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Oceans and Seas
New Testament
Sea of Galilee

When did Sea of Galilee change to Sea of Tiberias?

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October 14, 2010 11:06PM

The Sea of Galilee is also known as Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret and Lake Tiberias. The name, Sea of Galilee, is purely of Christian origin and probably originated in Mark's Gospel. On one view, the author of Mark wanted to portray the relatively tiny lake as a sea, in order to match the image of great waves that threatened to sink the fishing boat with the disciples. Emperor Tiberius reigned from 14 to 37 CE, and this name was used long before Mark's Gospel for an important city built on the lake's southern shore. At some stage, the lake came to be called Lake Tiberias, although not by the Jews, who continued to refer to it as Kinneret.

John's Gospel, believed to have been written in the early decades of the second century, mentions the Sea of Galilee, saying this was the same as the Sea of Tiberias, and from then onwards uses the name, Sea of Tiberias.