A Drought and an Authentic Boat


Back in the mid-eighties Israel had a two-year drought. The water on the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee had receded and what was left was a lot of mud. And in that mud two fishermen (who were also interested in archeology) discovered an old fishing boat. The clay had sealed the wood, protecting it from deterioration.

The Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums and the fishermen in the area quickly and carefully retrieved the boat.

Using a combination of construction techniques and ceramic chronology, scholars placed the date at the time when Christ’s ministry was in the area of Galilee. Of course, they don’t know or even begin to guess who used the boat, but they are sure it was used during the time the disciples fished on the lake. The boat gives researchers a valuable resource as to how boats were built during that time in history.

The boat was carefully patched and strengthened and now can be seen at the Yigal Alon Center at Kibbutz Ginosser.

ScanKen and I were there about 10 years after the find and I remember there was still a lot of the just-discovered excitement surrounding it. I don’t think (if I remember correctly) that we saw it in the museum where it is now housed – but I do remember walking into a small and dark boathouse/room  so did not get a great picture, but DID get a picture.

As you know, I am a big proponent of showing kids real places and things that are talked about in the Bible – here is something you can talk about with your kids.

You can look up more about this fishing boat on the web. They have nicknamed it The Jesus Boat, although there is no proof and no one clams that Christ sailed on this boat – only that it is from that time period.

If you go to https://www.jesusboat.com/Story-of-the-Jesus-Boat  – there is a two-part video showing how they got the boat out of the water and to shore. The video would interest older kids – third/fourth grade and up. Or, you could watch it for better understanding and then discuss with your kids.


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