When you think of biblical Galilee it is easy to picture images in our minds of fishermen in their boats, Jewish seaside cities, Roman soldiers, and crowds gathering to hear the words of a humble Rabbi from nearby Nazareth. His name was Jesus.
Jesus spent the majority of his ministry in the Galilee region. It is in Galilee that Jesus established his home base, called his disciples, and performed many of the great miracles we read about in Scripture.
Crossroads of Jewish and Christian History
The ancient town of Magdala was established in the Hellenistic Period and grew to a thriving fishing village by the time the Romans invaded the Galilee in 67 AD. Situated on the shores of the Galilee along a major commercial trade route, the Via Maris, and on the way from Nazareth to Capernaum, Magdala was an active city filled with fishermen, shopkeepers and townspeople. Providentially uncovered in 2009, archaeological discoveries indicate the presence of an observant Jewish Community in Magdala, as is evidenced in its First Century Synagogue. This synagogue is one of seven in the world and the best preserved today. In the center of the synagogue archeologists found the Magdala Stone, a discovery they have quoted to be, “one of the most significant finds in the past 50 years.”
It is in Magdala where Jesus likely taught the multitudes and healed the afflicted including a woman who made her hometown famous, Mary Magdalene.