Week 19 Monday: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Sermon on the Mount/Plain, Feeding of the 5,000/4,000, and Mountaintop View

Hello from Jerusalem!  I am trying to write down everything that we are seeing and experiencing, but there’s a lot.  So, I decided to break it down by day.  You can click on words in blue to get more information from Wikipedia if you’d like. Thanks for reading.

We used 3 categories for everything we saw to distinguish how plausible it was that something actually happened in a particular location.

Categories

1.    Category 1:  There is archeological proof that this is logically the place where “it” occurred.

2.    Category 2:  Somewhere in between Category 1 and Category 3.

3.    Category 3:  Tradition states that this is where “it” took place.  However, there is no archeological proof and usually there is 20 more feet of dirt on top of the location then there was during Jesus’ time (or whatever time we talking about).

Monday

Monday morning, we got up bright and early and took the bus to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  There we read John 21 where Jesus comes to the disciples after the resurrection, sees that they can’t catch any fish, tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, and then fish galore.  If you haven’t read John 21 recently…you should, it’s interesting to say the least.

Me with a hand in the Sea of Galilee
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Seminary group on the shores of the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee

Next, we went to Capernaum.  Matthew 4:13 tells us that when Jesus found out that John had been arrested, he left “Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea.” This is where Jesus heals the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 which is every Austin Seminary students favorite pericope because we spend our entire Greek exegesis course on this pericope.  So, when our guide asked if anyone knew Mark 2:1-12 everyone moaned “yes” and had grumpy faces.  It was surreal to see Peter’s house where the story I spent hours studying took place.  Over Peter’s house there is now a beautiful Catholic church with a opening in the middle so you can see Peter’s house.  This is a category 2 I believe.

Peter’s house
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We then went to a beautiful Greek Orthodox Church that was in walking distance from Peter’s house.

Next, we went to the traditional place where the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5 took place.  This is a category 3 site, but we were told that it probably occurred a stone throw from where we were.  However, this raises an interesting question because in Luke 6 it is the Sermon on the Plain.  Where we were was definitely not a plain…  It could just be that Jesus preached it twice with different words at different places.  Well, there’s only one thing to do…put it into my God question box.

Sermon on the Mount Video:

From there we went to Korazim which was a city that Jesus condemns in Matthew 11:20 along with Capernaum and Bethsaida.  Apparently, it worked…because none of those cities exist anymore.  Seriously, what could be worse for a city than Jesus condemning it?

We had lunch at a fish place which served fish like Kenya, head and eyes included.  I scarfed mine down because that’s what I lived off of for 2 weeks when I was on Mfangano Island, but I’m not sure everybody liked it.

We then traveled to the Church of the Multiplication (every math teacher’s dream) located at Tabgha.  This is traditionally where Jesus fed the 5,000 (not counting women and children).  Under the Table there is limestone sticking upon which tradition says the baskets were placed.  Here is where the famous mosaic of the 2 fish and 5 loves is located right in front of the limestone beforementioned.  This is a category 3 I believe.

Limestone and Mosaic
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Across the Sea is another site where Jesus fed the 4,000 (not counting women and children) with 7 loaves and “some fish” in Matthew 15 and Mark 8.  We did not go there because 4,000 isn’t as impressive as 5,000…and because it was on the other side of the Sea.

We concluded the day with a mountaintop view of the Sea of Galilee.  From there we also saw Magdala which is the town in which Mary Magdaline was traditionally born and raised.

Video of Mountaintop view of the Sea of Galilee:

(For those reading who were on the trip please correct or comment with your thoughts.  Thanks)

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  1. Israel/Palestine & Egypt Trip | rtqblog - July 16, 2011

    […] Week 19 Monday: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Sermon on the Mount/Plain, Feeding of the 5,000/4,000, an… […]

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