Capernaum Travel Blog› entry 9 of 16 › view all entries
Capernaum was a settlement on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The site is a ruin today, but was inhabited from 150 BC to about AD 750. The town is mentioned in the New Testament: it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andreas, Jakobus and Johannus, as well as the tax collector Mattheus. Also the town was reported to have been the home of Jesus after he left Nazareth. Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath. In Capernaum also, Jesus healed a man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter's mother-in-law. 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.
After the desertion an the American explorer discovered the ruins of the ancient Capernaum in 1838. The city appeared to the first explorers to be a sad and desolate place. In 1866 archeologists identified the remains of the synagogue. In 1894 was able to recover a good part of the ruins from the Bedouins. One block of homes was found to have a complex history. Located between the synagogue and the lakeshore, it was found near the front of a labyrinth of houses from many different periods. The excavators concluded that one house in the village was venerated as the house of Peter the fisherman as early as the mid-first century AD, with two churches having been constructed over it.
The ruins of the synagoge were Jesus taught is among the Oldest synagogues in the world. The large white building stones of the synagogue stood out prominently among the smaller, plain blocks of local black basalt used for the towns other buildings. The synagogue was built almost entirely of white blocks of calcareous stone brought from distant quarries.