On the western side of the Sea of Galilee lies Magdala, once a prosperous first century fishing village nestled at the base of Mount Arbel, between Tiberias and Capernaum. Known as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, Magdala is mentioned only one time in the New Testament (Matthew 15:39). In the past decade, significant archaeological discoveries have placed it prominently on the map.
Ancient first-century Jewish synagogue in Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. The Bible tells in Matthew 4:23, “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” It is almost certain that Jesus taught here.
The Magdala Stone – found in the first century synagogue at Magdala, was carved circa 40 AD – after the resurrection of Jesus and before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Described by many archaeologists as the most significant archaeological discovery in the past fifty years, it represents the Holy of Holies and the presence of God. The menorah in the photo is the oldest carving of a menorah in history.
One of four Jewish ritual baths (singular = mikvah, plural mikvaot) found at Magdala. Once excavated, several of the mikvaot filled with ground water – exactly as they were designed to do 2000 years ago.
Duc In Altum (meaning into the deep) is the modern worship center at Magdala. This ecumenical facility houses the Boat Chapel, the Encounter Chapel, four Mosaic Chapels and the Women’s Atrium.
The Women’s Atrium found in the Duc In Altum worship center honors the role of women of faith—and especially those who are followers of Jesus.
The Boat Chapel in Duc In Altum at Magdala features a stunning boat-shaped altar and the view of the Sea of Galilee.
The Encounter Chapel in Duc In Altum at Magdala is built upon the actual marketplace floor of first-century Magdala. Perhaps, the miracle story from Luke 9 about the woman who was healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ robe took place on these very stones.