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Jesus Christ
Garden Tomb

Jerusalem, Israel.
Travel & Tour
Pictures, Photos, & Information.

Audrey DeLange
November 1999.

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In Jerusalem for a visit in 1884, General Charles Gordon spied a prominent rocky crag which looked to him like it could be the "place of the skull" mentioned in the Bible as where Jesus was crucified.

Around the corner Gordon identified an ancient tomb and putting the two together he located the hill of crucifixion and the nearby burial place.

The Garden Tomb is believed by many to be the resting place of Jesus. Some archaeologists question the authenticity of this tomb because typological features suggest that it is a tomb originally created during the time of the Old Testament and not a "new tomb" as specifically stated in Scripture.

The site that is today known as the Garden Tomb, near the Damascus Gate, was unearthed in 1867. While not all archaeologists agree about its date, many have described it as a Jewish tomb of the 1st century A.D. In later years it was probably used for Christian worship. There are indications of a church structure, including early Christian crosses.

The Garden includes a tomb, a site for Golgotha, a winepress, and a water cistern. Scripture tells us that after Jesus was crucified, a rich religious leader of the Jews named Joseph (of Arimathea) was granted the Lord's body. Matthew 27:59-60 says, "Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away." And John 19:41 states, "At the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid." The archaeological evidence found here indicates that this vineyard's owner was a wealthy man. His tomb was cut out of solid rock, with a large weeping chamber, and a channel for a rolling stone. It is remarkable that all the features mentioned in the biblical account of Joseph's tomb can be seen at the Garden Tomb.

In an interview of the then Keeper of the Tomb, Rev. Solomon Mattar, by James A.B. Haggart, in 1965, it was pointed out that; "If you look inside the sepulchre you will see several crosses painted in red, the one of the East wall appears plainly, accompanied by the Greek letters, 'Alpha and Omega.' These crosses were placed there by the early Christians, because the tomb has been sealed by dirt and debris since the days of Jesus and His followers." Also; "If you study the loculus where the body of Jesus was laid, you will notice that about three inches of the granite rock was very hurriedly removed at the foot of the tomb. The walls of the sepulchre are all finely chiselled, but this is rough chiselling. To me it is obvious that the loculus was formed to accommodate Joseph, who would have been about 5 foot 8 inches tall. Workmen hurriedly lengthened the tomb to accommodate Jesus' body, which according to measurements of the space indicates He was 5 foot eleven inches tall!"

The Hill of the Skull or Golgotha, located at the site, has eroded badly in the last hundred years, but some maintain they can still see the eye sockets and the nose bridge. Regardless, it is noted that while the Bible locates the crucifixion at the "place of the skull," it never says that it was on a hill, nor that this place bore the resemblance of a skull. It also could be questioned as to if this hill which resembles a skull looked the same 2000 years ago.

There is no entrance fee. The Garden and its ministry are supported by the voluntary gifts of visitors.

From the Damascus Gate on the northern side of the Old City, cross the main street and walk up Nablus Road. The Garden Tomb is located on Conrad Schick Street, a narrow lane 400m up Nablus Road, on the right hand side. It is clearly signposted.

Today the Garden is owned and administered by The Garden Tomb Association, a charitable trust based in the United Kingdom. The Association has undertaken the conservation of the site. There is work aimed at stabilizing the cliff and rock from which the tomb is cut. The Roman plaster inside the cistern has begun to deteriorate. And there is a substantial vertical crack in need of repair in order to retain the rainwater that is stored for watering the garden in the dry summer months.

If you wish to contact them we have a link to their web site at the bottom of this page.

The easy way to get to Jerusalem, is to fly into the Ben Gurion International Airport. The airport is close to Jerusalem, which is about 5 miles away.

The Ben Gurion International Airport, (IATA: TLV, ICAO: LLBG), also referred to by its Hebrew acronym Natbag, is the largest and busiest international airport in Israel. It was named the best airport in the Middle East by the ACI organisation.[ The airport is located near the city of Lod, 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv. It is operated by the Israel Airports Authority, a government-owned corporation that manages all public airports and border crossings in the State of Israel. The Ben Gurion International Airport is considered one of the world's most secure airports, with a security force that includes both police officers and IDF soldiers.

There are several hotels in or near Jerusalem.

There are several Guided Tour Agencies offering standard city, and historical tours of Jerusalem, Israel and the surrounding areas.

After arranging your flight we would suggest getting your hotel and then letting them arrange tours of the area for you. If you call the hotels Concierge Services ahead of your arrival, all of this can be pre-arranged for you.

I do this all the time. It is safe and it works!!! I have never experienced a problem doing it this way!

I have links to Priceline.Com on our page so that you can arrange your flight and hotel in the Jerusalem, Israel area.



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The Garden Tomb ( Jerusalem) Association CONTACT DETAILS

Telephone 02 539 8100

Fax 02 627 272

Web Site www.gardentomb.com

Email mail@gardentomb.com

The Garden Tomb, PO Box 19462, Jerusalem, 91193, Israel

 

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