By Elisa Moed, Founder and CEO of
ASSIST News Service

HUQOQ, ISRAEL – A monumental synagogue building dating to the Late Roman period (circa fourth and fifth centuries C.E.) has been discovered in archaeological excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee.

The excavations are being conducted by Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and David Amit and Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority, under the sponsorship of UNC, Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., and the University of Toronto in Canada.

Students and staff from UNC and the consortium schools are participating in the dig.

Huqoq is an ancient Jewish village located approximately two to three miles west of Capernaum and Migdal (Magdala). This second season of excavations has revealed portions of a stunning mosaic floor decorating the interior of the synagogue building. The mosaic, which is made of tiny colored stone cubes of the highest quality, includes a scene depicting Samson placing torches between the tails of foxes (as related in the book of Judges, chapter 15).

In another part of the mosaic, two human (apparently female) faces flank a circular medallion with a Hebrew inscription that refers to rewards for those who perform good deeds.

“This discovery is significant because only a small number of ancient (Late Roman) synagogue buildings are decorated with mosaics showing biblical scenes, and only two others have scenes with Samson (one is at another site just a couple of miles from Huqoq),” said Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religious Studies in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“Our mosaics are also important because of their high artistic quality and the tiny size of the mosaic cubes. This, together with the monumental size of the stones used to construct the synagogue’s walls, suggest a high level of prosperity in this village, as the building clearly was very costly.”

Excavations are scheduled to continue in the summer 2013.


Editor’s note: This story originally ran April 8, 2010. At the time, Mark Clayton was a wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens. As of April 25, 2012, Clayton is a receiver for the St. Louis Rams.

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton has found faith in fashion.

With the creation of MyChristianT, Clayton said the line is here to set a new standard in the fashion world by displaying the

St. Louis Rams wide receiver Mark Clayton launched MyChristianT two years ago.

word of God through apparel. It will hopefully serve a ministering tool to nonbelievers and a daily reminder of God’s grace to believers.

The line was launched last month, the Dallas-area native and 2005 first-round draft pick of the Ravens said.

“Wear the shirt or hoodie and it allows you to be true to yourself and not be afraid to proclaim Christ,” Clayton told Inside The Pew while on location in Norman, Okla., watching a pre-NFL Draft practice held by fellow Oklahoma Sooner, quarterback Sam Bradford. “MyChristianT speak to my identity and my purpose, why I am breathing and who I am in Christ. Being a Christian is not just a list of beliefs, it’s a way of life. We understand what Christ has done for us, and we should not be ashamed of it.”

Youth and young adults (men and women) can adorn trending t-shirts, with slogans such as “Property of Jesus” and “Team A and Ω” (Alpha and Omega). The clothing, he said, allows people to look and feel good at the same time while showcasing their faith.

Clayton said he describes MCT is a cross between Ed Hardy, Affliction and Aeropostale but definitely carries its own identity and purpose.

“We are not here to sell God or conform to traditions or customs,” he said. “Nonbelievers think that being a believer is boring.

Mark Clayton

Actually, we have peace, love and joy.”

MyChristianT has a non-profit branch, MCT Ministries. Some of MCT Ministries programs include the college scholarship fund, Missionary Rewards program, Performing Arts League and the Outreach Activities Group.

“MCT believes such opportunities will not only be instrumental in helping people on their journey but will also create a divine movement of Christ followers and Christ-like leaders.”

To learn more about MyChristianT, visit