After thirty years of research, scientists claim they have found the site where the event detailed in the Bible’s Book of John happened. The exact location of Bethsaida has been found after three decades of excavations by archaeologists. A team has been digging at the Et-Tell archaeological site for decades and now feel confident that they have the evidence to support their claim.
Bethsaida was a town in the Galilee region and was mentioned many times in the Bible’s Gospels.
The town was stated to be where apostle Jesus’ disciples Peter, Andrew and Philip were from.
It is also believed Jesus performed several miracles in the area.
From biblical tradition, Jesus performed the loaves and the fishes miracle.
This is also the location where the Bible detailed how a previously blind man went to the Pharisees who had accused Jesus of being a sinner and said: “I don’t know if he is a sinner or not, but I do know one thing, I was blind, but now I can see!”
The location of the Biblical miracles is still open to debate and there is yet to be a scientific consensus about the exact location.
There are other contenders for the ancient site of Bethsaida.
These are Et-Tell, El-Araj, and el-Mesydiah.
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The archaeologist said: “He claims that the city was in the lower Golan near the estuary of the Jordan River,” suggesting this was the same place as the Et-Tell excavation site.
The main stumbling block for Arav is how far Et-Tell is from the Sea of Galilee, contrary to the biblical description of Bethsaida as accessible by boat.
However, the specialist points out that it may have been closer in antiquity and that tectonic movements and changes in water levels have caused the distance.
Professor Arav said: “The Sea of Galilee is right in the middle of the Syrian-African rift and is prone to tectonic changes.”
He added his team had discovered ancient fishing equipment among the ruins of the settlement.
He has also had words for specialists who point out that the biblical city is actually in El-Araj and has asserted that what has been found in the area is a military camp, not the authentic Bethsaida.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.