Thursday, 09 January 2014, 00:43:48 EET
Bethany Beyond the Jordan – where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist and the new era of Christianity began.
The Jordan River is the artery that, since time immemorial, has softened this harsh and rugged landscape and sustained fertility and life. We can only guess that when human habitation embedded here before recorded time, those people lived close to nature and the life-giving river. Within sight of the revered Jordan River some of the greatest moments in the life of Christ unfolded. Here at Bethany, close to where a bridge linked the ancient pilgrimage route to Jerusalem on a site fed by the waters of the Jordan River and a nearby spring (the Spring of John the Baptist), John established his base, baptizing early pilgrims. Here on a fateful day that changed the course of human history, Jesus and John met and proclaimed a new beginning and the very founding of Christianity.
From this humble source Christian beliefs have radiated to all parts of the globe and have shaped the religious, ethical and moral beliefs of billions of people. The archaeological excavations at Bethany have now pushed back the millennia to reveal this area as it was at the time of Christ, and today pilgrims can kneel here in prayerful reflection inspired by the baptism of Christ at the very spot where it occurred.
Today the ancient baptism pools and the sites of early churches have been unearthed and can be seen as they were when John and Jesus met. The authenticity of the Baptism Site is based on irrefutable evidence in archaeological finds, and the biblical references of (John 1:28 and 10:40), as well as in Byzantine and early texts. Bethany Beyond the Jordan is a half-hour drive from Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea. Today it is one of Christianity’s most holy places of pilgrimage.
Select area of interest to view in map