Skip to comments.The Holy Sepulcher: Archaeology says the Evangelists were right
Posted on 04/19/2017 4:25:55 AM PDT by NYer
On October 20th, 2016, one of the most exciting events in centuries took place: the opening of the marble slab guarding the place tradition claims was the tomb of Jesus, inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
Underneath that slab there was a second slab, also of gray marble, containing a slit along its side and bearing a Lorraine Cross. Most likely, this is from the time of the Crusades, from the beginning of the 12th century.
The chronicles of medieval travelers such as Félix Faber (1480), who saw the edicule without the actual covering marbles, testify that the bank and wall formed a single piece of stone. This corresponds to the northern wall of the small room: the place traditionally venerated as Jesus tomb.
The second surprise revealed the south wall of this room corresponded to a second vertical wall, also made out of ordinary rock, about two meters high. In sum, the Edicule of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher contains a site consisting of two stone walls (north and south) and a bank (to the north side) — all dug out of the rock. This setup corresponds to a sepulchral chamber one could only gain access by going down, as it was below the level of the outer land. The original stone floor of the tomb, still to be discovered, is to be found under the present marble pavement.
The archaeological elements described agree with the documentary data of the Gospels, as in Matthew 27, Mark 15-16, Luke 24, and John 19-20. That is why it is legitimate to suppose that this is in fact the tomb of Jesus.
Relatively close to the place in which Jesus was crucified, Joseph of Arimathea owned a tomb, which had not yet been used by anyone. (Jewish burial customs at the time usually dictated quick burial in a shallow grave covered with stones for the poor, with the wealthy purchasing family tombs, or sepulchers, where bodies would be laid in niches carved out of the walls. There were also stone benches for the preparation of the body or for visitors to the family tomb.) This tomb was to be closed with a large stone that had to be rolled over in order to cover the entrance, according to the Gospels. This kind of closing is precisely the one that was used for sepulchral chambers, commonly carved in the rock, as the one discovered under the Edicules marble slab. One could only walk in by slightly descending to gain access to the place in which the corpse was deposited: that is to say, the aforementioned stone bench. The Gospels claim that Mary Magdalene bent down to look into the tomb.
The stone bank is also mentioned in the gospels of Mark and John. In Mark 16:5, it is said that the women entered the tomb and found a young man seated in a white garment. Evidently, one could only sit on such marble bench, and not in a niche. John 20:12 one speaks of two angels dressed in white, sitting in the room [that is, again, the area of the bench] where the body of Jesus had been placed.
When Jesus was buried, on a Friday, right before the sunset, they did not place the body in a niche but rather on the stone bench, as mentioned in the Gospels. The reason for this decision is that Jesus had died after considerable physical aggression, and his body was in an unfortunate state, and needed proper preparation, which could not be provided at the moment, as the Sabbath rest was about to begin. It was customary among the Jews of the time to wash and anoint with aromatic oils the bodies of the deceased before burying them. But as Jesus had to be buried in a hurry, his body was left on the stone bench, covered hastily with a shroud.
Even if faith in the Resurrection might not lean on logical demonstrations, it doesnt imply a leap into an irrational vacuum either. Research shows archaeological data and the Gospels agree. The archaeological facts are not to be understood as demonstrations that ground (or not) what is a matter of faith, but they indeed stimulate reasonableness, based on verisimilitude.
The canonical gospels are indeed documents belonging to the first centuries of Christianity, and can be read like any other ancient historical document. From them, a religious revolution sprang out: the one that began on a bench dug in the rock, inside a sepulcher, in Jerusalem, two thousand years ago.
Article originally posted by Forum Libertas
The combination of ancient rocks and baroque embellishments is truly the face of our Holy Church.
My Lord and Savior! The tomb is empty. He sits at the right hand of God the Father until all His enemies are made His foot stool, Then He returns with a shout and the trump of God!
When a story is supposed to reveal fact and it claims Jesus was buried on a “Friday” it raises suspicions as to accuracy. Jesus died late Wednesday afternoon before sunset and just prior to the special high holy Sabbath of Passover. That’s what the bible says and Jesus said he would be in the grave for 3 days..... he wouldn’t lie.
“Jesus died late Wednesday afternoon before sunset “
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
He died before a High Sabbath, but after Passover. People tend to conflate the two. “Three days” is a convention of the East—any part of the day is a whole day. It is a matter of debate for many scholars.
why no picture of the actual tomb?
I’m pretty sure that they had a Passover meal on Thursday, after which he was arrested. Are you suggesting the had their Passover meal a night or two early?
Yes. He was in the tomb Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 3 days
Very nicely put.
While I don't know if you are right or not, I wasn't there, I do suspect you could be correct. Thursday would work also, Thurs evening one night, Friday one night and Saturday one more night.
The correctness of these dates however has never disturbed me. The Holy Ghost tells me He arose from the dead and still lives. That's enough for me.
Most people don't understand that High Holy Days were considered Sabbath days. When Jesus Was Crucified Passover was on Friday before the regular Sabbath, He would have had to be Crucified on Thursday at the latest to be off the cross and interred prior to the Sabbath.
We think the Roman guards to have been cruel to be breaking the legs of those on the cross but it was an actual blessing. Dying on the cross could take several days of horrible pain and suffering once the legs are broken you can't breath and you die quickly.
The suffering we talk about of Christ on the cross is not really the suffering we need to be concerned with. He died there. He didn't have to die, after all He was God in flesh He could have been translated as was Elijah and taken up to Heaven. No the suffering we need to think about was in the garden where He took upon Himself our sins which caused Him to sweat blood because of the greatness of the pain we gave Him. On the cross He simply “gave up the ghost”, something we cannot do. Don't misunderstand me, I'm saying Christ's dying on the cross was easy, but, millions have died on crosses through the centuries. Only one has borne my sins and been punished for them. The ghost leaves us in death but we can't command it to leave as He could.
The tomb itself is administered by Greek Orthodox, but is open to all believers. The priest who was overseeing the tomb when I was there, as visitors could enter and leave the tiny space only one at a time, looked to be almost a hundred years old. Entering the space made the hair on my neck stand up and is one of the most vivid memories of my life.
So have I. Quite an experience.
Jesus Himself said he would be in the tomb three days and three nights.
I don’t know why it is, but so far none of the pictures show much. Most show only parts, never the whole in perspective.
And He was.
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