CANA, ISRAEL — In a story that has rocked the religious world, archaeologists believe they have unearthed pieces of the stone jars used by Jesus to change water into wine. But a spokesman for Manichewitz Wines® has called the evidence “dubious, at best.”
In the famous story recorded in the second chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus, his mother Mary and the disciples are attending a wedding in the town of Cana when the wine supply runs out. When Mary urges Jesus to help, he instructs servants to fill six stone jugs with water, then draw a sample to give to the wedding coordinator. John continues:
When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “Usually a host serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone is full and doesn’t care, he brings out the less expensive wines. But you have kept the best until now!”
This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was Jesus’ first display of his glory. And his disciples believed in him. —John 2:9-11, NLT
Stone jars such as those described in John’s gospel have been found at many locations in Israel. What makes these particular jars unique, however, are the fragmentary remains of the labels, clearly imprinted: Manichewitz Extra Heavy Malaga, AD 30. Inspected by Rabbi Morty.
“It is reasonable to infer from this evidence that when the Manichewitz was gone, Jesus reused these containers as vessels for a miraculous creation of new wine, and a far superior wine, at that,” said Dr. Everett Smith, a biblical archaeologist.
Lev Goldberg, a spokesman for Manichewitz Wines® (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acme Matzohballs) disagrees.
“Our records prove that our Cana winery employed only three Mashgichim (Kosher inspectors) until well into the second century CE, and none were named ‘Morty,'” sniffed Goldberg. “There is no finer Malaga than Manichewitz, which is reknowned for its generous, fruity mouth and hearty aroma of Concord grapes. The authenticity of these fragments is dubious, at best, and any suggestion of a link between Manichewitz and Jesus of Nazareth is a hideous slander, likely orchestrated by Palestinian interests.”
Sources in the Mossad, which refused any official comment, have hinted for some time at a Syrian plot to destroy confidence in the Kosher wine supply.