People in Galilee often lived in family housing complexes known as insulae (singular: insula). Although not everyone lived this way, many people (particularly extended families) combined living units around an open courtyard.

This living arrangement allowed extended families to live, work, and interact with each other on a daily basis. The family’s values were preserved as young people learned from the stories of older family members. As sons married, they built additional rooms on the family insula and brought their bride to live with their extended family.

Jesus and his disciples may have lived in such a family compound in Capernaum (Matt. 12:46-13:1; Mark 2:1-2; 7:17). And Jesus drew on insula imagery to give a picture of heaven (God’s housing complex) in John 14:2.

In many places, the New Testament refers to “household,” which means “an extended family living together”:- Jesus referred to various households (Matt. 10:24-25, 36).- After Jesus healed the official’s son, “he and all his household believed” (John 4:53).- An angel had appeared to a Gentile man and said that Peter would bring a message through which the man and “all his household” would be saved (Acts 11:11-14).- Paul and Silas told the jailer how he and all his “household” could be saved (Acts 16:29-32).

See all posts in Glossary

Upcoming Tours

Mar 30 — Apr 08, 2020
Heart Of God
Led by George DeJong
Jun 28 — Jul 12, 2020
Out of Egypt, Into a Good Land
Led by George DeJong
Fall 2020
Ancient Paths to Modern Leadership
Led by George DeJong
Nov 01 — Nov 15, 2020
Walking with the Patriarchs
Led by George DeJong
Spring 2021
Israel in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Fall 2021
Through the Roof
Led by George DeJong