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The Capernaum Lakeside

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Jesus Called His Disciples on this Shoreline

Location - Capernaum

Map Coordinates - 32.880999, 35.575371

Merged Gospels stories - Many


Scripturally speaking, there was a lot that happened on this shoreline:


It was on this shore that Jesus called His first apostles as they were fishing (The Merged Gospels, story 40).

In this area, the Apostle Matthew had his tax collecting station (The Merged Gospels, story 44).


Jesus called the Apostle Matthew by the shoreline.

Jesus healed crowds by this shoreline (The Merged Gospels, story 52).


In Jesus’ day, this shore was bustling with the activity of sailing vessels, which would generally disembark in the evening, and return early in the morning. Without the aid of artificial light, this must have been a difficult job under the darkness at night, but nighttime was when most of the fish collected in the shallow waters.


According to The Merged Gospels, it was from here that Jesus preached from a boat and told His first parable – the Parable of the Sower (The Merged Gospels, story 87).


Jesus preaches from a boat.

What about Sower’s Cove?

Regarding this parable, there is a small cove on the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee commonly (not officially) called Sower’s Cove (also called the Bay of Parables), where some people believe that Jesus taught The Parable of the Sower from a boat. It is said that the acoustics in this cove allowed people from great distances to clearly hear the words of Jesus as He preached from the boat.

However, there are several problems with this assumption: 


While Jesus preached from a boat twice in the Gospels (The Merged Gospels, Stories 40 and 86), calling this location “Sower’s Cove” is unfortunate, since the Parable of the Sower was clearly taught on the shores of Capernaum. (Matthew 13:1 says, “On that day, Jesus went out of the house [Peter’s house] and sat.) Mark 4:1 continues by saying, “And again He began to teach by the sea.”


What’s more, Sower’s Cove is about three-fourths of a mile west of Capernaum. There is no ancient tradition that even remotely suggests that Jesus ever spoke from a boat on this spot. It has only been assumed by modern travelers that this is a suitable site for such a sermon from an acoustical standpoint, but this is far from proving that any Biblical event occurred here. Moreover, it cannot be proven that the crowds that listened to Jesus preaching from a boat were so large that the cove in question provided a necessary solution.


Because the water level of the Sea of Galilee was different in the first century, this cove may not have existed in its current form during the life of Jesus. From its appearance, I sense that it did not.


Finally, for lack of any historical or geographic proof that Jesus preached from a boat here, and since all traditions that Jesus taught here are quite modern, we should accept the theory that this spot is where Jesus taught as a mere curiosity.

Jesus calls His first disciples by the sea.

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