30 AD Jesus Reads in the Nazareth Synagogue - Nazareth. Capernaum 31 AD Jesus at the Sea of Galilee, Christ chooses the four - Galilee: Capernaum 31 AD Sermon on the Mount - Near Capernaum
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There are 19 native kinds of fish in the Sea of Galilee, the main one being St. Peter’s Fish, which is tilapia. The historian Josephus said that over 230 fishing boats worked the Sea in the time of Jesus. Peter and Andrew were successful at their business of fishing and owned boats and property on the sea.

The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is actually not a sea but a lake of about 64 square miles ― 13 miles long and 7 miles wide.

Its Hebrew name is “kinneret,” which means harp. It got its name because of its shape. Luke calls it “the Lake of Gennesaret” from the Greek form of Kinneret. Ginosar is yet another name derived from Kinneret. It’s at a very low elevation (the lowest freshwater lake on earth). The Jordan River feeds it from the north, and then flows south from the lake to the Dead Sea.

                                                      Photo by Ian Scott under the Creative Commons License

Many scenes in the New Testament happen at the Sea of Galilee because Jesus grew up nearby and spent most of His ministry on the shores of the sea. Capernaum is located on the north side. In the days of Christ there were settlements and villages all around the lake and plenty of trade and ferrying by boat. Many of the villages were Greek.

Fish was very important in the diet of Israel at the time, some of it coming from the Mediterranean Sea and some from the Sea of Galilee. There are 19 native kinds of fish in the Sea of Galilee, the main one being St. Peter’s Fish, which is tilapia. The historian Josephus said that over 230 fishing boats worked the Sea in the time of Jesus. Peter and Andrew were successful at their business of fishing and owned boats and property on the sea.

                                                  Peter’s family home may have looked like this. 

Loyola Press describes Peter’s boat like this: “Peter and Andrew’s fishing boat would have been 23 feet long and seven feet wide. It had a crew of five: four to row and one to steer and supervise the catch. The supervisor also had to keep a close eye on the weather because storms could quickly develop over the Sea (Matthew 8: 23–27).

“The boat could carry a half ton of fish or between 11 to 13 passengers; it was big enough for Jesus to sleep at the bottom of the boat (Mark 4:38). The fishermen used nets made of flax or linen. Most fishing was done at night so that fish would not see and swim around the nets.”