Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 3 (Part 1) : Bethany Beyond Jordan

Itinerary for Day 3 - 12 April 2008

  • Bethany Beyond Jordan - Site where Jesus was baptised
  • Cross border of Jordan to Israel via Allenby Bridge
  • Mount of Temptation
  • Overnight in Tiberias

As usual, we woke up early. Today is a busy day, the day we continue our tour into Israel. We have been staying in each hotel for one night and it's getting a little annoying having to pack up EVERYDAY. I feel like a nomad. Consistently on the move.

The destination is Bethany Beyond Jordan.

The Baptism Site (Arabic: el-Maghtas) on the Jordan side of the Jordan River is one of the most important recent discoveries in biblical archeology. Excavations only began here in 1996, following Jordan's peace treaty with Israel in 1994, but have already uncovered more than 20 churches, caves and baptismal pools dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods.

Although the identification is not absolutely certain, archeology has shown that the area known as Wadi Kharrar has long been believed to be the biblical Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, where John the Baptist lived and Jesus was baptized.

This area is also associated with the ascension of the Prophet Elijah into heaven, which is commemorated at a hill called Tell Mar Elias.

Note: This Bethany should not be confused with Bethany in Jerusalem, where Mary Magdalene lived and Lazarus was raised from the dead. (clipped from here)

The walk into the site

Across this river Jordan is Israel. Over the years, the water has receded.

They are currently doing excavation. Many things yet to be uncovered.

The site where Jesus was baptised.

Using some pre-1948 studies and the early pilgrim accounts as their guide, archaeologists quickly uncovered an astounding number of ancient sites - 21 at the last count.

After this visit, we will be going Israel via Allenby Bridge.

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1 comment:

GarGies said...

All the pictures look absolutely stunning. A very interesting trip, apart from the unbearable, thinking and missing the children just too much.