Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem: The places where Jesus lived and died and gathered his followers into a community are for Christians the most holy sites on earth. With reverence for the sites associated with the life of Christ, Bargil Pixner dedicated much of his life to archeological research in the Holy Land, becoming famous for his discovery of the Essene Gate in Jerusalem and the town of Bethsaida by the Sea of Galilee.
Gathered into this one volume are the principal fruits of Father Pixner’s research: explanations of numerous archeological discoveries in the Holy Land accompanied by photos, illustrations and maps. Prepared in collaboration with Professor Rainer Riesner, a Scripture scholar from the University of Dortmund, the chapters bring to light not only those details of interest to the man of science but also the connections between these and early Christianity of interest to the man of faith.
Having lived in Israel for much of his life the Tyrolean priest, scholar, teacher, and pilgrimage leader brought to his subject the depth and familiarity of a native son. Father Pixner’s particular interest in the first Jewish Christians runs like a thread through many of these chapters, helping to link the practices of modern believers with those of their ancient brothers and sisters in the faith.
Fr. Bargil Pixner, O.S.B., was born into a German-speaking family in northern Italy in 1921. After becoming a missionary priest in 1946, he served lepers in the Philippines for eight years. After several years of giving spiritual direction to priests in the United States and Europe, Father Pixner moved to Israel, where he studied Hebrew and biblical archeology and geography. In 1973 he joined the Benedictines at Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion, where he pursued Jewish-Christian studies. These he continued near the Sea of Galilee at the Benedictine Monastery of Tabgha, which he helped to found.