Communion chalices - discovery of an ancient workshop
Researchers have discovered a 2,000-year-old factory in Israel for stone vessels similar to those described in John's Gospel. The workshop in Reina, near the modern village of Kafr Cana, may be related to the biblical village of Cana. During the excavations, they came across thousands of production waste and fragments of stone cups in various stages of manufacture.
- Replica made of clay
- Made in Israel, south of Bethlehem
- Dimensions: 13x10cm
Background on the use of stone vessels
Jonatan Adler of Ariel University points out that in the first century Jews in Judea and Galilee used stone vessels because, according to Jewish ritual law, stone could never become ritually impure. This practice reflects the strict observance of ritual purity laws that was prevalent not only in Jerusalem but also in Galilee.
Significance of the finds and biblical context
The use of stone vessels for religious reasons is also confirmed in Talmudic sources and in the New Testament. Of particular note is the mention in John's Gospel of Jesus turning water into wine in stone jars. It is believed that Jesus did not use an ostentatious chalice at his "Last Supper" but a simple cup made of chalk stone.
Here is a more in-depth article with pictures of the originals.