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Jesus Trail

Jesus Trail

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The Jesus Trail is a 65 km (40.4 mi) hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

 and pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 route in the Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

 region of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 that traces the route Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 may have walked, connecting many sites from his life and ministry. The main part of the trail begins in Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

, the largest Arab city in Israel, and passes through Sepphoris, Cana
Cana
In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

 (Kafr Kanna), the Horns of Hattin
Horns of Hattin
Horns of Hattin is an extinct volcano with twin peaks overlooking the plains of Hattin in the Lower Galilee, Israel.-History:...

, Mount Arbel
Mount Arbel
Mount Arbel is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Mt...

 Cliffs, the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

, Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

, Tabgha
Tabgha
Tabgha is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus in Christianity. Until 1948, it was the site of an Arab village.The...

, and the Mount of Beatitudes
Mount of Beatitudes
The Mount of Beatitudes refers to the hill in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.- Location :The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret...

. An alternate return route passes by Tiberias, the Jordan River, Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor
-Places:*Mount Tabor, a hill in Israel near Nazareth believed by many to be the site of the Transfiguration of ChristIn the United States:*Mount Tabor, Indiana, an unincorporated community...

, and Mount Precipice
Mount Precipice
Mount Precipice , also known as Mount of Precipitation, Mount of the Leap of the Lord and Mount Kedumim is located in Lower Galilee, Near the cities of Nazareth and Nazareth Illit....

. The trail encompasses areas of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 dwellings. The Jesus Trail is located entirely within the pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel.

History


The trail was founded in 2007 by two hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

 enthusiasts, Maoz Inon, a Jewish Israeli entrepreneur who has established hostels and guesthouses in Israel, and David Landis, a Christian American hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

 specialist. The actual marking of the trail took place in 2009. It is currently managed and promoted largely by the work of volunteers, and is a non-profit project.

The trail is public and free for anyone who wants to hike and camp along its course. The Jesus Trail is marked with a blaze of three stripes painted on rocks along the way (white, orange, and white). When portions of the Jesus Trail combine with other trails (such as the Israel National Trail
Israel National Trail
The Israel National Trail, is a hiking path that crosses the entire country of Israel. Its northern end is at Dan, near the Lebanese border in the far north of the country, and it extends to Eilat at the southernmost tip of Israel on the Red Sea, a length of approximately 940 km...

), an additional orange circle is added to the previous trail marker. All marking of the trail was completed by the public Israel Trails Committee (ITC) which works in conjunction with a non-profit organization known as the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel
Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel , or SPNI, is an Israeli non-profit environmental organization working to preserve plants, animals, and natural environments that represent bio-diversity, by protecting the lands and waters needed for their survival, and is Israel's oldest and...

 (SPNI). Trail maintenance and cleaning up has been a combined effort of international, national, and local organizations including JNF-KKL (The Jewish National Fund), the Fauzi Azar Inn in Nazareth, village schools, and international volunteers.

The biblical reference for the Jesus Trail is based on a verse from the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

 of Matthew wherein at the start of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

' public ministry he is described as moving from his home-town of Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

, located in the hills of the Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

, down to Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

 which was a lakeside fishing village on the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

, where Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 is described as gathering his first disciples. The account is also related in the two other synoptic gospels
Synoptic Gospels
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and sometimes exactly the same wording. This degree of parallelism in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence structures can only be...

 of Mark and Luke. The reference in the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 reads: "Leaving Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

, he went and lived in Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

 which was by the lake." (Matthew 4:13).

According to the Gospels, Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

 became the home-base for Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

' ministry: "And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city [referring to Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

]." (Matthew 9:1); also: "And when he returned to Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

 after some days, it was reported that he was at home." (Mark 2:1).

The Jesus Trail was designed in the tradition of pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

 trails around the world, such as the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (the Way of Saint James) in northern Spain and the Saint Paul Trail
Saint Paul Trail
The Saint Paul Trail is a long-distance footpath in Turkey, approximately 500 kilometers long. The trail goes from Perge, 10 kilometers east of Antalya, to Yalvaç, Isparta, northeast of Lake Eğirdir. A second branch starts at Aspendos, 40 kilometers east of Antalya, and joins the main route at the...

 in Turkey. The medieval practice of religious pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 has seen a resurgence in recent years, with almost 200,000 hikers per year on the Camino de Santiago in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Sections of the trail



The geography and distances involved naturally allow the Jesus Trail to be walked as a series of day-hikes for a total of 4 days, with each day's hike being between 13 to 19 km (8 to 12 mi) in length.
  1. st Day: Nazareth
    Nazareth
    Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

     to Cana
    Cana
    In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

     via Sepphoris
  2. nd Day: Cana
    Cana
    In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

     to Kibbutz Lavi
    Lavi
    Lavi is a kibbutz in the Lower Galilee area of Israel. It is a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement.Located 310 meters above sea level and 10 minutes from Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council.-History:...

  3. rd Day: Kibbutz Lavi
    Lavi
    Lavi is a kibbutz in the Lower Galilee area of Israel. It is a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement.Located 310 meters above sea level and 10 minutes from Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council.-History:...

     to Moshav Arbel
    Arbel
    Arbel is a moshav in northern Israel. Located on Mount Arbel next to the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 364....

  4. th Day: Moshav Arbel
    Arbel
    Arbel is a moshav in northern Israel. Located on Mount Arbel next to the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 364....

     to Capernaum
    Capernaum
    Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

     via Mount of Beatitudes
    Mount of Beatitudes
    The Mount of Beatitudes refers to the hill in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.- Location :The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret...


Details of the 4 sections


Day 1: Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

 to Cana
Cana
In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

 via Sepphoris
- The Jesus Trail starts in center of the Arab city of Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

 at the Basilica or Church of the Annunciation
Church of the Annunciation
The Church of the Annunciation , sometimes also referred to as the Basilica of the Annunciation is a church in Nazareth, in modern-day northern Israel.-History:...

, goes through the small Old City of Nazareth and then ascends via steep stairways to the ridge overlooking the city. From there the trail goes out into agricultural fields towards the extensively excavated ancient city of Sepphoris (Zippori). After passing through the small Arab town of Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

 the trail arrives at the small Arab city of Cana
Cana
In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

, known in Arabic as Kafr Kanna, which is the traditional site for the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 account of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 turning water into wine.

Day 2: Cana
Cana
In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

 to Kibbutz Lavi
Lavi
Lavi is a kibbutz in the Lower Galilee area of Israel. It is a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement.Located 310 meters above sea level and 10 minutes from Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council.-History:...

- After leaving Cana
Cana
In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

 (Kafr Kanna), the trail goes almost entirely along forests and through natural and cultivated fields to end at the outskirts of the modern Jewish agricultural commune (Hebrew: kibbutz) of Lavi
Lavi
Lavi is a kibbutz in the Lower Galilee area of Israel. It is a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement.Located 310 meters above sea level and 10 minutes from Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council.-History:...

, which is located near the hill of the Horns of Hattin
Horns of Hattin
Horns of Hattin is an extinct volcano with twin peaks overlooking the plains of Hattin in the Lower Galilee, Israel.-History:...

.

Day 3: Kibbutz Lavi
Lavi
Lavi is a kibbutz in the Lower Galilee area of Israel. It is a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement.Located 310 meters above sea level and 10 minutes from Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council.-History:...

 to Moshav Arbel
Arbel
Arbel is a moshav in northern Israel. Located on Mount Arbel next to the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 364....

- This hike goes from hilltop to hilltop, from the panoramic view at the Horns of Hattin
Horns of Hattin
Horns of Hattin is an extinct volcano with twin peaks overlooking the plains of Hattin in the Lower Galilee, Israel.-History:...

, past the Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 shrine of Nabi Shu'ayb
Nabi Shu'ayb
Nabi Shu'ayb is the name used in English to refer to a site in the destroyed village of Hittin not far from Tiberias, where the tomb of the Islamic prophet Shu'ayb is believed to be located.A central figure in the Druze religion, the tomb of Nabi Shu'ayb, has been a site of annual pilgrimage for...

 in the small Arbel Valley, through striking scenery of a historically dense landscape, to end nearby the Jewish agricultural cooperative (Hebrew: moshav) of Arbel
Arbel
Arbel is a moshav in northern Israel. Located on Mount Arbel next to the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 364....

.

Day 4: Moshav Arbel
Arbel
Arbel is a moshav in northern Israel. Located on Mount Arbel next to the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 364....

 to Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

 via Mount of Beatitudes
Mount of Beatitudes
The Mount of Beatitudes refers to the hill in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.- Location :The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret...

- After ascending Mount Arbel
Mount Arbel
Mount Arbel is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Mt...

 there is a climb down the cliff to come out on a small fertile agricultural plain adjacent to the lake which is known as the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

. Then the Jesus Trail arrives at the northern shore of the lake to the church at Tabgha
Tabgha
Tabgha is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus in Christianity. Until 1948, it was the site of an Arab village.The...

 which commemorates the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 account of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

' feeding of the multitudes, then to the church and gardens at the Mount of Beatitudes
Mount of Beatitudes
The Mount of Beatitudes refers to the hill in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.- Location :The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret...

 which commemorates Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

' Sermon on the Mount
Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus, which emphasizes his moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew...

, and then finally arriving at the ancient lakeside fishing village of Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

 with its extensive ruins and modern church.

See also

  • Tourism in Israel
    Tourism in Israel
    Tourism in Israel is one of the country's major sources of income, with 3.45 million tourist arrivals in 2010. Israel offers a plethora of historical and religious sites, beach resorts, archaeological tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in...

  • Geography of Israel
    Geography of Israel
    The geography of Israel is very diverse, with desert conditions in the south, and snow-capped mountains in the north. Israel is located at at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea in western Asia...

  • List of long-distance footpaths

Further reading

  • Jacob Saar, (2011). Jesus Trail and Jerusalem. Eshkol Publishing.
  • Hareuveni, Nogah (1984). Tree and Shrub in Our Biblical Heritage. Neot Kedumim.
  • Reed, Jonathan L. (2002). Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus: A Re-examination of the Evidence. Trinity Press International.
  • Wright, N. T. (1999). The Way of the Lord: Christian Pilgrimage Today. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
  • Landis, David; Dintaman, Anna (2010). Hiking the Jesus Trail: And Other Biblical Walks in the Galilee. Village to Village Press.
  • Korb, Scott. (2010). Life in Year One: What the World was Like in First-Century Palestine. Riverhead Books.

External links


Official sites