Biblical Archaeology Review 16:3, May/June 1990

Church of the Apostles Found on Mt. Zion

By Bargil Pixner

I believe that the famous Church of the Apostles, intended to mark the site where the apostles prayed when they returned from the Mount of Olives after witnessing Christ’s post-resurrection ascent to heaven (Acts 1:1–13), can still be found on the southwestern hill of Jerusalem, today called Mt. Zion. This was also the traditional site of the Last Supper. There too Peter delivered the famous Pentecost sermon that is recorded in Acts 2.

Paradoxically, what remains of the Church of the Apostles is now part of the structure traditionally venerated as the tomb of King David. The second floor of this structure, however, is still revered as the cenacle, the traditional room of the Last Supper.

Our demonstration is in three steps.

The first one is the easiest and is not really disputed by any serious body of scholarship. That is, that the structure in which the traditional tomb of David is located on Mt. Zion is really a Roman-period synagogue and not the tomb of David.

The second step in my argument is that this was not a usual Jewish synagogue, but a Judeo-Christian synagogue.

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