Archaeologists discover supposed new location of Jesus's trial in Jerusalem

If Jesus was tried at the site near the Tower of David rather than at the Antonia Fortress, pilgrims have been walking the wrong path when following the Stations of the Cross.

January 7, 2015 15:58
1 minute read.
Christians in Jerusalem

A Christian woman outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. (photo credit: ARIEL COHEN)


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Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that indicates the trial of Jesus occurred near the Tower of David in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The newly-released information began to be uncovered 15 years ago with the plans to expand the Tower of David Museum in the Old City. As archaeologists began digging they uncovered what appeared to be the site of the famous biblical trial. After years of further excavations and delays, the site is finally open to the public for viewing.

Historians knew that the site had previously been used as a prison during the time of the Ottoman Turks and the British rule, but it wasn't until recently that they uncovered the site’s supposed original purpose.

According to New Testament scholars, the location of the trial of Jesus is where Jesus was just before he died. In the Gospels, Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate in a military general’s tent (known as a praetorium in Latin).

This discovery presents a new problem for Christianity as a whole; for centuries Christians have thought that the Antonia Fortress was the site of Jesus’s trial and death. The Fortress is the first stop on the nine Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa, the road that Jesus traveled as he carried the cross from his trial to his crucifixion. The last Station of the Cross is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

If Jesus was actually tried at the archaeological site near the Tower of David rather than the Antonia Fortress, pilgrims have been walking the wrong path and the Via Dolorosa will need to be corrected.

The site of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion have long been under scrutiny, and no historian has ever been able to make a definitive statement as to the exact location of these holy sites. While the church has yet to comment on this most recent discovery, it is likely that this wont be the last time a new discovery is made regarding the whereabouts of Jesus Christ.

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