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When Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, the site of what would one day be the Holy Sepulchre Church was an abandoned stone quarry. A catacomb cut into the western side of the quarry attests that the quarry had fallen into disuse. The innermost chamber of the catacomb contains kokhim tombs. These deep recesses into the rock, typical of the first centuries B.C. and A.D., can still be seen behind the Syrian Chapel in the Holy Sepulchre Church today.
Bible Review, December 1997
Making sense of contradictory accounts
Controversy over the burial of James, the brother of Jesus, is nothing new. As early as the fourth century A.D., the location of James’s tomb was disputed. In the words of the church father Jerome, writing in 392 A.D.: “Some monks think James...
Bible Review, June 2003
Tracing the Via Dolorosa
The Latin words Via Dolorosa mean the “Sorrowful Way.” They were first used by the Franciscan Boniface of Ragusa in the second half of the 16th century as the name of the...
Bible Review, December 1996
The historical core behind the testing of Jesus
Three gospels tell of the devil testing Jesus in the wilderness, an incident so remarkable as to seem almost certainly unreal. But is it? Our author suggests a historical core to the tale, a substratum reflecting struggles Jesus faced in his lifetime.
Bible Review, August 1999
Steve Mason has probably made the best case possible that we should adopt an “agnostic” position regarding the birthplace of Jesus. But although Mason has examined the literary data...
Bible Review, February 2000
Why did Jesus go back to preach in Galilee? The question may seem a silly one. After all, he was a native of Nazareth in Galilee, and it was natural that he should preach to his own...
Bible Review, February 1996
The scene has stimulated the imagination of great painters. The light of a full moon accentuates the shadows in a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives. A lonely figure prays in...
Bible Review, April 1998