In the early centuries, Christianity was an underground and persecuted religion. Jesus was depicted as a shepherd boy with a sheep on his shoulders. This representation of Christ was also an imitation of Apollo. It was a way of evading Roman censorship. A jewel with this figure was found in the sea. It is the ring of 17 centuries rescued from the bottom of the sea.
On the ring, the figure of Christ is carved on a green gemstone. The piece is part of an underwater find. It is a treasure trove that includes Roman and medieval silver coins. They date from the 3rd century.
Israeli authorities found it. Robert Kool is head of the country’s coin department. He said the ring is an “exceptional” piece. Possibly the set found came from “a Roman ship originating in Italy.”
The treasure was discovered by a group of archaeologists from Israel’s Marine Archaeology Unit. There are bells, nails, pottery, figurines and an iron anchor. All from shipwrecks that occurred approximately 1,700 years ago off the coast of Israel.
Expansion of Christianity
Images similar to this Jesus were found in catacombs where Christians took refuge. In the area, around the fourth century, one of the first communities of followers of Jesus was established. From that point the Christian religion began to spread throughout the world. That primitive community had a strong evangelistic impulse. It spread throughout the known world at that time.
Israel is the scene of frequent archaeological finds with biblical connotations. They relate to both the Old and New Testaments. One of the most important finds of the last half century is that of the city of Magdala. This is where Mary Magdalene, the follower of Jesus, originated from. The 17 century old ring rescued from the bottom of the sea is just another of these great finds.