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QUESTION: Tiberias


Tiberias is just south of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee. Here, archaeologists discovered a 1st century A.D. Roman theatre, which could seat 7,000 people. Excavations near the shore revealed a coin with an image of Jesus on one side and a Greek inscription “Jesus the Messiah King of Kings” on the reverse. It was part of a series of coins issued in Constantinople to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

Tiberias, named in honor of Emperor Tiberias, was founded about 20 A.D. by Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, and made his capital. However, during the reign of Antipas, the Jews refused to settle there because of a cemetery that made the area ritually unclean. So, Antipas settled Gentiles there to populate his new capital, and Antipas built a palace on the acropolis. The prestige of the city of Tiberias became so great that the sea of Galilee was for a time called the sea of Tiberias, as is also seen in John 6:1:

“After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).”

Compliments of Titus and our friends at Drive Thru History. Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved in the original.

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