Dr Dark’s research also suggests there was a difference between Jesus’ teachings on purity and the widely held beliefs of the Nazarenes.
The archaeologist said the teachings contrasted “with their own perception of what was pure and impure”.
In Mark 7:14, for instance, Jesus said: “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.
“Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them.
“Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”
But the Nazarenes may have been much more strict about definitions of impurity, possibly explaining the distrust shown towards Jesus in the gospels.