The Boat of Jesus (also known as the Sea of Galilee Boat) was uncovered in 1986 on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, thanks to an otherwise unfortunate drought which caused the waters of the Galilee to recede. The boat is currently on display in the Yigal Allon Museum located in Kibbutz Ginosar.
A one of a kind artifact, the boat has been identified as an ancient fishermen boat dating back to the time of Jesus - 1st century AD. Along with the boat, archeologists found several shards of pottery which likewise helped to identify the era in which the boat was in use. Unfortunately, of the original boat all that was found was its hull. It is believed that once the ancient boat was determined unusable and was put out of service, all its salvageable wooden parts where disconnected, and the remaining hull sunk to the bottom of the sea.
Though the boat carries the name of Jesus, there is no known connection between the two. It is true, however, that boats and fishing played a central role in Jesus' life, most notably since many of His disciples were fishermen.
When on a tour to the Holy Land, be sure to take the time to witness this rare finding, as well as a reproduction of the boat situated on the grounds of Kibbutz Ginosar.
The Boat of Jesus in Kibbutz Ginosar
Kibbutz Ginosar is one of Israel's most pastoral and strikingly beautiful kibbutz settlements .Ginosar's legacy dates back to 1937—the year of its foundation. Nested into a valley by the same name on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, the grounds of Kibbutz Ginosar have long since been a highly desirable location. Dating back to Biblical times, the area on the banks of the Galilee was believed to be the best dwelling place in ancient Palestine, saved for the most prosperous of Israel's twelve tribes.
It wasn't until 1937, after the swamp land characteristic of the Ginosar Valley was dried by Zionist pilgrims, that Kibbutz Ginosar was established. Since its foundation, Kibbutz Ginosar has served as a model for other kibbutz settlements in the country, capitalizing on its proximity to the Sea of Galilee and becoming a popular tourist destination. To this day, Ginosar's economy is largely based on tourism and its thriving tourist industry has prompted its residents to open numerous luxury accommodations and travel agencies. These days Ginosar offers a wide range of B&Bs, spas, gourmet restaurants, and countless agencies proposing guided tours of the area.
Tabgha – Church of Multiplication
In more recent history, the Ginosar Valley's proximity to the Sea of Galilee has drawn Christian Crusaders to the area. Beginning in the 19 th century, the area was briefly settled by German missionaries who built the Church of Multiplication (Tabgha). However it wasn't long before the Germans fled the area, defeated by malaria (prevalent in the region due to the many swamps that plagued it). Rebuilt in 1982 on the ruins of a Byzantine church that existed here prior, the Church of Multiplication continues to be a pilgrimage site for Christian tourists. The ornate and beautifully crafted mosaic covering the floor of the church and its alter, believed to be the very rock upon which Jesus placed the loaves and fish and where the Miracle of Multiplication is said to have taken place, render the church a must-see sight and no Christian tour to Israel is complete without a visit to it.
When on a Bible Land tour to Israel, make sure to put some time aside for a visit to the beautiful Ginosar Valley and its lush surroundings.