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Capernaum: The Archeology of a Jewish and Christian Village 


Season 2: Episode 57
Capernaum: The Archeology of a Jewish and Christian Village 
Date Aired: 3/11/2024

Capernaum is known as “the Town of Jesus,” since so many of Jesus’s miracles and preaching happened in this small town on the Sea of Galilee. In the centuries after Jesus’s death, Capernaum transformed from a Jewish fishing village into a Christian holy site. Thanks to archeology, we can learn more about Jewish-Christian relations in Capernaum during this much-debated period in the history of the Holy Land. Helen and Dave are joined by Wally Cirafesi, an archeologist and New Testament scholar who has spent years excavating in the Galilee. At first glance, Capernaum feels like a village with clear divisions between Jews and Christians, since the most visible archeological remains are a large synagogue and church facing off in the center of town. But in his research, Wally paints a much messier picture of ancient Capernaum in which Jews and Christians (and Jewish Christians) lived “cheek by jowl” in multi-family dwellings and may even have worshipped in each other’s houses of prayer.

Listen to the episode on the Biblical Time Machine website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclaimer: The Society of Biblical Literature is not responsible for the content of this podcast. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Society of Biblical Literature, its members, or its staff.

  • The Biblical Time Machine Podcast is hosted by Helen Bond and Dave Roos. Helen Bond is professor of Christian origins at Edinburgh University. She is the author of Women Remembered: Jesus’s Female Disciples, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel, and The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. Her research focuses on the social and political history of first century Judaea, the historical Jesus and the canonical gospels. Dave Roos is a journalist and writer who contributes to, HowStuffWorks and the popular podcast Stuff You Should Know. Dave has a degree in religious studies from Duke University.