Chapter 9 – Mark

Photos of a Denarius coin
Denarius of Tiberius (Roman emperor AD 14-37). The coin was the daily wage of a labourer.
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
Kursi (Gadarene demoniac)
Ruins of the Byzantine monastery at Kursi on the north-east coast of the Sea of Galilee, claimed by tradition as the site of the ‘miracle of the pigs’ (Mark 5:1-20).
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
Caesarea Philippi cave
The cave at the foot of Mt Hermon, from which the River Jordan once flowed, before earthquakes diverted it. The area was sacred to Pan, the Greek god of nature, shepherd and flocks.
Caesarea Philippi longer view
Caesarea Philippi longer view
Caesarea Philippi, shrines dedicated to Pan
Caesarea Philippi, shrines related to worship of Pan.
Caesarea Philippi in 1st century (artist's impression)
The area in the first century (artist’s impression). Though the area is dedicated to Pan, the most impressive buildings are the temples of the emperor Augustus (left) and (probably) the god Zeus (centre).
Mt Tabor
Mount Tabor rises from the surrounding plain. By the fourth century the tradition was established that this was the location of Jesus’ transfiguration (Mark 9:2-13).
Mt Tabor, the Catholic basilica
Mt Tabor, the Catholic basilica
Mt Tabor mosaic of Transfiguration
Inside the Mt Tabor basilica is a mosaic depicting the transfiguration
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.
Holy Sepulchre Church (mosaic, Jesus taken from the cross)
Inside the Holy Sepulchre church, a mosaic depicts Jesus’ body being taken down from 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.