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

May 22, 2022
going up to one of these caves near the coast of the dead sea you can see how these caves were perfect places to hide these scrolls it is dry it is salty and these scrolls could be hidden here for 2000 years we are walking along the ancient canaanite dry tunnel that gave them access to water even during the time of abraham this is the route the israelites would have taken from the desert through the jordan river past the fortified city of jericho and on to the promised land this is how we know we are in an authentic burial site at the time of jesus what we are looking at here is called cooking have you ever visited an ancient ruin or held an ancient object and wonder what stories i could tell you well here we are in jerusalem looking across the valley of kidron and this city tells us so much about the ancient

world

and that is the

world

of the

bible

the world where the biblical events occurred and at a time of history where there is so much skepticism so much doubt about whether the

bible

talks about history or mere myth and legend we have archeology archeology is not so much about proving the bible what archeology does is show us that what we read in the bible fits with what we know of the ancient world the bible is illuminated by archeology sometimes our reading of the bible is challenged by archeology so come with me on a journey here to the ancient near east to hear what archeology tells us and help us to understand that bible story that there is something about going to israel that makes me feel at home i think it is the connection to a bible story jerome called it the fifth gospel and it is how the fifth gospel brings our lives our bible reading i have I have spent most of my life interested in the land of the Bible and whether it is taking students to visit the Holy Land or participating in archeological digs, s It always amazes me how much more is being found. t sheds light on the world of the bible and in this program i want to invite you to come on a journey with me as we explore that land and see what archeology can tell us we are in a dile and this is an archeological dig i have been involved for several years and that word say 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 layers upon layers of cities and civilizations spanning centuries, so for archaeologists they form a kind of time capsule that, as you dig through the layers, you dig through the history of jerusalem, the holy city loved by jews,

chris

tians and muslims and yet However, also the scene of so much conquest and destruction the Babylonians the Assyrians the Romans have all brought destruction to this city leaving us with layer upon layer of history as the c The city has been rebuilt over time and that leaves us four thousand years of history to discover as we descend from the temple mount we are looking at what appears to be the modern city of jerusalem but is actually the city of david this It goes back to the Jebusite period and then to King David. and the oldest period old testament israelite settlement in jerusalem we made our way underground to the most unlikely place for a defining moment in jerusalem history about 3000 years ago the israelite king david conquered the small ancient canaanite city on top of a hill of jebus and here he unified the tribes of israel by establishing a capital city we are walking along the old canaanite dry tunnel that gave them access to water it was always key to know that the water was accessible and that is why they are tunnels like these the ones that exist below these ancient cities and this would have given them access even during the time of abraham melchizedek and it shows this continued occupation of the city of salem jebus jerusalem throughout the entire gh centuries now the jebusites when they were sealed against the 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 to it biblical account of how king david captured the city from the jebusites it was through the water well that his men crept into the city and what an incredible feat it must have been to scale this well to have a secret entrance to the ancient city of jebus in the depths of the city of david we came to this pool that was excavated 3800 years ago so we are talking about the canaanite period ok here we are at the excavations of the city of david every year i come back it changes as archaeologists continue peeling away the layers of history and eliot matzah, who excavated here, has given good reason to date this massive stepped stone structure to the 10th century BCE.
sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson
C. and he believes that it would be explained as part of the foundations of a monumental building. e 10th century the time of king david monumental construction 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 a number of these bulla clay impressions have been found here with the names of two characters that 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 archaeological record and both appear in the biblical text the view here of the jerusalem model is if we are standing on the mount of olives looking at not just the city of jerusalem but the temple mount as it would have been and this would be the herodian temple second temple period to your left is the treasury the stowa real and on the right hand side look at the impressive fortress of antonia built in honor of mark anthony this allowed the roma we look over the temple mount to see what the jews were doing when they were worshipping we are looking at the western wall with the golden dome behind it on the site of the temple mount now of course what you are seeing on the western wall is not it is actually part of the temple wall it is part of the retaining wall of the temple mount that the temple once stood on what you are really looking at is the peak of mount moriah which would be marked by the golden dome this is where abraham led to Isaac and then many Years later, after King David took the city of Jerusalem, it would become the place that King Solomon would create as the location for the temple.
sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson

More Interesting Facts About,

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

Now the first temple would stand until 586 BC. When the Babylonians came and destroyed it, but when the Jews returned, he would build a smaller temple now that King Herod would significantly enlarge the temple shortly before the birth of Jesus and essentially the structure of the temple mount would be extended and would expand to include other buildings constructions that would remain until 70 AD. when this time the romans destroyed the temple, after that there was a brief period with a roman temple 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 still function as holy places for muslims so here we are standing on the side of the temple mount it's quite a politically sensitive place because of course it is also very important for Muslims. people and this is the golden dome that marks the sanctuary which is almost certainly the site of the holy of holies this would be where the temple once stood now all around us it is

evidence

of herodian spread due to political sensitivities surrounding the mount no archaeological work has been done on the mount itself, but in 2004 archaeologist gabriel barkai started the temple mount screening project, this was in response to ti sands from tons of rubble dumped in the kidron valley as result of construction work carried out by the authority that administers the temple mount itself.
sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson
We went to talk to him to get more information. First of all, the temple mount occupies approximately one third of the old city of jerusalem it is the largest religious complex in the ancient world besides 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 fragment of 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 hand in 1999 a major atrocity took place the islamic trust the trek began digging underground the temple mount a bulldozer has appeared on the temple mount where even a toothbrush h is a tool too large to carry out excavations in a site that had never been excavated before, so they removed it from the ski southeast of the temple mount approximately 9,000 tons of earth and dumped it into the nearby Kidron Valley.
sifting the evidence the world of the bible parts 1 and 2 dr chris sinkinson
We started the project in 2004. We have among the finds many objects that cover a span of uh about 15,000 years from hunter gatherers in the epipolitical period to modern times about somewhere between 15 and 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 BCE. C. we have

evidence

that the temple mount was an impressive center of official and religious activity from the 10th century B.C. this was considered rubbish but of course it is not rubbish at all amongst all the stones and shards there is pottery there are coins there are bones there is evidence of the occupant on the temple mount over the centuries and therefore of this apparent rubbish we have a huge amount of data information showing us about the presence of the Israelites in and around Jerusalem and the temple on the temple mount in the Kidron valley, you see the olive trees and terraces that mark the ancient farming here and then on the hillside this is the east wall of the temple mount compound the golden gate you can see behind me this is actually from the muslim period it is bricked up by tradition as a way of keeping out 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 wall is te of the temple mount and as you can see so many different types of stones it's a mosaic now actually we're standing at a pretty significant point in the 19th century charles warren id etified this as a scene it's a joining uh the stones in the left side of this junction are Herodian second herodian temple period from just before the time of jesus birth on the right side the stones are hasmonean now that is early that is second century because sometimes you will hear a debate about the location of the temple was here it was further down the valley it was somewhere else you know we can be pretty sure about the location of the temple because archaeologists have been able to explore and study in pretty meticulous detail the location of these stones and that's 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 go to pray and the reason Why this site is so important is tradition that the Jews won't actually go and stand on the temple mount itself, but this section of the western wall is as close as you can get to where the temple stands. of Solomon and the second Herodian term.
Once standing now, that also means that this is one of the most contested areas in the entire world on the temple mount due to the religious sensibilities that surround it in terms of our understanding of the ancient world. We have so much material that is in this Uniform Script 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 that we call Sumerian, which is not related to any other known language in the world and the Babylonians who were also living in Babylon along with the Sumerians adapted it for their 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 then they started making notes in Babylonia on clay tablets the word cuneiform simply means wedge-shaped and is the name that was applied to the Babylonian writing a as these scribes wrote faster and faster and the original images disintegrated into a series of strokes so now we have hundreds of thousands of these cuneiform tablets alan i know you made a very important discovery yourself in the british museum and that it's what we call the epic of atrahasis, can you tell us how this was found?
I was working in the museum and looking for a particular type of tablet, I came across a cabinet that had odds and ends and two unusually large tablets, so I looked at them and immediately realized that they were literature texts and that these two tablets are part of the Atrahasis epic that narrates the creation of humanity and the great deluge were written around 1635 B.C. c.according to the current chronology they were copied from older tablets because in one place the scribe has written broken it means that this copy was damaged how long before that it was written we do not know the poem is very interesting because in many ways it is parallel to the narration In genesis, tear down your house, build a boat, put your family and animals in it. and the great flood came all mankind turned to clay the poem says that except for those on this ship there are some differences the main difference is that atrahasis is a polytheistic story and the hebrew narrative has only one god many people speak hebrew well the narrative is copied from the Babylonian i think the differences are such that they are more likely to 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 river jordan passing through the fortified city of jericho and then on to the promised land jericho this is the oldest continuously occupied city in the whole world there is evidence dating back 10 thousand years 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 it was a fortified town it was an obstacle for their entry into the land p The archaeological record has been the subject of much controversy for decades.
The original excavations revealed the fallen walls of a fortified town that seemed to fit what we read about in the Bible. Later excavations, particularly under Kathleen Kenyon, suggested that it was already a ruin at the time of the discovery. exodus now the debate continues It is true that there has been more recent evidence to suggest that this city was actually occupied around 1400 BC. C., which would be approximately the time the Bible suggests the exodus and conquest took place. However, other archaeologists will date the exodus a little later, around 1200 BC. case it seems that the evidence of the destroyed city we read about in the bible has yet to be found, its a good example of how archeology is subject to interpretation, debate and discussion, sometimes we just have to say wait and see here at tel hatsore we are at the largest archaeological site in the holy land excavations here have been 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 between the Canaanite people and that is clearly in evidence in archeology this was the main city the main city and that will help us because when we look at the archaeological evidence Once we can see what that meant when the Israelites got here and when they had to deal with the Canaanite peoples who lived on 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 the archaeologists excavated here they made an amazing discovery that connects to the biblical story here in the palace of the king of hatsor the archaeologists found a huge layer of destruction level ash and that included these stones that had cracked and it is estimated that cracked stone like this would take temperatures around 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit if the saw had been destroyed in a huge conflagration and the question is who destroyed Hatsor and to answer that question we can ask archaeologists now who did it this is a very very difficult question, but because no one left an inscription on the king, so everything is destroyed like many other kings did, so the only way you can do it is what I believe. s by way of elimination number one is the egyptians the days of ramsay is the second now ramses the second left hundreds of documents if he had destroyed hats or said anything he destroyed this place and that place somewhere else not a word about his soul ever you can claim this document was not preserved ok but egyptologists tell us he was not in the region during this period he was not here babylon is too far away the stockings were on the decline could not have done it philistines who were in the region they were not interested in the land they were interested in the coast and they are very prominent in their pottery every student can tell you right away this is a philistine butcher among the millions of poachers we found in frazol there is no philistine portrait so who is left? they protest allies the early israelites until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they did not here at the site of tel dan archaeologists have found the oldest complete adobe arch found anywhere in the ancient near east it is a beautiful construction and we know it worked in the 18th century a.
C. now that brings us 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 into the ancient city that at that time did not his name was dan but would have been known as laish the reason the arch has been preserved so well 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 part of it of this filler and when they do, we'll see an arc from that period of the patriarchs, who knows what's still waiting to be disbanded. covered this magnificent gateway is part of the site of tel dan now we read in the bible that when israel divided the land in the book of joshua they settled the land according to tribal allotments and the danites were supposed to live on the mediterranean coast in the coastal plain, but we know that the Philistines were there and threatened the Israelites, so the Danites moved north and conquered this town which had been known as the city of Lais and became the northernmost town 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. Tel Dan made a major discovery as part of the fill rubble that builders had used in the ancient world with broken sections of an ancient inscription and this Tur inscription turned out to give a direct reference to a king of Israel and the house of David, this it 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 real historical figure and what really happened is that the tribes of israel were agrarian communities living in small towns and in the time of david and the old world we have a kingdom which means people move to live in the cities and you have a new social organization we can dig the social uh it changes over time and actually the Archeology shows that in the 12th and 11th centuries B.C.
C. we have small towns. About 400 small towns were found in the hill country in the mountains of Hebron, Jerusalem and in Samaria and what happened afterwards. We have 45 cities and the big question is when did fortified cities first appear amazing care we found a fortified city that is a carbon dating of oxford university to the early 10th century bc. we have the time of the executive of king david then we have a fortified city in judah from 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 it comes from the biblical text but coming from oxford university and this really changed the picture people can't miss the results of rebecca's excavations we found an inscription 2008 and it was published in 2009 later we found another inscription so we have two inscriptions from hebrew our ostrich hebrew cafe in the large inscription with 70 letters you can see the letters but understanding the world and sentences is almost impossible since archeology involves probabilities can you give us an idea what you think that may be referring to inscription?
It is very difficult to know, but there are two key words that are really amazing 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 we both have a judge and we have a king and this is amazing the second inscription we discovered is not least it was engraved on a jar before shooting and it says the name is this name was never found before it is not written in any biblical text and it didn't appear in any inscriptions before, so it's a new name for the ancient Near East, but the name ishbal, meaning 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, it is really a typical 10th century BC name. C. and if it says if this name is preserved in the biblical text it means that the biblical text has historical memories of the 10th century BC the time of David they were already beginning to have a kingdom if you really look at the archaeological discoveries you see that he was a small king om in jerusalem and maybe one day walking around 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 were the second most important city in judah and we went to lagrish and we dug into lagrish and indeed found new fortifications that were not known before and radiocarbon dating again from oxford university shows us that this city was built in the late 10th century bc.
C., reason why Rebecca in the time of David is the beginning of the 10th century B.C. C. 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 he is the son of solomon and the grandson of david and if you take the biblical chronology it was about 80 years after David and indeed that is also what early 10th century and late 10th century radocarbon painting shows, so we have evidence of King David's existence, but what about k? ing Solomon given his unified kingdom the building works the wealth where is the real evidence of the existence of this king well here in hatzor we see this magnificent gateway and this is identified as Solomonic architecture it is interesting in one of the kings chapter 9 verse 15 we read that Solomon built the fortified cities of Megiddo Hatsor and Gaza.
Now these gateways are identified as Solomonic, but in more recent years there has been quite a bit of debate in archaeology. Can we really identify them as from the 10th century or do they 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 do this type of building work the unique gates six chambers two large towers much wealth and planning went into doors like this ok to find out if these are really from the 10th century let's talk to the excavators involved in the discovery of telhatsu i was there when the door was excavated write report volume two page three you can read it that the date of the door is the century 10 and it is decided at the point based on the stratigraphy and the typology of the pottery that is why ahroni agreed with adin dating the gate to the 10th century then yadin came and said that we have exactly similar megiddo and gesell gates and in the book of kings when summarizing the construction activities of king solomon says that if king solomon builds hatzo megiddo and gazebo here again we have an illustration from the biblical text 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 uh now we know i also said all dogs have four legs, but not all animals with four legs are dogs, so every building with such a plan is not necessarily from the 10th century of the days of Solomon because we have similar buildings in the 9th century and similar similar buildings in the 8th century, but these three are the four-legged dogs because they are all from the 10th century.
Excavations here at megiddo have revealed more than 20 different cities, one on top of the other, stretching across the corridors. They are history that you see here. in megiddo we have a commanding position overlooking the valley of jezreel and this is the marist road the way of the sea all the ancient empires came through here in this part of the world we are at a junction point between europe and 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 archeology this is where archeology could develop its abilities to understand the strata how one layer on top of another gives us insight from the events that took place here the first 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 gates were understood to be solomonian are stables that could have been used for horses if there was a chariot detachment located here, in fact, a seal belonging to the servant of Jeroboam was found here, all this indicates thatalthough archeology will continue to dispute the exact dating it nonetheless fits with these Biblical periods in history, we are standing at the base of one of four massive towers which formed part of a fortified gateway and this has been identified as the entrance to the capital city of the people of gesher the gashrites were not israelites but were allies on the border now we know and can be precise about the dates when the assyrian king tigalath palisa came through here he destroyed this city after a massive siege in 732 BC and having taken the city he deliberately destroyed the towers in fact they poured oil on these towers when they burned them, we even have the clinker, the remnants of that period of destruction, king david married the dau. ghter of the king of gesher but this would not have been the gateway king david knew this would have been built a hundred years after david's time now we have been looking for the gateway period of david and the united monarchy the The problem was that a new gateway was usually imagined to be built on top of the remains of an old one and if the Davidic period gateway was below this one we would never find it, but test probes show that we didn't. there is a gatehouse under this particular section of the tel, so last year's excavations a little further to the side of this gate and a little further down have now uncovered a gate with associated remains showing that it was in operation during the time of king david so we can expect in the coming years to expose more and more of the location of the city of gesher just as it was in the time of david we are here at the high place of dan during the time of king solomon there was a united monarchy after solomon the kingdom split in two there was roboam who continued in the kingdom of judah but jeroboam became king of a northern kingdom and he had a problem how he was going to stop the kings israelites since returning to jerusalem in judea to worship god well as an answer to that problem in one of kings chapter 12 we read that he built alternative worship centers one in bethel one in dan and here in dan archaeo The logs have been found since the 9th century BC the high place the altar that was built by jeroboam can be seen behind me the metal structure is a reconstruction based on the plan and one of the broken horns from the corner of the altar the size and scale of this place of worship also there is a sanctuary temple an alternative to jerusalem and all this speaks of that time of the beginning of a divided monarchy we have inscriptions especially of the kings of assyria both on clay tablets and mo in stone monuments they erected that sometimes refer to military campaigns against israel, let's move on to the black obelisk of shamanism iii which was found during excavations by henry loud at a place now called nimrod, which is about 25 miles south of nineveh on the tigris river which was an assyrian capital city 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 had put up this stone monument we call it 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 he is paying tribute and the assyrian inscription above says this is the tribute of jehu of israel from the omri line we are here at the southern end of mount del temple and the excavations you can see behind me reveal something to us from the iron age period of ancient israeli history long before the time of king herod u n amazing find here in 2015 when ali matzah discovered over 30 bulla now bulla are the clay impressions left by a seal that would be stamped into the clay with an impression that would have the name of a person from that period in history now in that collection of more than 30 bulla one was found with the name of king hezekiah it is from the mature period of history the inscription says it belongs to king hezekiah son of has king of judah now that was an amazing discovery but some time late r elliot Massa discovered another intriguing find as well in that bull collection about three feet away from King Hezekiah's location.
The Bull was another personality from that period of history, it bore the name of Isaiah and three Hebrew letters that could be reconstructed as the Hebrew word because the prophet ali matzah believes that this is a strong possibility that we are looking at the impression of isaiah the prophet the counselor the prophet who encouraged and advised king hezekiah during the time of the assyrian siege a recently published article has pointed out 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 the invasion of the king sanekareb to 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 is in the lakish southwest of jerusalem, we Here you can see the siege ramps that the assyrians had placed .
Here is the Assyrian army, including the slingshots, the archers, and the stormtroopers, and we can see here the huge siege engines that they use to deliver these blows with their battering rams against the walls of this city in the heights of Judah. while the city falls and these Jews are taken captive, but we know that king senecarab went on to besiege the city of jerusalem where he had king hezekiah caged like a bird now we read in the biblical text of the failure of king senecarab to capture the city of jerusalem in many respects this relief makes the same point senecrib certainly managed to capture lakesh but never took jerusalem there is first in the whole bible a theological agenda if the israelites agree with god god help them if they sin against god god punishes them than that it is a theological issue 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 cores embedded in the text they can give you some examples if you want we know that in 701 the king's synagogue came and he conquered judea and destroyed many cities he just saw relief from his destruction uh in lake city well we know he destroyed it because he says so and the Bible says so and archeology says so, we have no reason to doubt that this event took place in the year 701 BC.
C. a city that he could not destroy is Jerusalem, how do we know? because archeology tells us then because the bible tells us and because he himself tells us hezekiah king of jerusalem had him like a bird in a cage they besieged him but he couldn't now why did this happen why such a powerful king couldn't take jerusalem the bible tells us why king hezekiah repented and prayed to god and asked for forgiveness so 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, so there are all kinds of interruptions, and his throne is in danger, so he has to run back to his city, and indeed, he ran back after a while, he was beheaded and someone else took the so what is it? the historical core in the bible of this story king sinakireb came to judea conquered such and such a city and did not destroy jerusalem that is the historical core the interpretation that is already the agenda a religious person by the way would tell you of course it is god who did it it made the king of assyria will have to run back you understand what i'm saying but basically speaking this is the event the historical core and the interpretation we are at the entrance of hezekiah's tunnel and the noise can be heard this is the spring of gihon the gihon means to rush and it is this rushing flow of water that was carried into the city by the tunnel diggers of Hezekiah 701 B.C. ulderes to excavate from one end to the other or under the bedrock to create this tunnel over 500 meters long that would bring water from the spring to the pool of siloam within the city walls protected its water source and even the today we can walk on this journey to the hall pool here is a replica of the inscription found inside hezekiah's tunnel just below us 20 meters below is the same spot where hezekiah's diggers found themselves when they dug from either end to create the hezekiah tunnel water system and about 10 meters from the exit this inscription was found it was actually only found in the 19th century but in this archaic hebrew script we have the record from the builders point of view of the work they did in 701 BC describes how they dug tunnels from either end of the bedrock and how they met in the middle when their peaks met, the ag ua broke through and the gihon spring was able to flow into the hall pool in 1979 one of the most crucial finds revealing ancient biblical texts was made by archaeologist gabriel barkai excavated next to st andrew's presbyterian church of scotland in jerusalem burial caves dating from the time of Judah's King Josiah of the 7th century B.C. 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 fines of the deposit we had two small rolled scrolls made of silver pure silver by the way silver 99 the israel museum laboratories managed to unroll them and when they called me I was surprised to see that they are thickly covered with ancient Hebrew characters, the location of the objects inside the shells in the shell shows that they came with the pottery which is the oldest found inside the shell dating them to the century VII a.
C. more than that uh 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 israel museum laboratory I was able to read the first word yud haiv which is the unpronounceable name of the lord that divine name appeared there eh three times and three times the repetition 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 jewish

chris

tian prayers to this very day the second one also had another version of the priestly blessing this time an abbreviated version and in the 1990s with more modern techniques than and then the ones that existed in the 80s we took them out of the museum and re-checked them we re-cleaned them we re-cleaned them to photograph them we restarted in that new review we had another biblical verse this time eh almost similar to what we found in the book of deuteronomy chapter 7 the great di he who keeps his covenant with his lovers and the followers of his commandments chapter 7 in the book of 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 through 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 dead sea scrolls going up to one of these caves near the dead sea coast you can see how these caves were perfect places to hide these manuscripts it's dry it's salty and these manuscripts could be hidden here for 2,000 years in 1947 two Bedouin herdsmen made the 20th century archaeological discovery what h What had been 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 the beginnings of each Old Testament book Commentaries on the Old Testament manuals and Rules of living for the people who lived here they kept them in these caves to keep them safe to hide them from the romans who came to destroy this place in ad 68. great scroll of isaiah the largest single scroll found here provides us with an even older copy of the book of isaiah possibly from 200 bc. the importance of these scrolls for our understanding of the old testament is enormous allows us to say that the copying tradition of the jewish people has been faithful to the text as it was originally given that we can compare the old testament that we read today with the old testament of before from the time of jesus and the tradition of copying is good the dead sea scrolls manuscripts tell us an enormous amount about our old testament text but who copied these texts is generally thought to be a community, a religious community living here in the desert they were responsible for copying these old testament manuscripts but they lived in the time of jesus and a laugh so the essene people will tell us a lot about the first century world and the time of jesus in our next program, we'll explore some of that New Testament background and discover the enormous amount of light that archeology is shedding on modern times. isms in which Jesus lived, so what have we learned from archaeology?
Archeology is not so much about proving the Bible and as we have seen there are disputes in the world of archeology now whatWhat archeology does is help us understand that what we read in the Bible fits with what we know of the ancient world if that is its people its places its events archeology illuminates our reading of the scriptures and also archeology can sometimes challenge our reading from the bible but whatever you do we can be sure that archeology is proving that there are firm foundations for our faith this is the sea of ​​galilee where so 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, particular places and the activities that happened on this earth and that means that we are able to prove them we can compare what we read in the gospels 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 prove the authenticity of eyewitness material that we can find in the new testament so this is the sea of ​​galilee where a lot of the events took place and the teachings of jesus but those stories are just myths and fairy tales and legends or are they real historical events that the gospels themselves record many details about particular people particular places and the activities that happened on this earth and that means we can prove them we can compare what we read in the gospels matthew martin luke and john with what we see on earth the archeology is not so much about proving the bible what archeology does is show us that what we read in the bible fits what we know of the ancient world the bible is illuminated by archeology sometimes our reading of the bible is challenged by the archeology so come with me and let's take a look at some archeology and see how well we can prove the authenticity of the eyewitness material that we can find in the new testament, well here we are in the depths of jerusalem and this is one of the ancient systems of stored water in the period of the Romans 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 coming out but this is again enduring ancient world engineering and a demonstration that jerusalem as a city is layer upon layer a over layer and we can go through those layers to discover these remains these echoes of the ancient past wherever they went the romans would shape the land around them and leave their impression for us to find out if it is hadrian's wall in north england or the coliseum in rome or here in caesarean on the mediterranean coast king herod wo uld start the development of this amazing aqueduct would bring fresh water from mount carmel to this city by the sea now as we explore the holy land we can see a place after another where the romans, who came to occupy this land, would build magnificent constructions like this and all that means that we can see the impression that was left in the world of the new testament the world of jesus here we are what looks like a mountain at least from the first distance and we can see jerusalem and bethlehem on the hills beyond but it's not really a mountain what we are standing here is a man made structure that the g ran king herod built this reigned from 37 a.
C. until 4 a. survey through the landscape around Bethlehem but it was protected because it was built like a fortress with its towers and its walls because Herod was a scared man we call him great king Herod but actually what we know of the b ble edison was great not only in construction sites and we see many of those construction sites that monumental architecture to this day in the land of israel but we also know that it is great in cruelty we hear from various records including josephus some of the wicked and cruel things that he did, he would murder members of his family, he would murder not only his 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 killing children in Bethlehem when he heard of this child born to be king king herod is another one of those great characters of the new testament that we know a lot about outside of the gospels and what we find it fits well with what we read in the bible from this position on the herodian you can see the dominant view and this is where king herod in 40 b.c. he won an important battle against the parthians and that is one of the reasons he fled to rome when he came back here as an apoi called king by the romans he chose this place to build this particular palace fortress but this would not be the only one fortress that he built. partly as ways to protect, hide and protect because he had so many enemies here in herodian we found out how dangerous archeology can be nexus ehead was digging 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 next to a tomb and the broken fragments of a beautiful sarcophagus have been restored and reconstructed and have revealed to us the final resting place of king herod unfortunately archeology can also be a dangerous job and netzer himself digging here only a few years later he was involved in an archeological accident and died during a fall which tells us something about the compromise involved in archeology as we seek to unearth these ancient stories here in herodian there was another great find after the death of king herod this place was used by others that they would seek to rule this area of ​​judea and that would include the excavations of Pontius Pilate here in 1968 1969 discovered what did not appear to be a very important small bronze signet ring, but it was only announced a couple of years ago that after cleaning it, it had a Greek Pilate inscription on it, meaning it had belonged to Pontius Pilate probably used by one of his civil administrators so this is another remarkable example of how archeology provides direct confirmation of a personality we read about in the gospels here in caesarean section we see the mediterranean sea encroaching on what was once It had been a palace but then it became the seat of a Roman governor and in 1961 archaeologists made an amazing discovery of a stone in secondary use 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 the roman historians would describe pilate as a procurator the gospels describe him as a governor now the greek word governor is much closer to the word prefect and that tells us that the writers of the new testament they really had insight into what pilate was doing at the time this is authentic footage from jesus' time in this ancient landscape you can almost hear the bible stories come to life this is the desert where jesus would spend 40 days and 40 nights being tempted this it is the area where david would hide and take refuge now the bible calls this the desert the geologists desert I know it as a pocket desert and it is actually a very arid and barren landscape which may actually mean that traces of human activity may be scarce and difficult for the archaea. logical record and yet on and amongst the hills there are some absolute riches of archaeological discovery and they shed light on the entire period of Biblical history as well.
The site you can see behind me is Qumran and archaeologists have been excavating here for many years. We have located a site that may well have originally been settled in the 8th century BC. C. It could be one of the cities mentioned in the 15th chapter of Joshua. a scriptorium a place where manuscripts were copied they found pottery making as well as a refectory and ritual baths and so on 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 the Essenes, so what do we know about the Essenes?
Well thanks to the dead sea scrolls we know a lot we know that this community had rejected much of the worship in th the jerusalem temple they saw it as corrupt and from these scrolls we find out many of their beliefs their philosophy theology 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 qumran community leader, but what the dead sea scrolls tell us is something of the world of thought. expectations the ideas that were in the air at the time of jesus and it is to this world that jesus came and jesus preached from the dry and arid deserts of the south here on mount arbel we look on the north of the earth across the beautiful sea of Galilee and here, of course, much of Jesus' ministry took place.
We can see Capernaum next to our heart. These are the places where the fishing boats would go. and from here to there 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 light again much of the world of Jesus' time looking across the sea of ​​galilee from here it seems 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 galilee has always been very busy with fishing and tax collection of industry and commerce in capernaum is a major trade route here so when jesus taught the crowds he taught people who are facing real pressures and real problems, in other words he taught people like us to really understand the world of jesus , we are quite reliant on the new testament so we have come to cambridge and tyndale house where we can discuss with one of the leading historians and scholars of the new testament testament dr peter williams the reliability of the gospels what level of literacy was there in the first century and in terms of passing on this material if they relied more on oral traditions what i would say is everyone has access to scripture in terms of what they see its all around is in the coinage of architecture, so it's not surprising if people have some passive ability to take things in, but that doesn't have to be the main way Jesus' teachings are passed on to rabbis, to often things were oral but that doesn't mean everything is wrong and unreliable or oral and a great memory sometimes people go those two routes because actually jesus chooses 12 disciples and their main job is to learn everything he says which he himself repeats, so each of the four gospels records jesus sometimes repeating things you can hear him give the same or a similar speech on multiple occasions as well You can also talk about it later in his lesson with the rabbi.
You can sometimes hear them discussing the meaning of a saying of Jesus as they walk. What does this mean about getting up? from the dead and actually, that's part of the way the disciples receive things, and that means it's not like we're asking them to memorize everything on the spot, um, nor does the tradition just have to come through from one person, it actually comes through several people because they have been taught for three years, do the four gospels show that they are based on eyewitness evidence to get off to a good start? All the oldest manuscripts have the names Matthew Mark Luke and John and Matthew and John are from the 12 disciples and Mark and Luke wouldn't really be well known if it wasn't for the gospels so there's no reason for anyone to place the mark of the name and luke in those gospels unless luke is actually said to travel with paul in the book of acts. he will say we did this and you can actually trace some of his travels with paul mark is said to get his information from peter who is a disciple yes when you open the gospels and look at almost any page you can start to wonder what knowledge the writers show and they clearly show local knowledge of where jesus was so right when they mentioned towns when they name geographic features and talk about where the land goes up and down and travel times they get all of that well they know jerusalem they know the bodies of water they also know local customs when they refer to if they are correct when referring to coins they are correct local weights and measures dry measures liquid measures you can see that kind of thing they know the local religious debates of who social stratification the right kind of names for people and that is happening in all four gospels is a striking feature, in so what are the oldest known manuscripts of the new testament?
We have manuscripts that go back to thesecond century for the new testament and people debate which are precisely the first there are two of the gospel of john one in oxford one in manchester which are among the earliest and are partial manuscripts so they only have part of the gospel but it is a bit like auditing where you go in and check certain

parts

, the

parts

we have fragments of the pile with what we found for the rest and then we have longer third century manuscripts and complete fourth century manuscripts for the New Testament Archaeologists have been digging here in capernaum since the 1960s and you can see in this typical black basalt stone the streets and houses of the city where jesus walked now as an important place had a synagogue 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 big church structure that you can see on pilot it is behind me that marks perhaps one of the most significant places 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 it was being treated as special since the middle of the first century AD. this particular room was enlarged and turned into a small church perhaps the oldest church in Christian history and then eventually became this more octagonal structure with a dome perhaps a bit like the dome on the rock that we can see in jerusalem now this Byzantine church structure was here for a reason which dates back to the middle of the first century AD. a particular house in capernaum was being revered as special also that tradition suggests there is good reason to think that this was the home of peter in capernaum this is where jesus made his base in galilee jesus taught and ministered in the synagogue in capernaum and this beautiful white limestone synagogue stands on the spot where we know the synagogue had been built by the roman centurion who has his headquarters here with his garrison in but this is around the 4th century 5th century it is a later Byzantine synagogue and this beautiful stone white limestone is not exactly the same as the black basalt we know capernaum was built from so how do we know there was a synagogue here at jesus' time?
How do we know where Jesus taught well? We can actually take a look at the side of the synagogue and see the evidence, but we can see here very clearly that it's built on foundations that don't quite line up. miracles here he taught here he healed the man who had a withered 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 works of construction, we have just visited the first century city of capernaum and now that we are on the lake shore not far from capernaum we have to ask that 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 archeological ruins now what attracts people is the magnetic personality of jesus that continues for thousands of years to attract men and women as you know.
Now, there is something significant in the teachings of Jesus about the miracles he did about the things he said connect you and me all these years later, so for all the interest in archeology we can't lose sight of the intriguing man from the galilee who has had such a huge impact on the world we are overlooking magdala this is by tradition the hometown of mary magdalene and in 2009 archaeologists began excavating what we now know to be 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 for the fishing industry and trade the city of magdala was destroyed by the romans in ad 67. during the great jewish revolt the jewish historian josephus described his downfall as the romans mounted a naval attack to bypass the magdala area strong defensive walls and many of their fishing boats were sunk during the battle jesus said i will be fishers of men and many of the disciples of jesus were f fishermen by trade we think of peter and james and john it is not hard to imagine them plying their trade here on the north shore of the sea of ​​galilee it is also not surprising that there is a great deal of archaeological evidence of that fishing trade indeed not far from here on the kibbutz two brothers found in 1986 a ship dating back to the first century buried in the mud after being carefully excavated and preserved with chemicals it was possible to understand the shipbuilding industry of the time of jesus and having a very good idea of ​​the type of ship jesus would have sailed in at that time i think this is an inter Before when the jewish tax collectors came to jesus and the disciples to collect the half shekel tax that every jewish man 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 he went to jesus and jesus told him go catch a fish and in the mouth like a fish was a coin that was enough for the tax of peter and his master and that would have been a one shekel coin now the authorities in the temple in jerusalem demanded that this tax will be paid 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 side is the head of the god of shot by the god melkhart these coins were made of very high quality silver so when the authorities in the temple melted them down they had a better result there you see the gospel narration reflects the situation with precision the coin was enough for both of us 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 be still and we read that it immediately calmed down and the waves were hold still now i love archeology and i love the fact that we can find evidence for what we believe but i know there are some things that go beyond evidence, it can't prove that a miracle like this happened but that's where faith in archeology gives us a good reason to trust this eyewitness material, but by faith we believe its meaning, you know the disciples when they saw that.
Miracle in Mark chapter 4 verse 41 They said who this is 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 the one who calls himself the son of God blessed are the poor in spirit because of they is the kingdom of heaven with these words jesus began the most famous sermon in history somewhere in this region the sermon on the mount has impacted lives and societies for centuries archeology can help prove much of the reliability of the bible but it cannot prove that jesus spoke these words the proof is found in lives changed people changed you know when i hear those words i think of the impact it has had on my life in the lives of friends i have met and when i look back at Through history I see how the words of Jesus have challenged societies and kings and emperors.
Jesus has had an impact that has demonstrated his reality in John chapter 13 verse. what 35 said by all this 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 the one who said that it is good here we are in beit shawn or roman civilis and if you look behind from me through the colonnaded street to the rising green hill this is an archaeologists paradise on that green hill it is an ancient tel there are actually remains of 15 consecutive cities of the ancient world now that means this is a place that It has seen warfare and destruction that we actually find in this remains of particular accounts going back to the Canine period and then to a very significant period of Egyptian control over the region, but then to a significant level of destruction from about 1150 BCE.
C. and the Philistines arrived to occupy Beit Shaan. It was later that King David took this city and became part of the Israelite kingdom, but then the Assyrians destroyed the city in 732 BC. actually we can see the remains of the new testament period from hellenism and then the romans this city was rebuilt as sidopolis so the remains around us are hellenistic and roman now this city was originally hellenistic and then was remodeled when pompeii captured this area for the romans and in 63 bc it 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 enters this city there are nine other cities that form the decapolis a confederation loose of ten cities in total the other nine are all on the far bank of the jordan river but here we are in citopolis now why didn't jesus come to this city he passed through but this would have been a pagan roman city? and this is a city that would have been distinct from the jewish religious culture of jesus sheds a lot of light on the contrast we have here between the jews and the gentiles together but divided so you see what an archaeologist paradise with layer upon layer of ancient city looks like, in fact, even beyond the time of the new testament, this became a Byzantine city and was only destroyed in 749 AD. by a massive earthquake in this region you can see the broken pillars as a result and after Of course this city was abandoned to be lost it seems like history until archaeologists got involved well we are here on the south wall of mount of the temple and archaeological excavations have revealed the stairway from the time of King Herod which would have given access and exit from the temple itself now you may have felt that it was a little uncomfortable when you were going down the steps and the reason for this is because this is a demonstration of herodian crowd control and since the period of king herod knew how to control crowds thousands would have worshiped here in the temple and in order to get in or out of the temple as thousands would have been coming and going these steps are designed deliberately one wide and one shallow so that it would slow down the movement would prevent an avalanche a mass panic and injuries that could follow now this is one of the po few places where we can definitely tell Jesus would have walked you see the steps particularly eroded these are from jesus' time and we know jesus worshiped in the temple here so we can walk on the steps where jesus walked here at the south end of the temple .
The mount, partly obscured by later construction work, is one half of a section of what was once a double gate that was coupled with the triple gate below. on the south wall of the temple mount it gave access and exit from the temple mount itself we can be sure that jesus would have passed through this this door this is part of the important way in which we know that the jews in the time of jesus after a ritual bathing in the mikvehs below they would have gained access to the structure of the temple mount itself and entered into the very presence in the temple courtyards this is one of the Jewish mikvehs a ritual bathing pool used for purification and there a split in the stairway so you can go down one side and then out the other side and this would make you richly pure to enter the temple grounds 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 you could have baptized 2,000 people by a merchant well we know from the mikveh that there was plenty of water and capacity here for thousands to be baptized in a single day and that was the origin of what we think of as baptism in the christian church so you're looking at a street here on the southwest corner of the temple mount with what would have been shops on the left hand side a large arch extending from the arch of robbins to the left side of the street and then these collapsed stones that you see these are the stones as they fell as a result of the roman legion that titus used to demolish the temple and the structure of the temple mount 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 archeological work that has taken us from return to the den 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 stood in the time of jesus and for many of the events that we read about in the gospels and if there is one bit of conclusive evidence for us to see right next to me is this stone this is a replica of a stone that originally w as part of the top of the southwest corner of the mount of the temple and it has an inscription an inscription from this period of the second temple that tells us that this is the stone that blows the trumpet there is a small niche where a person could have stood and because of theinscription we know that this is where they held the horn of the shepherd who 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 it was actually in the depths from the earth a chance discovery in 2004 led archaeologist eli shukron to excavate what we now know to be a mikveh, a ritual washing pool from the time of jesus and is identified with the pool of siloam. two olympic swimming pools and we know it was in use at the time of jesus in fact in john chapter 9 we read a very interesting story where a man who was born blind was miraculously healed by jesus put mud on his eyes and told him to go and wash at the pool of siloam when man made it so he could see the miraculous healing took place here at this very pool this recently excavated Herodian street is actually a connecting path that would have led from the hall pool up to the site of the temple and this is a tunnel to us but it would have been a street in jesus' time so again we are walking down a path that with some confidence we can say jesus would have walked and certainly in jesus' time this would have been a path of pilgrims a route to the temple we are looking at this ancient jewish cemetery here on the mount of olives still in use to this day it is estimated to be over 70 000 p People are buried here but we know this is evidence of a continuing Jewish presence in this land there are graves here of relatively recent prime ministers and old testament prophets and it is believed that for three thousand years there have been burials in this region on the mount of olives here we are on mount o f olive trees with the temple mount in jerusalem behind us this is the place associated with anointing in fact the talmud the jews all tradition calls this the hill of anointing because these olives were used to anoint the king and high priest we read in 2 samuel 15 30 that david came to pray here among the olive trees and then jesus used to retire often to this mountain to pray and this is where he came the night before his crucifixion and so for 2000 years the pilgrims Christians have come to this place again to pray and to remember it we are close to the beginning of the via dolorosa the path of pain we cannot say that here is absolutely nte where jesus walked but this is a trail that has changed a bit over time but it marks various stations or points along the way as jesus carried his cross we moved from the place of his arrest and trial to the site that marks the location of Golgotha ​​and the place of the tomb where Jesus' body was laid now, although we cannot now be absolutely sure of the route Jesus took and, of course, actually the steps Jesus walked would have been somewhere below the level where we are now, there are still good archaeological reasons to think that many of these places are certainly first century and certainly reflect what we read about in the gospels to the left of me that this wall is rebuilt on the foundations of what was Antonia's fortress now beyond this wall is the temple mount and this fortress was built by the romans to overlook the temple mount so they could see what it was happening and then as we continue down we will come to the church of the holy sepulcher and there are good reasons to think that when helena had this church built in the 4th century it was due to good local traditions that understood and remembered that this was the place of The Crucifixion and the Resurrection Of course it's not often that you get to 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 we marked, the tomb of Jesus where they lie. the body of jesus and the smaller dome next to me this marks st helena chapel so we are closest to golgotha ​​this is the church which is very confusing to visit a number of groups of churches from different denominations share the lding building like this that there is a lot of hustle and bustle but we have to look past some of the religious structures to see that we are on a very ancient site here this is a church building dating back to the 4th century built by Helena the mother of Constantine and there is good reason to think we are an authentic site and here it makes more sense that it is an abandoned Roman stone quarry as an abandoned stone quarry this is exactly the kind of location we would expect outside the city walls for the Jewish people to use for burial and even when the Romans took over the city to use for the execution of the crucifixion, so we are looking at a building of i church Helena built here for a reason in the fourth 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 is good reason to think that this was in fact the site where jesus was executed and then a little further on in the quarry the tombs where ich would include the tomb where jesus's body was placed you can see here what we call the aedicule or the little house and this little chapel was essentially built on the location from a first century rock cup tomb when helena excavated this area thought to be the tomb where jesus had been buried now we cannot say it has been destroyed and rebuilt over many years 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 of a tomb from a very early period before this church of the holy sepulcher now we are not going to go into the aedicule but we can go and have a look at some first century tombs that is how we know we are in an authentic burial site at the time of jesus lo What we are looking at here is called cochin this is kind of a tomb burial so they buried in this area and what they would do is they would place t His body outside the floors would decompose for a year or two and then they would place the bones in an ossuary , a box of bones that would be placed in these niches that can be seen in the walls, so it was originally part of a whole area of ​​tombs in this section. from the abandoned roman stone quarry in acts chapter 2 we 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 the body was of david had been entombed king david says in verse 29 he died was entombed in his grave is still here to this day however jesus peter says in verse 31 god would not let his body see decay skeptics used to say jesus having If he had been a crucified man, he would not have been given a burial considered a curse.
His body would have been thrown in the trash and perhaps burned to lime. In 1968, archaeologists found a first century bone box in Jerusalem containing the ske. lethal remains of a crucified man johannan his skeletal remains showing how the crucifixion was carried out included the very gruesome discovery of an iron nail driven into his heel which even had a piece of olive wood still attached to it from the cross on the one who had been crucified therefore we can be sure that the crucified people were given proper burials when the people loved them and cared for their remains.
Jesus, loved by many, would have been given a proper burial, but 40 days later, Peter was able to declare that we don't know where the body is. we know where david's body is 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 go back to caesarean section and its artificial harbor one of the first in the whole world the romans They built this from the time of King Herod and used the kind of cement that would set amazing construction technology underwater, but we read in the Bible that this is where Peter took the gospel to Cornelius. in acts chapter 10 and in acts chapter 25 paul was under arrest here before he set sail for rome and so ultimately it is from here that the gospel would go to the ends of the earth and we know that having explored this holy land that many of Archaeological remains confirm that this gospel message was based on true history and therefore it is a real Jesus we are talking about today whose message has spread to the ends of the earth.

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