Sepphoris

Trip Start Nov 10, 2011
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15
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Trip End Dec 03, 2011


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

As I was lying in bed, listening to Tom zzzzz away, on our day off for touring with the group, I realized I need to get caught up on this blog before we leave Jerusalem tomorrow morning. After 20 minutes talking to tech support the first night we were here, the internet has been working almost as well as at home. It could become sporadic again when we move on to the next leg of our journey. Today, there was an optional tour scheduled that we chose not to go on. As it turned out, there were not enough people interested in going so it had to be cancelled but OAT (Overseas Adventure Tours) scheduled a free tour of the town where John the Baptist was born. Tom and I had already planned our day of returning to Old Jerusalem and climbing the ramparts. After seeing the traditional birthplace of Jesus, and seeing what the Christian faithful have done to it over the years adorning it with "junk", I have no interest in seeing another famous birthplace ruined. So . . . as Tom continues to sleep at 8 a.m., I am going to write more

SEPPHORIS

I was very excited to see this Roman influenced Jewish city as I had learned about it from watching the many Discovery/History/National Geographic shows about Biblical history that I love. Unfortunately, this was the day I had a bout with the flu so I was unable to enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. The one thing I do know about this city, that our guide did not mention and I did not have the energy to ask, is that many current Biblical historical scholars believe Sepphoris is where Jesus may have been working during the years before his ministry. The word "tekton" translates to mean someone who is an artisan working with his hands, not necessarily a carpenter of wood as we have been led to believe. It is possible, according to scholars, including one of the lead archaeologists on the site of Sepphoris, that Jesus and Joseph were actually stone masons. Because Sepphoris is a three mile walk from Nazareth, it is possible, if not probable, that Jesus and Joseph walked to Sepphoris to work as stonemasons, building the buildings or working on the many mosaics. Our guide did not mention this, nor does the tour book we have, but this is what I have learned from Prof. Jonathan L. Reed who is a Biblical scholar and one of the archaelogists who worked at Sepphoris for over 20 years.

According to our tour book, the mosaics are 3rd-century, just a tad late for Jesus. The city sits atop a hill and includes a Roman theatre that seated 5,000, the remains of a Crusader citadel, and sections of the ancient water supply.
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