Where is “Aenon Near Salim”?
According to John 3:23, John the Baptist was also operating at “Aenon Near Salim”. Christian Pilgrims in the 4th century identified these springs at a site in the Jordan valley, around a mound called “Tel Shalem”. Some recorded monks living in the area.
The Muslim conquest in the 7th century CE brought to an abandonment of the place. To this day no traces of the monastery have been found. The springs are used by local Arab farmers, to irrigate their fields. This is perhaps the very single last Christian site mentioned in the New Testament that have not been excavated, nor developed as a church or a pilgrimage destination.
Touring John’s Baptismal Springs
The springs are spread around Tel Shalem. Most of them are at the northern end of the West Bank. There are also no signs or even paved roads reaching them. In the winter the roads can also be flooded. Nevertheless, tracking these springs and visiting them is quite a rewarding challenge. It is the only site mentioned in the Gospels that have never been developed in any way.