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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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CAPERNAUM . The headquarters of Christ in His Galilæan ministry, after His rejection at Nazareth ( Matthew 4:13 , John 2:12 ). Here he healed the centurion’s palsied servant ( Matthew 8:5-13 , Luke 7:2-10 ), provided the half-shekel for the Temple tribute ( Matthew 17:24 ), taught in the synagogue ( Mark 1:21 , Luke 4:31 , John 6:59 ), performed many miracles ( Mark 1:23 to Mark 2:12 , Luke 4:33-41 ), taught humility to the disciples ( Mark 9:33 ), healed a nobleman’s son by a word from Cana ( John 4:46 ). For its unbelief He denounced the city ( Matthew 11:23 , Luke 10:15 ). Though it was evidently a town of considerable importance, the site is forgotten and is a matter of dispute. The two sites most in favour are Tell Hum and Khan Minyeh , both on the north side of the Sea of Galilee, the former about midway between the latter and the mouth of the Jordan. At Tell Hum are extensive ruins, including the remains of a synagogue. Khan Minyeh does not show such important remains, and, as these seem all to be Arab , the balance of probability is on the side of Tell Hum , whose name should probably be written Telhum , and regarded as a corruption of Caphar Tanhum , the Talmudic form of the city’s name (see the latest discussion on the subject in PEFST [Note: Quarterly Statement of the same.] 1907, p. 220). If the remains at Tell Hum are not Capernaum, it is difficult to say what important city they represent (see Sanday’s art. ‘Capernaum’ in Hastings’ DCG [Note: CG Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels.] ).

R. A. S. Macalister.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Capernaum'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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