Posts Tagged ‘Caesarea Philippi’

One of the places that you may visit if you visit Northern Israel is Caesarea Philippi. It is where Jesus asked His disciples the pointed question, “Who do you say that I am? and of course, it is where Peter responded, “You are the Christ!”

But Caesarea Philippi is largely a pagan spot. It is also known as Banias (or Panias).  It was made famous in ancient times for being where the Greek god, Pan, was said to have visited a nearby spring. During those days, Pan worship was prevalent here.

What I enjoy about Caesarea Philippi is the abundance of living water. Water literally comes out of the rocks. The pictures below give you an idea.


At the time Jesus and His disciples visited Caesarea Philippi it would have been a city filled with temples to a variety of pagan gods including those of the Greeks and Romans. Only the ruins of some of those temples and others built later remain today.  See the photos below of some images of the ruins and the cave of Pan.


Temple of Pan


Caesarea Phillip (1)


Caesarea Philippi (2)


Caesarea Philippi (3)


Caesarea Philippi (4)


Cave of Pan (Caesarea Philippi)

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Caesarea Philippi

Visiting Caesarea Philippi, at the foot of Mt Hermon in the north of Israel, it is easy to see why it was a place believed to be imbued with supernatural powers and why it was said to be the home of the powerful Greek God, Pan.

The water flows out of the rocks in Caesarea Philippi, more specifically from the Banias Springs. It must have impressed those in the ancient world. At the time of Jesus, there was a thriving Greco-Roman city on the site. There were temples to several different gods as well as the cave dedicated to the worship of Pan.

The story of Jesus’ visit there is found in Matthew 16:13-20.

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, (“Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or (Lone of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do (you say that I am?”

Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah,for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. . . Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

It is interesting that Jesus took His disciples to this spot–a Gentile city, a place of pagan worship of a variety of gods. Was He trying to help them to understand the difference between Adonai and all the false gods of the pagan world and how they were worshiped by the Gentiles?

Whatever the reason for bringing them to Caesarea Philippi, Peter saw Jesus for who He was–at least for a moment.


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