Day 3 (5) Capernaum or Jesus Town

Our next stop was close by at Capernaum. This village is on the northern side of Sea of Galilee, and was the center of the activities of Jesus and his town during that time. So this town is now re named as Jesus Town. Here we could see ruins of a grand 4th Centuary Ad synagogue built with white lime stone. Under the monumental building are the remains of the early Roman synagogue from the times of Jesus, which was built with the local (black) basalt rock. This earlier synagogue was the center of activities of Jesus, where he taught (Mark: "And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.") We also saw Byzantine ruins of the village in the center, which were the same area of the early Roman houses.
Near to the ruins we saw a modern church built over the House of Peter. The house of Peter, also known as Simon Bar-Yonah, fisherman, was located close to the shores of the lake. of Galilee by the archaeological excavations. A church was built over his house in his honor by the early Christian worshipers in the 5th century. This church has the shape of an Octagon, which was typical of early churches. A new church was built over this church in 1990. From out side and through the glass window on the floor of the new church we could see the house of St Peter, and around it the old Octagon Church.
Since we had some time left for the next programme (boat ride), we rested for a while in the yard of the church. Near to old Synagogue in the court yard there is a display of fragments of the synagogue. Also in display are industrial stone tools that were used at ancient times for farming, such as several oil presses, as seen below. we spent time with prayers and songs. It was really pleasant to spend some time to sit on the shore of Galilee lake expereiencing the cool breeze.
As we walked out two sculptures caught our attention. One was that of St. Peter with the keys of heaven and the other that of Peter's fish.
As we travlled by bus we could also see the Church of the Primacy of Peter, at Tabgha. The church is a modest Franciscan chapel that incorporates part of a 4th-century church. It is located on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee and commemorates the site where Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection and conferred Church authority upon Peter.

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