(This is the second of three articles on the ancient city of Capernaum, Jesus’ “own city” (Matthew 9:1). The first article examined the question of why Jesus choose Capernaum as his base of operations for the first part of his ministry. This article and the next will explore the fascinating results of over 100 years of archeological investigation into the ancient city.)
In 1894 when the Franciscan friars who purchased the site of ancient Capernaum walked through their new property, evidence of former habitation was everywhere (See photo above). Right up until the purchase, the Bedouin people had set their tents among the ruins. The remains of white limestone columns and elaborate Corinthian capitals gave silent testimony that a monumental structure had once stood there. But what structure? Would it prove to be a building known from the 4 Gospel books? In fact, it would! Continue reading
(This is the first of three articles on Capernaum, Jesus’ “own city” (Matthew 9:1). The first article will delve into Jesus’ possible connections to the city as well as the reasons why he left his residence in Nazareth to move there. The next two articles will examine what exciting things 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
Earthquakes can cause catastrophic loss of life and devastate buildings of all sizes. Is it possible to discover evidence for an earthquake that happened in the distant past? Today, modern scientific methods coax the Earth into giving up her secrets. New fields of archeology and geology have revealed convincing evidence of ancient earthquakes and astonishingly, may even have illuminated a couple of well known earthquakes from the Bible.
A number of earthquakes are recorded in the Bible. In most cases, these are not natural events but manifestations of divine power. The inauguration of the Mosaic law covenant at Mount Sinai was accompanied by a fear-inspiring earthquake and possibly even volcanic action (Exodus 19:18). The rebel Levite Korah, along with his co-conspirators were executed by means of what may have been a divinely sent earthquake (illustrated above): Continue reading
“Absalom’s Tomb”, circa 1914
Read Part 1 Here. For reasons explained in part 1, the monument in Jerusalem that has been popularly called for centuries “Absalom’s Tomb”, is not connected with him in any way. So if it didn’t belong to Absalom, who did it belong to? The original occupant of the tomb remains a mystery, but a theory proposed in 2013 by a world renowned Israeli archeologist offers a very plausible answer. Dr. Gabriel Barkay proposes that the monument did not belong to Absalom, or Zechariah father of John nor Simeon but it did likely belong to someone else well familiar to Bible students. Continue reading