The “Earliest Church in Jordan” sounded like a bunch of nonsense to start with and now a couple of scholars have more data and believe the excavators have made some big mistakes.

Even stronger criticism has now emerged. Two University of Toronto scholars argue that the excavators have misread the inscription in the church; they claim, from both a rereading of the inscription and from the architecture, that the church is significantly younger than do the excavators. They also say that the cave below gives no indication of having been used in the first century.

Biblical Archaeology Review has the story, including a pdf file of the article: “The Oratory of St. George in Rihab: The Oldest Extant Christian Building or Just Another Byzantine Church?”