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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Baptism site on Jordan River

Line for Baptism

Jordan river view downstream from Baptism site

Catfish petting zoo?

Last year while driving around Jordan we visited the Baptism site on the Jordan side of the river. It was further down river and the water was not nearly as clear and there was only a dirt path to the river. There rational for choosing that site was the fact it was shown on a 6th century mosaic map in a church in Madaba and was in sight of the city of Jerico across the river.
The location Israel chose for Baptism site is near where the Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee and the water is much clearer. It has a very large Souvenir building and does a brisk business of baptisms. There are white robes with dressing rooms and showers and chrome rails going into the water for the pilgrims to line up on while they wait there turn. There is even a petting zoo for feeding the catfish. You can also buy bottles of water from the river for $3, $5, and up including matched sets of bottles of both water and olive oil. The $3 bottles are marked "not for religious use" and "not for drinking"

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