Two miles west of Capernaum is what Josephus referred to as the “well of Capernaum.” Undoubtedly a popular fishing spot of the locals because of its famous “seven springs,” Heptapegon (today the name has been corrupted to Tabgha) is the traditional location for several episodes in Jesus’ ministry.
Tabgha from south
The seven springs that emerged at Tabgha (today only six have been discovered) produced water warmer than that of the Sea of Galilee. This warmer water helped the production of algae, which in turn attracted the fish. Fishermen thus have frequented this area for thousands of years.
Tabgha from Sea of Galilee
Tabgha is the traditional location for the calling of the disciples. It is believed that here Jesus walked along the shore and called out to Simon Peter and Andrew who were casting their nets into the lake. Walking along, Jesus saw two other brothers, James and John who were preparing their nets with their father Zebedee. Jesus called all of these men to follow him.
Evidence of ancient boating activity at Tabgha is found in the recently discovered harbor on the shore. Visible when the water level is -211.50 m or lower, the curved western breakwater was 60 meters long. Another 40 m breakwater ran perpendicular to the shore and protected the 30 m wide basin which was entered from the east.
In John 21, Jesus met again with the disciples for the “last breakfast.” Here he restored Peter to himself after the disciple’s three denials by asking him three times if Peter loved Jesus. Catholic tradition associates this event with the naming of Peter as the singular leader of the church. The rock at left is the traditional place where Jesus stood and called out to the disciples.
Fish and Loaves
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Tabgha (Christian Travel Study Program) Features text highlighting the biblical importance of the region, accompanied by one picture of the famous “Loaves and Fishes” mosaic.
Tabgha (Walking in Their Sandals) Gives easy-to-read information on the location, biblical significance, etc. Features links to photographs and on-line scripture references.
Tabgha (Israel MFA) Relates the history of the site with a focus on the many churches and chapels that have been built there.
Tabgha: Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes Gives an interesting and detailed history of the churches built on the site with several enlargeable photos of sections of the church’s famous mosaic floor. Copy of the page at Jewish Virtual Library.