New Testament City of Bethsaida Unearthed?

Evidence of New Testament City of Bethsaida

Unearthed in Archaeological Dig

Nyack College Distinguished Professor Dr. R. Steve Notley

Is Academic Director of  The El-Araj Excavation Project in Israel 



Constance L. Diggs


Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism & Christian Origins

NEW YORK, NY — Excavations this summer on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee have uncovered what may be evidence of the ancient city, Bethsaida-Julias, chronicled in the New Testament of the Bible, as the home of three of Jesus’ apostles: Peter, Andrew, and Philip (John 1:44; 12:21). The excavations were conducted under the auspices of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College (Israel), and directed by Dr. Mordechai Aviam (pictured right) with Dr. R. Steven Notley (pictured left) of Nyack College (New York). Notley, who served as the El-Araj Excavation Project academic director, is distinguished professor of New Testament and Christian Origins and director of graduate programs in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins at Nyack’s Manhattan campus in Battery Park. Students and faculty from Nyack College joined volunteers from the United States and Hong Kong to excavate for two weeks in July.

The El-Araj Excavations Project was made possible through the generous support of the Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins, Nyack College, the Assemblies of God, and HaDavar Yeshiva (Hong Kong).

National Geographic, Fox News, “The Today Show,USA TodayNewsweek, and The Jerusalem Post are among the nearly two dozen media outlets that have shared this exciting, historic moment.

The excavations will continue next year from June 17 to July 12, 2018 with the expectation to uncover more evidence for the Roman period settlement and the lost city of Jesus’ apostles.


About The Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins (CS-AJCO)

CS-AJCO seeks to foster greater understanding of the cultural, linguistic and physical setting for Second Temple Judaism and nascent Christianity, the relationship of these faiths and their shared socio-religious milieu, and to support efforts that will make current research about these topics more widely available. Our programs and resources support scholarly endeavors with the intention of making current research available to underrepresented students, clergy and wider public audiences.  Learn more about Nyack’s AJCO program.

About Nyack College

Nyack College was founded in 1882 by Dr. Albert Benjamin Simpson and currently serves more than 2,500 students in its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In addition to its residential campus in Nyack, NY and a commuter campus in New York City, an extension site is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nyack is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.