New tour guides, who finished the tour guide program at the Bethlehem Bible College with me this summer, organized a day trip to Nablus and Sebastia. There were about 35 Palestinians on the bus that took off from Beit Sahour early in the morning. After 2,5 hours we reached the Jacob's well church in Nablus. This church is a very recent building that was built on the location where several churches were built around a water well that is said to be the well that Jacob dug on the land of Shechem. Jacob was the grandson of Abraham who came from Mesopotamia and is considered the founding father of all three monotheistic religions.
In this podcast episode you can learn more about the relevance of this water well also in the New Testament of the Bible when Jesus met a Samaritan woman at this well with whom he had a very important conversation about the location of the Temple. Samaritans believed that they should pray to God in the Temple on Mount Gerizim while the Jews prayed in the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus reveals to her his true nature and tells her that the time has come when the location of prayer is not relevant anymore. The woman goes to her village and tells everyone about Jesus. She is considered the first female evangelist.
After our visit to the Jacob's well church you can hear more about the archaeological site of Sebastia, a city that was established in the Roman time under emperor Vespasian. We visit the ruins of the forum and basilica, the theater and the Hellenistic tower. Up on the hill are the stairs that used to lead to the Temple for Augustus and behind it a big structure that is often indicated as an iron age palace for the Israelite kings Omri and Ahab, but some archaeologists date the site to later times. And the Byzantine church ruins are also interesting as they give access to a crypt where John the Baptist is said to have been buried, his body that is, after he was beheaded by Herod Antipas.
You can hear all about these historical sites in this podcast episodes. With thanks to Ibrahim Khair, Elias Khair, Nayif Gharib, Waffa Sabat and Saleem Anfous.
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