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Lost Galilean sites of the Gospels

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Ancient Mesopotamia, Near East and Greater Iran
Forum Discription: Babylon, Egypt, Persia and other civilizations of the Near East from ancient times to 600s AD
Printed Date: 17-Jan-2022 at 16:37
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Topic: Lost Galilean sites of the Gospels
Posted By: Arthur-Robin
Subject: Lost Galilean sites of the Gospels
Date Posted: 27-Apr-2019 at 16:36

I was quite surprised to find out that there are quite a few sites from the story/times of Jesus/Christ that scholars are not certain of their right location, or some are disputed/disputable. It had been my assumed impression that most of them are known where they where.
Such sites include Nazareth, Cana, Bethsaida, Tarichaea, Dalmanutha, Transfiguration mount? Aenon/Salim (one source says in Galilee though others don't seem to have it that far up)?
We have already posted on Cana in another thread/topic 4 weeks ago. (Nazareth i already posted on a few years ago in historum forum blog but it seems they may have since deleted the blog since unfairly banning me, so i may have to repost it somewhere.) However i think it is better to have one thread on all the Galilee sites rather than many threads.

First site is Bethsaida. Sources say this site is quite a mystery. I have 5 candidates below with the second one possibly the best though it has one or two or a few possible difficulties.

Bethsaida means "house of hunting/food/fish", it was also known as Julias, and was on the coast of the sea/lake of Galilee/Tiberias/Chinnereth/Gennesaret (fishing), and it was the home of Simon/Cephas/Peter, Andrew, John, James, Philip. See bible or bible reference works or the wiki article on it for basic introduction info if not familiar with it. I've come up with these following 5 candidates at various places around the sea/lake:

Aish (top/north-easterly):

Possible pros:
Aish is similar to saida with 3 letters ais/sai the same.
Josephus said Bethsaida was near where the river entered the top of the sea of Galilee; Aish is also not far from where the river enters the sea.
Aish has an anchorage and harbour which might match "house of fishing"?
Bethsaida was in lower Gaulonitis which could fit Aish? Bethsaida was "of/in Galilee" which could fit Aish being in north eastern-most Galilee?
Aish is close to Capernaum and Chorasin. Bethsaida is implied to have been not too far Nathanael's Cana in John 1-2, and Cana seems to be Gamla.

Possible cons:
Bethsaida was a village raised to a city on account of number of people there. Aish doesn't seem to have a city immediately nearby?

Tiberias/Tiveriada (south-mid-west):

Possible pros:
Tiberias is a Roman name, so it may have had a Hebrew/Jewish name.
Tiberias has fishing, ships (in a gospel verse), a small harbour, and mysterious stone structure underwater nearby, which could match "house of fishing".
"The fishing industry goes back to the Stone Age in Tiberias".
"The lake is very full of fish" says Khusrou of his visit to Tiberias.
Tiberias had a stadium, and Bethsaida/Saidan/Saydan could be house of stadia/stadium?
Tiberias is associated with name Beithava'ad which is maybe similar to Bethsaida & Beteiha? (Maybe also an analogy with Sidon?) Kefar Zetim is also maybe not that far from Tiberias?
Tiveriada is also similar to Beth-tsaida.
Its feminine grammatical gender could relate to fish?
Josephus said Bethsaida was acknowledged as a city/polis due to number of people there. (A theatre at Tiberias seated 7000 people.)
"Bethsaida of/in Galilee"; "Tiberias of Galilee".
Bethsaida/Julias was in "lower Gaulonitis"; Tiberias was "in lower Galilee"; Josephus has Judas and Gamla as either/both Gaulonitis &/or Galilee. (Why does bible say "of Galilee" for Bethsaida as it also did for Cana which seems to match Gamla?)
Bethsaida was also called Julias after Julias/Livias (wife/daughter of Augustus, and) mother of Tiberius; Tiberias was named after Tiberius.
One gospel says that Bethsaida was on opposite side from the desert place. (The plain of Gennesaret is also by Arbela which is near Kefar Zetim which is not necessarily that far from Tiberias?)
Tiberias & Tarichaea (2 main sites of the sea), could match Bethsaida & Tarichaea (fishing), or Bethsaida & Chorazin (gospels)?
"Bethsaida = Julias at the confluence of the Jordan in the lake, (a place) not proven in Jewish tradition".
Fishing has ceased there in modern times which could be spiritually significant?
Bethsaida founded 30/31/32/33 ce, Tiberias founded ca 20. They are mentioned in the same chapter of Josephus (Antiquities XVIII 2).

Possible cons:
The bible only calls Bethsaida a town/kome.
Josephus said Bethsaida/Julias was near where river entered top of the sea of Galilee.
Bible and Josephus both mention both Bethsaida/Julias and Tiberias.
Bethsaida/Julias was in "lower Gaulonitis"; Tiberias was "in lower Galilee".
The earlier Hebrew name of Tiberias was Rakkat not Bethsaida. (Bethsaida & Julias don't match Rakkat & Tiberias.)
One gospel says the deserted place was nearby Bethsaida.


Possible pros:
Is located on the present shoreline.
Name Mesydiah similar to saida (with m- prefix in Semtic).
Is near mouth of Jordan, like Josephus says Bethsaida was.

Possible cons:
Only a small number of pre-Byzantine ruins.
It is claimed that "the name is in origin radically different from Bethsaida. The substitution of sin for sad is easy, but the insertion of the guttural 'ain is impossible."

El-Bateiha(h)/Putaha plains (northeast):

Possible pros:
The name Bateiha &/or name Zaki is similar to Beth-tsaida.
One gospel says the deserted place was nearby Bethsaida. "House of hunting" could match the plain?
Lagoons there could have had "different kinds of fish"?

Possible cons:
One gospel says that Bethsaida was on opposite side from the desert place.

Sennabris (sw):

Possible pros:
"The substitution of sin for sad is easy". Sennabris is not far from Ziddim.

Possible cons:

NZ's mandatory fluoridation is not fair because it only forces it on the disadvantaged/some and not on the advantaged/everyone.

Posted By: Arthur-Robin
Date Posted: 30-Apr-2019 at 03:13

Dalman(o)utha (means "harbour") in the borders of Magadan/Magdala (Magan means "ships" in Sumerian/Akkadian), Pharisees and Saducees there, on opposite side of sea/lake from Bethsaida (Mark 8:10, matching Matthew 15:39).

Possible candidates in nature/name:

Ma'agan (south easterly)?
Magdala (harbour, north-central west)?
Susita/Hippos (harbour, south-central east, opposite Tiberias)?
Tiberias (small harbour, boats, south-central east)?
Aish (anchorage/harbour, north eastward)?
Any one of 16 harbours/anchorages around lake Galilee (all the lake settlements had their own harbour)?
Et Tell (Et Tellawiyeh, an harbour-like extension/indentation of lake/sea there in some maps, north easterly)?
Tarichaea (230 boats)?
Harbour discovered at Haon south of Tel Samra?
Gadara (largest harbour, east)?
Ammun bay?
Duga beach (Kinneret)?
Hammath-dor/Ammathus/Emmaus/Bethmaus ("hot/warm springs", Tiberias, south-central-east)?
Amman (Philadelphia, odeon, Decapolis, s.e.)?
Amen Marmaria (Kursi/Gergesa, east)?
Almagor (north)?
Duerban (s.e.)?


By the way here is a list of places Jesus visited from one book's version of a harmony of the gospels (noting that they might not be right about the order of some) :

3 Nazareth, 4-5 Juttah Judea, 6 Nazareth, 7-10 Bethlehem/Ramah, 9-10 Temple, 11 Egypt (Judea), 11Nazareth, 12 Jerusalem, 13-14 Bethabara/Bethany/Jordan, 15 wilderness, 15 highmount, 15 pinnacle, 16-17 Jordan, 18 Galilee, 19 Cana, 19 Capernaum, 20 Jerusalem, 21 Jerusalem, 22 Aenon/Judea, 23 Galilee, 24 Sychar Samaria, 25 Galilee, 26 Cana/Capernaum, 27 Nazareth-Capernaum, 28 near Capernaum sea of Galilee, 29-30 Capernaum, 31Galilee, 32 desert, 33 Capernaum, 34 sea of Galilee, 35 Bethesda Jerusalem, 36 on way to Galilee, 37 Galilee, 38 sea of Galilee, 39 near Capernaum, 40 sermon mt north of Capernaum, 41 Capernaum, 42-44 Nain/Judea, 44 Chorazin/Bethsaida/Capernaum, 45 Capernaum, 46 Galilee, 47-50 Capernaum, 51 Galilee, 53-55 sea of Galilee, 56 Gadara se of sea of Galilee, 57-58/60 Capernaum/Jair, 61 Nazareth, 62 Galilee & Capernaum, 64 desert sea of Galilee, 65 Gennesaret, 66-67 Capernaum, 68 Tyre/Sidon, 69 Decapolis sea of Galilee, 70 Dalmanutha/ Magdala, 71-72 Bethsaida (Julias), 73-74 Caesarea Philippi, 75 transfiguration mt Tabor, 76 plain, 77 Galilee, 78-79 Capernaum, 80 Samaria, 81 Galilee to Jerusalem, 81-82 Samaria, 83-86 Jerusalem, 87 near Jerusalem, 89 Jerusalem, 90 Transjordan, 91 Bethany, 92 Ephraim, 93 near Jordan, 94 Perea, 94-95/101/106 journey to Jerusalem, 104 Perea, 107-108 Jericho, 110-112 Bethany, 111-122 Jerusalem, 123 Olives, 125 Bethany, 127-132 upper room Jerusalem, 133-134 Gethsemane, 135-141 Jerusalem, 142 Calvary, 144 tomb, 146 Jerusalem, 153 Emmaus, 154/155 upper room Jerusalem, 156 Tiberias/Galilee, 158 Jerusalem, 159 Bethany, 159 Olives, right seated at hand of Father, road to Damascus.

NZ's mandatory fluoridation is not fair because it only forces it on the disadvantaged/some and not on the advantaged/everyone.

Posted By: Arthur-Robin
Date Posted: 01-May-2019 at 03:39

Tarichaeae/Tarichese, a Greek name meaning "salting, pickled fish, fish-curing plants, fish canneries", was a kome/village, had gates, had a hippodrome, 230/330 boats/ships, 30000/40000 people, was at the bottom of a mountain, a plain nearby, in Lower Galilee, 'a meridie' "on the south" of the sea/lake of Galilee/Tiberias, Sennabris easily seen from it, 30 stadia/furlongs or 5.5 km or 3.4 mi from Tiberias, diaperaioo from Tiberias, versus/opposite Gamala.
This place is not mentioned in gospels (by that name at least) but was in the same times and area according other sources like Josephus & Pliny.

11 possible candidates around the sea/lake include:
Kerak/Bethirah (large artificially formed plateau, west-south/bottom sea of Galilee)?
Trachonitis (east of sea of Galilee)?
Tabgha (west-north sea of Galilee)?
Chorazin (by metathesis/transposition)?
Ard-el-Malahha (synonymous with meaning of Tarichaea, ruins & walls, near Sennabris) & El Ghor (plain, mountains, south/southwest of Malahha, south-west coast of sea of Galilee)?
Gennesaret plain?
Beteiha plains (west-north/top of sea of Galilee)?
Ancient anchorage/harbour at En Gev below Hippos/Susita (hippo "horse", 211/212 m below sealevel, city on a round hill overlooking the shore, panoramic view of sea, south-central east sea of Galilee)?
Bethsaida (house of fish, Phil-ip "horses")?
Mejdel/Magdala ("fish tower" for processing (drying) fish, north-central west sea of Galilee)?

NZ's mandatory fluoridation is not fair because it only forces it on the disadvantaged/some and not on the advantaged/everyone.

Posted By: Arthur-Robin
Date Posted: 02-May-2019 at 04:12

These 3 next sites their locations are considered to already be known and they may probably be right, but there are some possible alternative candidates as seen in the lists below.

Magdala/Magdalene/Migdol/Migdal(-el/-nunaiya) "tower (of god/fish)", home of Mary Magdalene who had 7 demons cast out of her, supposed by some to possibly be the same as Magadan (Mark 8), in the borders of which was Dalmanoutha (Matt 15).

Magdala is supposed to be Mejdel in the west side of the sea/lake of Galilee/Tiberias, and this may probably be right, but there might be a possibility that it was at another different site elsewhere. Some say that Dalmanutha which means "harbour" matches Mejdel/Magdala which had a harbour. Some also identify Tarichaea with Mejdel/Magdala. Tarichaea had a hippodrome according to Josephus, and some sources erroneously say Josephus said Magdala had a hippodrome. Possible candidates for the biblical Magdala include:

Al Majdal / Mejdel (north-central west sea of Galilee, orthodox candidate site)?
Ma'agan (s.e. sea of Galilee)?
Armageddon/Megiddo (s.w. lower Galilee)?
Malaha (sea of Galilee)?
Al Maghtas?
Majrase lagoon (Bateiha plains, east-north/top of sea of Galilee)?
Gadara (east sea of Galilee) with possible m- prefix in Semitic?
Gam(a)la (towers, Gaulonitis)?
Tabgha (7 springs, west-north sea of Galilee)?
"Amen Marmaria" / "Mary's great rabbi" inscription (Kursi/Gergesa, north-central east sea of Galilee)?
Bethsaida/Julias (Julias/Livia "immorality" like Mary Magdalene)?


Chorazin ("secret", or Coracin fish?) "woe", associated with Bethsaida (& Capernaum?) like Tyre & Sidon.
- Kerazeh/Khorazim (north of sea of Galilee)
- Tel Kursi "chair" (north-central east sea of Galilee)
- Tarichaea (sea of Galilee) with metathesis/transposition?



Gadarenes ("walled", Gerasenes/Gergesenes), tombs near there, swine near there, a steep bank/cliff near there, in Decapolis (Mark 5:20), 'antipera tes Galilaias' "over against Galilee"

- Tel Hadar (north-east sea of Galilee)
- Harnat Gadar / Gadara (kibbutz Ha'on? hot springs, largest harbour, port on sea connected with city at some distance, 200 meter breakwater, 211-212 m below sealevel, southeast sea of Galilee)
- Gadara (Umm Qeis / Mukes, Decapolis, southeast & east of sea of Galilee)
- Gadara (Peraea, s.e. of sea of Galilee)
- Gabala?
- Magdala (north-central sea of Galilee) with m- prefix in Semitic?
- Ma'agan (the only cliff which drops directly into the sea)?

(Maybe consider that Gadeira/Eumelos was at the extremity of the island of Atlantis in the Atlantis Account. Gadir means "enclosure, fortification/fortress/fort, walled city" / "sheep fold", Eumelos means "rich in sheep" / "good music" / "best honey". El-Khadir is "the green one" in Arabic. Gad means "fortune".)

Gerasenes/Gergesenes/Gerasa/Gergesa (Gadarenes), tombs near there, swine near there, a steep bank/cliff near there, in Decapolis (Mark 5:20), 'antipera tes Galilaias' "over against Galilee"

- Kerazeh/Korazim plateau (north of sea of Galilee)
- Kerak (west-south/bottom sea of Galilee) (Kartah?)
- Tel Kursi/Kersa/Gergesa (harbour, 211-212 m below sealevel, north-central east sea of Galilee)
- Gerasa/Jerash (Decapolis, southeast & east of sea of Galilee)
- Gerasa (Judea)?
- Gennesar/Ginnosar / Kinnarot cemetery (sea of Galilee)?
- Susita/Hippos/Huson (round hill, south-central east sea of Galilee) (although sus & hippos are "horse" in Hebrew and Greek respectively, συς/υς 'sis/is' or 'sus/us' is "sow/swine" or "angry" in Greek)?

NZ's mandatory fluoridation is not fair because it only forces it on the disadvantaged/some and not on the advantaged/everyone.

Posted By: Arthur-Robin
Date Posted: 03-May-2019 at 04:43

Nain is a city where Jesus raised the dead son of a widow. It is supposed to be a city in southern Galilee and this might be right though there are some possible doubts like it may have been small not a city in Jesus' times? The only other candidate i can see is Karnaim in Gaulonitis to the east of Galilee. Or it might have been in Judea since the gospel account mentions news spread throughout Judea.

Nain "charming/beauty/pasture", was a polis/city, had a city gate, Jesus went there after being at Capernaum (Luke 7:11).

List of considered candidates from searching Galilee (we haven't searched Judea) :

Nein/Nain (Tell el-Ajul, little Hermon, near Endor, in southern Lower Galilee)?
Nebi Sa'in (Nazareth, lower Galilee)?
Ain Sha'in (south-central lower Galilee)?
Zaanannim (eastern lower Galilee, west of sea of Galilee)?
Nabratein (Upper Galilee)?
Beth-Anath/Ainitha (northern upper Galilee)?
Kh Minieh (north-western sea of Galilee)?
Aish (east-north/top of sea of Galilee, east of Capernaum)?
Magdal-nunaiya (north-central sea of Galilee)?
...nia (inscription, kursi/gergesa, eastern sea of Galilee)
(Ashtaroth-)Karnaim/Carnaim/Carnion (eastern Gaulonitis) (car- (city/fort" in Phoenician/Punic & Celtic)?
Mahanaim (Decapolis/Peraea southeast of sea of Galilee) (maha "great" in Indian)?
Beit Hannina/Ananiah (Judea)?

NZ's mandatory fluoridation is not fair because it only forces it on the disadvantaged/some and not on the advantaged/everyone.

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