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Magdala – The Crossroad of Christian and Jewish History

by Mackenzie Landi
Israel: Magdala – The Crossroad of Christian and Jewish History

On the western side of the Sea of Galilee lies Magdala, once a prosperous first-century fishing village nestled at the base of Mount Arbel between Tiberias and Capernaum. While mentioned only one time in the New Testament (Matthew 15:39), significant archaeological discoveries in the past decade have prominently placed Magdala on the map.

Magdala is most commonly known as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, one of the few people named in the Gospels for being present at Christ’s crucifixion and the first recorded witness to His resurrection. It was also the commercial center for the fish trade, and it was a village Jesus visited often during His ministry. Conquered by the Romans in 67 AD, Magdala fell into obscurity over the centuries.

Magdala

Magdala Hotel – A modern four-star hotel complements this picturesque ancient city.

Magdala

Ancient Synagogue – First-century synagogue, uniquely adorned with ornate mosaics and frescoes. It is one of only seven from the Second Temple period known to exist and the first to be found in the Galilee region.

Magdala

Magdala Stone – Experts consider the Magdala Stone to be one of the most significant finds of the last 50 years, its engravings helping scholars to more clearly understand first-century Judaism. Engravings include decorative symbols—including a seven-branched menorah—that may be the earliest known artistic depictions of the Second Temple. Visitors to Magdala can view a replica of the stone, the original having been removed and stored elsewhere for safekeeping.

Magdala

Mikvaot – Among many finds, the archaeological dig has uncovered four beautifully preserved ritual purification baths (mikva’ot) interconnected and supplied by spring water.

Magdala

Duc In Altum – Latin for “put out into the deep” based on Luke 5:4, Duc In Altum is an ecumenical worship center that features breathtaking architectural elements dedicated to Jesus’ ministry.

Magdala

Women’s Atrium – Dedicated to women of faith through the ages.

Magdala

Boat Chapel – The altar is constructed in the shape of a first-century boat, displayed in front of an infinity pool leading the eye to the Sea of Galilee beyond.

Magdala

Encounter Chapel – The lower level of Duc In Altum houses the Encounter Chapel, built on the original first-century marketplace stone floor. Perhaps it is here that Jesus healed the hemorrhaging woman (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48), as depicted in the larger-than-life mosaic articulating the scene of the woman reaching out to touch the hem of His garment.

Magdala is quickly becoming one of the most significant sites on the Sea of Galilee. This inspirational and memorable experience is one you do not want to miss!

See the gospel come to life in the land where Jesus lived!

Email Cindy at Cindy@israeladvantagetours.com.
or visit www.israeladvantagetours.com.
to plan your trip to the Lands of the Bible!

Originally posted at israeladvantagetours.com

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