Where Christ was baptized: Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan
Site also associated with ascension of Prophet Elijah
The Baptism Site on the Jordan side of the Jordan River is one of the most important recent discoveries in biblical archaeology. Excavations only began here in 1996. In the brief time since then, more than 20 churches, caves and baptismal pools have been uncovered dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Would-be visitors should note that the Baptism Site is located in a desolate and difficult climate. It is nearly the lowest point on earth. The ground is dry and chalky and vegetation is sparse except on the banks of the river.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The area known as Wadi Kharrar is long to have been believed to be the biblical Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, where John the Baptist lived and Jesus was baptized. This area is also associated with the ascension of the Prophet Elijah into heaven.
Crucial bits of scripture identifying the area are found in various books. "Then Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan." ... Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it.
"When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry." (Luke 3:21-23)
Since the excavations of the late 1990s, the site has been extensively developed by the Jordan Tourism Authority, However -- visitor numbers are controlled and the Visitors' Centre has been located at some distance from the site in an effort to preserve its sanctity. Other facilities include a restaurant, shops, and even a plush VIP Lounge.
The ticket office is at the Visitors' Center, which has with ample parking. All private cars are prohibited within the archaeological zone itself, so an electric minibus brings visitors to their choice of three different sites: Tell Mar Elias, the Baptism Pools and/or John the Baptist's Church.
Alternatively, you can walk from the Visitor Center to Tell Mar Elias, then along the south bank of the Wadi Kharrar to John the Baptist's Church and the Jordan River.
Would-be walkers should note that the Baptism Site is located in a desolate and difficult climate. It is nearly the lowest point on earth. The ground is dry and chalky and vegetation is sparse except on the banks of the river. The air is thick and hot, with temperatures soaring to 100 degrees anytime but the winter.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Travel News
- Russia's Ring of Fire virtual wonderland of geysers, natural beauty
- Treasure trove of Byzantine artifacts found at Umm al-Rasas
- Taking to the skies? Watch your wallet!
- Cavalaire-sur-Mer, France: Côte d'Azur without the attitude
- United Airlines crew refuses to protect teen girl exposed to sex act
- Lively, modern city of Amman has rich historical past
- Abbey of St. Foy is longtime medieval pilgrimage route
- Austere Abbaye de Fonteny filled only with light
- British man visits all of the world's 201 nations - without flying in a plane
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Greece (Footsteps of St. Paul)
Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilisation of ancient Greece, generally considered the cradle of Western civilization. It is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, political science and more.
The Parthenon is a temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their ...
Mount Athos is a mountain on the eponymous peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. The peninsula is called the "Holy Mountain". In Classical times, the ...
Agia Triada Monastery
Agia Triada Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Akrotiri peninsula in the Chania Prefecture, Crete, Greece. It also contains a ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 2/18/2014
Russia's Kronotsky area, known as the nation's Ring of Fire, is a natural wonderland that has been off limits for many years, with only ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 9/18/2013
The ancient city of Umm al-Rasas in Jordan has yielded a treasure trove of Byzantine artifacts ever since excavations began there in 1986. Much of ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 9/12/2013
Flying is by far the most expensive way to travel, and it's not necessarily just the cost of your airplane ticket. Passengers who desire a decent ...