Jesus Boat a Last

“Jesus’ Boat at last?”

By JFU OKOH, Reporting from Jerusalem

Could the Boat in which Christ preached have been discovered by Archaeologists at last?

In the winter of 1986, two brothers, Moshe and Yuval Lufan, second-generation fishermen from KIBBUTZ Ginosar (on the shores of The Sea of Galilee) discovered the Galilee Boat between Ginosar and Migdal when a sever drought resulted in the lowering of the waters of the Sea of Galilee (Hebrew: Yam Kinneret).

According to the information, about that time, one remarkable thing happened. A double rainbow appeared in the sky heralding that this boat has been given to them as a Gift- binding them to the boat, the water, the earth- for everlasting time. The discovery of this boat caused a stir around the world, especially after it was conclusively dated (through the radio-carbon dating analysis) to the fateful first century – The time of Jesus and the period of the great revolt of the Jews against the Roman.

The vessel, now discovered to have been made up of twelve different types of wood had been buried in,and thus protected by, the seabed’s sediments. The Israel Antiquities Authority, assisted by many volunteers, rescued the boat in a remarkable eleven-day excavation. Excavators packaged the now weak and waterlogged hull in a cocoon of fiberglass and polyurethane foam, and then successfully floated it to the nearby Yigal Allon Centre, where it underwent an extensive but carefully monitored eleven-year-long conservation process in a specially built pool.

To conserve it, the boat was submerged in a solutionof-heated polyethylene glycol (PEG). This synthetic wax replaced the water in the wood cells. This hull was then allowed to dry slowly and cleared of excess wax, thus allowing for its present exhibition in an atmosphere-controlled museum environment.

The Boat is preserved to a length of 8.2 meters (26.9 feet), a breadth of 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) and a height of 1.2 meters. It is built in the typical tradition of ancient Mediterranean shell-based construction enjoying pegged mortise-and tenon joints to edge-join the planking. Iron nails hold the frames to the hull.

Numerous repairs, the rescue of the timbers and a multiplicity of a dozen wood types, evident in the hull, suggest that the boat had a long work life and an owner of meager means.

Based on the several criteria the Galilee boat is firmly dated to the first centuries BCE-CE. Analyses of crew sizes suggests that this is the type of boat referred to in the Gospels in use among Jesus’ Disciples, as well as that used by the Jews against the Romans in the celebrated nautical battle of Migdal in CE 67.

This humble vessel is thus, a remarkable porthole into the past providing a clearer picture of the Galilean Seafaring that forms the backdrop to both Jesus’ ministry and the Battle of Migdal.

In February of 2000, fourteen years after its initial excavation, the boat moved to its permanent home, in a new wing of the Yigal Allon Centre, which is devoted to the story of Man in the Galilee

The Friends at Yigal Allon Centre

At the Yigal Allon Centre, is a wonderful team of Jewish Families who since 1987 have been working closely with Evangelical Christians, Messianic Jews and other supporters of Israel. They are families living in the Galilee, operating a retail store in the Museum of the 1st Century Galilee Boat, otherwise known as the “Jesus Boat”.

Meet Ohad and Naama and Alex and Tova