Tabgha

QUESTION: Tabgha

ANSWER:

Tabgha is on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, just southwest of Capernaum. Seven warm springs flow down a small valley into the Sea of Galilee here, which attracts fish and fishermen to the nearby inlets.




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Archaeology, history, and tradition have marked the area surrounding Tabgha as the location for three biblical accounts: (1) the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7, including the nearby Mount of Beatitudes), (2) the miracle of the loaves and the fishes (Matthew 14:13-21); and (3) the appearance of the risen Jesus Christ to Peter, James, John, Thomas, and Nathanael (John 21).

The next inlet to the northeast of Tabgha is known as the Cove of the Sower (Matthew 13), an ancient harbor clearly revealed when the water level on the Sea of Galilee is low. This horseshoe-shaped harbor is at the base of a natural amphitheatre going up the hillside. To this day, one on the hillside can easily hear someone speaking from the harbor below.
    That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear" (Matthew 13:1-9).



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