ! desperately trying to prove their claims by neferious means . :whistle:

  21. peter the fool
    Peter….are you saying that a 2700 year old clay fragment should not have eroded in the same way that a 2000 year old metal coin? Really? The fragment is clearly not eroded on the raised portions. THIS IS FRAUD… for you to claim that metal erodes more quickly than clay is ridiculous. You betray yourself as a fool. I find it amazing that we have to deal with ludicrous challenges such as yours. Seriously….they make a claim without proof and you don’t question that….I make an observation that is quite logical and you attack like vermin. The raised portions are OBVIOUSLY not worn. I made a logical observation. You have made an illogical retort.

    1. reply to ignorance .
      You have no knowledge of the object , you are also insinuating that the archeological department of Israel is all fake . Even the heading of your post ‘peter the fool’ says a lot about your character . Have YOU scientifically investigated the object ? Have YOU examined it by c-14 to date the object ? Do you have proof of more cases of fraud of the Israeli department of archeology ? Do you know the difference between metal coins that were passed around for ages and a clay tablet used only for one freight of goods ? I wonder if you know the difference between clay and metal . When you don’t have the knowledge it is better for you not to comment too often . cheers ! greetings to your aliases too . lol .

      1. Peter,

        Here is a recent example of what’s wrong in academia still to this day. We have professional archaeologists publicly saying that other archaeologists are “[i]bending science to prove a Biblical heritage[/i]” … with “[i]generous funding, from religious groups[/i]”

        [quote]”Archaeologists have given up many of their best practices in order to answer the continuing demands of mainly political actors,” says Raphael Greenberg, an Israeli archaeologist from Tel Aviv University, who has worked in Jerusalem.

        “says some archaeologists cater to financial donors like Elad, which seeks to establish Biblical roots and develop tourism”

        “Over time, when you’re funded by these people in huge sums, and we’re talking millions of dollars, you become part of the machine,” argued Greenberg, who has been speaking out for some time over his doubts about archaeology in the holy city.

        Jerusalem archaeologists feel pressured on all sides.

        “I’m being looked at by religious extremists on all sides, the municipality, and the Antiquities Authority. Everybody is pushing his side,” says Ronny Reich, an archaeologist from the University of Haifa in northern Israel.”

        Researchers dig up controversy in Jerusalem ([url][/url])[/quote]
        Worldwide Biblical Artifacts Fraud Ring Exposed ([url][/url])

        1st-century Mark fragment discovered? ([url][/url])

        Earliest Evidence of Biblical Cult Discovered ([url][/url])

        King David and Jerusalem- Myth and Reality ([url][/url])

        The Nazareth Debate ([url][/url])

      2. peter is slang for penis
        First of all dumbass c-14 dating requires CARBON. Things that were living can be CARBON DATED Clay was not alive. Secondly, observing that a 2700 year old object that has no evidence of erosion does not take a rocket scientist. Thirdly, I am always skeptical of a group that has an agenda…ie… the Israelis have a need to prove the existence of a long dead Palestinian that has been press-ganged into selling playstations and beer. Fourthly metal wears at a dramatically slower rate than clay, therefore the clay imprints that look like they were made a few years ago yet claimed to be 2700 years old, don’t look anything like the coins that were minted 2000 years ago. The fact that I have to spend energy and time explaining these obvious observations to anyone is highly insulting; not to me but to you. You are an insulant uneducated little troll. All of my points are clear to an educated rational mind…what the F is your excuse?

        1. to chrestos the looooooser
 . Keep up with the latest developments , poor sucker . Have you studied archeology ? lol . You have a foul mouth full of insults and nothing to proof , only ventilating insinuations is your speciality . You have absolutely no knowledge what so ever and are only fertilizing your own agenda of ignorance . It is easy to have a lot of aliases , but i have an idea who is behind it .lol.

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