Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Ancient Discovery Changes Fisherman’s Life


By David Kithcart
October 29, 2004

CWNews.org – A few years ago some fishermen made a remarkable discovery in the Sea of Galilee -- a discovery that made quite an impact on the world of archaeology.

But perhaps more amazing is the impact that discovery made on one of the men who found it.For centuries, the Sea of Galilee has been a vital source of commerce, recreation, and survival for the people of Israel.

Economics in the Galilee region are directly affected by the condition of the sea. So, in the winter of 1986, when the water level of the sea had dropped substantially, two fishermen were able to walk where normally they would have fished.

The two are brothers: Uffi and Moshe Lufan. That year, they explored part of the low-water and uncovered seabed and made an amazing discovery.

Uffi recalled what happened, and told us, “So, this place we are looking, day after day. One day we see a nail in the mud. It’s a Roman nail.”

He went on, “We know archeological. After twenty minutes [we found] another one and another one. I cleaned the place, and I see the wood, and said ‘Wow, we are finding a boat!’ We are jumping, we are bouncing, we are crazy.”

Once the Israel Department of Antiquities was notified, marine archeologists were sent in to examine the find.

Orna Cohen is a part of the Israel Department of Antiquities. She said, “They called me and told me there is an ancient boat, of the Sea of Galilee. I said, ‘Impossible, it’s a fresh water lake, a lot of bacterial activity -- couldn’t be that anything was preserved in this [good of a] condition. [Even] so, they came for a one-day preliminary excavation and they found... an ancient boat.”

Cohen added, “It took us about 14 years to preserve it, to bring it to this dry condition. Since the year 2000, it’s been exhibited in this nice museum and it’s stable and in good condition.

The museum built a special climate-controlled wing to maintain the correct humidity and temperature to preserve the boat.

But, if the boat is over 2000 years old, who did it belong to? Is it possible that it could have been used by Jesus and His disciples?

Museum curator, Marina Vanai said, “We know it’s a boat from the time of Jesus. No question about it. The boat was Carbon-14 dated. This is a fact.”

But, she added, “Now, to whom this boat exactly belonged, we don’t know. But, we do know that these were the kinds of boats used on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus lived here. Maybe He didn’t ride on the boat, but He probably saw the boat.”

She said further, “Now, in those times, in the Galilee, the Romans were the ones in power. [But the fishermen] there were, of course, Jewish or maybe even pagan.”

She concluded, “Here, Christianity started. No boat this old survives in fresh water—it’s a real miracle.”

But, no matter who this miracle boat really belongs to, Uffi says that finding the boat he affectionately refers to as “she” has had an impact on his life that is also miraculous.

Uffi said, “She changed all my life. Because before, I not believe in the God. Now, I believe in the God. I walk here in the beach many, many times and I feeling I walk steps where Jesus walk. I feeling all the time like touching the sky.

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