Ein Karem (Hebrew for Spring of the Vineyard) is a tranquil village just outside Jerusalem. Since the 4th century, a Christian tradition maintains that it is where John the Baptist was born and raised. In 2017, I went on behalf of The Watchman show to review the sites related to John the Baptist in Ein Karem.
Ein Karem and John the Baptist
The most significant Christian site in the village is the church of John Baharim (Hebrew for John in the Mountains). By Christian tradition, a crypt inside the church marks the place where John was born. A first century Jewish ritual Bath uncovered near the church is possible evidence that John’s family indeed lived here. Across the valley Mary’s Spring echoes the memory of Mary’s visit of John’s mother, Elizabeth, when they were both pregnant (Luke 1). In the hill above, the Church of the Visitation marks the actual visit.
Touring Ein Karem
Ein Karem is just a few minutes drive from the bustling city center of Jerusalem. It is recommended to visit the churches of the site, and stroll along its cobbledstone alleys, and capture the village’s special atmosphere.