Saint Stephen and His As-yet Unknown Tomb

Salah Hussein Al-Houdalieh


Saint Stephen (Stephanos) was a Hellenistic Jew whose family origins probably lie in the diaspora, from where many Jews traveled to visit or re-settle in Palestine. He lived in Jerusalem and was one of the original seven deacons of the church. He was stoned to death just outside the walls of Jerusalem and is considered the first martyr in Christianity. None of the ancient sources, including the Book of Acts, deal with his birthplace, childhood or family, and so it is very difficult to trace Stephen’s personal story from birth to death and produce a clear and comprehensive biography. This study aims to present a brief account of the life and martyrdom of St. Stephen and to present a new suggestion for his burial place, based on the results of archaeological excavations carried out at two widely separated sites bearing very similar traditional names, Kafr Gamla: Beit Jimal and Khirbet et-Tireh.


Saint Stephen, Kafr Gamla, Khirbet et-Tireh, Beit Jimal.


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