NASA’s “Earth Image of the Day” last week was a beautiful photo of the Sea of Galilee.  I believe that copyright restrictions on NASA images are little to nil for U.S citizens, so you can use it to your heart’s content. 

Sea of Galilee, NASA image

You might take a little more care, however, in the photo’s description.  I don’t think anyone who has seen the area between January and June would call the region an “arid landscape.”  Nor would anyone consider a 4th-5th century synagogue one of the oldest in the world. 

Sea of Galilee southern end from west, tb041003225 Sea of Galilee from the west (source)

The description mentions Edward Robinson, and so interested in what he said about the place he identified as Capernaum, I opened the “Sea of Galilee, Capernaum” PowerPoint file on the new Northern Palestine CD, and read this:

Here are the remains of a place of considerable extent; covering a tract of at least half a mile in length along the shore, and about half that breadth inland. They consist chiefly of the foundations and fallen walls of dwellings and other buildings, all of unhewn stones, except two ruins. One of these is a small structure near the shore, the only one now standing; on a nearer approach, it is seen to have been laid up in later times, with the hewn stones, columns, and pilasters of former buildings. Not far off are the prostrate ruins of an edifice, which, for expense of labour and ornament, surpasses any thing we had yet seen in Palestine (1841: 3: 298; emphasis added).

If you’ve visited Capernaum and seen the beautiful ornamentation, you know what Robinson was talking about.

HT: David Coppedge