Apostle Peter's House
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Apostle Peter's House
Page 167

Octagonal Byzantine Church

Basilica on hillsideRalph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids wrote in "Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Development," "Beneath the octagonal Byzantine church lie the remains of two earlier building campaigns and the Apostle Peter's house. The earliest remains testify to a common Insula, or joined buildings, which were domestic habitations characteristic of the small fishing community at Capernaum. Within this complex, dating to the first century AD, was a large hall twenty one feet by nineteen feet (400 square feet) that was venerated by Christians as the Apostle Peter house. This hall was likely used by the local community of Jewish Christians while the other rooms of the building continued to function as part of the domestic residence." This partial adaptation of the Apostle Peter house, with the surrounding rooms continuing to throb with daily life, continued into the late Roman period when the community enlarged the primitive house church by adding to the hall a main room on the east and dependencies on the north and by enclosing the entire small insula of the Apostle Peter house within a sacred precinct in order to serve the needs of the community and pilgrims. Subsequently, this entire complex was covered by the octagonal church of the fifth century.

"Apostle Peter's House"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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