Continuing the Hike the Bible series surveying major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible…
Israel opened a new 39-mile hiking trail from Nazareth to Capernaum called the Gospel Trail on Nov 29, 2011.
It re-creates possible routes that Jesus may have walked when He traveled from Nazareth to Capernaum near the beginning of His ministry (Luke 4:16-37). Jesus undoubtedly traversed all or parts of the trail during His sojourns in Galilee.
The Gospel Trail
The Israel Ministry of Tourism launched the new Gospel Trail for hikers last November. It took over 10 years to develop and cost $800,000. Israel expects the Gospel Trail to attract the development of tourist services and thereby contribute to the economy of the region.
Most of the Gospel Trail is also accessible to cyclists except for the descent from Mt. Precipice and the side trail down the face of the Arbel Cliffs. Parts of the Gospel Trail, like the 3 km walk from Tabgha (traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 – John 6:1-14) to Capernaum, are accessible by strollers or wheelchairs. You can also ride the Gospel Trail on horseback.
At the end of the Gospel Trail in Capernaum are options for boat rides across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus walked across it (Matthew 14:22-33), but no one else has been able to do that in 2,000 years, except for the Apostle Peter and he sank.
Boats go southwest from Capernaum to Ginosar where marine archaeologists found and preserved a fishing boat from the time of Jesus. Another Sea of Galilee excursion runs from Capernaum to Tiberias, a town of Jesus’ day dating back to 20 A.D. In fact, in Jesus’ day, the Sea of Galilee was sometimes called the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1).
Here’s a map Gospel Trail Map from the Nazareth Ministry of Tourism Bureau.
Here’s the Trail Guide for the new Gospel Trail from the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
Here’s the Gospel Trail Handbook with map, pictures, and site descriptions from the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
Visitors to Israel might want to incorporate hiking part of the trail in their itinerary. It gives a different perspective on the land from what one gets from riding in tour buses. The best way to get a feel for the land that Jesus knew is to hike the routes He most likely followed.
Hikers typically take 3 or 4 days to cover the entirety of the trail, but segments can be hiked to get a feel for the country.
Israeli summers can be hot, and winter rains can turn trails to muck. The best hiking months are March, April, and September through November.
Here’s a video (length 3:47) of portions of the Gospel Trail and the Sea of Galilee boat ride.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the second installment in the Hike the Bible series surveying major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible.
Read the prequel:
1. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail (with video)
Read the sequel:
3. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail vs. Gospel Trail
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Wednesday January 25, 2012 A.D.
Read my January 2012 newspaper column:
Adam’s Mythical Diary 5.
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)