Tabgha, Israel

Tabgha Israel - The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes

Tabgha, Israel - The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes

Tabgha is located on the northwestern shore of Lake of Gennesaret in northern Israel. It is 2.5 km southwest of Capernaum and a 1.1 km hike or a 4.4 km meandering drive down the hill from the alleged location of the Sermon on the Mount.

Until 1948, Tabgha was a small town populated by Muslim and Christian Palestinians, all of whom were expelled by the Jewish militia when it leveled the town during the Israeli War of Independence. Tabgha remains barren today except for the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, which was built in 1981, damaged by a Jewish arson attack in 2015, and is still operated by the Dominicans, a Roman Catholic faction.

According to them, Tabgha's Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes was built over the spot where Jesus fed "five thousand men, besides women and children" with two fish and five barley loaves.*

How can Jesus feed thousands of people with just two fish and five loaves?

If a baby were to break bricks with his fist, we would call it a miracle. But if Bruce Lee were to break bricks with his fist, would we call that a miracle?

What's the point?

We call something a "miracle" when someone does something that exceeds our estimation of their power. But our estimation can be an underestimation. If Jesus is the Creator of the universe - For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16) - for Him to feed a few thousand people with even nothing would have been a piece of cake.**

So the real question is, "Who is Jesus?" For the answer, see Jesus' Birthplace, Jesus' Tomb, Garden of Gethsemane and Why Jesus Was Crucified.

What is the black rock in the photo above?

The rock is inside the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha and is claimed by the Dominicans to be where Jesus laid the two fish and five loaves to bless them.

Is that claim true?

Tabgha is west of and near the shore of the Lake of Gennesaret, but the Bible identifies the location of this feeding miracle as "up on the mountain" (John 6:3), and also never mentions Jesus laying the food on anything, or blessing or preaching from behind a rock, or praying on one (see Garden of Gethsemane):

When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:13-21)

Travel Tip
If you wish to stock up on liquor during your trip, go up the hill from Tabgha to the "gift" shop at the Church of the Beatitudes, built on the claimed location of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and run by the Franciscans (another Catholic faction), for its wide selection.

Beatitudes ChurchIn fact, booze accounts for over half of their inventory. When asked how she justifies hawking whiskey and vodka (bottom right of the photo) at a church, especially one that supposedly commemorates Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the clerk replied, "We don't sell flask, so people cannot drink inside the church."

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’' (Matthew 21:12-13)

** For more evidences on this, watch and listen to a couple of former atheists. One is an MD and the other is a JD.