Medicinal pools of Bethesda at the St. Anne Church Property, Jerusalem (Sept. 2003)

The small pools or baths were built from 150 BC to 70 AD. (Hasmonean to Roman times).  Since the area was Jewish at the time, these may have been built for use as mikvehs.  The Romans thought that warm baths might cause healing, and these shallow baths may have been exposed to the sun or covered with a porticoe.  The Jewish historian Josephus described a rival of his who sought permission to go to the hot springs of Tiberias to try to get healed (before 70 AD).  Between 200-400 AD a temple of Aesclepius (Greek god of healing), or perhaps Serapis, was built with mosaics and frescos around part of the bath area.  During this period the Romans did not allow Jews to enter Jerusalem.  Jewish culture was yet active in Galilee.  The site of Jesus healing the paralytic might have been at one of the larger pools shown on the next page if not a smaller medicinal pool used as mikvehs during Jewish times.  

John 5 (ASV)

  1 After these things there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 
  2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches.
  3 In these lay a multitude of them that were sick, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
  4  (this verse is not contained in some manuscripts)
  5 And a certain man was there, who had been thirty and eight years in his infirmity.
  6 When Jesus saw him lying, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wouldest thou be made whole?
  7 The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
  8 Jesus saith unto him, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk.
  9 And straightway the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked. Now it was the sabbath on that day.
10 So the Jews said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed.
11 But he answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12 They asked him, Who is the man that said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13 But he that was healed knew not who it was; for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in the place.
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee.
15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole.  

At St. Catherine's monastery in the Sinai desert one of the three oldest complete Bibles known was found.  This was the Codex Sinaiticus from the early fourth century written in Greek.  This manuscript omitted the part about the water being stirred before people entered it to try to get healed.  Early explorers in Jerusalem noted that the pool of Siloam was supplied by an intermittent spring and sometimes the water of this pool was troubled by a surge in water flow.  Bethesda was filled in with dirt during those days.  Originally Bethesda was supplied by rainwater from winter downpours.  This was the only time when the water was likely troubled, unless a ripple was raised by the wind.   

Some translations indicated the area of the pools was surrounded by five porticoes; i.e. the NAS translation.

Parable of the Mustard Seed
     A Mustard Field Along Highway 87-North Shore of Galilee
     Mustard Seeds in the Palm of a Hand
     A Branching Mustard Plant Near the Jordan River/Bethsaida
     Mustard Field March 1999
     Mustard Flowers
Upper Most Seats of the Synagogue

The Fig Tree
     Mt of Olives Fig Tree April 12-13, 2005
     Fig and Pomegranate trees below Siloam in Jerusalem
     Israel Photos II fig tree page
     Sycomore Fig Tree
The Good Shepherd
The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats
     Goat Herder
Ritual Cleansing
     The Olive Harvest of Samaria
     Mt. Ebal
     Olive Tree
Pearl of Great Price
A First Century Synagogue at Gamala
     View from the Vulture Overlook
     Overview of Gamala
Modern Galilee Fishing Boats
Caves and/or Tombs
     Steep Slope near the Lake
Feeding the 5,000
     On the Mountain
     Walking on Water

     Ramot-Zelon area
     Alternate location
Mt. Hermon
The Pool(s) of Bethesda in Jerusalem

     Healing Pools
     Southern Pool
     Crusader Chapel and St. Ann Church
The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem
     Gihon Spring
     Hezekiah's Tunnel
     Overlook of  Siloam
Tower of Siloam
A Watch Tower in a Vineyard/Olive Grove
     Grape Vines at Beth Horan

Mt. Precipice
     South Face
     Over the edge
     Measuring Line
     View of Nazareth from near Megiddo
     The Basilica of the Annunciation
Healing a Paralytic in Capernaum
Waterskins and Wineskins
The Fish and the Coin
A Denarius
Casting out a demon
The Road to Jericho
     Old Roman Road
     Wilderness Above Jericho

     Old Jericho
Western Wall
Gethsemane and the Cave of  Gethsemane
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Rolling Stone Tombs - Jerusalem
     Other Rolling Stone Tombs

Solar Power in Israel

Salt of the earth

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