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A Far Country Decapolis

The Decapolis is mentioned by name only three times in the New Testament. In addition to these three instances, on at least two other occasions, Jesus visited specific locations in the largely pagan league of cities to the east of the Sea of Galil...


From Galilee to Asia

From Galilee to AsiaThe remains of the towns and villages of Galilee give evidence to the simple lifestyle of the Jewish people of the first century. Few were wealthy or poor. Most were hardworking people living comfortable lives as extended famil...



He Went To The Synagogue Part 1


He Went To The Synagogue Part 2



Basalt Crusher

This crusher is found at Capernaum, Jesus' home-base (Matthew 4:13), near the synagogue. The local basalt "a hard, volcanic black rock" made excellent crushers and other types of grinders.Jesus frequently saw crushers and millstones like...


Belvoir Fortress

The fortress of Belvior has both an outer fortification and an inner castle. A moat, hewn out of the same bedrock quarried to build the castle, encircles the structure on three sides. Towers stood in each corner and in the center of the outer wall...



The town of Capernaum stood near the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, situated along the busy Via Maris trade route, also known as the 'Way of the Sea.'The prophet Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would live by "the way to the sea,&qu...


City Life

Most cities from the biblical period were fairly small, and people lived in closely knit, well-defined communities. Jerusalem of David's time covered 9-10 acres with a population of 1,500-2,000 persons. Jerusalem during Jesus' time occupied about ...


Features of the Gymnasium in Sardis

The Palaestra In this large (six hundred by one hundred fifty feet) open area in front of the Marble Court, physical education was done on the sand floor. Smaller rooms around the outside were also used for physical training, conditioning (weights...



Gamla is often called the "Masada" of the north because of the siege and fall of the town to the Romans during the Jewish Revolts. The city was originally settled by a group of Jews returning from captivity around 150 BC.The city is loca...



Bema Definition

Raised platform; the Seat of judgment. Also, place from which scripture is read in the synagogue.


Dereshah Definition

A short sermon offered by the reader of the Torah or Haftarah in the synagogue. Any adult member of the community was eligible to speak the sermon, and it was frequently quite short (Jesus spoke only a few words, Luke 4:21).