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(123 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] The village (κώμη/ kōmē, Jos. Vita LXIV, 206) of Κανά (τῆς Γαλιλαίας)/ Kaná ( tēs Galilaías; from Heb. קָנֶה/ qāneh, “reed”?) is to be identified with the site of Ḫirbet Qana and lies on the northern slope of the Bet Netofa Valley. According to Josh 19:28, Cana belonged to the tribe of Asher (Tribes of Israel). The New Testament mentions it only in John 2:1, 11; 4:46; 21:2, while Jewish sources locate the priestly family of Eliashib in Cana. Excavations have uncove…


(366 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] Nazareth, Greek Ναζαρέτ (or – ρέϑ, – ρά), Hebrew נצרת, situated at an elevation of about 540 m some six km south of Sepphoris, first appears in the New Testament as the home of Jesus and his parents, Joseph and Mary (Matt 2:23; Mark 1:9; Luke 1:26; 2:4; John 1:45f.; etc.). There are no earlier references to it, nor does Josephus mention it. In the time of Jesus, Nazareth was an agricultural village, with a population of barely 400. After the Bar Kokhba Revolt, the priestly Happizzez family relocated to Nazareth (inscription from the 3rd or 4th cent.ce found at Caesarea; Mishm…


(202 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] Magdala (Gk Ταριχέαι/ Tarichéai or Μάγδαλα; Aram. מִגְדַּל־נוּנַיָּא/ migdal nûnayyāʾ; Arab. el-Mejdel) lies on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee; Strabo (XVI 2.45) already mentions it in the 1st century bce as a prosperous Jewish city. Mary Magdalene, a disciple of Jesus, came from Magdala (Mark 15:47; Luke 8:2; John 20:1). Fortified in the First Jewish Revolt (Jos. Bell. II 606–609), Magdala was the site of a famous sea battle ( Bell. III 462–542). Excavations have revealed the remains of a small Hellenistic (cf. its Gk and Sem. names) city of…

Galilee, Sea of

(462 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] (Kinneret, Gennesaret, Tiberias). With dimensions of approx 21×12 km (surface area 170 km2) and approx 4 billion m3 of water, the Sea of Galilee (Heb. יָם כִּנֶּרֶת/ yām kinneret, Num 34:11; Gk ϑάλασσα τῆς Γαλιλαίας/ thálassa tḗs Galilaías, Matt 4:18, etc.; Arab. baḥret ṭabariye) is the largest freshwater sea in the Levant. Fed by the Jordan, its water level hovers around -209 m, its depth totals approx 24 m (max. 43 m). The oldest traces of settlement in the region date back to the early Paleolithic. Because of the wealt…


(214 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] (et-Tabgha, from Gk ἑπτάπηγον/ heptápēgon, “seven springs”) is the name of the littoral area of the Sea of Galilee (Galilee, Sea of) three km southwest of Capernaum. In New Testament times used for agriculture (Jos. Bell. III 519), from the mid-4th century on, it was associated with NT episodes (Mark 6:35–44 parr.; John 21) and Beatitudes (first attested for Egeria in Peter the Deacon, De locis sanctis 5.2f.), probably because it was easily accessible to pilgrims; an unbroken local Jewish Christian tradition is most unlikely. By 350 ce there was already a church the…


(357 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] The ancient city of Tiberias (Τιβεριάς) was founded in 19/20 ce by Herod Antipas on top of an abandoned cemetery; it was named after the emperor Tiberius ( Jos. Ant. XVIII 36–38). It is situated on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee (Galilee, Sea of), north of ᾿Αμμαϑοῦς/ Ammathoús (Pliny the Elder, Naturalis historia V 71; Jos. Vita 85; Hammat Tiberias), already settled in the 2nd century bce, and south of the modern city of Tiberias, founded in 1099 by the Crusaders. The first city in the region to be both Hellenistic and Jewish, it had a pa…

Dead Sea

(333 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] Belonging geologically to the Syrian rift as the continuation of the course of the Jordan River, the Dead Sea constitutes the lowest point on earth (approx. 400 m below sea level). With a length of approx. 85 km and a breadth of 17.5 km, it covers a surface of approx. 10,000 km2. Its northern basin reaches 400 m in depth, the portion south of the Lisan peninsula is flat and, today, almost dried up. Although the high salt content (28–33% instead of …

Jordan (River)

(353 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] The Jordan (Heb.הַיַּרְדֵּן/ hayyarden, Gk ὁ ἰορδάνης/ ho iordánēs, Arab. al-urdunn; etymology disputed), divided into the upper and lower Jordan Valley, flows through the central Palestinian section of the Syro-African rift. With its four sources springing from the Hermon massif, with Lake Huleh, the Sea of Galilee (Galilee, Sea of), and especially the tributaries from the east, Yarmuk and Jabbok, and the Dead Sea (with the Arnon and the Zered) at its end, it is the largest inland water sy…

Totes Meer

(278 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[English Version] . Geologisch als Fortsetzung des Jordanlaufs (Jordan) zum syr. Grabenbruch gehörig, bildet das T.M. den tiefsten Punkt der Erde (ca.400 m unter NN). Mit einer Länge von ca.85 km und einer Breite von 17,5 km bedeckt es eine Fläche von ca.1000 km 2. Sein Nordbassin ist bis zu 400 m tief, der Teil südlich der Lisan-Halbinsel flach und heute fast ausgetrocknet. Obwohl der hohe Salzgehalt (28–33% statt normalen 4–6%) nahezu jegliches Leben im Wasser verhindert, erlaubten Süßwasserquellen, eine Klima und Boden angepaßte V…


(303 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[English Version] , griech. Ναζαρε´τ (oder – ρε´ϑ, – ρα´), hebr. נצרת, gelegen auf etwa 540 m Höhe ca.6 km südlich von Sepphoris, wird zuerst im NT als Heimatort Jesu und seiner Eltern Joseph und Maria erwähnt (Mt 2,23; Mk 1,9; Lk 1,26; 2,4; Joh 1,45f. etc.). Frühere Belege fehlen ebenso wie eine Erwähnung bei Josephus. Zur Zeit Jesu war N. stark agrarisch-dörflich geprägt und beherbergte kaum mehr als 400 Einwohner. Nach dem Bar Kokhba-Aufstand siedelte die priesterliche Familie Ha-Pizzez nach N. über (In…


(289 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[English Version] . Das antike T. (Τιβερια´ς), gegründet 19/20 n.Chr. von Herodes Antipas (Herodes/Herodeshaus) über einem aufgelassenen Friedhof und benannt nach Kaiser Tiberius (Flav.Jos.Ant. XVIII 36–38), liegt am Westufer des Sees Genezareth, nördlich des bereits im 2.Jh. v.Chr. besiedelten ᾿Αμμαϑου˜ς/Ammathoús (Plinius d. Ä., Naturalis historia, V 71; Flav.Jos., Vita, 85; Hammat Tiberias) und südlich des heutigen, 1099 von den Kreuzfahrern gegründeten T. Es war die erste hell. und zugleich jüd. Stadt der Region, besaß einen Pala…


(163 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[English Version] (Et-Tabga, von griech. ε῾πτα´πηγοn̆/heptápēgon, »Siebenquell«), bez. den 3 km südwestlich von Kapernaum gelegenen Uferstreifen am See Genezareth. In ntl. Zeit landwirtschaftlich genutzt (Flav.Jos.Bell. III 519), wurde T. ab Mitte des 4.Jh. mit ntl. Erzählungen (Mk 6,35–44 parr.; Joh 21) und den Seligpreisungen verknüpft (zuerst belegt bei Egeria in Petrus Diaconus, De Locis Sanctis, 5,2f.). Entscheidend dafür war die Erreichbarkeit für Pilger, kaum eine ungebrochene judenchristl. Or…

Simon Magus/Simonianer

(384 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[English Version] . Nur wenige Daten aus S.s Leben sind faßbar. Nach Iust.1 apol 26,1f. stammte S. aus Gitta am Westrand des samarischen Berglands und trat unter Claudius (41–54) in Rom auf, wo er »mittels der von Dämonen eingegebenen Kunst magische Krafttaten vollführte« und »für einen Gott gehalten« wurde (ebd., 56; dial. 120,6). Machttaten, der Anspruch, »etwas Großes« zu sein und die Akklamation »das ist die Kraft Gottes, die man die Große nennt«, umreißen S.s Religiosität (bereits in Apg 8,9–…


(227 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] Although sherds from between 3000 and 2000 bce document earlier habitation (no Iron Age remains have been found), Capernaum (Gk Καφαρναούμ/ Kapharnaoúm, Heb. כֶפַּר נַתוּם/kepar naḍûm, Arab. Telḍum) was apparently founded only in the 5th century bce; with the advantages of the long-distance route running through it and the fertility of the area, Capernaum grew steadily. Capernaum reached its floruit in the Byzantine period, when it had approx. 1500 inhabitants; from the 9th century the settlemen…

Simon Magus/Simonians.

(427 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] We know little about Simon’s life. According to Just. 1 Apol. 26.1, he came from Gitta, on the western edge of the Samarian hills; under Claudius (41–54) he appeared in Rome, where he “performed feats of magic by means of art given him by demons” and “was considered a god” ( Just. 1 Apol. 26 and 56; Dial. 120.6). Displays of power, the claim to be “something great,” and the acclamation “this is the power of God, which is called great” characterize Simon’s religiosity (cf. Acts 8:9–24). In the light of Acts 8, it is reasonable to associ…

Samaria, Samaritaner

(1,116 words)

Author(s): Liwak, Rüdiger | Zangenberg, Jürgen
[English version] I. Samaria (Hebr. Šomron, LXX Σαμάρεια/ Samáreia), seit Omri (882-871 v. Chr.; Juda und Israel) Regierungssitz der Könige des Nordreichs Israel. Die neu erschlossene Stadt, deren Name (Wurzel šmr, “bewachen”, “schützen”; “Wartburg”) auf ihre strategische Lage hinweist, war nicht, wie oft vermutet, ein kanaanäischer Stadtstaat neben Jesreel als dem israelitischen Zentrum. S. war Residenzstadt Israels, Jesreel königlicher Grundbesitz. Wie aus assyrischen und at. Texten hervorgeht, hatten seit Adad-nirārī III. (811-781 v. Chr.) die Herrsc…


(1,337 words)

Author(s): Berlejung, Angelika | Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament A symbol of lordship (of humans or gods [Insignia] found in pictorial art and literary sources of the Ancient Near East and Egypt (less often as an archeological discovery). Portable thrones enable mobility. The earliest evidence of a throne from Çatal Hüyük shows the neolithic mother-god on a Felide throne. Egyptian throne-forms from the Old Kingdom to the New include the cube-shaped block with a short back (from the 1st dynasty) and the lion thron…


(1,127 words)

Author(s): Berlejung, Angelika | Zangenberg, Jürgen
[English Version] I. Alter Orient und Altes TestamentHerrschaftssymbol (von Menschen oder Göttern [Herrschaftszeichen]), das in Bildkunst und lit. Quellen des AO und Ägyptens (seltener als Realfund) nachgewiesen ist. Der Mobilität dienen Tragethrone. Der früheste Beleg eines Th. aus Çatal Hüyük zeigt die neolithische Muttergöttin auf einem Felidenthron. Zu den äg. Thronformen gehören seit dem Alten bis ins Neue Reich der würfelförmige Blockthron mit kurzer Rückenlehne (ab 1. Dynastie) und der Löwenthr…

Samaria, Samaritans

(1,265 words)

Author(s): Liwak, Rüdiger (Berlin) | Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German version] I. Samaria (Hebrew Šomron, LXX Σαμάρεια/ Samáreia), seat of government of the kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel from the reign of Omri (882-871 BC; Judah and Israel). The newly-founded city, whose name (root šmr, 'to guard, protect; watch-tower') refers to its strategic location, was not, as is often assumed, a Canaanite city-state alongside Jezreel as the Israelite centre. S. was the Israelite royal seat, and Jezreel a royal demesne. As is evident from Assyrian and OT texts, the rulers of S. were compelled to deliver tribute to the Assyrians b…


(526 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen | Schwemer, Anna Maria
[German Version] I. Archaeology Tarsus (Ταρσοί, Xenophon, Anabasis I 2,23; ἡ Ταρσός, Arrian, Anabasis II 4.5), city west of the Cilician Gates (Cilicia; for location see Asia Minor, map). Thanks to its situation on the navigable lower reaches of the Cydnus and at the crossroads of the routes between Antioch and the Aegean and from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, Tarsus had always served as a bridge between East and West. The finds of Goldman, especially pottery from the 1st millennium bce, for which there had long been no comparative material, are presently being evaluate…
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