Capernaum in Wikipedia
Capernaum (pronounced /kəˈpɜrniəm/ kə-PUR-nee-əm; Hebrew: כְּפַר נַחוּם, Kfar Nahum, "Nahum's village") was a fishing
village inhabited from mid 2nd century BC to 11th century AD. It is located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of
Gallilee and had a population of about 1,500.
Recent excavations revealed that there were two synagogues in the village: the more recent was made of limestone and was
built on top of the older, which was made of local black basalt. Only the foundation walls, some , and the cobblestone
floor remain of the earlier structure.
A church near Capernaum is said to be the home of Saint Peter. When Jesus left Nazareth he settled in Capernaum where he
chose his first four disciples; James, John, Peter and Andrew.
The town is cited in the Gospel of Luke where it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James
and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. In Matthew 4:13 the town was reported to have been the home of Jesus.
According to Luke 4:31-44, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on Sabbath. Jesus then healed a man who had the
spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter's mother-in-law. According to Gospel of Luke /Luke 7: 1-10,
it is also the place where a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant. A building which may have been a synagogue
of that period has been found beneath the remains of a later synagogue.
Josephus referred to Capernaum as a fertile spring. He stayed the night there after spraining his ankle. During the first
Jewish revolt of 66-70 Capernaum was spared as it was never occupied by the Romans.
Although Kfar Nahum, the original name of the small town, means "Nahum's village" in Hebrew, apparently there is no
connection with the prophet named Nahum. In the writings of Josephus, the name is rendered in Greek as "Kαφαρναουμ
(Kapharnaum)". In Arabic, it is called Talhum, and it is assumed that this refers to the ruin (Tell) of Hum (perhaps an
abbreviated form of Nahum) (Tzaferis, 1989).
Drawing upon literary sources and the results of the excavations, it has been possible to reconstruct a part of the
town's history. Archaeological evidence demonstrates that the town was established in the second century BC during the
Hasmonean period. The site had no defensive wall and extended along the shore of the nearby lake (from east to west).
The cemetery zone is found 200 meters north of the synagogue, which places it beyond the inhabited area of the town. It
extended 3 kilometers to Tabgha, an area which appears to have been used for agricultural purposes, judging by the many
oil and grain mills which were discovered in the excavation. Fishing was also a source of income; the remains of another
harbor were found to the west of that built by the Franciscans.
According to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus selected this town as the center of his public ministry in the Galilee after he
left the small mountainous hamlet of Nazareth (Matthew 4:12-17). Capernaum has no obvious advantages over any other city
in the area, so he probably chose it because it was the home of his first disciples, Simon (Peter) and Andrew. The Gospel
of John suggests that Jesus' ministry was centered in a village called Cana.
No sources have been found for the belief that Capernaum was involved in the bloody Jewish revolts against the Romans,
the First Jewish-Roman War (AD 66–73) or Bar Kokhba's revolt (132–135), although there is reason to believe that
Josephus, one of the Jewish generals during the earlier revolt, was taken to Capernaum (which he called "Kapharnakos")
after a fall from his horse in nearby Bethsaida (Josephus, Vita, 72)...
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