Centuries-old Good Shepherd ring recovered from shipwrecks off Israel

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Centuries-old Good Shepherd ring recovered from shipwrecks off Israel

Author of the article:
Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:
Dec 22, 2021 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read •
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A centuries-old ring engraved with an Early Christian image of Jesus as the "Good Shepherd" that was recovered from shipwrecks off Caesarea, a major Holy Land port in ancient times, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority, is displayed in Jerusalem Dec. 22, 2021.
A centuries-old ring engraved with an Early Christian image of Jesus as the "Good Shepherd" that was recovered from shipwrecks off Caesarea, a major Holy Land port in ancient times, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority, is displayed in Jerusalem Dec. 22, 2021. Photo by Ronen Zvulun /REUTERS
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JERUSALEM — A ring bearing an early Christian depiction of Jesus as a shepherd has been found along with other artifacts from centuries-old shipwrecks off the coast of Israel, archaeologists said.
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The gold ring with a green gemstone engraved with a figure of young boy bearing a ram or sheep on his shoulders was found along with hundreds of silver and bronze coins on the Mediterranean seabed near the ancient port of Caesarea, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

The good shepherd was one of the earliest symbols used by the Christian community in the east, one of the archeologists said, adding that the ring was from around the mid-third century.
A gold ring carrying a green stone engraved with the figure of the Good Shepherd, one of the earliest expressions to refer to Jesus, is displayed at the Israeli Antiquities Authority lab in Jerusalem on Dec. 22, 2021.
A gold ring carrying a green stone engraved with the figure of the Good Shepherd, one of the earliest expressions to refer to Jesus, is displayed at the Israeli Antiquities Authority lab in Jerusalem on Dec. 22, 2021. Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI /AFP via Getty Images

In the New Testament Book of John, Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd who would protect his flock of faithful followers.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the haul, which also includes Roman-era figurines and a ring carved with an image of a biblical lyre, came from hulls of two ships, dating back six and 17 centuries, which probably foundered during a storm while anchored at the site.

The Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament describes Peter baptizing the Roman centurion Cornelius in Caesarea. The city was one of the earliest centres of Christianity and housed one of the first Christian communities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.
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