The Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration
Location - Mount Tabor
Map Coordinates - 32.687894, 35.390187
Merged Gospels story - 117
Just to the north of the Franciscan Church of the Transfiguration is the Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration, and it was built in 1911 AD.
Since the story of the transfiguration is the same for both the Catholic and Orthodox, I am going to highlight some of the most unique assets of the Orthodox site.
The Transfiguration Rock
An interesting relic inside this church is a rock (below), that was supposedly taken from the exact site where Jesus experienced His transfiguration.
The Transfiguration rock.
The Melchizedek Cave
As you approach the church compound, on the right side of the road you will see this chapel, called the “Cave of Melchizedek” (above). It is based on a Greek tradition that Mount Tabor was the location of the meeting between Melchizedek, King of Salem, and Abraham (see Genesis 14). According to the Bible, Melchizedek king of Salem blessed Abraham, to whom Abraham tithed ten percent of the spoils that he plundered.
How do we know that the Transfiguration actually happened?
We have the testimony of two eye-witnesses who saw it, Peter and John. We have their actual words. Plus, there three independent books, Matthew, Mark and Luke, which are all in the Bible, which all tell this exact same story, with slightly different versions, which means that they heard it from different people, who heard it from Peter, John and James right after the resurrection of Jesus. This is evidence of the divinity of Jesus.
So, why did Jesus tell the three Apostles not to tell anyone until after the resurrection? Perhaps it’s because the resurrection of Jesus is an even bigger miracle, and no one would believe the miracle of the transfiguration until they saw a dead man walk out of His own grave. Then they would believe in the miracle of the transfiguration.
The Transfiguration is the greatest proof that Jesus is God, and that’s why, outside of the resurrection of Jesus, it’s probably the most important miracle in the entire Bible.