The Jesus Boat: Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. (Matthew 14:22)
Contact: Yigal Allon Museum for hours of operation seasonally
Tel 203 834 9995
The Jesus Boat is also called the Sea of Galilee Boat. It is an ancient fishing boat from the first century AD, which would have been the time Jesus was alive. Using radiocarbon dating, The Jesus Boat is estimated at 40 AD, with a plus or minus 80 years margin of error. It is estimated at 50 AD based on the pottery and nails found within the boat itself. The hull of the Jesus Boat shows multiple repairs, suggesting its use over many decades. After it was no longer able to be repaired, the ancient owners removed all usable wood and allowed it to sink to the bottom of the Sea of Galilee.
The Jesus Boat was found on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel in 1986. The remains of this ancient vessel suggest that the Jesus Boat was originally 27 feet long, 7 and a half feet wide and stood over four feet high. This amazing artifact was first uncovered during a time of drought when the Sea of Galilee receded and the water line was so low.
The remains were discovered by two fishermen who were brothers. Moshe and Yuval Lufan lived on the nearby Kibbutz Ginosar farmstead. In their spare time, both brothers Lufan were amateur architects. The devoted brothers often dreamed of one day finding a boat in the Sea of Galilee where their family had been fishermen for generations. Moshe and Yuval lost no time when the waters of the Sea of Galilee receded and exposed much of the land underneath. The combed the newly exposed beach to discover the remains of the Jesus Boat.
Dutifully, the Lufans notified authorities. Authorities then sent out a team of archaeologists to investigate their claim. All involved understood the vast importance the Jesus Boat would have in both Christian and Jewish circles. The Israel Antiquities Authority, members of Kibbutz Ginosar and many other volunteers painstakingly helped with the archaeological dig that followed.
The site of the dig was guarded night and day as a rumor falsely reported that the Jesus Boat was filled with gold. It took the team of excavators twelve days and nights to extract the boat without harming it, but get it out before the waters of the Sea of Galilee began to rise again. From the site, the Jesus Boat was then submerged in a chemical bath for seven years. It was then ready to be displayed at the Yigal Allon Museum in Kibbutz Ginosar with descriptive signs in many languages for the international visitors.