Monday, January 12, 2015
Pictured above is the section of the Jordan River where nearly all tourists of the Holy Land go to visit. You can see why by the picture - it's beautiful, green, lush - a lovely section of the Jordan River. It's also touted as the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Well ... not so much. While it is indeed a wonderful place to visit, it is definitely not the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
The reason? This area is in the northern part of the country just south of the Sea of Galilee, whereas the actual section of the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized would have been in the southern part of the country just north of the Dead Sea. Below is a picture of the more likely site that hardly anyone visits today. (The river used to be wider, of course, but the water upstream has been diverted over the years for irrigation and agriculture.)
So why are there two dueling sites for the Baptism of Jesus? Tourism dollars. The above site is in Israel - and the site below is in Jordan.
And now you know the rest of the story.