Located in Tiberias hills, the ancient Church of Anchor is an amazing pearl of byzantine time construction that continue to stand around the Se of Galilee.
Church of Anchor complex is one of most beautiful panoramic point views in the Holy Land, the Church of Anchor on Berenice Mount is unforgettable to pilgrims that visits the site every year.
Before the excavation some years ago, many scholars was believed to be remains of a palace belonging to Berenice, wife of Agrippa II describe in the book of Acts 25:13.
The church of Anchor measures 48 x 28 meters and includes an atrium courtyard, a basilica, tri-apsidal church and many rooms around the main building. The walls are made of square basalt blocks coated with white material and the floor is paved with incredible multi-colored mosaics.
During the excavations the archeologist found under the altar, a large stone block weighing almost half a ton. Though it has a hole in the center, making it looks like an ancient anchor, but it is 10 times heavier than the normal ancient anchor. It probably had spiritual significance to ancient Christians, maybe it is based on the verse: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” in Hebrews 6:19.
Tiberias, Sea of: called also the Sea of Galilee (q.v.) and of Gennesaret. In the Old Testament it is called the Sea of Chinnereth or Chinneroth. John (John 21:1) is the only evangelist who so designates this lake. His doing so incidentally confirms the opinion that he wrote after the other evangelists, and at a period subsequent to the taking of Jerusalem (A.D. 70). Tiberias had by this time become an important city, having been spared by the Romans, and made the capital of the province when Jerusalem was destroyed. It thus naturally gave its name to the lake.
“TIBERIAS, SEA OF,” Easton’s Bible Dictionary, n.p.
The city also appear in the Flavius Josephus Notes
… that there was now a great Proseucha, or place of prayer, in the city of Tiberias itself, though such Proseucha used to be out of cities, as the synagogues were within them. …
… as we have seen he was (sect. 39), took upon him to appoint a fast at Tiberias, and was obeyed; though indeed it was not out of religion, but knavish policy.
23 The character of this history of Justus of Tiberias, the rival of our Josephus, which is now lost, with its only remaining fragment, are given us by …
—“I have read (says Photius) the chronology of Justus of Tiberias, whose title is this, [The Chronology of] the Kings of Judah, which succeeded one another. This [Justus] came out of the city of Tiberias in Galilee. He begins his history from Moses, and ends it not till the death of Agrippa, the seventh …
… in the fourth year before the Christian era, and Tiberias began, as is well known, Aug. 19, A.D. 14, it is evident that the 37th year of Philip, reckoned from his father’s death, was the 20th of Tiberias, or near the end of A.D. 33 (the very year of our Savior’s death also), or, however, in the beginning …
HOW JOPPA WAS TAKEN, AND TIBERIAS DELIVERED UP
“EERDMANS DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, vii.
“After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee — that is, the sea of Tiberias. Some other boats, however, came from Tiberias near to the place where they had taken the bread after the Lord had given praise. After these things Jesus let himself be seen again by the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and it came about in this way.”
(John 6:1, 23; 21:1 BBE)
During the 7th century, St. Willibald saw many churches as well as the synagogue of the Jews in Tiberias. During and after the Crusader periods, the difficulty of visiting the surroundings of the lake in safety led many memories to be concentrated on Tiberias. A well-preserved ancient church from the Crusader period can be found in the city today. The church was restored in 1870 and is the present-day church of St. Peter on the lake shore is dedicated to the bestowal of the primacy: “Tend my sheep” in John 21,16. One of latest words of Jesus before taken to the Heaven.