News And Notes -- By: Anonymous
BSP 1:2 (Spring 1988) p. 24
News And Notes
For one hundred years scholars have debated the location of Bethsaida, one of the most-mentioned cities in the New Testament. Some have even thought it was buried in the delta of the Jordan River on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Obviously, a city of its importance should yield a great deal of information related to the life of Jesus and the disciples.
Details of the recent confirmation of the location appeared in the Schenectady Gazette (1/30/88) as well as other news sources. Bible and Spade (predecessor to Archeology and Biblical Research) carried a full article on the new location, however, as early as 1982 (Spring-Autumn, pp. 78-86). Much more is contained in the Bible and Spade article than we can give here. For those who have it already, we hope you will read it and note the maps. (For those who do not, see elsewhere in this issue for information how to obtain a set of back issues.)
The location is Et-Tell on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee.3 Last April a complete kitchen from New Testament times was discovered with its vessels still in place, but not destroyed by fire. This may indicate the residents left in great haste, likely during a Roman invasion about 67 AD. It is mentioned in connection with: restoring a blind man’s sight (Mark 8:22), Jesus’ walking on water off the shore of Bethsaida (Mark 6:45), feeding 5000 (Luke 9:10), the birthplace of Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44), and more.
Although the present site of Bethsaida is more than a mile inland from the Sea, during Jesus’ time, Bethsaida was on the shore of the Sea. The Bible and Spade article solves the problem. The simple explanation is that the delta of the Jordan River has expanded that far in the last 2000 years.
Geshur Also Found?
You ask, “What is Geshur?” We had not been aware of it, either, until a recent dig a few miles southeast of Bethsaida. Now some very interesting new information is available. Insight magazine (1/25/88, pp. 60-61) reports that a 2 acre site named Tel Hadar (“splendid hill” in Hebrew) has ruins more than 2500 years old. Could it be Geshur?
The Bible records in 2 Samuel that Absalom, David’s son, was born to the daughter of the king of Geshur (a politically inspired marriage?). After Absalom tried and failed to overthrow David, he fled to the palace of his grandfather, the king of Geshur. Is what seem to be palace walls at Tel Hadar the very walls of this palace? ...
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