Chapter 10 – Matthew

Judean desert
The Judean desert. This area, where there is virtually no vegetation except in spring, was the location of the temptations of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).
Last Supper painting, Temptation monastery
Painting of the Last Supper in the Temptation Monastery.
Galilee Lake view
The lake of Galilee, the centre of Jesus’ early ministry, is about 13 miles (21 km) from north to south, 8 miles (13 km) across at is widest point. On the far (eastern) side are the Golan Heights
Jesus boat' model
A model of the ‘Jesus boat’, a first century fishing boat excavated from the shore of the Sea of Galilee in 1986. It enables us to know in detail how a boat of Jesus’ time was constructed and what materials were used. The boat’s remains are housed in Kibbutz Ginosar, on the western side of the Lake.
Early morning fishing
Early morning fishing on the Lake
Scythopolis theatre
Scythopolis (in the OT, Beth Shean), a location in the Jordan Valley continuously occupied since 4000 BC. It was a significant city in Jesus’ time as one of the ten cities forming the ‘Decapolis’ (Matt 4:25; Mark 5:20). The magnificent main street dates only from the 6th century AD.
Scythopolis, colonnaded street
Scythopolis, colonnaded street
Church of Beatitudes
The Church of the Beatitudes (built 1936-38) is located on the hilltop traditionally associated with Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount’. The eight-sided structure symbolizes the eight ‘beatitudes’ or ‘blessings’ in Matt. 5:1-10. From here many of the locations of Jesus’ ministry can be seen.
Tyrian half-shekel coin 36-37 AD
Tyrian half-shekel coin, dated AD 36-37. Because its purity could be relied on, this is the coinage in which Jews had to pay their annual tax to the temple (Matthew 17:24).
Gethsemane. In an olive grove such as this Jesus prayed on the night of his arrest.
Evidence of first century crucifixion
Crucifixion was a slow and painful way to die. In 1968 the remains of a man who had been crucified were discovered in Jerusalem. The photo shows that a nail driven through the victim’s heel bone held his feet to the cross.
Garden tomb
The Garden Tomb, popularized as Golgotha by General Gordon of Khartoum in1883. The real place of Jesus’ burial is far more likely to have been where the Holy Sepulchre church now stands, but this tomb shows clearly how a body would be laid on the stone floor, with the head on the slightly raised ‘pillow’ at the far end.
Garden tomb interior
Garden tomb interior
Rock-hewn tomb inside Holy Sepulchre Church
A first century rock-hewn tomb inside the Holy Sepulchre Church.
Tomb with rolling stone, nr Mt Carmel
A tomb with rolling stone, near Mt Carmel.
Holy Sepulchre domes (exterior)
The distinctive domes of the Holy Sepulchre church. The emperor Constantine built the first church here in the early 4th century. It was destroyed by the Moslem caliph Hakim in 1009. After rebuilding during the following 150 years the church has remained substantially as it was then.
Holy Sepulchre, the tomb monument
Inside the Holy Sepulchre church, this elaborate monument over what is believed to be the place of Jesus’ burial dates only from the early 19th century, when it replaced an earlier structure destroyed by fire.
Christos Pantocrator mosaic, dome Holy Sepulchre
Holy Sepulchre church, mosaic of Christos Pantocrator (‘Almighty’) in the dome.
Holy Sepulchre roof (home of Ethiopian monks)
While the main church is mostly Roman Catholic, Christians of some other traditions have their altars and shrines. A community of Ethiopian monks lives here on the church’s roof and worships in a small chapel en route from here to the inside of the church.