Place of Illumination

Photograph of the photisterion at Mt. Nebo, stone and tesserae, sixth century CE,  Mt. Nebo, Jordan.

Mount Nebo is an active memorial, Franciscan monastery, and archaeological site on an elevated ridge of the Abarim mountain range in Jordan. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. A church was built there in the fourth century. The church was enlarged and transformed into a basilica with a sacristy and this photisterion in the sixth century CE. In addition to the four-lobed water basin, there are remnants of tesserae floors from different periods. The basin is in a well-preserved room for Christian initiation, labeled by a Greek inscription as a photisterion (“place of illumination”). Other initiatory rituals in addition to water baptism would likely have occurred here.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

The set of Biblical books shared by Jews and Christians. A more neutral alternative to "Old Testament."

The land that Yahweh promised to Abraham in Genesis, also called Canaan.

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