Roman-era ‘Good Shepherd’ ring found off Israel in ancient shipwreck

Archaeology can shore up our faith. Items are being discovered all the time that always back up the veracity of the scriptures.

The Israel Antiquities Authority found a Roman-era gold ring set with a green gemstone carved with the figure of a shepherd boy carrying a sheep on his shoulders. In the Bible, Jesus describes himself as the “Good Shepherd” and it could well be that early Christians to show their unity with that man, wore a ring with a presentation of a shepherd.

The ring was among a number of artefacts discovered off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, in two shipwrecks near the ancient port of Caesarea.

“The ships were probably anchored nearby and were wrecked by a storm,”

said Jacob Sharvit of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Marine Archaeology Unit. Caesarea was home to one of the first Christian communities and, according to the New Testament, was where the apostle Peter baptised the Roman centurion Cornelius.

“This was the first instance of a non-Jew being accepted into the Christian community,”

It is interesting that some early Christians wore a ring with the picture of a shepherd boy carrying a sheep. Intriguing, too, that this was found on a shipwreck at Caesarea. The gospel to the Gentiles began at this very place.

From the place of discovery, the Christian religion began to spread west, predominantly until “isles afar off” heard the ‘Word of the Lord’. And now the gospel has been preached in all the world.

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