Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee

Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee are only a short drive from Jerusalem, so we went north for the day to explore the area.

Inside the lower level of the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth

It hasn't taken us long to realize that Christians during the Byzantine period (about 300-600 AD) were extremely zealous church builders and built a church over any site that they believed to be important.  For us, this has a good side and a bad side.  The good side is that it has helped archaeologists identify sites that have been traditionally important to the church.  Seventeen hundred years ago people were much more likely to remember where Jesus performed a miracle or where the Annunciation to Mary took place than they are today.  The bad side is exemplified in the picture above from the Church of the Annunciation.  It is very difficult for us to imagine this as the small house where Mary lived when it is so decorated and built over today.

Standing at a viewpoint with the Sea of Galilee behind us

One of the highlights for us was visiting the place where Jesus fed the multitudes.  There was a very nice church with a beautiful mosaic floor built on the site.  Just past the church we were able to wander down to the edge of the Sea of Galilee.  The picture below really captures what we saw.  It was the first moment that we looked at a place and felt like we were in a scene from the Bible. 

The Sea of Galilee

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