Our virtual hike through Galilee has reached the ruins of Capernaum, the home base for Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 4:13). Capernaum was an ancient fishing village on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee in northeastern Israel.
Capernaum was one of the most prominent towns of Jesus’ life. It is mentioned 16 times in the Gospels and was the hometown for some of His disciples. Matthew collected taxes there, and Andrew, Peter, James, and John were fisherman based at Capernaum. Matthew calls Capernaum Jesus’ “own city.” (Matthew 9:1; Mark 2:1)
The ruins of Capernaum were discovered in 1838 by the American Biblical scholar and explorer Edward Robinson (1794-1863), who is known as the “Father of Biblical Geography.”
The ruins of a synagogue were first found in 1866 and then subsequently rediscovered and excavated in 1905-1915 and 1921-1926. The picture above shows the ruins. Most scholars date the synagogue to the 4th century. Beneath it is the foundation of a much older synagogue. Excavators believe it is from the 1st century and is the one in which Jesus taught and cast out demons and that was built by the Roman centurion whose servant Jesus healed (Luke 7:2-5).
In 1991 a mosaic was uncovered in the synagogue showing a woman ready to give birth to a child with a dragon (dinosaur) waiting to devour the child. The mosaic comes from the scene of Revelation 12:4.
Starting in 1968 further excavation uncovered a house that stood out from the others. It is believed to be the ruins of the house of the Apostle Peter. This house was larger than others in the area. Early Christian attention to it is indicated by 2nd century graffiti on the walls and a 4th century house church built above it. Early pilgrims identified it as Peter’s house. Its location fits the description “the whole city had gathered at the door” of Peter’s house (Mark 1:29-33), because it is on the main street with plenty of room in front. For these reasons archaeologists think that it is the remains of Peter’s house.
Soli Deo Gloria.
The Hike the Bible series is currently covering points of interest along two hiking trails through Galilee, the 40-mile Jesus Trail and the 39-mile Gospel Trail. These two trails re-create possible routes Jesus likely traversed during His sojourns in Galilee.
This is the twenty-third installment in the Hike the Bible series reviewing major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible.
Read the prequels:
1. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail (with video)
2. Hike the Bible – Gospel Trail (with video)
3. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail vs. Gospel Trail
4. Hike the Bible – Nazareth
5. Hike the Bible – Zippori
6. Hike the Bible – Mash’had
7. Hike the Bible – Cana (with video)
8. Hike the Bible – Roman Road
9. Hike the Bible – Via Maris
10. Hike the Bible – Horns of Hattin
11. Hike the Bible – Sermon on the Mount
12. Hike the Bible – Arbel Cliffs
13. Hike the Bible – Magdala (with video)
14. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene
15. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene, Lady or Tramp?
16. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene & the Resurrection
17. Hike the Bible – Sea of Galilee
18. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee
19. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee 2
20. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee 3
21. Hike the Bible – Jesus Boat
22. Hike the Bible – Why Capernaum?
Read the sequel:
24. Hike the Bible – Miracles at Capernaum
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Wednesday November 21, 2012 A.D.
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)