Thursday, January 08, 2015

Where Jesus was sentenced to die...

Candida Moss has written an article about a new archaeological site now accessible for tourists, namely, the praetorium in the basement of Herod's palace. No doubt with a wry smile on her face, she mentions that this site has been known since 2001 but is now being publicized because it is now available for tourists. (See Jodi Magness on the archaeology).

Antonia Fortress, apparently NOT
where Jesus was sentenced
or where the Via Dolorosa began. 
This location in Herod's palace is now thought to be where Jesus was sentenced to die (not in the picture).

I'll defer to archaeological experts on this one. It is very frustrating, but I knew better when I was in Israel to think that the sites we saw were the actual sites of most things. We like certainty (indeed, it is almost an idol for many), but real historical study leaves us with more questions than definite answers.

So the current sense of things is that Jesus wasn't sentenced at the Antonia Fortress (to the left) and that the Via Dolorosa you visit today (from the 1700s) wasn't the original one.

I did have one question about the piece. I am pretty sure that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was actually outside the city walls of Jerusalem at the time of Christ.

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