The Biblical Pilgrimage, Jordan

Jordan has many sites relating to the biblical history, so a visit would not be complete without checking some of these sites.

Madaba – Mosaic map

Madaba and the area around it abounds with history – including references to Moses, David and Isaiah.  But most people visit St George’s Greek Orthodox Church to see the floor mosaic (or at least the remaining parts of it) of a map depicting many sites of the Holy Land.

The 6th century map has been used to verify biblical sites and stories.  Amazingly it is still part of the floor.  A carpet had been pulled up to reveal it and some rope was crudely put up to stop us stepping over it.

In true Jordanian fashion, this artifact is for the people.

Mount Nebo

This is where Moses surveyed the promised land, died and was buried.  We had seen where Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai, so this completed the picture.

Unfortunately, the site is under renovation and the air was still showing effects from the recent sand storm so it was just a matter of “being there”.

Bethany Beyond Jordan

It was in this area that John the Baptist lived and carried out his baptisms.  The spring where he baptised Jesus is now a dirty pond of water and the River Jordan is very much smaller now.

We were taken on a tour, complete with audio devices that explained the various sites of interest and pointed out some of the many churches that exist, have crumbled or are under construction in the 10 sq km reserved area.

The River Jordan defines the border between Jordan and Israel.  The baptism site in Jordan has a simple wooden platform on the edge of the river.  We could see across the river (a mere 15metres) that the Israeli site has paved steps to the river’s edge set in front of a modern visitor’s centre.  A little like two of our “Three Little Pig” friends.

Dead Sea

The last stop for the day was to “see” the Dead Sea.  We could see people floating in the water, which looked amazingly clear and blue.  We will have to come back and try for ourselves.