Because much of Christ’s life and ministry centered around the Sea of Galilee and many of His most powerful miracles were performed either on the sea itself or along its shores, it truly was exciting to see what a boat looked like during the time of Christ. Many of the stories in the Gospels came to life such as Christ teaching from a boat, the calming of the storm, the miracles of the fishes, and the walking on water, not to mention the other numerous passages that describe Christ’s movements by ship in this region.
And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. – Luke 5:3
And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. – Mark 5:21
The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. – John 6:22, 24
The boat was discovered after the Sea of Galilee had receded in more modern times. Because wood was such a precious commodity in Israel during Christ’s time, this boat showed signs of extensive use and repair. It was made from 12 different types of wood, and could be either rowed or sailed. Its crew consisted of 4 oarsmen and a helmsman, and besides these, it could carry up to 15 additional passengers. While we were here, we also learned of the extensive effort to rescue and preserve this boat, which gave us a greater appreciation of the conservation attempts made here in Israel. While there is no evidence connecting this boat to Jesus or His disciples, it was very intriguing to see a ship that Christ possibly saw on one of His many trips across the Sea of Galilee and may have possibly used sometime during His life and ministry in this region. On top of this, the museum that houses this historic ship was very sharp as well as air-conditioned, and the bookstore was very nice. Outside, they have planted each of the twelve trees from which the ship was made, and because it is located right on the sea, there are many beautiful views of the Golan Heights across the lake.
The Dimensions of the Boat
25.5 ft. (8.2 m) long
7.5 ft. (2.3 m) wide
4.1 ft (1.25 m) high