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The Boat and the Sea of Galilee

A book by Lea Lofenfeld Winkler

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Probably beats a trip to the museum

  • Feb 15, 2008
On our first-ever visit to Israel last summer, the group my wife and I were part of stopped for a few hours one afternoon at the "Jesus Boat" museum at Ginosaur. While relatively interesting, I remember thinking there wasn't really very much to the place -- a movie, a couple of displays, and the boat itself. Most of my group seemed to agree, ending up devoting a lot more energy to the kibbutz gift shop than to the museum. This is one of those odd times when reading a book about something turned out to be more rewarding than experiencing it in the first place.

"The Boat and the Sea of Galilee" is sort of an odd book. It starts, as other reviewers have noted, almost like a children's story, with three chapters about the adventures of brothers Yuval and Moshe on the kibbutz. With chapter four, however, the tone switches abruptly to, if not exactly a scientific, at least a serious, fact-based, adult focus on the archaeological challenges of excavating an ancient wooden artifact from beneath water and centuries of mud. Professionals may not consider this up to snuff as scientific literature. But for the layman with an interest in biblical themes, ancient history, archaeological treasure-hunting, or the intersection of the three, it should certainly hold interest, and may even qualify as an attractive coffee table book if they've been to the site.

Because the "Jesus Boat" is, as the name suggests, an artifact with a certain spiritual weight attached to it, you shouldn't be surprised to find a religious tone to sections of this book, including frequent citing of bible verses. I suspect the readers most likely to be attracted to this book are also the ones least likely to be bothered by that.

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Andrew S. Rogers ()
Ranked #362
Mostly, I'm a moderately prolific Amazon.com reviewer who's giving Lunch a try as another venue for my reviews.
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About this book


In 1986, when drought brought the level of the Sea of Galilee unusually low, the two brothers Moshe and Yuval Lufan unearthed the timber frame of an ancient fishing boat. Archaeologist Kurt Raveh was to call the two-thousand-year-old boat of the very type Jesus used to sail the Galilee the most important discovery of the twentieth century. Recovery and preservation of the waterlogged "Jesus boat" was a unique challenge, as no other wooden object had ever survived two millennia in sweet water. Here is the emotional, suspenseful and inspiring story of the boat and those who dedicated fourteen years of their lives to making it available for all the world to see.
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ISBN-10: 9652294020
ISBN-13: 978-9652294029
Author: Lea Lofenfeld Winkler
Publisher: Gefen Publishing House

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