Bethany is the site of the baptism site of Jesus Christ by John over 2000 years ago. Known in Arabic as Al-Maghtas, the ‘Baptism Site’ has been identified by archaeologists as the place where John the Baptist preached that this is the site where the first five apostles met and thus where the foundations of the early Christian faith were laid. Jesus is said to have come here to meet en route from Galilee and Um Qais and is believed to have spent three days here before heading off to spend 40 days in the nearby wilderness. John was later arrested and beheaded by Herod at Machaerus, also in Jordan.
The site is about a 45-minute drive from Amman and it is believed that this is the site where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. Bethany, as mentioned in the book of John, is also known by other names. It is called Beth-Abara or Bethabara (Beit el-‘Obour in Arabic) meaning ‘house of the crossing’, referring to the Joshua and Elijah crossings of the river, and Arabic Bible translations call it Beit ‘Anya.
Beyond its religious significance the site has a fine location, with views of the Dead Sea, Mt. Nebo, Jericho (12 KM away), Jerusalem (27 KM) and the Jordan River.