I’ll try to add some additional posts over the holidays to catch people up on some recent discoveries.
Just in the news is the discovery of a 1,300 pound stone off of the coast of ancient Dor bearing an inscription dating from around the time of the second Jewish revolt against Rome (ca. 132 CE). The Greek text of seven lines mentions Gargilius Antiques, prefect of Judea. It is only the second time his name has been found in an inscription. Immediately after the revolt the Romans changed the name of the province from Judea to Syria-Palestine. The stone was buried in the sea and only just recovered for preservation. It is now on display at the University of Haifa.
During the second revolt, led by Simon bar Kokhba, hailed as the messiah by some, Christians were apparently charged with accepting Simon as messiah and aiding the revolt or face persecution. Christian Jews already had their messiah in Jesus and refused to accede to the revolutionary’s demands. Other Jews likely suffered from refusing to support Bar Kokhba as well.