This spectacular theater was built during the Roman period in the Decapolis city of Beth Shean, known also by its Greek name, Scythopolis. It was more than 360 feet in diameter and seated over 7,000 people. As seen here, one tier of seats remains. The black basalt foundations of the second tier are still visible, but the foundations of the third tier are gone.

The Decapolis region, largely Gentile and pagan, was governed by Rome, not by the Herods. Jesus frequently visited these 10 city-states, where he attracted many followers. His use of “hypocrite” as a descriptive term would have been clear to the people of this region, who attended theaters like this one.


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