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Sifting The Evidence: The World of the Bible (Parts 1 and 2) | Dr. Chris Sinkinson

Mar 04, 2024
By climbing into one of these caves near the coast of the Dead Sea, you can see how these caves were perfect places to hide these manuscripts. It's dry, it's salty, so these manuscripts could be hidden here for 2,000 years. We are walking through the ancient Canaanite Dry Tunnel that gave them access to water even in the time of Abraham. This is the route the Israelites would have taken from the desert across the Jordan River, passing through the fortified city of Jericho and then into the promised land. This is how we get there. Know that we are in an authentic burial site in the time of Jesus.
sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson
What we are looking at here is called cooking. Have you ever visited an ancient ruin or held an ancient object and wondered what stories it could tell you? Here we are. in Jerusalem looking across the Kidron Valley and this city tells us a lot about the ancient


and that is the


of the Bible, the world where the biblical events took place and at a time in history where there is so much skepticism, so many doubts about whether the


talks about history or mere myth and legend we have archeology archeology is not so much about proving the


what archeology does is show us that what we read in the bible fits with what we know about the ancient world the bible is illuminated by archeology sometimes our reading of the bible is challenged by archaeology, so come with me on a journey here in the ancient near east to hear what archeology tells us and help us understand that biblical story.
sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson

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sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson...

There is something about going to Israel that makes me feel at home. I think it's the connection to the biblical story. Jerome called it the fifth gospel and it is like the fifth gospel. Bring our lives into our Bible reading. I have spent most of my life interested in the land of the bible and whether taking students to visit the holy land or participating in archaeological excavations, I am always amazed at how much more is found that sheds light on the world of the bible and in this program I want to invite you to come with me on a journey as we explore that land and see what archeology can tell us.
sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson
We are in a tell and this is an archaeological dig that I have been involved in for several years and that word tell is an Arabic word that simply means a hill or a mound or a ruin and that tells us something because what we have here is not A natural hill, it is an artificial ruin, a remnant that has layer upon layer of city and civilization spanning centuries, so for archaeologists this forms something of a time capsule that as you dig through the layers you are digging through history Jerusalem, the holy city loved by Jews, Christians and Muslims and yet also the scene of so much conquest and destruction, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Romans, they have all brought destruction to this city leaving us layer upon layer of history as the city has been rebuilt over time and that leaves us four thousand years of history to discover as we walk down from the temple mount and look at what appears to be the modern city of Jerusalem but is actually the city of david, this goes back to the period of the jebusites and then to king david and the earliest period of the old testament israelite settlement in jerusalem, we make our way underground to the most unlikely location for a defining moment in the history of Jerusalem About 3,000 years ago the Israelite king David conquered the small, ancient Canaanite hilltop city of Jebus, and here he unified the tribes of Israel by establishing a capital city.
sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson
We are walking through the ancient Canaanite dry tunnel that gave them access to water, it was always key to know that you could access water, so it is tunnels like these that exist beneath these ancient cities and this would have given them access even in the era of abraham melchizedek and shows this continuous occupation of the city. from salem jebus jerusalem through the centuries now the jebusites when they were sealed against king david thought they were safe they had secret access to water in the 19th century charles warren discovered this well and made a connection with the bible story of how king david captured the city from the jebusites it was through the water well that his men sneaked into the city and what an incredible feat it must have been to climb this well to have a secret entrance to the ancient city of jebus, deep inside From the city of David, we come to this pond that was dug 3800 years ago, so we are talking about the Canaanite period.
Well, here we are at the excavations of the city of David. Every year I come back, it changes as the archaeologists continue. Peel away the layers of history An Eliot Matzah who excavated here has given good reasons to date this massive stone structure to the 10th century BC. C. and believes that it would be explained as part of the foundations of a monumental building from the 10th century in the time of the king. david monumental building work she identifies this as the foundations of king david's palace. Many other artifacts have been found that are associated with biblical characters and events from the Old Testament world.
Several of these bulla clay impressions have been found here bearing the names of two characters we find in a single verse of the bible jeremiah chapter 38 and verse one the names of gadalia and yukal both discovered in the correct period in terms of the record archaeological and both appear in the biblical text the view here of the model of jerusalem is if we are standing on the mount of olives looking not only at the city of jerusalem but at the temple mount as it would have been and this would be the herodian temple, the second period of the temple to your left is the treasury, the royal stowa and towards the On the right hand side look at the impressive Antonia fortress built in honor of Mark Antony.
This allowed the Romans to look over the Temple Mount to observe what the Jews did when they worshiped. We are looking at the western wall with the golden dome. standing behind at the site of the temple mount now of course what you are seeing next to the western wall is not actually part of the temple wall, it is part of the retaining wall of the temple mount where the temple once stood . What you are really looking at is the peak of Mount Moriah, which would be marked by the golden dome. This is where Abraham brought Isaac and then many years later after King David took the city of Jerusalem, this would become the place that King Solomon would create as a place.
For the temple now that first temple would remain standing until the year 586 BC. when the babylonians came and destroyed the temple but when the jews returned they would build a smaller temple now that temple would be significantly expanded by king herod shortly before the birth of jesus and essentially the temple mount structure would be enlarged and expanded to include other buildings that would remain standing until 70 AD. when this time the Romans destroyed the temple, after that there was a brief period with a Roman temple standing here and then the arrival of Islam in the 7th century AD.
The Muslims would build the golden dome you see behind me and the Al-Aqsa Mosque next to it and they continue to function as holy places for Muslims, so here we are, standing on the side of the temple mount, it's quite a politically sensitive topic . place because of course it is also very important to Muslims and this is the golden dome that marks the sanctuary, which is almost certainly the holy of holies, this would be the place where the temple once stood, now all around us is


. of the Herodian expanse due to the political sensitivities surrounding the temple mount, no archaeological work has been done on the mount itself, but in 2004 archaeologist Gabriel Barkai initiated the project of


the temple mount, this was in response to the thousands of tonnes of rubble that were dumped in the kidron valley as a result of the construction work carried out by the authority that runs the temple mount we went to speak to him to find out more information firstly, the temple mount It occupies approximately one third of the ancient city of Jerusalem, it is the largest composite religious site in the ancient world, it is also the soul, heart and spirit of the Jewish people.
The Temple Mount is the number one archaeological site in this country, however, after 150 years of continuous excavations in Jerusalem we did not have a single published pot fragment from the temple mount Jerusalem is one of the most excavated places on earth and the temple mount is a black hole we did not have any information because in Jerusalem archeology and politics go hand in hand in 1999 a great atrocity took place islamic trust the trek began to dig underground on the temple mount a bulldozer appeared on the temple mount where even a toothbrush is too big a tool to carry out excavations in a site that had never been excavated before, so approximately 9,000 tons of earth was removed from the southeast corner of the temple mount and dumped in the nearby Kidron Valley.
We started the project in 2004. Among the finds we have many objects that cover a period of about 15,000 years from hunter-gatherers in the epipolitical period to modern times. Approximately 15 to 20 of the dateable material is from the First Temple period. We have large quantities of Iron Age pottery, including much pottery from the 10th century BC. We have


that the temple mount was an impressive center of official and religious activity in the 10th century BC. and onwards we were walking on the temple mount and now we can see the rubble of the temple mount and this was considered garbage but of course it is not garbage at all among all the stones and fragments there is pottery, there are coins.
Bone, there is evidence of occupation of the Temple Mount over the centuries, so from this apparent garbage we have an enormous amount of data showing us about the presence of the Israelites in and around Jerusalem and the temple. on the temple mount in the valley of Kidron you see the olive trees and terraces that mark the ancient agriculture here and then on the slope this is the eastern wall of the temple mount enclosure the golden gate you can see behind me this actually It is from the Muslim period and is walled up by tradition as a way to prevent the entry of the messiah, but we know that a layer below is a golden door from the period before the period of Jesus and even before and that it was wide open and allowed access to the temple area.
Well, here we are at the base of the eastern wall of the temple mount and, as you can see so many different types of stones, it is a mosaic. In fact, we are standing at a fairly significant point in the 19th century. Charles Warren identified this. as a scene it's a union uh the stones on the left side of this union are Herodian from the second Herodian temple period from just before the birth of Jesus on the right side the stones are Hasmonean now that's early, it's the 2nd century BC. Sometimes we will hear debates about the location of the temple, whether it was here, whether it was further down the valley, whether it was somewhere else.
You know, we can be pretty sure of the location of the temple because archaeologists have been able to explore and examine the locations in quite some detail. of these stones and that is what gives rise to the confidence that we can have when we talk about the location of the temple and the structure of the temple mount, this section of the western wall where the Jews come to pray and the reason why this site Traditional Jews don't actually go and stand on the Temple Mount, but this section of the Western Wall is as close as you can get to where Solomon's Temple and the Second Herodian Temple once stood, which also means that this is one of the most disputed areas worldwide on the temple mount because of the religious sensitivities surrounding it in terms of our understanding of the ancient world, we have a lot of material in this uniform scripture and I would love to know a little more about what cuneiform is and how it can be read, it was actually invented for a language we call Sumerian, which is not related to any other known language in the world and the Babylonians who also lived in Babylon along with the Sumerians adapted it for your language. which is a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic about five thousand years ago or a little more actually for the purpose of collecting taxes and that is why they began to make notes in Babylon on clay tablets the word cuneiform simply means wedge-shaped and it is the name that was applied to Babylonian writing, as these scribes wrote faster and faster, the original images disintegrated into a series of strokes, so we now have hundreds of thousands of these cuneiform tablets.
Alan, I know that you yourself made a very important discovery in the British museum and that is what do we call the epic of the atrahasis? Can you tell us how it was found? I was working in the museum and looking for a particular type of tablet and I came across a cabinet that had odds and ends and two unusually large tablets, so I looked. Upon seeing them, I immediately realized that they were literary texts and that these two tablets are part of the epic of Atrahasis that talks about the creation of humanity and the great flood.
Werewritten around 1635 BC. C. according to the current chronology. They were copied from older tablets. because in one place the scribe has written a broken meaning this copy was damaged how long before it was written we do not know the poem is very interesting because in many ways it is parallel to the narrative in genesis tear down your house build a boat put your family and animals in it and the great flood came all humanity turned into clay the poem says except those on this boat there are some differences the main difference is that atrahasis is a polytheistic story and the Hebrew narrative has only one god many people say well the Hebrew narrative is copied from the Babylonian I think the differences are such that it is more likely that they can be traced back to a common ancestor.
The city you can see behind me is Jericho. This is the route the Israelites would have taken from the desert across the Jordan River, passing through the fortified city of Jericho and then into the promised land Jericho This is the oldest continually occupied city in the entire world There is evidence dating back to 10 thousand years ago of men and women living in this place and of course during that period we arrived at the time of the exodus and when the Israelites entered the land the Bible says that this was a fortified city that was an obstacle to their entry into the promised land The archaeological record has been subject to great dispute for decades.
The original excavations revealed the fallen walls of a fortified city that seemed to fit what we read in the Bible. Later excavations, particularly under Kathleen Kenyon, suggested that it was already a ruin in the moment of the exodus. Now the debate continues. There has been more recent evidence to suggest that this city was actually occupied around 1400 BC, which will be around the time the Bible suggests the exodus and conquest took place; However, other archaeologists will date the exodus a little later, around 1200 BC. C., in which case it seems that the evidence of the destroyed city we read about in the Bible is not yet available.
It can be found, it is a good example of how archeology is subject to interpretation, debate and discussion, sometimes we just have to say, wait and see here in Tel Hatsore, we are at the largest archaeological site in the Holy Land. Excavations have been carried out here. able to reveal many different periods associated with biblical history, in fact we read in the Bible that Jabin, the king of Hatsor, was the chief of the tribes in this area among the Canaanite people and that is clearly evident in the archaeology. This was the main city. main city and that will help us because by looking at the archaeological evidence we can see what that meant when the Israelites came here and when they had to face the Canaanite peoples that lived in this land, we are standing between the Canaanite temples and the palace. of the king of hatsor before the time of the Israelite conquest and when archaeologists excavated here they made a surprising discovery that connects with the biblical story here in the palace of the king of hatsor archaeologists found a huge layer of ash at a level of destruction and that included these stones that had cracked and it was estimated that cracked stone like this would take on temperatures of around 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit.
It had been destroyed in a huge conflagration of fire and the question is who destroyed Hatsor and to answer that question we can ask the archaeologists. Now who did it? This is a very, very difficult question, but since no one left an inscription on the king, everything was destroyed like many other kings did, so the only way to do it, I think, is through elimination number one. are the egyptians the days of ramsay is the second now ramses the second left hundreds of documents if he had destroyed hats or said something he destroyed this place and that place somewhere else not a word about his soul you can always claim that this document is not preserved well, but Egyptologists tell us that he was not in the region during this period he was not here Babylon is very far away the stockings were in decline it could not have been done by the Philistines who were in the region they were not interested in the land, were interested in the coast and are very prominent in their pottery.
Every student can tell you right away that this is a philistine butcher among the millions of poachers we found in frazole. There is not a single Philistine portrait, so who is left? those left are the only ones who have the tradition that they or their ancestors did it, so I think the first Israelites, whatever you want to call them, protest as allies of the first Israelites until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that They didn't. They did it here at the Tel Dan site. Archaeologists have found the oldest complete adobe arch found in the ancient Near East.
It is a beautiful building and we know that it was functioning in the 18th century BC, which takes us back to the time of Abraham. and the patriarchs abraham would have come this way and we can imagine that if abraham stopped in this town he would have entered through this staircase and through the monumental arch to the ancient city that at that time was not called dan but would have been known as The reason why The reason why the arch has been so well preserved is because of the interior filling. Archaeologists are busy trying to restore the beauty of this monumental arch as they say they may find a way to remove some of this filling and when they do, we will see an arch from that period of the patriarchs who knows what is still waiting to be discovered.
This magnificent gate is part of the Tel Dan site. Now we read in the Bible that when Israel divided the land in the book of Joshua, they colonized the land according to tribal allotments and the Danites were supposed to live on the Mediterranean coast on the coastal plain, but we know that the Philistines were there and threatened to the Israelites, so the Danites moved north and conquered this city. It had been known as the city of Laish and became the northernmost city of the Israelites. This city gate occupies a large area and is a fantastic illustration of what a city gate meant in the Old Testament world.
We read how the city gate was used for the king to pass judgment on trade and commerce in 1993 archaeologists excavating here at the city gate of tel dan made an important discovery as part of the rubble of the landfill that the builders had used in the ancient world with broken sections of an ancient inscription and this inscription turned out to give a direct reference to a king of israel and the house of david. This would be the first direct reference to King David outside of the Bible. Again, David could no longer be dismissed as a character from mythology, he was a true historical figure.
Figure and what really happened is that the tribes of Israel were agrarian communities, they lived in small villages and in the time of David and the old world we had a kingdom, which means that people moved to live in cities and you have a new social organization that we can excavate. Social change over time and, in fact, archeology shows that in the 12th and 11th centuries BC. C. we had small villages. About 400 small villages were found in the mountainous area of ​​​​the mountains of Hebron, Jerusalem and Samaria, and what happened next we have 45. cities and the big question is when did the fortified cities first appear, with great care, we find a fortified city that is a carbon dating from the University of Oxford from the early 10th century BC.
C., so we have the time of the executive King David, so we have a fortified city. in judah since the time of king david and this has nothing to do with the biblical text the city is there the fortification the inscription the public construction everything is there and the dating does not come from the biblical text but from the university of oxford and this really changed the image people cannot ignore the results of rebecca's excavations, we found an inscription in 2008 and it was published in 2009, later we found another inscription, so we have two inscriptions in Hebrew, our ostrich Hebrew coffee, in the big inscription with 70 letters, you can see the letters, but understanding the world and the sentences is almost impossible since archeology involves probabilities.
Can you give us an idea of ​​what you think the inscription refers to? It's very difficult to know, but there are two key words that are really surprising, one of them is chauffet which means judge and another word is mele which means king and the time of David is a transition from judges to kings and in this ostrich we have both we have a judge and we have a king and this is surprising the second inscription that we discovered is no less important, it was engraved on a jar before shooting it and it says that the name is this name was never found before, it is not written in any biblical text and not It appeared in no inscriptions before, making it a new name for the ancient Near East. but the name ishbal, which means men of baal, is quite important.
We have five people with this name in the biblical text, all of them from the time of David, so this name was not used later in the 9th, 8th or 7th century. a typical name from the 10th century BC. and if you say if this name is preserved in the biblical text it means that the biblical text has historical memories from the 10th century BC. From the time of David they already began to have a kingdom if you really look. In the archaeological discoveries it is seen that it was a small kingdom in Jerusalem and perhaps a day's walk through Jerusalem and the big question from my point of view was when the kingdom of Jerusalem, the kingdom of David or the house of David occupied Lagrish because the rich was the second most important city in Judah and we went to Lagrish and we excavated in Lagrish and we actually found new fortifications that were not known before and the radiocarbon dating again from the University of Oxford shows us that this city was built in the later part of the 19th century. 10th century BC so Rebecca in the time of David is the beginning of the 10th century BC. and Lagrish was occupied only 70 or 80 years later and why does it seem so important because in the biblical text we know that Lahris was fortified by Rehebr is the son of Solomon and the grandson of David and if you take the biblical chronology, it was about 80 years later of David and in fact that is also what radocarbon painting from the early 10th century and late 10th century shows, so we have evidence of the existence of King David, but what about King Solomon? the kingdom of him unified of him the building works the wealth where is the real evidence of the existence of this good king, here in Hatzor we see this magnificent gateway and this is identified as Solomonic architecture.
It is interesting in a king chapter 9 verse 15 we read that Solomon built the fortified cities of Megiddo Hatsor and Gaza now these gates are identified as Solomonic, but in more recent years there has been quite a debate in archeology: can we really identify them as 10th century or belong to a later period if they can be dated to the 10th century, it gives us clear evidence of a unified kingdom in this period with the wealth and administrative resources to carry out this type of construction work, the unique doors, six chambers, two large towers, a lot of wealth and planning went into doors like this. find out if these are really from the 10th century.
Let's go talk to the excavators involved in the discovery of Telhatsu. I was there when the door was excavated. Write the report, volume two, page three. You can read that the date of the door is the 10th century. The point is decided on based on the stratigraphy and the typology of the pottery, that is why Ahroni agreed with Adin dated the door to the 10th century, then came yadin and said that we have exactly similar gates, megiddo and gesell, and in the book of kings when he summarizes even the construction activities of king solomon it says that if king solomon built hatzo megiddo and gazer here again we have an illustration from the biblical text the The same king built the three cities according to the same plan now number one I have to say and this is what we know many, many years later because this was proposed by yadin about 50 years ago.
Now we know that I also said that every dog ​​has four legs, but not all animals with four legs are dogs, so every building with that plan is not. necessarily from the 10th century of Solomon's day because we have similar buildings in the 9th century and similar buildings in the 8th century, but these three are the four-legged dogs because they are all from the 10th century that the excavations here in Megiddo have revealed. 20 different cities, one on top of the other, stretching along the corridors, are history. You see here in Megiddo, we have a commanding position overlooking the Jezreel Valley and this is the Marist way, the way of the sea, all the ancient empires came this way.
In this part of the world we are at a meeting point between Europe, Asia and Africa, everyone wanted to be able to command this route and Megiddo gave them that position, so for archaeologists this has been seen as the cradle of archaeology. This is where archeology is found. was able to develop his skills to understand the strata, how one layer upon another gives us an idea of ​​theevents that took place here. Early excavations at the site of Megiddo identified a number of features that seemed to fit the period of the United Monarchy and King Solomon the entrance gates were understood to be Solomonic, they are stables that could have been used for horses if there was a detachment of chariots located here, in fact, a seal belonging to Jeroboam's servant was found here, all this indicates that, although archeology will continue to dispute the exact accuracy.
However, the dating fits with these biblical periods of history. We are standing at the base of one of four enormous towers that formed part of a fortified entrance and which has been identified as the entrance to the capital city of the people of Gesher, the Gasrites. They were not Israelites but they were allies on the border. Now we know and can be precise about the dates that when the Assyrian king Tigalath Palisa came here he destroyed this city after a massive siege in 732 BC. and having taken the city he deliberately destroyed the In fact, they poured oil over these towers when they burned them, we even have the clinker, the remains of that period of destruction.
King David married the daughter of the king of Gesher, but this would not have been the gateway to King David. He knew that this would have been built a hundred years after the time of David. Now we have been looking for the gateway to the period of David and the united monarchy. The problem was that generally one could imagine that a new gatehouse would be built on top of the remains of an older one and if the Davidic period gatehouse was beneath this one we would never find it, but the test probes show that there is no gatehouse below this particular section of the tell, so last year's excavations a little further along this gate and a little further down have now uncovered a gatehouse with associated remains demonstrating which was in operation during the time of king david, so we can expect that in the years to come more and more will be exposed of the location of the city of gesher as it was in the time of david we are here on the high place of dan during the time of king solomon there was a united monarchy after solomon the kingdom was divided in two there was roboam who continued in the kingdom of judah but jeroboam became king of a northern kingdom and had a problem how would he stop the israelites from returning to jerusalem in judea to worship god as an answer to that problem in chapter 12 of a king we read that he built alternative worship centers one in betel one in dan and here in dan archaeologists have found since the 9th century B.C. the tall places the altar that was built by jeroboam you can see behind me the metal structure is a reconstruction based on the floor plan and one of the horns broken from the corner of the altar the size and scale of this place of worship there is also a temple sanctuary an alternative to jerusalem and all this speaks of that time of the beginning of a divided monarchy we have inscriptions especially from the kings of assyria both on clay tablets and on stone monuments that they erected that sometimes refer to military campaigns against israel let's move on to the black obelisk of shamanism iii was found during henry strong's excavations at a place now called nimrod which is about 25 miles south of nineveh on the tigris river, which was an assyrian capital and they had found the palace of king chalmenissa and He decorated the palace with carvings on stone slabs and outside one of the entrances he installed this stone monument that we call steel with inscriptions and carvings on all four sides and one panel shows the ambassador of Jehu, king of Israel, bowing in front. of shalman is paying tribute and the assyrian inscription above says that this is the tribute of jehu of israel of the omri line we are here at the southern end of the temple mount and the excavations that you can see behind me reveal to us something of the Period from the Iron Age of ancient Israel's history, long before the time of King Herod, a surprising find was made here in 2015 when Ali Matzah discovered more than 30 bullae (now bullae) are the clay impressions left by a seal that would be stamped into the clay with an impression. that it would have the name of a person from that period of history, now in that collection of more than 30 bulls, one was found that bears the name of King Hezekiah.
It is from the mature period of history. The inscription said it belonged to King Hezekiah, son of a king. of Judah, that was a surprising discovery, but some time later, Elliot Massa discovered another intriguing find. Also in that bull collection, about three feet away from the location of King Hezekiah's bull, was another personality from that period of history who bore the name Isaiah and three. hebrew letters that could be reconstructed as the hebrew word for prophet ali matzah believes there is a strong possibility that we are seeing the impression of isaiah the prophet, the counselor, the prophet who encouraged and advised king hezekiah during the time of the assyrian siege in a Recent article published has noted that we now have over 53 different personalities from the Old Testament world that have been confirmed by archeology and these are part of that number.
We read the story of King Sanekareb's invasion of the land of Israel in the Bible around 701 BC. he would besiege the city of jerusalem and king hezekiah and what we have illustrated here is from the assyrian perspective his war machine this is in lakish southwest of jerusalem we can see here the siege ramps that the assyrians had placed here is the assyrian army including slingshots, archers and stormtroopers and we can see here the enormous siege machines that they use to deliver these blows with their battering rams against the walls of this city of Judah as the city falls and these Jews are taken captive, but we know that the king senecarab went to besiege the city of jerusalem where he had king hezekiah caged like a bird now we read in the biblical text of king senecarab's failure to capture the city of jerusalem in many ways this relief shows the same point senecrib certainly managed to capture lakesh But he never took Jerusalem, first of all in the entire Bible there is a theological agenda if the Israelites agree with God God helps them if they sin against God God punish them that is a theological question a theological agenda but if we remove it there are many and This is a matter of debate how many there are but there are many historical kernels embedded in the text.
If you want, you can give yourself some examples. We know that in the year 701 the synagogue king came and conquered Judea and destroyed it. In many cities you have just seen the relief of his destruction, in the city of Lake. Well, we know that he destroyed it, since he says so and the Bible says so and archeology says so. We have no reason to doubt that this event took place. Before Christ, a city that could not be destroyed is Jerusalem. How do we know? because archeology tells us so because the bible tells us so and because he himself tells us so says hezekiah king of jerusalem i kept him like a bird in a cage he was besieged but he couldn't now why did this happen why would such a powerful king not was able to take Jerusalem the Bible tells us why King Hezekiah repented and prayed to God and asked for forgiveness then God intervened and the Assyrians lifted the siege so the Assyrian king tells us the same thing that he did not destroy the city because the Israelites the king did not, the reason is different the king was away from home then there are all kinds of disturbances and his throne is in danger so he has to run back to his city and in fact he fled back after a while he was beheaded and someone else took so what is the core historical in the bible of this story king sinakireb came to judea he conquered this or that city and did not destroy jerusalem that is the historical core the interpretation that is already the agenda By the way, a religious person would tell you, of course, it was God who made that the king of Assyria had to return.
You understand what I'm saying, but basically speaking, this is the event, the historical core and the interpretation that we are in. entrance to the tunnel of hezekiah and the noise that can be heard this is the spring of gihon the gihon means to hasten and it is this torrent of water that was brought to the city by the tunnel diggers of hezekiah 701 b.c. The Assyrian army of the last siege of the city and Hezekiah had commissioned its builders to dig from one end to the other or under the bedrock to create this tunnel more than 500 meters long that would carry the water from the spring to the pool of siloam within the city walls.
He protected the water source from him and to this day You can walk on this journey to the hall pond. Here is a replica of the inscription that was found inside Hezekiah's tunnel, just below us, 20 meters below, it is the same point where Hezekiah's diggers found themselves when they dug from both ends to create the tunnel's water system of Hezekiah and about 10 meters from the exit this inscription was found. In reality, it was only found in the 19th century, but in this archaic Hebrew writing we have the record from the builders' point of view of the work they did in 701 BC.
It describes how they dug tunnels from both ends of the bedrock and when they met in the middle when their beaks met, the water broke through and the Gihon torrent was able to flow into the Salon pond in 1979, one of the most crucial finds. that reveal ancient biblical texts. It was carried out by archaeologist Gabriel Barkai. We excavated funerary caves next to the Presbyterian Church of Saint Andrew of Scotland in Jerusalem that date back to the time of Judah King Josiah in the 7th century BC. time of the prophet Jeremiah in one of the chambers we found a deposit that deposit is the only one in Jerusalem that was found intact among the deposit fines.
We had two small coiled scrolls made of pure silver, by the way, 99 silver, the Israel museum laboratories managed to unroll them and when they called me, I was surprised to see that they are densely covered with ancient Hebrew characters. The placement of the objects within the deposits in the deposit shows that they came with the pottery, which is the oldest found within the deposit, dating back to the 7th century BC, more than that. the paleography the shape of the characters in comparison with other inscriptions uh well dated uh tends to the same date the first visit to the laboratory of the museum of israel I was able to read the first word yud haiv which is the unpronounceable name of the lord that divine name appeared there uh three times and the repetition three times leads us to the priestly blessing in the book of numbers chapter 6 verses 24 to 26 the lord bless you and keep you etc uh which is included in the Jewish Christian prayers until this very day The second day also had another version of the priestly blessing, this time an abbreviated version and in the 1990s with more modern techniques than those that existed in the 80s, we took them out of the museum and reviewed them again, cleaned them again. -I photographed them I restarted them in that new check we had another Bible verse this time uh almost similar to what we find in the book of deuteronomy chapter 7 the great god who keeps his covenant with his lovers and the followers of his commandments chapter 7 in the book from deuteronomy these are the oldest bible verses ever found in the world they predate the very famous dead sea scrolls by centuries we are looking south across the desert towards the dead sea and that means the lowest point on earth now In this microclimate where there is very little humidity very little rain this is a perfect environment in which archaeological remains can be preserved throughout the centuries and in the 20th century there was one of the most important archaeological discoveries of them all the sea scrolls By climbing into one of these caves near the coast of the Dead Sea you can see how these caves were perfect places to hide these manuscripts.
It's dry, it's salty, so these manuscripts could have been hidden here for 2,000 years. In 1947, two Bedouin shepherds made the archaeological discovery of the 20th century. century what they had found were priceless biblical manuscripts from 2000 years ago. The largest collection of these texts was found here in K4 and they include copies of almost all the books of the Old Testament, commentaries on the Old Testament manuals and rules of life for the people who lived here, stored them in these caves to keep them from safely and hide them from the Romans who came to destroy this place in the year 68 AD.
C. the great scroll of Isaiah, the largest scroll found here, provides us with an even older copy of the book. of Isaiah possibly as early as 200 B.C. The importance of these scrolls for our understanding of the Old Testament is enormous, it allows us to say that the copying tradition of the Jewish people has been faithful to the original text since we can compare the Old Testament that we read today with the Old Testament from before the time. of jesus and the tradition of copying is good the manuscripts of the dead sea scrolls tell us a lot about our text of the old testament but who copied these texts it is generally thought that a community is a religious community that lives Here in the desert they were responsible to copy these manuscripts fromOld Testament, but they lived in the time of Jesus and a laugh, so the Essene people will tell us a lot about the world of the first century and the time of Jesus in our next program.
We will explore some of that New Testament background and discover the enormous amount of light that archeology is shedding on the very times in which Jesus lived. So what have we learned from archaeology? Archeology is not so much about testing the Bible and, as we know, I have seen that there are disputes in the world of archeology. Now what archeology does is help us understand that what we read in the Bible fits with what we know about the ancient world, whether its people, its places, its events. Archeology illuminates our reading of Scripture and archeology can sometimes challenge our reading of the Bible, but whatever else it does, we can be sure that archeology is demonstrating that there are firm foundations for our faith.
This is the Sea of ​​Galilee where many of Jesus' events and teachings took place. took place, but are those stories just myths, fairy tales and legends or are they real historical events? The gospels themselves record many details about particular people, particular places and activities that happened on this earth and that means we can prove them. compare what we read in the gospels of Matthew Martin Luke and John with what we see on earth, so come with me and let's take a look at some archeology and see how well we can demonstrate the authenticity of the eyewitness material we can find in the new testament so this is the sea of ​​galilee where many of the events and teachings of jesus took place, but are those stories just myths, fairy tales and legends or are they real historical events?
The gospels themselves record many details about particular people. places and activities that happened on this earth and that means that we can test them, we can compare what we read in the gospels of Matthew Martin Luke and John with what we see on earth. Archeology is not so much about testing the Bible as what archeology does is show us that what we read in the Bible fits with what we know about the ancient world. The Bible is illuminated by archeology. Sometimes our reading of the Bible is challenged. by archeology so come with me and let's take a look at some archeology and see how well we can demonstrate the authenticity of the eyewitness material that we can find in the new testament.
Well here we are deep inside Jerusalem and this is one of the ancient stored water systems in the Roman period and so you can see how this huge cavity would have filled with water and provided water for Jerusalem throughout the summer period . You can still see the plaster on the wall so it is fragmenting in places and peeling off but this again is durable. engineering of the ancient world and a demonstration that Jerusalem as a city is layer upon layer upon layer and we can descend through those layers to discover these remains, these echoes of the ancient past, wherever the Romans went, they would shape the land to their around and leave your impression so we can discover if it is Hadrian's Wall in the north of England or the Colosseum in Rome or here in Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast King Herod would begin the development of this incredible aqueduct it would bring fresh water from Mount Carmel to down to this city by the sea now, as we explore the holy land, we can see place after place where the Romans who came to occupy this land would build magnificent buildings like this and all that means that we can see the impression left on the new world of the testament the world of jesus here we are what looks like a mountain at least from a distance and we can see jerusalem and bethlehem in the hills beyond but in reality it is not a mountain we are standing here it is a man made structure great The king Herod built this.
He reigned from 37 BC. C. until 4 a. C. and he built it as a palace but also as a fortress. This is where he could see the landscape around Bethlehem, but it was protected because it was built like a fortress with its towers and with its walls because Herod was a scared man we call him great king Herod but in reality what we know from the Bible Edison was great not only in construction works and we see many of those construction works that make up monumental architecture to this day on earth. of israel, but we also know him as great in cruelty, we hear in various records including josephus, some of the evil and cruel things he did, he would murder members of his family, he would murder not only enemies but even his own leaders and generals , and that fits with what we know in the gospels we read in the gospel of matthew of his attempt to massacre the children in Bethlehem when he learned of this child born to be king king herod is another of those great characters of the new testament who we know a lot from outside the gospels and what we find fits well with what we read in the bible from this position on the herodian you can see the imposing view and this is where king herod back in 40 b.c.
He won a major battle against the Parthians and that is one of the reasons why, having fled to Rome when he returned here as appointed king by the Romans, he chose this place to build this particular fortress palace, but this would not be the only fortress which built Macares and the current Jordan Masada not far away. from the dead sea and of course also in Jerusalem, King Herod built these palaces partly as ways to protect himself, hide and secure himself because he had so many enemies. Here at Herod we discover how dangerous archeology can be. Ehead Nexo was excavating here and part of his life's work was trying to find the tomb of King Herod and then in 2007 he exposed these monumental ruins along with a tomb and the broken fragments of a beautiful sarcophagus which have been restored and reconstructed and they have revealed to us the final rest. place of king herod unfortunately archeology can also be dangerous work and Netzer himself who was excavating here a few years later was involved in an archaeological accident and died during a fall, which tells us something about the commitment that archeology entails as we search unearth these ancient stories here in herodian there was another great find after the death of king herod this place was used by others who would seek to rule this area of ​​judea and that would include pontius pilate's excavations here in 1968 1969 they discovered what did not appear to be a A very important small bronze signet ring, but just a couple of years ago it was announced that after cleaning it had a Greek Pilate inscription on it, meaning it had belonged to Pontius Pilate, probably worn by one of his civil administrators, so that this is another notable example of how archeology provides direct confirmation of a personality we read about in the gospels here in caesarea we see the mediterranean sea encroaching on what was once a palace but later became the seat of a roman governor and In 1961 archaeologists made a surprising discovery of a stone in the high school.
Use it as a step and we can go and take a look at the inscription that connects us directly to a character from the new testament and here we have a replica of the inscription that was found and we can see very clearly the name of Pontius Pilate, who is prefect of Judea, it is interesting that we read that he was prefect of Judea, later Roman historians would describe Pilate as a procurator, the gospels describe him as a governor, now the Greek word governor is much more close to the word prefect and that tells us that the writers of the new testament really had knowledge of what Pilate was doing at that time.
This is authentic material from the time of Jesus. In this ancient landscape, you can almost hear biblical stories come to life. This is the desert where Jesus would spend 40 days and 40 nights being tempted. it is the area where david would hide and take refuge now the bible calls this the desert wild geologists know it as a pocket desert and it is genuinely a very barren and barren landscape which can actually mean that traces of human activity can be scarce and difficult to record archaeologically, and yet within and among the hills there is an absolute wealth of archaeological discoveries that also shed light on the entire period of biblical history.
The site you can see behind me is Qumran and archaeologists have been excavating here for many years and we have located a site that may well have been originally settled in the 8th century BC. C., it could be one of the cities mentioned in chapter 15 of Joshua, but at the time of the dead sea scrolls there was a community living here, what archaeologists have found includes a scriptorium, a place where manuscripts were copied, They found pottery manufacturing, as well as a refectory and ritual baths, etc. Now the question is what is the relationship between this site and the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves.
The main contender is a group of people called Essenes so what do we know about the Essenes? Thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls we know a lot, we know that this community had rejected much of the worship in the temple of Jerusalem, they saw it as corrupt and from these scrolls we discover many of their beliefs, their theology of philosophy, they had strong eschatological expectations of a final conflict a separation between the children of light and the children of darkness strong messianic views of a coming messiah now despite some fringe theories the dead sea scrolls do not provide us with a direct reference to jesus the reference to a teacher of righteousness is almost certainly a leader of the Qumran community, but what the Dead Sea Scrolls tell us is something from the world of thought, the expectations, the ideas that were in the air at the time of Jesus and it is in this . world that Jesus came and Jesus preached from the arid deserts of the south here on Mount Arbel, we look to the north of the land across the beautiful Sea of ​​Galilee and here of course much of Jesus' ministry took place that we can see . capernaum next to our hearts these are the places where the fishing boats came and went and this is the place where much of the ministry and teaching of jesus took place and the archeology around this northern shore of the sea of ​​galilee is bringing to It re-illuminates much of the world of Jesus' time, looking across the Sea of ​​Galilee from here it seems like such a peaceful place and when we read the gospels in our imagination we often think of this as a place of great tranquility but We know the Galilee has always been very busy with fishing, industry and commerce, collecting taxes in Capernaum, an important trade route here, so when Jesus taught the crowds, he taught people who were facing real pressures and problems. , in other words, taught people like us to really understand the world.
On Jesus we depend quite a bit on the New Testament, so we have come to Cambridge and a Tyndale House where we can discuss with one of the leading historians and scholars of the New Testament, Dr. peter williams, the reliability of the gospels, what level of literacy was there in the first century and in terms of transmitting this material, if they relied more on oral traditions, what I would say is that everyone has access to writing in terms of what they see on coins, in architecture, so it's not surprising if people have some passive ability to assimilate things, but that doesn't have to be the main way that the teaching of Jesus is transmitted to the rabbis .
Often things were oral, but that doesn't mean everything is wrong and unreliable or oral and super memory, which Sometimes people go down those two routes because actually Jesus chooses 12 disciples and their main job is to learn everything they say. he says and repeats himself, so each of the four gospels records Jesus sometimes repeating things, you can hear him give the same or similar speech on multiple occasions. You can also talk about it later in your lesson with the rabbi. Sometimes they can be heard discussing the meaning of a saying of Jesus as they walk. What does this mean about rising from the dead?
Actually, that's part of the whole. The way the disciples receive things means that we are not asking them to memorize everything at once, nor does the tradition only have to come through one person, it actually comes through several people because they have been taught for three . years the four gospels show that they are based on eyewitness evidence to begin with, all the oldest manuscripts have the names Matthew Mark Luke and John On and Matthew and John are from the 12 disciples and Mark and Luke would not be well known if so out. They weren't for the gospels, so there's no reason for someone to paste the mark of the name and luke on those gospels unless it's actually theirs.
Luke is said to have traveled with Paul in the book of Acts, he will say that we did this and you can actually trace some of his travels with Paul Mark is said to get information from Peter, who is a disciple. Yes, when you open the gospels and lookalmost any page, you can start to wonder what knowledge the writers show and they clearly show local knowledge knowledge of where Jesus was, so right when they mention cities, when they name geographical features and talk about where the earth rises and falls and travel times , they understand everything well, they know Jerusalem, they know the bodies of water, they also know local customs when they refer to whether they do it well when they refer to the coins they do it well local weights and measures dry measures liquid measures you can see that kind of things that You know the local religious debates of who's social stratification the right kind of names for people and that's happening in all four gospels, it's a striking feature, so what are the oldest known manuscripts of the new testament?
We have manuscripts dating back to the second century for the New Testament and people debate which ones are precisely the oldest. There are two from Juan. gospel one in Oxford one in Manchester, which are among the first and they are partial manuscripts, so they only have part of the gospel, but it's a bit like auditing where you go in and check certain fragments of the fragments in the stack. We continue with what we find for the rest and then we have longer manuscripts from the 3rd century and complete manuscripts from the 4th for the New Testament.
Archaeologists have been excavating here in Capernaum since the 1960s and you can see it in this typical black basalt stone. the streets and houses of the town where jesus walked now as an important place this had a synagogue it had a roman garrison here with a centurion we are not far from the coast of galilee and also a trade route this was an important place for the roman empire the large church structure that you can see on stilts behind me marking perhaps one of the most important sites ever found in capernaum matthew 9 verse 1 we read that jesus made his home here in capernaum now an archaeologist excavated here in capernaum they made this discovery of a room in a house that was being treated as special since the mid-1st century AD.
This particular room was expanded, turned into a small church, perhaps the oldest church in Christian history, and then eventually turned into this more octagonal one. structure with a dome perhaps a bit like the dome in the rock that we can see in Jerusalem now this Byzantine church structure was here for a reason why it dates back to the middle of the first century AD. One particular house in Capernaum was being revered as special, so tradition suggests that there is good reason to think that this was Peter's home in Capernaum. This is where Jesus made his base in Galilee.
Jesus taught and ministered in the synagogue. capernaum and this beautiful white limestone synagogue is located in the position where we know that the synagogue had been built by the Roman centurion who is based here with his garrison, but this is around the 4th century, 5th century, it is a Byzantine synagogue later and this beautiful white limestone is not exactly the same as the black basalt that we know Capernaum was. built so how do we know there was a synagogue here at the time of Jesus? How do we know where Jesus taught well? Actually, we can take a look at the side of the synagogue and we see the evidence, but we can see here very clearly that it is built on foundations that don't quite line up.
The black stone is the foundation of an earlier synagogue that would have been here in the time of Jesus. Jesus worked many. miracles here he taught here he healed the man who had a wrinkled hand we know he healed the servant of the Roman centurion who helped pay for the construction of this synagogue the Galilee is volcanic and that is why this type of stone is the local stone that could be used for work of construction, we have just visited the first century city of capernaum and now that we are on the shore of the lake, not far from capernaum, we have to ask ourselves the question: what is it that attracts all these crowds to visit this city of all


All over the world for decades people have come, for most of them it will not be the archaeological ruins now what attracts people is the magnetic personality of Jesus that continues for thousands of years attracting men and women. You know there's something. significant about the teachings of jesus about the miracles he worked about the things he said that connect you and me all these years later, so despite all the interest in archeology we can't lose sight of the intriguing man from galilee who made such an impact on the world we are looking at magdala this is by tradition the birthplace of mary magdalene and in 2009 archaeologists began to excavate what we now know is the first century city of magdala we have the synagogue with a beautiful image of the Menorah inscribed in stone along with evidence of ritual bars fishing industry and commerce The city of Magdala was destroyed by the Romans in 67 AD. during the great jewish revolt the jewish historian josephus described their downfall when the romans mounted a naval attack to bypass the strong defensive walls of magdala and many of their fishing boats were sunk during the battle jesus said: i will make you fishers of men and many of the Disciples of Jesus were fishermen by trade.
We think of Peter, James and John. It is not difficult to imagine them plying their trade here in the north. On the coast of the Sea of ​​Galilee, it is also not surprising that there is a large amount of archaeological evidence of that fishing trade; in fact, not far from here, in the kibbutz, two brothers found in 1986 a ship dating from the first century buried in the mud after it had been excavated and preserved very carefully with chemicals, it was possible to understand the construction industry naval ship from the time of Jesus and have a very good idea of ​​the type of ship Jesus would have sailed on at that time.
I think this is an interesting detail when The Jewish tax collectors came to Jesus and the disciples to collect the half shekel tax that each Jew was expected to pay for the upkeep of the temple each year, they came to Peter and he said, Well, We don't have money and it was. to jesus and jesus said go and catch a fish and in the mouth like a fish there was a coin that was enough for the tax of peter and his teacher and that would have been a one shekel coin now the authorities in the temple in jerusalem demanded this tax to pay in silver coins minted in the city of Tire and this is one with an eagle on this side and Greek writing telling us that it comes from Tire and telling us that it was made in the year 18 on the other The side is the head of the god of Tyre, the god Melkhart, these coins were made of very high quality silver, so when the authorities at the temple melted them down they got a better result.
There you see that the gospel narrative reflects the situation accurately, the coin was enough. for both of them there was once a storm on this lake we read about it in the gospel of mark and jesus in mark chapter 4 verse 39 he rebuked the storm he said shut up, shut up and we read that it immediately calmed down and the waves We were still now. I love archeology and I love the fact that we can find evidence for what we believe, but I know that there are some things that go beyond the evidence. You can't prove that a miracle like this happened, but that's where faith comes in archeology. we with good reasons to trust this eyewitness material but by faith we believe in its meaning you know, the disciples when they saw that miracle in mark chapter 4 verse 41 said who is this that even the wind and the waves obey him well you know I want to follow Jesus with my life because I have discovered that he is who he claimed to be the son of God.
Blessed are the poor in spirit because theirs is the kingdom of heaven. With these words Jesus began the most famous sermon in history somewhere in In this region, the Sermon on the Mount has impacted lives and societies for centuries. Archeology can help demonstrate much of the reliability of the Bible, but it cannot prove that Jesus spoke these words. The proof is found in the changed lives, the transformed ones. people you know when I hear those words I think about the impact they have had in my life in the lives of friends I have known and when I look back in history I see how the words of Jesus have challenged societies, kings and emperors Jesus. has had an impact that has demonstrated its reality in john chapter 13 verse 35 he said by this all men will know that you are my disciples who love one another and it is that transforming word of jesus that proves to me that he is who he said okay here we are in beit shawn o roman civilis and if you look behind me across the columned street towards the green hill that rises this is a paradise for archaeologists on that green hill it is an ancient tel there are actually the remains of 15 consecutive cities of the ancient world now, that means that this is a place where war and destruction has been seen, we actually find in this particular remains that date back to the canine period and then to a very significant period of Egyptian control over the region, but then a significant level of destruction from around 1150 BC. and the Philistines came to occupy Beit Shaan.
It was later that King David took this city and it became part of the Israelite kingdom, but then the Assyrians destroyed the city in 732 BC. and that's how the story continued, but you know. If we look outwards, we can see the remains of the New Testament period from the Hellenists and then the Romans. This city was rebuilt as Sidopolis, so the remains that surround us are Hellenistic and Roman. Now this city was originally Hellenistic and was later rebuilt. when Pompeii captured this area for the Romans and in 63 BC. C. became part of the Roman province of Judea, it is an important region in the gospels we read about Jesus entering this region, but he never entered this city.
There are nine other cities that make it up. The decapolis is a loose confederation of ten cities in total, the other nine are all on the far bank of the Jordan River, but now we are in citapolis, why didn't Jesus come to this city that he passed through, but this would have been a pagan roman city? city ​​this is a city that would have been different from the Jewish religious culture of Jesus. It sheds a lot of light on the contrast we have here between the Jews and the Gentiles, close together but divided, so you can see what an archaeologist is like. paradise with layer upon layer of ancient city, in fact, even beyond the time of the new testament, this became a Byzantine city and was only destroyed in 749 AD.
Due to a massive earthquake in this region you can see the broken pillars as a result and after Of course, this city was abandoned until it was lost, it seems like history until archaeologists got involved. Well, we are here on the south wall of the temple mount and archaeological excavations have revealed the staircase from the time of King Herod that would have given access and exit. The temple itself now may have felt like it was a bit uncomfortable when you were going down the stairs and the reason for this is because this is a demonstration of Herodian crowd control and since the period of King Herod they knew how to control crowds.
I have worshiped here in the temple and in order to access or exit the temple, as thousands would have been coming and going, these steps are deliberately designed, one wide and one shallow, to slow down movement, prevent an avalanche, mass panic and injuries that could follow now this is one of the few places where we can definitely say that Jesus would have walked. You see the steps particularly eroded. These are from the time of Jesus and we know that Jesus worshiped in the temple here, so we can actually walk around. The steps where Jesus walked here at the southern end of the temple mount, partially obscured by later construction work, are half a section of what was once a double door that, attached to the triple door further down the south wall of the temple mount, gave access and exit.
From the temple mount itself we can be sure that Jesus would have passed through this gate. This is part of the important way we know that the Jews at the time of Jesus, after a ritual bath in the mikvehs below, would have won. access the structure of the temple mount and enter the very presence in the temple courts. This is one of the Jewish mikvehs, a ritual bathing pool that was used for purification, and there is a division in the staircase so you can walk through one. side and then walk back on the other side and this would make you richly pure then by entering the surroundings of the temple now on the day of Pentecost we read about 2,000 people being baptized in Acts chapter 2 and sometimes people wonder how the hell Could a merchant have baptized 2,000 people?
Well, we know thanks to the mikvehs that there was a lot of water and capacity here for thousands of people to be baptized in a single day and that was the origin of what we consider baptism in the Christian world. church, then you're looking at a street here on the southwest corner of the temple mount with what would have been shops on the left side, a large arch spanningfrom Robbins arch to the left side of the street and then These fallen stones that you see, these are the stones that fell as a result of the Roman legion that Titus used to demolish the temple and the structure of the temple mount.
It would have been a huge job, but it was very important for the Romans to try. to erase the memory of the Jewish presence in this city back in 1968 the street level was much higher than it is today what you are seeing is the result of decades of archaeological work that has returned us to the lair that exposes the street from the time of Jesus, this is Herodian and that means that we now have archaeological evidence of where the temple was in the time of Jesus and of many of the events that we read about in the gospels, and if there is any conclusive evidence for us to look at right next to me, is this stone, this is a replica of a stone that was originally part of the top of the southwest corner of the temple mount and it has an inscription from this second temple period that tells us that this is the trumpet .
In the stone there is a small niche where a person may have stood and from the inscription we know that this is where they held the horn to the shepherd that gave them a call to worship as they blew the horn and invited the Jewish people to worship their god. here in the temple, when I first visited this site, I was actually deep in the earth. A chance discovery in 2004 led archaeologist Eli Shukron to excavate what we now know is a mikveh, a ritual washing pool from the time of Jesus and identified with the The Pool of Siloam is enormous, if it could be completely excavated it would be the size of two Olympic swimming pools and we know that it was in use at the time of Jesus, in fact, in John chapter 9 we read a very interesting story where a man was born.
The blind man was miraculously healed by Jesus, he put mud in the man's eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. When the man did so, he could see that the miraculous healing took place here in this very pool. This newly excavated Herodian street is actually a connecting path that would have led from the hall pool to the temple site and this is a tunnel for us but it would have been a street in Jesus' time so again we are walking a path that with some confidence we can I can say that Jesus would have walked and certainly in the time of Jesus this would have been a pilgrim path a route to the temple that we are looking at over this ancient Jewish cemetery here on the Mount of Olives still in use to this day Today it is estimated that more than 70,000 people are buried here but we know that this is evidence of the continued Jewish presence in this land, there are tombs here of relatively recent prime ministers and Old Testament prophets and it is considered that for three thousand years there have been burials in this region on the mount of olives here we are on the mount of olives with the temple mount in Jerusalem behind us this is the place associated with the anointing in fact the talmud jewish tradition calls this the hill of anointing Because these olives were used to anoint the king and the high priest we read in 2 Samuel 15 30 that David came to pray here among the olive trees and then, as is known, Jesus often retired to this mountain to pray and this is where he came the night before his crucifixion and so for 2000 years Christian pilgrims have come to this place again to pray and remember him we are near the beginning of the via dolordora the path of pain we cannot say exactly this is where Jesus walked but this is a path which has changed a little over time but marks several stations or points along the way as Jesus carried his cross we move from the site of his arrest and trial to the site that marks the location of Golgotha ​​and the site of the tomb where they now placed the body of Jesus.
We cannot be absolutely sure of the route Jesus took, and of course in reality the steps Jesus walked would have been somewhere below the level we are at now, there are still good archaeological reasons to think that many of these places certainly belong to the 1st century. and they certainly reflect what we read in the gospels to the left of my part of this wall is rebuilt on the foundations of what was the fortress Antonia now beyond this wall is the temple mount and this fortress It was built by the Romans to look over the Temple Mount so they could see what was going on and then as we continue down the road we will reach the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and there is good reason to think that when Helen had this church built in the 4th century It was because of the good local traditions that they understood and remembered that this was the place of the crucifixion and of Of course, the resurrection it is not often that you can walk on the roof of a church, but here we are on the roof of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, behind me rises the rotunda that covers the area that we mark as the tomb of Jesus where they placed the body of Jesus and the smaller dome next to me this marks the chapel of Saint Helena so we are closer to Golgotha ​​this is the church which is very confusing to visit several groups of churches from different denominations share the building so there is a lot of hustle and bustle but we need to look beyond the religious structure to see that we are on a very old site.
This is a church building dating back to the 4th century built by Helen, Constantine's mother, and there is good reason to think that this is an authentic site and here you get more of the feeling that this is an abandoned Roman stone quarry, As an abandoned stone quarry, this is exactly the type of location we would expect outside the city walls for the Jews to use for burial and even when the Romans took the city to be used for the execution of the crucifixion, for What we're looking at is a church building that Helen built here for a reason in the 4th century and when her Roman legion excavated what had been buried in the rubble she found a site that authentically fits what we would expect from the biblical record, there are good reasons. to think that this was in fact the site where Jesus was executed and then, a little further down the quarry, the tombs that would include the tomb where they placed Jesus' body.
Here we can see what we call the aedicule or the little house and this little chapel, essentially it was built on the location of a rock cup tomb from the 1st century, when Helena excavated this area. It was thought to be the tomb where Jesus had been buried. Now we cannot say that it has been destroyed and rebuilt over many years, it has experienced its own levels of destruction. Archaeologists did some restoration work just a couple of years ago and it's very clear that inside that chapel there are definitely remains from a very early period. tomb from a time before this church of the holy sepulcher now we are not going to enter the aedicule but we can go and take a look at some tombs from the 1st century that is how we know that we are in an authentic burial site at the time of Jesus, which What we're looking at here is called cochin, this is a type of grave burial, so they buried them in this area and what they would do is place their body outside, it would decompose in a year or two. and then place the bones in an ossuary, a box for bones that would fit into these niches that you can see in the walls, so originally this was part of a whole area of ​​tombs in this section of the abandoned Roman stone quarry in acts chapter 2. he read that peter preached to the crowd on the day of pentecost and that would have been happening somewhere near these steps and peter preached that day reminding the crowd that they knew where david's body had been buried king david it says in verse 29 he died he was buried in his tomb he is still here to this day however jesus peter says in verse 31 god would not let his body rot skeptics used to say that jesus, having been a crucified man, would not have In 1968, archaeologists found a bone box in Jerusalem from the 1st century that contained the skeletal remains of a crucified man. johannan's skeletal remains showing how the crucifixion was carried out included the very gruesome discovery of an iron nail in the heel that even had a piece of olive wood still attached to the cross on which he had been crucified, so we can be sure that the crucified people received proper burials when people loved them and took care of their remains jesus loved by many would have received a decent burial but 40 days later peter was able to declare we do not know where the body is we know where the body of david but not far from here the tomb where jesus had been laid was empty the bones had disappeared because jesus had risen from the dead we returned to caesarean section and its artificial port one of the first in the whole world the romans built it from the time of King Herod and used the type of cement that would set incredible construction technology underwater, but we read in the Bible that it was here that Peter brought the gospel to Cornelius in Acts chapter 10.
And in Acts chapter 25, Paul was under arrest here before setting sail for Rome and ultimately it is from here. that the gospel would reach the ends of the earth and we know that having explored this holy land many of the archaeological remains confirm that this gospel message was based on a true story and therefore it is a real Jesus who we talk about today whose message was has spread. to the ends of the earth you

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