Chapter 7 – The life of Jesus in the light of history

1. Nazareth basilica exterior
The Basilica of the Annunciation (Roman Catholic), built over the site in Nazareth where, according to ancient tradition, the angel Gabriel brought to Mary the news that she would bear a special son (Luke 1:26-38).
2. Nazareth house excavation
Excavation of a first century house in Nazareth near the Basilica.
3. Church of nativity interior
The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem. Originally built by the emperor Constantine between 330 and 339 AD, it has undergone various restorations since then. The church is shared by worshippers of several Christian traditions.
The Grotto of the Nativity
The Grotto of the Nativity – a cave beneath the main church, is the place where Jesus is said to have been born.
The Shepherds’ Field Church
The Shepherds’ Field Church, in the village of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem, where according to tradition angels announced the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:8-20).
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).
Wadi Qelt & St George's Monastery
The Wadi Qelt and the Monastery of St George. The water of the wadi has formed a deep valley on its route down to the Dead Sea
Mt Temptation & monastery
The Mount of Temptation, near Jericho, said to be the hill where Jesus was tempted, though the precise location is impossible to determine. Below on the left, the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Temptation clings precariously to the cliff face.
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
Tiberias hot springs
The hot springs in Tiberias, which contributed to its popularity as a place of healing. Herod Antipas founded the city in 18 AD, naming it after the emperor Tiberius.
Tiberias theatre
The theatre in Tiberias – part of Antipas’ drive to make it a popular resort.
'Nazareth Village' carpenter
A carpenter works at a stool. The ‘Nazareth village’ is an open air museum in Nazareth, where local people re-enact life in New Testament times
'Nazareth village' weaving
‘Nazareth village’ weaving
'Nazareth Village' watchtower (Mark 12.1)
A watchtower was a necessary, but not always effective, precaution against robbery of a vineyard’s fruit (Mark 12:1)
Korazin ruins
The ruins of Korazin (Chorazin), a village familiar to Jesus (Matt. 11:21)
Korazin - Syrian rock hyraxes
Syrian rock hyraxes (coneys) thrive in the ruins of Korazin.
The river Jordan at Banias waterfall
The Jordan at the Banias waterfall, a little way south of its source on Mt Hermon
Jacob's Well
Jacob’s Well (see John 4:6). This ancient well, traditionally associated with Jacob, is in Nablus, Palestine – on the route from Galilee to Jerusalem.
Gethsemane. In an olive grove such as this Jesus prayed on the night of his arrest.
Ossuary of Caiaphas
An ossuary (a receptacle for the bones of the dead) discovered in Jerusalem in 1990 and thought to be that of the high priest Caiaphas, though some have questioned this identification. Among wealthy Jews of that time, a corpse would be buried in a family tomb, and after the flesh had decomposed the bones would be placed in a finely carved limestone chest such as this one. The name ‘Yehosef bar Qayafa’ (‘Joseph son of Caiaphas’) is inscribed on one side.
Herodion, from below
The Herodion from below – a man-made hill south of Jerusalem in which Herod built a palace, and where he planned to be buried. His probable tomb was discovered in 2007, though some have questioned this identification.
Herodion palace area
The Herodion palace inside the hill.
Herodion, a mikveh (pool for ritual washing)
A mikveh – pool for Jewish ritual washing—at the Herodion
Herodion model
Model of how the Herodion would have looked originally (British Museum).
Herodion lower level remains
This square structure with the ‘island’ in the middle was used for swimming and perhaps for sailing small boats.