The Jesus Boat, also known as the Sea of Galilee by Israelis, was an ancient fishing boat discovered in 1986 from the 1st century AD.
The boat was discovered on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel no far from Capernaum, the village of Jesus and his Disciples.
The remains of the ancient boat discovered is 8.27 meters long and 2.3 meters wide and with a maximum preserved height of 1.3 meters, first appeared during a drought, when the waters of the Sea (actually a great fresh-water lake) receded. There is no evidence connecting the boat to Jesus or his disciples but the boat is a common boat from the first century like the boat used by Jesus and his Disciples as described in the New Testament.
The Boat of Galilee in the Ygal Alon Museum
The Sea of Galilee Boat is historically very important to Jews People as an example of the type of boat used by their ancestors in the 1st century for both fishing and transportation across the lake of Kinneret. Previously only references made by Roman authors, the Bible and mosaics had provided to archeologists insight into the construction of these types of boats, and now, we can see exactly how it was built.
The boat is also very important to Christians because this was the kind of boat used by Jesus and his disciples, several of whom were fishermen and Jesus was in a boat like this. Boats such as this played a large role in Jesus' life and ministry, and are mentioned 50 times in the Gospels, though there is no evidence connecting the Sea of Galilee Boat itself to Jesus or his disciples.
“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”
Matthew 8:23–27 KJV
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him. And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.”
Mark 1:14–22 KJV
“And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Mark 4:35–41 KJV
The ancient boat were found by brothers Moshe and Yuval Lufan, fishermen from Kibbutz Ginnocsar where the Boat of Jesus is exposed today. The brothers were keen amateur archaeologists with an interest in discovering artifacts from Israel's past and has hope to one day discover a boat in the Sea of Galilee, where they and generations of their family had fished. In 1986 when drought reduced the level of the lake, the two brothers examined the remains of the boat buried in the shore.
Immediately the brothers reported their discovery to the authorities who sent out archaeologists to investigate the discover. The boat is a tremendous important historical to Jews and Christians, a secret archaeological dig started undertaken by members of Kibbutz Ginosar, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and many volunteers. The boat dig from the mud without damaging it was a difficult process which lasted 12 days. The ancient wood was extremely fragile when exposed to the air and sun and the boat had to be rescued from the place it was found by wrapping it in a mantle of fiberglass and insulating foam. It was then submerged in a chemical bath for 7 years before it could be displayed at the Yigal Allon Museum in Kibbutz Dinosaur, the new house of the boat.