Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

1411-1413 Rami Arav – Bethsaida OT, InterTestamental Period, and NT

Gordon Govier with Rami Arav at NEAS

Gordon Govier with Rami Arav at NEAS

The location of New Testament Bethsaida, along the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, hasn’t been officially confirmed but archaeologist Rami Arav believes the site he has been excavating for nearly 30 years, near the Jordan River outlet into the Sea, is Bethsaida. It seems to be the best candidate, despite some minor issues.

In addition to the first century remains, Rami Arav’s excavation has uncovered remains from 1,000 BC which appear to the the capital city of the kingdom of Geshur, the city of Absalom’s mother in the story of David. In the second program, Rami discusses the population changes that occurred in Bethsaida and other Galilee cities in the interTestamental period that resulted in, among other things, the family of Jesus moving from Bethlehem to Nazareth. And finally, in the third program, a look at the first century remains found by the Bethsaida excavators, when the city was home to several of Jesus’ disciples.

This program is taken from a report on the Bethsaida excavations by Rami Arav at the annual convention of the Near East Archaeological Society last November.

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