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Biblical Sites Reveal Major Historical Truths About Jesus

01-02-2017
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Thousands of Christians visit biblical sites in Israel each year. Now they can enjoy a new tour that uses artifacts to bring to life even more details from the time of Jesus.
 
This giant model of Jerusalem from the second Jewish temple period begins the new Cradle of Christianity tour.  Visitors to the Israel museum see artifacts that will enhance stories in the Bible.

This is the Jerusalem that Jesus knew. This is Jerusalem that Herod the Great built.

Senior Curator David Mevorah said the model will give Christians a better perspective of specific areas mentioned in scripture.

The Temple and the Temple Mount, the largest monument in the city. The model that is built in a scale of 1 to 50 shows these important sites that Jesus goes through, for instance, the pools of Bethesda where Jesus performs one of his miracles of healing. It's all surrounding this city, which has only one Temple for one God. 

We still have the supporting walls of the Temple Mount, the Wailing Wall is the Western Wall of the support of this huge project but only very few finds were left from the buildings itself. 

Two important artifacts from there are part of the tour.

One of them is an inscription in Hebrew, a sign for the priest to stand and blow the horn for the entrance of Saturday, meaning the time to cease work and again at the exit of Saturday, when you can resume work. 

The other sign is in Greek.  It is the parameter that surrounded the Temple itself in the Temple Mount, signs in Greek and Latin forbidding Gentiles to enter the Temple itself. 

According to Mevorach it's rare to find artifacts that directly relate to historical figures.

In the case of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus we've been extremely lucky. 

Three finds relate directly to the story and to the details and two of them relate directly to the most important people in these final days of Jesus.

One is an ossuary - a burial bone box inscribed with Joseph, son of Caiaphas the high priest.

We are almost 100 percent sure that this is the Caiaphas that we know from stories in the New Testament, the high priest that arrests Jesus and turns him into the Romans for his trial.

The second is a stone bearing the name of Pontius Pilate.

The third is evidence of the roman practice of crucifixion found in a bone box.

There is a heel bone that has a huge iron nail driven through it.  This is the only find in the whole world of actual crucifixion. 

Visitor, Terry Herndon, from Birmingham, Alabama said, "Just seeing the artifacts made it come alive and to see what I've read about made it come alive in my life."

Another tourist said, "To see so many artifacts of world history and of our Christian faith in one place so quickly and to be able to comprehend it so quickly is just really amazing and it really confirms our faith, it confirms what the bible teaches us and teaches us the place of our Christian faith in world history, context, it's outstanding." 

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