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Pools of Bethesda, Jerusalem

Categories: Churches, Ruins, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 25 reviews on the web
The Pool of Bethesda is a pool of water in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, on the path of the Beth Zeta Valley. The fifth chapter of the Gospel of John describes such a pool in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. It is associated with healing. Until the 19th century, there was no evidence outside of John’s Gospel for the existence of this pool; therefore, scholars argued that the gospel was written later, probably by someone without first-hand knowledge of the city of Jerusalem, and that the ‘pool’ had only a metaphorical, rather than historical, significance.In the 19th century, archaeologists discovered the remains of a pool fitting the description in John’s Gospel.NameThe name of the pool is said to be derived from the Hebrew language and/or Aramaic language. beth hesda (בית חסד/חסדא), meaning either house of mercy or house of grace. In both Hebrew and Aramaic the word could also mean 'shame, disgrace'. This dual meaning may have been thought appropriate since the location was seen as a place of disgrace due to the presence of invalids, and a place of grace, due to the granting of healing.Alternative renderings to the name βηθεσδά (Bethesda), appearing in manuscripts of the Gospel of John, include Βηθζαθά (Beth-zatha) and Bethsaida (not to be confused with Bethsaida, a town in Galilee), although the latter is considered to be a metathetical corruption by Biblical scholars.
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  • Constructed as part of the cisterns and water reserviirs during the construction of the TempleCesar Hadria profaned the place as part of the building of ythe Roman city 
  • Seeing the ruins that were once pools ... being reminded of the stories of Jesus walking here and healing ... a place where you can take time to connect with God and imagine what it was like here over...  read more »
  • This is one of my favorite sites in Jerusalem. I love that you can walk/climb around on such old structures. It is a beautiful place as well. It makes for great pictures. 
  • Brother Jim from the Padres Blances has guided us through the plant and a historically detailed report on this.
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