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The lost church where Jesus is said to have performed a Biblical miracle may have been unearthed in the Holy Land, experts believe.
The miracle, during which Jesus is said to have healed a woman who had bled for 12 years, reportedly took place in the Roman city of Caesarea Philippi.
Now archaeologists believe they may have unearthed the place where the miracle happened in the ancient city of Banias, in modern day Israel-occupied Syria, which was renamed Caesarea Philippi in Jesus' lifetime.
Researchers think the ruins of a church, recently unearthed close to the natural springs at the heart of the city, could hold the key.
Professor Adi Erlich said: "Beside the confession of Peter above, Banias is also mentioned as the place where Jesus cured a bleeding woman.
“Byzantine sources tell us that after she was healed, that woman erected a bronze statue to commemorate the miracle, and it was placed ‘in a church by the springs’.
“Later on it was broken into pieces and the pieces were displayed, as well as relics. We suggest that the church revealed by us might have been this church that was related to the miracle.”
While there is another church nearby, Professor Erlich believes the newly-discovered structure – which was previously hidden by a path – is a better fit.
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She added: “There is another church excavated some 30 years ago on the other side of the springs, but our little church is more of a memorial than a practical basilica for services."
The archaeologist and her colleague Ron Lavi, both from the University of Haifa in Israel, also found a stone there dating back to 400 AD, which is marked with crosses – perhaps carved by early pilgrims.
The miracle of Jesus healing the bleeding woman is told in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke in the Bible.
The story says she had bled for 12 years, but despite the care of many doctors the bleeding continued to get worse.
She is said to have approached Jesus and touched his cloak as he moved through a crowd, where she was healed instantly.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority ordered the excavation of the site at Banias to allow for conservation and to develop the place for tourism.
“Once conservation is over, everybody is welcome to come and visit,” said Professor Erlich.
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