Biblical Archaeology Review 37:2, March/April 2011

Strata: How Many?

How many harbors from the time of Jesus have been discovered around the Sea of Galilee?

Answer: At least 16

The New Testament is replete with imagery of boating and fishing on the Sea of Galilee, the freshwater lake in northern Israel that was the center of Jesus’ ministry before he went to Jerusalem. The Gospels describe in vivid detail how Jesus recruited four of his disciples—Simon Peter, Andrew, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee—from fishing boats working near the shores of the Galilee (Matthew 4:18–22; Mark 1:16–20; Luke 5:1–11). And the small boats that plied the sea serve as the setting for several of Jesus’ most memorable miracles: the calming of the sea (Luke 8:22–25), walking on water (Mark 6:45–52) and the miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5:1–11).

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