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The Garden Tomb

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This site is an alternative site for the burial and Resurrection of Jesus, and despite questions of veracity is well worth a visit for any tour group simply for the atmosphere of peace and the beauty of the gardens. The guides are gracious and there is ample room to hold church services.

The location was decided upon in 1884 by General Gordon when he found the "corruption" of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by the historic denominations intolerable. Gordon was looking for "A green hill far away without (outside) a city wall", and upon finding the Sepulchre within the walls became convinced it was in the wrong place. Looking out from Damascus gate he saw a skull-like hillside opposite and felt certain it was "Golgotha": subsequent excavations at the site found a tomb close by that was immediately declared to be Jesus' and the picture as found in John 19 was complete. All was well except for questions over the line of the wall of First Century Jerusalem, the nature of limestone's decay and the layouts of First Century CE tombs versus Eighth Century BCE tombs, questions that still rage today.


John Chapter 19

 38 After this Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight. 40 They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.


The Revised Standard Version, (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.) 1973, 1977.

 

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