WHERE   IS   CALVARY

by

Atif   Himadeh

 

 

 

 

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The ditch in the Garden Tomb fits beautifully the descriptions that are found in the Gospels.

 

 

WHERE IS CALVARY

 

First editions     1972

Second edition   1979

Third edition      1993

Fourth edition   1996

Fifth edition      2007

Sixth edition     2008

Seventh edition  2010

Eighth  edition   2011

 

 

 

 

WHERE IS CALVARY

 

IN THE SCRIPTURE

 

When all the books of history are abolished, and when all the traditions vanish and perish forever, there will be one book left.  That book is the Bible; Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matt. 24:35

So let us first study where Calvary is from the Scripture’s point of view.  When we start studying any subject, we begin with the O.T. which is full of types.

 

TYPES FROM SACRIFICE

 

We will take our first verse from Lev. 1:11, “And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the Lord, and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about the altar.”  Also is found in Lev. 4:24.  When a ruler ignorantly sins, “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord: it is a sin offering.”

 

Although there are not so many verses that deal with this fact, one verse in the perfect Eternal Word Of God is enough.  The rest of the verses just mention, “Where they kill the burnt offering.” That is stated clearly in Leviticus to be towards the north.  .".. and shall kill it on the side of the altar northward."  Lev. 1:11.

The writer of Hebrews mentions that Jesus suffered outside the gate: “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.  For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” Hebrew 13:10-12.

 

In Leviticus, God commanded the priests to kill all the offerings north of the altar, and Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ .".. suffered without the gate” Heb. 13:12. So Jesus Christ shed his blood and suffered outside the gate north of the city. Today, this place is known as Gordon’s Calvary.

 

TYPES FROM THE TEMPLE

 

There are two tables in the Holy Place.  On the table towards the south stands the candlestick, while the shewbread is placed on the Table on the north side.  No wonder the shewbread is placed on the north, for it is the symbol of the broken body of Jesus Christ.

 

PLAN OF THE JEWISH TABERNACLE

 

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: And when he had given thanks he brake it, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:23-24.

 

The shewbread is placed towards the north in the Holy Place and not toward the west.  To the west is the Holy of Holies that symbolically stands for the presence of the Lord. Ps. 76:2  “In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.”  West of the temple area is Zion, and to that hill the Lord is coming in order to abide and rule there for one thousand years.

 

North of the temple area lies Calvary where the Lord died for our sins as the Bible says.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16.  For a person to be born again it does not matter if you believe in the right place of Calvary or not,  but it is necessary to believe in the right way.  That is why Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans.  “For all have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God.” Rom. 3:23 Also it is written, “for the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:23.  From this verse we can see the way of salvation is given to us as a gift.

 

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8.  So if you believe in Jesus who died on Calvary for you, you will be saved and you will obtain the gift of God.  When we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour by faith then we are saved. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation ... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9, 10, 13.  Call now upon the name of the Lord and you shall be saved.

 

When we study the gates of Jerusalem we find two gates.  Towards the north, the first gate is called the Sheep Gate, and this gate opens towards Gordon’s Calvary which is located north of the walls.  This gate might have been the gate through which Jesus went as the Lamb of God to die, to take away the sin of the world.

 

Sheep Gate

 

The Sheep gate, as located in the time of Christ, was the nearest gate to go from the Antonia fortress to Calvary, and it is the most probable gate to be used to go out to the hill towards the north.  The Fish Gate could be another possibility, but the distance to Calvary from the Fish Gate is farther than from the sheep gate.  According to typology, it is sure that the Lord Jesus Christ was led out of the city to be crucified towards the north.  The Fish Gate which is called Damascus Gate, is the nearest gate to the Tomb in the Gordon’s Garden Tomb north of the city.

Fish Gate or Damascus Gate

 

The large stones at Damascus Gate prove that it was built by king Solomon. This prove the Damascus Gate is the Fish Gate that was standing when the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

 

 

The temple that was built in Jerusalem is a type of the redeemed.  When Jesus met Peter, He said to him, “thou shalt be called Cephas which is by interpretation a stone."  In another words, Jesus appointed Peter to be a stone in the foundation of the church, built on the Eternal Rock, “Jesus Christ.”  This is what Paul said in 1Cor. 3:11.  “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

 

Solomon build the temple from stones hewn from King Solomon’s quarries that extends north of the temple area and as far north as the hill on which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.  It is most probable that the cliff of the hill of Calvary today is a result of the collapse of the biggest vault of Solomon’s quarries.  Solomon’s quarries also extend under the present Gordon’s Calvary Hill which is now known as Jeremiah’s Grotto.

 

We find this stone is Solomon’s Quarries chiselled from three sides but was not completely cut.

 

Calvary and Jeremiah’s grotto

 

 

 

Solomon’s temple was built from stones cut out of the Hill of Calvary; the church also was built from living stones cut at the Hill of Calvary.  As the Apostle Peter puts it,  “Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."  1 Peter 2:5.

 

Therefore according to typology, Calvary must be the hill near King Solomon’s quarries.  As each stone was chiselled and carried to the temple to be put in its assigned place, so each person has to be cut at Calvary.

When a person comes to Jesus and confesses that he is a “rough stone”, a sinner, with no hope of reaching heaven by his own power, and asks mercy of the Lord who died at Calvary, the Lord then cuts him from condemnation and chisels him by His Holy Spirit.  Thus he is placed as a living “stone” in the Spiritual House of God.

 

At King Solomon’s quarries, the stones were cut for the temple.  The same thing is seen in typology.  All the living “stones” are cut at Calvary before being placed by the Lord into his spiritual House.  So every person accepting Christ must join a spiritual church. Act 2:41-46.

 

How in the world could you yourself place your “stone” in the spiritual temple before having it cut at Calvary?  How many misled people today try to build their “stones” in the Temple before having it cut at Calvary.  You may say that that is ridiculous; but in turn, I say, that when you baptize a baby and claim that he is a “stone” already in the church, that is even more ridiculous.  A person must first accept Christ and become a living “stone."

 

Not a single stone was cut from the area of the Holy Sepulchre’s church for the building of the temple.  Accordingly, we gather from typology that the hill where the church of the Holy Sepulchre stands could not have been Calvary.

 

 

Ezekiel Saw the Glory of the Lord at Calvary

 

There is another interesting type presented by Ezekiel .".. and the spirit lifted me up into the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.” Ezek. 8:3,4

 

There is an inner gate and an outer gate of Jerusalem toward the north. The inner gate towards the north would be the gate from the temple area that goes out to the Antonia fortress.

 

Ezekiel saw this fortress in his vision a few hundred years before it was built by the Romans. Ezekiel prophesied that one day there would be the “image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.” Ezek. 8:3. The worship of the gods of the heathen was established in that same place, north of the Temple area, by Lucifer, the god of this world, since he wanted to exalt his throne above the throne of God. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:” Isa. 14:13.

 

The people of God worshipped the Lord in the Temple, but Lucifer wanted his people, the Roman soldiers, to worship him also on the same mountain north of the Temple, and he succeeded.

 

Pilate and the Roman soldiers, who ruled the city at that time, lived north of the Temple area: on the north part of the Mount of the Congregation. The Roman soldiers could have gone down to the Temple to the Gentile court and sacrificed to the true God. However the god of this world filled their hearts with a burning jealousy and therefore they hated the true God. They were jealous of the people of God and the power of God in their lives. Satan provoked the Romans to jealousy; and the Jews, in order to please the Romans, cried, “We have no king except Caesar.”

 

How Satan has blinded the eyes of the people of this world not to see the reality of God, who created and rules this world. The Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews, was presented before the image of jealousy at the Antonia fortress, and Pilate came out to judge him. He found Him innocent, but Satan provoked the Jews to cry, “crucify Him, crucify Him."

 

At the same time Satan aroused in the heart of Pilate hatred, jealousy, and love for prestige; and so he delivered Jesus, the Lord of glory to be crucified.  “And behold the Glory of the God of Israel was there according to the vision that I saw in the plain." Ez. 8:4  The word “plain” means “cleavage."  The word “to cleave” in Hebrew is as found in Zec. 14:4.  “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west and there shall be a very great valley and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

 

If we go back to the place where Ezekiel was lifted up between Heaven and earth and brought to Jerusalem at the northern inner gate, we will see what he saw. He beheld the Glory of the Lord of Israel, not at the usual Temple mount, not in the Holy of Holies, and not on the mount of Zion, but this time the Glory of the Lord was seen in the “cleavage” that is, on the hill north of the Temple Area.

 

Where can we find a cleavage in all Jerusalem?  We find it in the hill of Calvary.  If you study the layers of rocks of the wall of the city towards the north just above the entrance to King Solomon’s quarries and the layers of rocks of the hill of Gordon’s Calvary, you will find that they were once connected.  The road now passing between the two cliffs could very possibly be the same cleavage that Ezekiel saw in his vision.  By the way, the Calvary Cliff is called in Arabic El-Heidemiyeh which means “the rent."  This hill must have been called by this name because of the cleavage that had taken place there.

 

 

You might say that this cleavage is new.  But the cleavage is not new, since we know that Jeremiah was once put in what is called today Jeremiah's Grotto.  A sign of this cleavage existed in the times of Jeremiah, and since Ezekiel lived after Jeremiah, we conclude that this cleavage existed at the time of Ezekiel.

 

One day Jesus spoke to his disciples before he went to the cross, and said, “I have glorified thee on the earth.  I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."  John 17:4.  When Jesus was lifted up on the hill of Calvary, next to that cleavage, North of the city, he glorified the Father : “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever beleiveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

 

Jesus was the God of Glory manifesting his great love and mercy to mankind, and by His sacrifice the Father was glorified.   Ezekiel also saw the glory in a vision hundreds of years before it actually happened.

King Solomon’s quarries end at Calvary

 

 

WHERE IS CALVARY ACCORDING TO THE N.T. SCRIPTURES?

 

In the New Testament we find that Calvary is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew Golgotha.  “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha." John 19:17.

 

Calvary is that place of the skull.  Why it was called the place of the skull is now difficult to determine.  Some say it was called the place of the skull because skulls of the condemned were always at the foot of the cliff, others say that its name is Golgotha because of the skull-faced cliff.  Still others claim that the skull of the first Adam was buried under it  so that when the second Adam, Christ, would die, his blood could literally fall on the bones of the first Adam to redeem him.  Now, which is the true story? I do not know,  but one thing I know that our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on a place called Golgotha, and that He redeemed mankind from sin, and bought people by his own blood from all the nations clothing them with his own righteousness so that they might enter heaven eternally.  “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden; a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid." John 19:41.

 

What are the characteristics of a garden?  In the past in every garden, there was a wine press, and in Gordon’s Garden Tomb, there is the remains of a wine press which can be seen even today.  At the church of the Holy Sepulchre, they have never found any remains of a wine press.  Usually wells are dug in a garden to irrigate the newly planted trees, and this is very essential.  In the garden Tomb, there are three wells which fulfil that requirement of a garden.

A wine press in the Garden Tomb

 

“Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid."  John 19:41.  From this verse we know that Calvary and the sepulchre were near each other.

The quick hewing visible at the eastern

end of the sepulchre

 

If we can determine the place of the Sepulchre, then it will be very easy to determine where Calvary was.  Now what are the requirements of the Tomb?  “And he took it (the body) down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid."  Luke 23:53.

 

The tomb must have been hewn in stone. The sepulchre in the Garden Tomb was so hewn out of rock in the fashion of the Jews.  This was done in such a way that you could reach each sepulchre without stepping over the others.

 

A Jewish family sepulchre would not be made up of one tomb only, but would include many others.  When we study the Sepulchre in the Garden Tomb, we find that it was designed to have three sepulchres.  The sepulchre on the left was finished while the other two on the right were not.  What stopped the people from finishing the hewing of these sepulchres?  The one sepulchre that was complete was hewn for a man shorter than the actual man that was buried there; this is seen from the quick hewing visible at the end of the tomb in order to place the body that was taller than the man the sepulchre was originally designed for.  .".. wherein never man before was laid." Luke 23:53.

 

When they discovered Gordon’s Tomb, they sent a sample of the soil that was found in the Tomb to a laboratory in England to analyze and see if there was any trace of decay of life in the soil.  No decay of life however was found in the soil which proves that a man had never decayed in that Tomb, thus proving that Jesus, who was buried there, did not decay but was resurrected.  If this sepulchre was made to bury people, why didn’t they use it?  Why was this sepulchre not used for burial while the one discovered next to it was full of bones and the decay of many, many people who had been thrown into it?  What is so sacred about this sepulchre that it was not used for burials when all that area is filled with tombs, and all of them have bones?  Why should this sepulchre be kept clear from the bodies of dead people?

 

The discovery of this sepulchre “empty of bones”, and “empty of the decay of living creatures”, is for me a satisfactory proof that this is the sepulchre of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Since Calvary and the Tomb were in the same garden,  I believe that Calvary must be near Gordon’s Tomb.  ."... And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed."  Mathew 27:60.

 

The ditch in the Garden Tomb fits beautifully the descriptions that are found in the Gospels

 

It is very clear from this verse that there was a great stone rolled to the door of the sepulchre.  When we study the garden tomb,  we find a ditch which was used to roll the stone to the door of the sepulchre to close it, and to roll it away from the door when they wanted to open it; this fits beautifully the descriptions that are found in the Gospels.

In the church of the Holy Sepulchre, there is no trace of a ditch for a rolling stone to close the door of the sepulchre.

“And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted."  Mark 16:5.

The young man was sitting on the right side.  In Gordon’s Tomb, we have a place on the right side for a person to sit, but in the Holy Sepulchre, the tomb itself is on the right, and the angel was not sitting on the tomb.

Therefore the right tomb must be one which when you enter, you would find on the right a place for an angel to sit and near it, to the left, the tomb. Following are pictures of the Holy Sepulchre and Gordon’s Tomb.  From the two pictures you notice that the second picture fits the verse in Mark 16:5.

 

In the gospel of John the Bible says, “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping; and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain." John 20:11, 12 When a person stands outside stooping down to look into the sepulchre, he should be able to see  “Angels”  standing at the feet and at the head.  When you stand outside the opening of the traditional Holy Sepulchre and try to look in, you can barely see any part of the tomb.  How then could one see angels there at the head and at the feet? However if you go to Gordon’s Tomb and stand outside and look inside you can see the place of the head and of the feet of the sepulchre.  In another words, if there were an angel at the feet, you could clearly see it from the door outside.

 

This is illustrated in the following two sketches.

 

Traditional Holy Sepulchre

 

Gordon’s Sepulchre

 

 

 

 

 

Notice you can see the two angels, one sitting where the head was and the other where the feet were.  However in the Holy Sepulchre, you can’t see the sepulchre, nor a person who would be sitting at the head or at the feet.

 

 

 

 

WHERE IS CALVARY ACCORDING TO TRADITIONS

 

When people want to search for the real Site of Calvary, they will face a lot of problems.  One of the problems is the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. which wiped away much of the evidence that could lead them to the actual Site of Calvary.

 

Another problem is the expulsion of Jews and Christians from Jerusalem for a long period of time. This created an absence of tradition carried by eye-witnesses for about three hundred years.

 

The third problem was the antagonism between the Jews and the Romans, which forced those who could identify specific Sites to keep it a secret.

 

THE WALLS OF JERUSALEM IN THE TIME OF CHRIST

 

When Titus destroyed the city in 70 A.D., he did not leave anything standing, and this meant there were no traces left of the walls that were standing in the time of Christ.  Some may say the fish gate was near the Antonia fortress; others may say it was under the Damascus Gate.  However, no one can prove it either way.  The complete destruction of the walls of the city created the greatest problem.

 

One of the most important questions is not where is Calvary, but what happened on Calvary? Twenty-two years ago, I met Jesus on the hill of Calvary.  Yes, I met him as  the Lamb of God who died for my sins.  I believed in Him, and He gave me eternal life.

What a joy flooded my heart and soul?  I can’t explain it to you.  What happened to me is beyond expression.  Now, as a born again person, I desire, if possible to know the location of Calvary. If I am unable to find the actual Site of Calvary, that will not change my faith in my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

As we tackle the question, "where is Calvary" from the traditional point of view, we face the problem; where were the walls at the time when Jesus was crucified? Another problem is which side of the walls should we search for Calvary?  There are two sites that are held in contention. The Holy Sepulcher stands to the west of Mt. Moriah, and Gordon's Calvary stands to the north.

 

 

Calvary according to

Gordon's

                 O    

 

 

 C.R. Conder writes "Hippicus was the most western of the three "Royal Towers" and stood at the north-west corner of the upper city.  It defended the narrow neck which separated the broad Tyropeon from the head of Gai, of Hinnom Gorge. Where is the neck? Where was this Hippicus tower? The neck described in the passage stands somewhere near the New Gate today. East of the New Gate lies the broad Tyropeon valley, and to the west you can find the Hinnom Gorge. This neck is the only one that connects the city at the north-west corner of the upper city. So the Hippicus tower was standing somewhere near the New Gate.

 

 

However, according to Josephus.( Jewish Wa., Ch. 18) the Hippicus tower was standing on the second wall The second wall was standing at the time when the Lord Jesus Christ was sent to die on Calvary for the sin of the world. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3: 16. The walls ran from Hippicus tower southward to the Old Gate, which is now Jaffa Gate, thus putting the traditional Holy Sepulcher inside the walls.

 

In the fifth century, the Christians revealed the place of Calvary to be north of the city, and a church was built over it, as can be seen from the carvings in the rock above the Garden Tomb's entrance. C.W. Wilson mentions in his book Galgatha and the Holy Sepulcher p. 20-21 "… there is also a local tradition current among the Jerusalem Jews of Spanish origin, which identifies the Beth-ha-Sekelah with El-Edhemiyeh, or Jeremiah's Grotto, and the knoll beneath which it lies."

 

 

 When we can identify Calvary with Jeremiah's Grotto then we have no problem identifying the place of Calvary. Many writers agree that the hill north of the city is the true site of Calvary. One of these writers is T.H. Lewis and he mentions this in his book " The Holy Places of Jerusalem" p. 113

 

Jeremiah's Grotto is below the hill of Calvary

 

 

       

Dr. Rufus Anderson, Otto Thenius, and Mr. Fisher Rowe all agree that the hill north of the city above Jeremiah's Grotto is in their judgment the true site of Calvary.

 

This is Willibald's statement, as found in the Palestine Pilgrims, Texts Vol. 3 "That Calvary was formerly outside Jerusalem. But Helena found the Cross, arranged that place so as to be within the city."

First, this statement was written in 754 A.D.

Second, the story of finding the Crosses was never registered by any writer before the fifth century.

Third, the writers that lived immediately after the death of Helena contradict this statement.

For example, Jerome wrote "Outside the city, and without the gate, there are places wherein the heads of the condemned criminals are cut off, and which have obtained the name of Calvary that is of the beheaded". This is found in the book by C.W. Wilson "Galgatha and the Holy Sepulcher p. 21

 

Therefore, the story that Helena arranged the Holy Sepulcher so as to be within the city, is false. So we know that Jerome was born after Helena died, and he witnessed that Calvary was outside the city walls. Why did Jerome witness the opposite of Willibald's statement? Willibald's statement is false.

 

 

DEATH AND EXPULSION OF JEWS AND CHRISTIANS FROM JERUSALEM

The second problem was the scattering of Christians, the expulsion and death of all Jews who were living in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. When the Jews began to persecute Jewish Christians, the Christians scattered abroad as is mentioned in Acts 8:1. The remaining Christians fled to Pella as the last chance to escape. When Titus took the city, he killed all the people in the city. The Christian Jews who were scattered far and wide never came back, and very few Jews ever returned.

The Christians worshiped the Lord Jesus Christ and did not worship the place of Calvary, the Tomb, the Ascension place, or any other place. The Christians worshiped the living Saviour who is in the right hand of God, and they did not care for the places where the Lord was because He was in their hearts. Later all the Jews and Christians were expelled from Jerusalem and were not allowed to come back.

The gospels do not mention on which side of Jerusalem Calvary was situated. Hence the Christians coming to Jerusalem searched for the holy places and faced a great problem finding them. The Christians, living in Jerusalem, who knew the location of the holy places, refrained from making them public.

 

 

 

THE ANTAGONISM BETWEEN ROMANS AND JEWS AND CHRISTIANS.

 

The third problem was the antagonism between the Romans, Christians and Jews. Some emperors before Constantine gave liberty to the Christians. Therefore the Christians came to Jerusalem, and they started to build churches over the holy sites for worshippers coming from outside Jerusalem. This did not last long because   another emperor would come and start the persecutions again. Emperors favoring the Christians rose for short periods many times and were followed by emperors who persecuted Christians. Here is a list showing those changes. (According to Halley's Bible Handbook)

 

Emperor Alexander Severus   222-235 A.D. Favorable to Christianity.

Emperor Maximin                  235-238 A.D. Persecuted Christians.

Emperor Phillips                    244-249 A.D. Very favorable to Christianity.

Emperor Decius                     249-251 A.D. Persecuted Christians furiously.

Emperor Valerian                   253-260 A.D. Persecuted Christians.

Emperor Galinus                    260-268 A.D. Favored Christians.

Emperor Aurelian                   270-275 A.D. Persecuted Christians.

 

The constant change in the attitude of the emperors from favoring the Christians to persecuting them, led to the Christians not trusting the emperors any more. When Emperor Constantine claimed that he became a Christian, a lot of Christians remembered what happened to them in the past, and they were careful and doubtful. When St. Helena came searching for the holy Sites, she was not accepted by the real Christians who were afraid that the next emperor would be antagonistic.

 

A lot of Christians refrained from giving any information to help finding the holy places, because they were afraid of the next emperor. St. Helena offered a lot of money to the one that would help her find the holy places. Therefore the people directed her to the least possible place, a place called Akra, the hill on which the Greeks built a tower which would become the highest building in Jerusalem. When the Maccabees revolted against the Greeks, they removed the tower and the hill.

Simon, the elder brother of Judas Maccabaeus, "took the 'Akra of Jerusalem' and destroyed it, and the Jews then 'leveled the mountain,' … which cost them three whole years before it was removed, … After which the temple was the highest of all the buildings, now that the Akra, as well as the mountain on which it stood, was demolished." The City of Jerusalem, by C.R. Conder pp. 94-95.

 

The Bible reveals Calvary to be outside the city walls and to the north and not to the west. See my booklet "Where is Calvary in the Scripture".

 

T.H. Lewis mentions in his book "The Holy Places of Jerusalem" page 108. "The general opinion that Constantine was correctly advised as the actual sight of the Tomb, but he made no definite proposal as to where the entombment had really taken place, and merely suggested that the true position of Golgotha and the Holy Sepulcher was somewhere on the road leading to Joppa or Damascus."

 

Some people living in the time of Constantine knew where Calvary was, but they were not ready to tell the Roman Emperor where it was, and Constantine admitted it to be to the north. If this is true, then we can conclude that Constantine did not build the Holy Sepulcher over the place that he believed was Calvary and the Tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ. Also, the real Christians doubted the conversion of Constantine, and they thought that he was only trying to use their increasing power to bring back the army. The proof of that came when he was baptized by Eusebius the heretic. Do you think the real Christians will help the Emperor Constantine when he was sprinkled by a heretic?  See the passages below.

 

Constantine deferred his baptism until on his deathbed. Eusebius of Nicodemia entered the chambers of the emperor, sprinkled holy water on him, and declared him baptized. Because many believe that Eusebius was not a Catholic but an Arian Christian, according to the anathemas of the time, Constantine was baptized by a heretic and by virtue of the Nicene Creed, not qualified to give that baptism.

http://latter-rain.com/eccle/euseb.htm

 

Eusebius of Caesarea recorded that the bishops "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom"  of baptizing Constantine in May 337 by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicodemia  before Constantine's death on May 22, 337 at age of 65.

 http://orthodoxwiki.org/Constantine_the_Great

 

Therefore Calvary was to the north of the city, and not to the west of the city. There is one hill, north of the city, called Gordon's Calvary and near it lies the Garden Tomb where our Lord was laid for three days. The Lord Jesus Christ did not remain in the grave, but He rose victoriously on the third day. Josephus agreed with the historians that lived in the fifth century A.D., and they said that Calvary is around 200 meters north of the northern wall.

 

The description of the tomb in the holy Sepulcher, according  to the Russian Abbot Daniel, does not fit the gospels description of the tomb. "… the Russian Abbot Daniel (who visited the Holy Sepulcher in the year 1106  A.D.) saw it, but said little." Daniel says it, "was a little grotto hewn in the rock, square, low-roofed, with an entrance so low that a man can hardly enter on his knees with bowed head."  Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre, p. 45. No place in the gospels says anyone crept into the tomb. The large stone at the entrance also infers that the entrance was large. "And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great." Mark 16: 4 Why should they have a very great stone at an entrance so low and small?

I.                  Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre, by p. Stancy Waddy, A. R. Mowbray & Co. Ltd. 1924.

II.               The Holy Places of Jerusalem, by T. Hayter Lewis, John Murray, Albemarle St. 1888

III.           Galgatha & the Holy Sepulchre, by C. W. Wilson

IV.           The City of Jerusalem, by Col. C.R. Condor, London John Murray, Albemarle St. w.  1909

V.              The Jewish War, By Josephus, Translated by G. A. Williamson, Penguin Books  1959.

 

 

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REV. ATIF HIMADEH

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