The Arabic word Tabha is a flawed derivative of the Greek word Heptapegon – seven springs. In
the valley of Tabgha, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee ( Lake Kineret)
some important events in the life of Christ came about.
Here, among the local fishermen he found the first disciples and here he
performed some of his famous miracles.
The church of the Loaves and Fish
Tabgha is known in Christianity as the place where Jesus fed 5000 men and women with five
loaves of bread and two fish (Mt. 14, 16 – 21).
Nowadays there is a new church, built on the remnants of a Byzantine church has
a nice front yard with a fountain. In the main hall there is a replica of the
original 14th century mosaic, one of the most beautiful found in Israel,
with an inscription in Greek and a “loaves and fish” image. Looking down
through glass plates, the apse and the altar of the old church can be observed.
The altar rests on the rock on which, according to Christian tradition, the
loaves and the fish were put.
The church was erected on the location where, according to tradition, Jesus reappeared after
his resurrection and “shewed himself again to the disciples at the
sea of Tiberias”
(Jn. 24, 1ff). There he bestowed the leadership upon his faithful disciple,
Peter. He prepared a meal for his disciples, of bread and fish “laid on a fire
of coals”. The stone upon which it was laid is believed to be in the center of
the chapel and known as Mensa Christi.