To The Sea Of Galilee

by Steve
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Ancient Galilee Boat
Cana and the Catholic Wedding Church

My historical religious journey continued in the morning in the direction of the Sea of Galilee.  Along the way is the Catholic Wedding Church located in Cana.  This church is built on the remains of a 6th century church as determined by archaeological digs.  It is on this site that it is believed Jesus performed his first miracle as stated in John 2.

Sanctuary of the Cana Catholic Wedding Church

Sanctuary of the Cana Catholic Wedding Church

The miracle was performed at a wedding Jesus was attending.  The wine ran out.  Jesus asked that six stone jars be filled with water that turned into wine.

All religious sites always have many tourist buses.  At this site, there was a group from Nigeria.  A very friendly group of people.  One of the pastors was standing next to me and asked to have his picture taken with me.  That led to several more pictures and an exchange of emails.  It will be interesting to see where this new friendship goes.  Maybe a trip to Nigeria to visit his country?

Nigerian Group of Christian Pilgrims at the Cana Catholic Wedding Church

Nigerian Group of Christian Pilgrims at the Cana Catholic Wedding Church

Sea of Galilee

From there it was on to the Sea of Galilee.  It was in this area that Jesus spent much of his three-year public ministry in town and villages that surround the Sea.  The Sea of Galilee is actually a freshwater lake.  It is the lowest fresh water lake in the world.  And it is the second lowest lake in the world.  The lowest lake?  That’s the Dead Sea.

While the temperature was nice during the day, it was not the best for taking pictures of the Sea of Galilee.  It would have been nice to have had blue skies, but as they say, “it is what it is”!!

Sea of Galilee

Sea of Galilee

Before I get into more of the history with Jesus, let’s go to 1986 and a very important archaeological find.

Sea of Galilee Boat

It was during a drought when the waters receded in the Sea that this boat was discovered by two brothers who were fishermen.  Archaeologists were called in and a very historical find was unearthed.  The problem is when they started to expose the boat, made of 12 types of wood, to the air that they had to be very innovative in how to protect it and then transport it.  A combination of fiberglass and insulating foam was used to accomplish that.  It then took 10 years of curating and restoration till the boat was exhibited.  This is nicely explained in a short video within the museum where the boat is now on display as shown in the featured image in this post.

The importance of the archaeological find?  This boat, through carbon testing as well as other finds surrounding the area, dates this boat back to 40 BC (plus or minus 80 years).  Prior to this find, the only information the world had regarding this type of boat was through references in the Bible as well as mosaics that were designed during that period.

This was a very historical discovery.  If you ever visit the Sea of Galilee, make sure you visit this museum.

Ancient Galilee Boat Museum

Ancient Galilee Boat Museum

 Tabagha

Located in Tabagha is the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes.

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes

This is the traditional site where a miracle of Jesus, as stated in the book of Luke in the Bible, was able to feed five thousand people.  The mosaic pavement from the fourth century church is still a part of the present day church.

Church of the Multiplication and the Loaves and the Fishes - Sanctuary

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes – Sanctuary

In addition, the table rock which was used for this miracle has served as part of the altar beginning with the first church built on this site.  Today it is located underneath the altar.

Church of the Multiplication and the Loaves and the Fishes - Altar

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes – Altar

Mount of Beatitudes

It is on this hillside that since at least the fourth century it is believed to be the place where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.  The modern day church highlights the beatitudes which were part of that famous sermon and all begin with “Blessed are…”.

Mount of Beatitudes Church

Mount of Beatitudes Church

Mount of Beatitudes Church

Mount of Beatitudes Church

Capernaum

The final stop for the day was in the area called Capernaum.  It is here that Jesus met his first disciples – Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew.  Each, except for Matthew the tax collector, were fishermen in the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus preached in this area and performed many of his miracles.  .

Today the new church is suspended over a Byzantine octagonal church which was built over the house of St. Peter where it is believed Jesus lived.

The new church covering St. Peter's House - Capernaum

The new church covering St. Peter’s House – Capernaum

Inside of the new church - Capernaum

Inside of the new church – Capernaum

The day ended in Tiberias.  It is Friday, the Sabbath, and almost all places in the city are closed.  But tomorrow the journey starts heading south toward Jericho and then Bethlehem.  We’re still working out some details regarding the rental car and the Palestinian territory where both Jericho and Bethlehem are located.  Tomorrow’s post will hopefully have the resolution to our present dilemma!!!

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