- May 2011
- Rural Australia
Even if we allocate a high degree of probability to the claim that DP24 (a harmony of gospels) can be dated before 256 CE, it does not tell us whether the Christian-related owners resided at Dura. It was not found in or near the presumed baptistry but a couple of blocks away on the other side of the Palmyrene Gate, close to the Jewish synagogue. Although it may be classed as background information and evidence, DP24 therefore cannot be taken as primary evidence that the religious room (currently prsumed to be a Christian chapel) is to be assessed as Christian.You seem to have excluded the DP24 fragment from your conclusions which in itself indicates that there were Christians present on the site before 256.
The dominant and most influential primary evidence being used to indicate the unambiguous presence of Christians (in the religious room of a house) is neither the water basin or the murals but the two graffiti which are being claimed to "certainly" contain Christian "nomina sacra" (the Runes of Christ).