(This is part one of a two part series on Capernaum, Jesus’ “own city” (Matthew 9:1). The first part will delve into Jesus’ possible connections to the city as well as the reasons why he left his residence in Nazareth to move there. Part two will examine what modern archeology has revealed about this most significant city in Jesus’ life and ministry.)
On a gentle hillside on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee stood the ancient city of Capernaum. The city was of modest size (by some estimates it’s first century population was between 1500 to 3000) and it did not survive down to modern times. Yet for a brief moment in the first century, this humble fishing community was the centre of the world. Continue reading
Note from the editor: I am delighted to introduce to our readers an article by a special guest contributor! Jay Grande is a friend of the website, an avid Roman history enthusiast and a Biblical numismatist (specialist in the study of coins). Enjoy this in-depth look at the most famous coin in the Bible!
Next they sent to him some of the Pharisees and of the party followers of Herod in order to catch him in his speech. On arriving, these said to him: “Teacher, we know you are truthful and you do not seek anyone’s favor, for you do not look at the outward appearance of people, but you teach the way of God in line with truth. Is it lawful to pay head tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay, or should we not pay?” Detecting their hypocrisy, he said to them: “Why do you put me to the test? Bring me a denarius to look at.” They brought one, and he said to them: “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to him: “Caesar’s.” Jesus then said: “Pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.” (Mark 12:13-17)
There has been much debate amongst numismatists and historians about the above passage. There are many theories about which Caesar’s image was on the coin and also which denomination of coin was brought to Jesus. What’s all the fuss about? Let’s look a little closer and examine the evidence. Continue reading
Top Photo: Zachi Evenor (CC BY-SA 3.0) Wikimedia Commons. Other photo’s by author.
Post 31 – As many as 7 of Jesus 12 apostles were fishermen who plied their trade on the Sea of Galilee. Many of the most memorable accounts in the 4 gospel books take place on or near that body of water. The Sea of Galilee, is actually a freshwater lake about 21 km long and 13 km wide (it is also called “the Lake of Gennesaret” at Luke 5:1). The lake is fed by the underground springs but primarily by the upper Jordan River, whose headwaters are found in Mount Hermon (the Golan Heights). The lake is the one significant body of water that Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan all rely on for fresh water and agriculture.
By the winter of 1986, Israel, already a dry country, had experienced several years of drought. The drought had drastically dropped the water level and as a consequence, the shoreline had receded further than any local fisherman could remember. Two fishermen Continue reading