Daytrip - Bethany, Amman
At the end of your visit to Bethany you arrive to the Jordan River. It this place you are just 5 metres from the border with Israel. It is very nice to see the flags of Israel and Jordan near the Jordan River, the river who made the history of our culture!!!
Near the Jordan River some scholars discovered the ruins of an old Byzantine monastery with a church built by the Emperor Anastasio (491-518 AD). This was the most important church dedicated to John the Baptist on the west side of the Jordan River. It was built in the place where Jesus Christ supposealy unrobed before entering the water to be baptized by John.
You can see some ruins of mosaics and a marble floor.
The chapels built on the eastern side of the river during the Byzantine period (5th-6th century AD) included three churches built over each other and decorated with colored mosaics and marble floors. A marble staircase links the three churches with John the Baptist Spring at the spot where it flows into the Jordan River. A stone footing hosting a marble column with a metal cross on top is thpught tobe the actual baptism site of Jesus Christ according to different historians and travelers. A small chapel and remnants of a stone arch near the river were built over the spot where Jesus Christ supposealy unrobed before entering the water to be baptized by John.
Originating at a spot near Elijah's hill the spring flowa through the eastern bank of the river Jordan, next to the church of John the Baptist. This spring was made famous through different documentation of pilgrims, travelers and historians who mentioned that its sweet, clear-flowing water was used for drinking and in baptism. Different structures and pools were established in the vicinity of this spring. Throught the history of the region, it was given different descriptive names such as Bassat al-Kharar (which refers to the sound of flowing water running towards the Jordan River) and Ainon'.
The recent excavations in 1997 uncovered a series of ancient sites associated with the tradition of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus, located along the length of the Wadi Al-Kharrar.. At the site of Tell Al-Kharrar, identified as Bethany beyond the Jordan, a Byzantine monastery was discovered. Several natural springs form pools that start the flow of water through the Wadi Al-Kharrar, eventually feeding into the Jordan River.
John 1:28 speaks of: Bethany beyond the Jordan the place where John baptized; the expression "beyond the Jordan" referring to the east bank of the river. In a later reference to the same place on the east bank, John 10:40 says that Jesus travelled across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized: "And He went again beyond the Jordan, into that place where John was first baptizing and there He abode".
The Baptism Site at Bethany Beyond the Jordan is one of the most recent significant archaeological and religious discoveries in Jordan. It was sometimes called Beth-Abara or Bethabara (Beit el-'Obour in Arabic), meaning 'house of the crossing', referring to the Joshua, Elijah, and Elisha crossings of the Jordan River. Combined evidence from the biblical text, Byzantine and medieval writers' accounts, and most recent archaeological works, place the tradition of John the Baptist's mission, including the baptism of Jesus, adjacent to the Jordan River.
Today near the Jordan River you can see this nice new church. It was built to remember Jesus Christ and the love between all the people of the world!!!