I was raised in the Christian religion but we didn’t really practice it all that much (besides the very basics). Even if I remember only very few things from the Bible the trip to Israel brought some kind of emotions I can’t even describe properly. I’m not really sure what I believe in and that’s not the place to talk about this but I’m sure that all that centuries ago there was a wise man called Jesus living in the area. Seeing his footsteps (literally) all over the place was an incredible experience. It just made me realize how big importance to millions of people has the place I was visiting and how one person can affect masses and be remembered and cherished for thousands of years.
Right now, after spending some time in Israel, very high on my “to read” list is the Bible. I haven’t actually read it properly before, only small pieces that I needed at certain moments. Now seems like a perfect timing for this as the memory of Biblical places I was lucky to visit is still very vivid in my head. Below you can see the list of these sites, when you visit Israel it’s very likely you’ll happen to see them too!
According to the Bible Paul the Apostle has visited the town.
More pictures from Acre can be found here
Sea of Galilee
Quite a lot of things happened there! Jesus ordered the wind and sea, Jesus taught from Peter’s boat, Jesus multiplied bread and fishes, He calmed down the storm and He walked on the water.
I visited the shores of Sea of Galilee in Tiberias, on my way back from Nazareth to Jerusalem. These days the city is more like a summer hotspot with lots of big hotels and typical holiday activities. But the lake itself is nice, with the surrounding mountains rolling smoothly to the water.
That’s where the Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. I actually visited two spots where these supposedly happened – one just next to the Sea of Galilee and one next to the Allenby Bridge – the border crossing between Israel and Jordan. Guess we will never know which one was the right place.
In this city Virgin Mary learnt that she will born Son of God. That’s also where Jesus spent his childhood with St. Mary and Joseph.
Read more about my stay in Nazareth.
The place where Jesus was born – these days Church of the Nativity is standing in that very place, the basilica that is divided between three religions: Armenian Apostolic, Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic. It is possible to visit the symbolic grotto but sometimes the line to get there is enormous. Besides the birthplace of Jesus Bethehem is also the place where Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob, died when she gave birth to Benjamin. In this city King David was born too.
Sadly I didn’t have much time to explore Bethlehem properly as it was getting late and dark. But I really liked the vibe of the city, so busy and chaotic, full of small businesses, with lots of people around. It is also the place where the infamous Separation Wall, with some really good street art including Banksy’s, can be best seen.
Known as the oldest city in the world, it was founded 10.000 years ago. The most important Biblical reference was the siege of Jericho. It was also an important place for prophets Elijah and Elisha. Near Jericho and next to the border crossing with Jordan there’s a place at the Jordan river where Jesus was supposed to be baptized.
The city is the most important place for Judaism and Christianity, also one of the holiest cities of Islam. It appeared in the Bible on various occasions, the most important mentions are:
– religious and political capital of the Kingom of Israel
– destruction of the city by Nebuchadnezzar
– Jerusalem’s Walls rebuilt by Nehemiah
– Abraham prepared Isaac to be sacrificed
– Jesus foretold the destruction of the city but at the end of the times there will be a New Jerusalem
– the place used to be the meeting point of various nations
According to the New Testament Jesus used to visit Jerusalem often. That’s where He spent His last week that began with the triumphal entrance in the day that now is celebrated as the Palm Sunday and ended in the crucifixion and resurrection. In Jerusalem Jesus and Apostles had the Last Supper in the Zion Mountain, He spent His last night before being arrested in the Gethsemane Garden. Finally that’s where Jesus was judged by Pontius Pilate, where He walked Via Dolorosa with the cross to eventually was crucified at the Calvary. He was quickly buried but when His relatives came back after Shabbat Jesus’ body was nowhere seen. 40 days later, from the Mount of Olives, He entered heaven. However Jerusalem was mentioned in the Bible not only because of the Jesus but also because of Saint Mary and Apostles. All over the city there’re places that are somehow connected to the Holy Book and it is not possible to visit Jerusalem without seeing them!
Read more about my time in Jerusalem’s Old Town where most of the Biblical things happened
It is assumed that Sodom and Gomorrah were located in this area.
David hidden in here when he was chased by Saul.
Amazing fortress owned by Herod the Great, the last place of the Jewish resistance from the Romans. 960 people who defended Masada committed a mass suicide on top of the mountain.
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Of course there are much more places with Biblical references and they can be found all over Israel – this area is called the Holy Land for a reason. This is just a small part that I was lucky to see and that is probably the easiest to visit. It was something different to spots I usually visit during my travels. But I enjoyed a lot this kind of spiritual travelling and every single place I went to and when I’m back in Israel (and I’m sure I will be there sooner than later) I’d love to go to some more Biblical sights.
What are your thoughts of spiritual travel? Have you been to any holy places?
If you think of visiting Israel or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
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