Have Archeologists Found the Site of Jesus' First Miracle?
According to the AP, archeologists digging at modern day Cana in Israel have "found pieces of large stone jars of the type the Gospel says Jesus used when he turned water into wine at a Jewish wedding in the Galilee village of Cana." They have determined that the shards date from the Roman period when Jesus was ministering in Galilee.
The miracle story is found at John 2:1-11. Defending the significance of the find from more skeptical colleagues, Israeli archeologist Yardena Alexander notes that the diamter of the jars (12-16 inches in diamater) are similar to those described in the Gospel of John: "Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each." 2:6.
Alexander, whose find competes with an American execavation also claimed to be the site of cana, points to other indications that this was the Biblical Cana:
Other evidence that might link the site to the biblical account includes the presence of a Jewish ritual bath at the house, which shows it was a Jewish community. Locally produced pottery was used at the simple house, showing it could have been from the poor village described in the Scriptures.
Typically, it's hard to know the true significance of the find based on a short AP story. To me, the evidence seems short of being able to pinpoint the specific jars or wedding site, of the miracle recorded in the Gospel of John. On the other hand, this does -- at the very least -- show that the miracle described in the Gospel of John is accurate in its context, even down to the proper size stone jars holding the wine.
Let's hope we hear more about it. But if we don't, then that probably tells us something as well.