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Christian Sites in the Galilee

There are many of the most important sites of Christianity located in the North of Israel - from Nazareth the childhood home of Jesus and to many of the sites in  the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) region.

 

Several formative events in the New Testament take place around the Sea of Galilee.  According to the New Testament Jesus moved to this region as a young man after leaving his home town of Nazareth.  On its shores he recruited his first disciples.  The New Testament tells that as he performed various miracles, his fame spread and multitudes of people came to hear him preach and be in his company.

 

Visiting the following pilgrimage sites in the Galilee and Sea of Galilee regions is a highlight of any Christian tour of Israel. 

 

Entry to all of these sites, with the exception of the Yardenit Baptismal site, requires modest dress – no shorts or sleeveless.

Kursi – The Miracle of the Swine

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Kursi, along the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee, is identified in Christian tradition with Gadarenes, where the Miracle of the Swine took place.  A large church and monastery stood at the site in the Byzantine period.  It was destroyed by invading Persians in 614 C.E. and, after being rebuilt, it was destroyed by fire a short time later. The site remained neglected for most of the following 1,300 years.
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Yardenit Baptismal Site

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Pilgrims at Yardenit Baptismal Site
Yardenit
is located at the northern end of the lower or long Jordan River, near where it flows south out of the Sea of Galilee.  The Yardenit, (meaning 'little Jordan' in Hebrew) is visited by hundreds of thousands of Christian pilgrims every year, many of whom revere it as the baptismal site and come to be baptized themselves.  Some pilgrims choose to have second baptisms or rededications at the Yardenit.  

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2,000 Year Old Fishing Boat at Ginosar – The Jesus Boat

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In January 1986, two brothers, members of neighboring Kibbutz Ginosar, discovered the wreck of a 2,000 year old ancient fishing boat lying in the mud of the Sea of Galilee. The boat was discovered in an area several hundred meters 'offshore' that had become exposed when the lake receded after two years of severe drought.

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Mount of the Beatitudes – The Sermon on the Mount

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Sitting on a spur of a hill overlooking Tabgha and Capernaum, the Mount of the Beatitudes is revered as the site where according to Christian tradition Jesus delivered the "Sermon on the Mount" (Mathew 5:1-35).  The Mt. of the Beatitudes is also revered as where Jesus chose 12 of his disciples as apostles (Luke 6:12).

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Tabgha – The Church of the Multiplication of the Fish and the Loaves

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Tabgha, located is revered by as the site of the "multiplication of the fish and the loaves" in Mathew 14:13-21 and Mark 6:30-46, also referred to as the feeding of the multitudes.  The name Tabgha is derived from the Greek Hepta Pegai or Heptapegon, meaning seven springs.

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