Marty Cooper

All the world’s a stage, but did Jesus ever see a play at the Sepphoris theater? Jesus often admonished his followers to be unlike the hypocrites (Matthew 6:2, 5), a word that originally meant “one acting on the stage.” It has been suggested that Jesus learned the word by attending stage presentations at Sepphoris, only 4 miles from Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. Herod Antipas completely rebuilt Sepphoris in the early first century as the crown and capital of his kingdom to compete with the grandeur of Rome after the death of his father, Herod the Great. Some scholars argue that Antipas would surely have included a theater in this project and date the 4,000-seat theater to Jesus’ time based on pottery found underneath it. Other archaeologists believe that the theater was built decades after the crucifixion of Jesus.