Monday, May 30, 2011

The “Jesus” Boat

Our last stop of the day was at the “Jesus” boat.




This is the story of the Ancient Galilee Boat:

In 1986 two brothers from Kibbutz Ginosar discovered the Galilee Boat when a severe drought resulted in the lowering of the waters of the Sea of Galilee. The vessel had been buried in, and thus protected by, the seabed’s sediments. The Israel Antiquities Authority, assisted by many volunteers, rescued the boat in a remarkable eleven-day excavation. Excavators packaged the weal and waterlogged hull in a cocoon of fiberglass and polyurethane foam, and then successfully floated it to the nearby Yigal Allon Centre, where it underwent an extensive carefully monitored eleven-year-long conservation process in a specially-built pool.

To conserve it, the boat was submerged in a solution of heated polyethylene glycol. This synthetic wax replaced the water in the wood cells. The hull was then allowed to dry slowly and cleaned of excess wax, thus allowing for its present exhibition in an atmosphere-controlled museum environment.

The boat is preserved to a length of 26.9 feet, a breadth of 7.5 feet, and a height of 3.9 feet. It is built in the typical ancient Mediterranean shell-based construction, employing pegged mortise-and-tenon joints to edge-join the planking. Iron nails hold the frames to the hull.

Numerous repairs, the reuse of timbers, and a multiplicity of wood types (twelve) evident in the hull, suggest that this vessel had a long work life and an owner of meager means. Based on several criteria, the Galilee Boat is firmly dated to the first centuries BCE-CE. An analyses of crew sizes suggests that this is the type of boat referred to in the Gospels in use among Jesus’ disciples, as well as that used by the Jews against the Romans in the nautical Battle of Migdal in CE 67. This humble vessel is, thus, a remarkable porthole into the past providing a clearer view of the Galilean seafaring that forms the backdrop to both Jesus’ ministry and the Battle of Migdal.








We stayed in this museum longer than we expected because this was the day of the skirmish with the Syrians. As we left the Mount of Beatitudes we saw some police cars passing us with their sirens blaring and we wondered what was up. Our bus hosts and tour leaders knew that something was up, but didn’t tell us until later. We just stayed and stayed and stayed at the museum for what seemed forever. I assume that we stayed until our leaders had received the go ahead for us to move. When we finally were informed that we were leaving, we boarded a boat to sail across the Sea of Galilee back to Tiberius.


The boat hoisted the American flag alongside the Israeli flag in our honor.


More stories shared by one of our guides…


I believe he was pointing out the city of Migdal, the old Migdala, home of Mary Magdalene.


We did have some singing as we crossed the Sea of Galilee. Diane Vereen, our bus hostess, is the one on the left, Hanalie from South Africa is in the middle, and I’ll have to look up the name of the woman on the right. She and her husband brought their three children with them on the trip. The oldest was 12.


I believe we were singing “The Revelation Song” by Philips, Craig, and Dean.



The guides got into the act with some Hebrew songs.



There may also have been some dancing.


Coming into Tiberius…






This was our last night in Tiberius and we were having a special dinner at a restaurant called “The Decks.” We knew we were in for a treat because there was this huge grill and smoker right as you entered the building and the aromas coming from them were fantastic.


I must have snapped this shot just as we started saying grace at our table. The appetizers were falafel and hummus. We also had an onion blossom. Mostly what I remember about the meal is that dishes just kept coming. The only thing that I didn’t like was the duck.  Cathy, the lady in black on the left side of the table, was the tour coordinator.


Mother and son – Kay and David Arthur…


Kay was talking about Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to the United States. We had a special time of prayer for his trip led by men on the tour.


The end of evening was capped off with a little oldies music and dancing.




Then it was time to say goodnight and go back to the hotel. It made us a little sad because we had been having such a wonderful time in the Galilee and we had experienced so many “mountain-top” experiences. But everyone just kept saying…”Just wait until Jerusalem!”



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