The Gospel accounts are silent as to the location of the Mountain of Transfiguration where Jesus underwent his incredible transformation before some of his apostles. However, there are two sites that have historically been considered strong possibilities for the “Mount of Transfiguration.”
Mount Tabor is the earliest traditional location for the Mountain of Transfiguration, a tradition established by a 3rd century Christian scholar named Origen. It was later confirmed by the Latin priest and historian Jerome, and a theologian known as Cyril of Jerusalem in the 4th century AD. By the 5th century, church structures were being built to commemorate the site.
Mount Tabor isn’t a very big mountain at 1,886 feet. However, it stands alone in the area and was considered very strategic “high ground” throughout the centuries. The mountain is located at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, eleven miles west of the Sea of Galilee. During the time of Jesus, Mount Tabor was the landmark for an important junction on the Roman Highway known as the “Way of the Sea” – it marked the connector road up to Damascus.
The other main possibility for the Mountain of Transfiguration location is Mount Hermon. At 9,232 feet, this mountain is the highest in the region. It is also near Caesarea Philippi, where the previous events recorded in the Gospels took place. Some scholars believe that Mount Hermon better conforms to the record than the traditional site on Mount Tabor, but we just don’t know.
When recounting the events on the Mountain of Transfiguration, Peter later wrote:
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain.” (2 Peter 1:16-18)