Twenty years ago Jerusalem Perspective published an article by Mendel Nun in which he argued that the true site of Bethsaida had yet to be correctly identified and excavated by archaeologists (Mendel Nun, “Has the Lost City of Bethsaida Finally Been Found?”). Nun, who spent his life fishing on the Sea of Galilee, and who discovered several fishing harbors from the Second Temple period on its coast, argued that the true site of Bethsaida is el-Araj.
In 2004 Dr. R. Steven Notley published a follow-up piece on Jerusalem Perspective in which he cited additional evidence corroborating Mendel Nun’s identification of el-Araj as the true site of Bethsaida (Steven Notley, “The Search for Bethsaida: Is It Over?”). Now Dr. Notley is the Academic Director of the El-Araj Excavation Project, which is about to conduct its third season of excavations at el-Araj beginning in June. But Dr. Notley and the El-Araj Excavation Project need your help carrying out the dig. If you would like to participate in unearthing Gospel history, you can sign up by clicking here.
If you are unable to make the trip, but would like to make a financial contribution to the excavation effort, click here. The excavation project has created a crowd funding effort to raise $25,000.00 in order to carry out its mission. All gifts are tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers. In addition, the excavation project has a benefactor who has pledged a matching gift to every dollar given. This is a remarkable opportunity to double the impact of your gift and to make a real difference in this exciting archaeological effort.
We eagerly look forward to what new discoveries the excavation of el-Araj might reveal and how these might shed new and exciting light on the life and teachings of Jesus.