This wonderful painting of the shores of Migdal or Magdala, home of Mary “the Magdalene,” was painted by my friend Daniela Ciubuc who traveled to Israel with us last year and gave it to us as a gift. I absolutely love it. The infamous Cliffs of Arbel, mentioned by Josephus, where opponents of Herod the Great hurled themselves to their deaths rather than surrender are shadows in the distance at sunset (Jewish War 1.315). Just to the north is Ginosar/Ginnesaret, with Capernaum a bit further up. I find it easy to imagine Jesus, once he moved his mother and brothers to Capernaum, spending meditative time on these shores. The effect of the lake either early morning or at sunset is captivating. And if he did form a bond with Mary Magdalene, as some of our sources indicate (see The Jesus Discovery, chapter 5 titled “Jesus and Mary Magdalene”), it is easy to imagine them also together on these shores.
This little cove area seems to fit the “shore” of the Sea of Galilee described so vividly in the appendix to the Gospel of John, chapter 21. Peter and his companions had gone back to their fishing in Galilee–just as the Gospel of Peter records–still weeping and mourning over Jesus’ death, when they have experiences of Jesus that convince them that Jesus was nonetheless “alive.” See my exposition here that attempts to put all the sources together, “When Apostles and Angels Wept.”