Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Where is Jesus' Tomb?

Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Photo by israeltourism
(Another question I answered on Quora.)

Q: What evidence is there that the tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is the burial place of Jesus Christ?

A: The main piece of evidence is that we know from historical texts that if you went to the Holy Land in the AD 300s (and probably for sometime before that) and asked the local people to show you Christ’s tomb, that this is the location you would be taken to. Emperor Constantine’s mother Helena did this and built a church over the site, which became today’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This could indicate that the Christians around the city preserved a memory of where the tomb was that could possibly go back to the earliest days of the church.

There are also these supporting facts: 1.) The site was outside the city in AD 33, which fits the New Testament’s description, 2.) It’s the right style tomb for the time (the so-called ‘Gordon’s Calvary,’ an alternative site that’s sometimes shown, is not), and 3.) Approximately 1000 tombs, most of them Christian and very old, are clustered around this spot, indicating that it may have been held in special reverence from an early date.

The evidence gathered by the archaeology team this time around may give us more information in the future.

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