CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Answering Peter Kriby's comments to my article on Have Tomb, Will Argue.

Peter Kirby said...

This material was discussed at IIDB. There remains zero evidence from the first century that any tomb, let alone the 'Holy Sepulchre', was venerated as the tomb of Jesus.




By 0 evidence of course you mean after closing your eyes and saying "O this isn't there" when we talk about:

(1) two archaeologial expiditions
(2) the evidence from the edicule
(3) the fact that the place was being called Gallgotha beforoe Constinatine chose it
(4) That Eusebiue was there when the temple of venus was found
(5) the pilgrim's reports Eubuseibus speaks of when he says that the Jewish Christians kept the gentiles aprized of the location.
(6) the fac that the Jewish Christians acknowledged it
(7)the fact that there really is a temple of Venus under the site and that's what they were to look for.

Yea, 0 evidence, just like there's 0 evidence that God exists. That's another good anhteist line.


Archaeology cannot yet identify with certainty the tomb of Christ, but here is strong evidence supporting the Church of the Holy Seplicur as the original site. The site does date back to the fourth century when it was shown to Constantine. Bruce attests to the evidential support.(FF Bruch, New Testament Documents) . More important confirmation comes from Gaalyah Cornfeld in Archaeology of The Bible Book By Book. (1976). Cornfeld tells us that from early times Christians reverenced the site, but it was desecrated when the Romans put up a statue of one of their gods. Jewish-Christians could no longer worship at the site for that reason, but they continued the knowledge of it until the time of Constantine when they were able to point him to it as the original site of the resurrection. Constantine put up a basilica over the original shrine, the Anastasis. Excavations by V. Corbo found a gold ring with the representation of the dome of the original shrine Anastasis. This indicates that this site was venerated by Christians in ancient times as the site of the resurrection. (and there is an empty tomb underneither it). (See Archaeology of The Bible: Book by Book, New York: Harper and Row, 1976, 271-2).









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Dr. Virgilio Carbo, Major figure in his field. New Testament Archaeologist who disocovered temple of Venus under the CHS in 1968 Expitition.






Kirby:

Since Melito also does not evidence veneration of the tomb of Jesus, as I've already pointed out, there is also zero evidence from the second and third centuries. Our earliest account is in the fourth century.



We don't have the original wirtting where he does so, but that doesnt' matter because Eusebius knew to look for the temple of Venus. Did you not read the article Pete? Not having the original is not the same as it not exsiting. Saying that there is no evidence form subsequent centuries is not the same as there being no evidence.



Kirby:

Metacrock uncritically, to the point of naievete, quotes from the 100-year-old Catholic Encyclopedia, which shows on a straightforward reading to have made its claims based on "what must have been" using the assumption (not showing the conclusion) that the 'Holy Sepulchre' was the resting place of Jesus. All in all, Metacrock's entry is hopelessly deficient in providing any kind of reasoning
.



That's a good point Pete, that says it all, that closes the case, except for one little loose end. they found a temple under the site, like Eusebius said Miltio said they would. Now how do you suppose such a coincidence happened? That's so coincidental, but of of course it doesn't prove anything. because after all there can't be a Tomb of christ. Why if there was someone might actually thing Christianity is ture. We can't have that! can we now?

Pete has fallen into the trap of believing their own hype. He has convenced himself that the mocking oppoents on the secular web message boards really constitute a scholarly gathering of expertise. When they are continent to stop at the surface level, well that's good enough as its "their" argument. Their argument is we don't have that work by Militos, so they must not exist. But when we dig deeper we find that based upon the alledged claims made in those writtings the things Militos suppossedly said to look for really did exist. So there must be something more to it than just "if we don't have them they never existed." Eusebius cliamed to have them and used them to figure out where the tomb was.



Chruch of The Holy Seplechur--Government of Israel site, visited 6/7/01

http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH00v10


"This courtyard, outside the present-day Church of the Holy Sepulcher, is partly supported by a large, vaulted cistern. The northern wall of this cistern is very impressive, consisting of large blocks with dressed margins, still standing several meters high. It has been suggested that this early wall served as the retaining wall of the second century Hadrianic raised platform (podium). This appears to support Eusebius' statement that the Temple of Venus, which Hadrian erected on the site of Jesus' tomb, stood here before the original church was built."



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Temple of venus wall found by Corbo under CHS





Alviero Niccacci, O.F.M.


Archaeology, New Testament, and Early Christianity

Tomado de la página del "Estudio Bíblico Franciscano"



"Since 1961 archaeological soundings, excavations and restorations went on in the Basilica of the HOLY SEPULCHRE. The works were done by the three main Communities - the Greeks, the Armenians and the Franciscans. Fr. Virgilio Corbo acted as a supervisor and the archaeologist of the three communities. In 1981-1982 he published a three-volume illustration on the history of the Holy Sepulchre. By combining the Gospel traditions with the archaeological data Fr. Corbo showed that the area of Golgotha was a quarry of malaky stone since the seventh century BC. The quarry was abandoned in the first century BC and all the area was levelled and transformed into a garden. In this garden two kinds of tombs were carved. One is a single burial with an arcosolium arch. It was cut by Joseph of Arimathea, according to the Gospels and eventually became the tomb of Jesus. The other, lying at a small distance, has many burial places, known as kochim. The place remained a garden until 135 AD when, after curbing the second Jewish revolt, emperor Adrian founded a completely new city under the name of Aelia Capitolina. The area of Golgotha was covered under the basement of the Capitolium, a sacred pagan building. In the new layout the Golgotha found itself inside the city while before it was located outside. From Eusebius of Caesarea we learn that Adrian covered with earth the tomb of Christ in order to conceal it. St Jerome tells us that a statue of Jupiter was erected upon the tomb of Jesus and a statue of Venus on the top of the Golgotha. Archaeological excavations revealed sparse remains of these installations. Again, the pagan transformation helped keep the memory of the site."




ST. Jerome that would be some of that O eveident from subsequent centuries that doesnt' really exist.



(1) Venus and Jupiter

J.Randall Price

Th.M. DTS, Ph.D. Middle Eastern Studies Univ. Texas.



"Excavations conducted in the late 1970's at the site revealed further evidence for this being the place where the original Easter drama was performed. In the lower sections of the Church were discovered the foundations of the Roman emperor Hadrian's "Forum," in which his Temple of Aphrodite had been erected around A.D.135. Hadrian followed Roman custom in building pagan temples and shrines to supercede earlier religious structures. This was done at the site of the Jewish Temple, located not far from the Holy Sepulchre Church, and the fourth century church historian and Bishop of Caesarea Eseubius confirms that it was also done in this case: "Hadrian built a huge rectangular platform over this quarry, concealing the holy cave beneath this massive mound." If the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the actual site venerated by Christians as the tomb of Jesus, it would explain this location for the Roman building."




(2) Was it Really a Roman Temple? What kind of Temple was it?


I'm sure atheists will cloud the issue by probing to find what kind of temple. There appear to be "conflicting traditions as to wheather it was a temple of Venus, or of Jupiter, or even another diety. This obscrues the fact that all archaeologists agree there was a pagan temple there. The evidence points to both, statue of Jupiter, temple of Venus.


Basillica of the Anastasis/Resurrection

Franciscan Cybrespot

Church of The Holy Seplecure

(visited 1/12/05)


"Emperor Hadrian suppressed the revolt in 135 AD and decided to demolish the whole city of Jerusalem in order to erase all sites which could incite another revolt by the Jewish people. The emperor also forbade any Jewish presence in the new city. A Gentile-Christian community continued to live in Jerusalem and they ensured the continuity of identification of the sacred sites (the first bishop of this community was Marcus).





A coin minted in Hadrian's Aelia Capitolina - Jerusalem

Hadrian thus prepared a completely new city structured on Hellenistic plans and renamed it "Aelia Capitolina" ("Aelia" in his honour and "Capitolina" because it was to contain a Capitol for the Roman gods). In this new architectural plan the Garden of Golgotha came to be at the centre of the new city. Some authors maintain that the area on this Garden became the Capitol of the new city with altars for the three main Roman gods - Jupiter at the centre flanked by Juno and Minerva. Others, quoting evidence provided by the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea, maintain that the temple was dedicated to Aphrodite. Both schools of thought agree that a pagan temple was erected on this site.



Confirming Biblical Hisotry


Originally quoting

From BreakPoint, May 2, 2002 Copyright © 2002, reprinted with permission of Prison Fellowship, P.O. Box 17500, Washington DC, 20041-7500 www.breakpoint.org


"One of the most powerful evidences for the truth of the Gospels is found underneath an ancient church in Jerusalem. Ironically, in attempting to cover up the evidence, the ancient enemies of Christianity preserved it for later generations.

Our story begins in the year 135 AD The Roman emperor Hadrian had just subjugated Judea after the Second Jewish Revolt. Hadrian was determined to impose Roman religion upon the Judeans. After destroying the Jewish synagogues in Jerusalem, he then turned his attention to the Christians. What better way to squelch this upstart religion than to obliterate its holy places? The site of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection was known and venerated by Christians at the time. So Hadrian concealed the site under a massive concrete platform and built a temple to the pagan god Zeus on top of it.

Nearly two centuries later the tables turned: The emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. He decided to build a magnificent church in Jerusalem to commemorate Christ's crucifixion and resurrection—and he insisted that the church be built upon the actual site. When Constantine's architects arrived in Palestine, Christians pointed them to Hadrian's temple, which marked the very spot.

The builders set to work demolishing the pagan temple. Sure enough, underneath they found the ancient quarry called Golgotha—and nearby, the remains of the tomb of Christ. Today, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City still marks the actual site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. You see, the early Christians knew their faith was rooted in historical events. They built churches throughout the Holy Land for precisely that reason—to mark the actual location.


The pagan temple of Hadrian was built on the east-west axis and was surrounded by a Temenos (a protective wall with its façade on the Cardus Maximus from where you entered into the sacred enclosure). St. Jerome, in a letter to Paulinus in 395 says that: "Since the times of Hadrian up to the empire of Constantine, for almost 180 years, the statue of Jupiter was venerated on the place of the Resurrection and on the rock of the cross a marble statue of Venus placed there by the gentiles. In the intentions of the perpetrators of the persecutions they would have removed our faith in the resurrection in the cross had they profaned the holy sites with idols". From these descriptions, confirmed also by the archaeological research carried out in the area, we know that this pagan temple of Aelia transformed the Judeo-Christian site into a pagan one by placing the cult of Jupiter on the tomb of the Lord and that of Venus on Calvary. This situation continued for about 180 years as is stated by Jerome himself.




B. Biddle Excavation.

Drawing upon work done in the 1980s in relation to accessing damages for repair, one of the most prominate British Archaeologists, Martin Biddle, with his wife, excavated the site and found that it may well be the actual tomb.

Link

"The study by Professor Martin Biddle, Professor of Medieval Archaeology, and his wife, the Danish archaeologist, Birthe Kjobye-Biddle, shows how a tomb found in AD 325–6 under a Roman temple, has a good claim to be the tomb in which the body of Christ was laid on the evening of the crucifixion in AD 30 or 33. It also explores how it has fared over the centuries."

Biddle's data is distilled into a book entitaled The Tomb of Christ

Biddle helps to confrim the authenticity of the site as that of Constantine, he also verifies some of Eusebius' observations. Corbo verifies the site as connected to first century oral tradition and veneration. Thus, the site's authenticity is a high probability. There are no counter arguments and no alternate sites with any real claim to the title.




The evidence for frist century veneration is of two kinds, eithe secondary sources asserting that the Christians marked the spot, (which is borne out because what they predicted would be found was found) and Eusebuis was, while being a secondary source, at least claimed to have read the stuff from Militos. But Eusebius was writting about that before the excavations or the holy land. The area in question was being called "Galgatha" by locals before Eusebius and Contantine got there. So that's a good indication that his infromation was reliable.


This is my Page three of "Have tomb, will argue" from Doxa


Page 3


Dare We Trust Eusebius the "Lair?"



Most of the early evidence for the CHS site comes fro Eusebius. For this reason,I'm sure we can expect this statment, "Dare we trust Eusebius the 'liar'" as the first and major argument of sketpics. Skeptics on the internet, those who fequent organized atheist sites such as Secular Web, have a special hate for Eusebius. This is probably because he's such a lynch pin of early chruch history, but their arguments are based upon a total pack of lies which have been refuted easily by Roger Preice. Be that as it may, I urge the reader to read that page. But let's go on with Eusebius' track record on the CHS and the tomb site, we will see that he was an honest and fine historian.




C. Confirmations of Eusebius



(1) Eusebius knew the contemporary site.


Of course the major recourse of the skeptic will be to just assume that Eusebius made it all up.But what did he make up exactly? Well, the major evidence for the oral tradition of the tomb location comes from a Pilgrim named Melito of Sardis. We do have writtings by him, but we do not have those writtings where he speaks of the Jerusalem elder's revealing to him the traditional locale of the site. If those writtings exist today, I cannot find them. But that doesn't mean Eusebius made them up out of whole cloth. I'm sure teh sketpics will say it does, but why would he?

Why use a writter whose writtings exited in his own day, and then just fabricate that he wrote soemthing? He had no idea that we in this age would not have those writtings. He had no way of knowing that the information couldn't be checked out. Why not just say the Jerusalem elders told him the tradition orally, instead of attributing it to a writter who might otherwise be verified?

Moreover, the descriptions he gives of the stie in his day reflect the kind of work that we know would have been in progress at the time.


Franciscan Cybrespot

The Churches of Jerusale

by Asher Ovadiah



The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was investigated for the first time by trial soundings during 1933/34 and has been re-examined from 1960 onwards by various scholars. It is a huge and sophisticated architectural complex consisting of four units: an outer atrium, a basilica (or Martyrium) an inner atrium and a rotunda (around the Anastasis), a circular domed structure separated from the basilica by an second, inner atrium. This latter structure solved the problem of linking the Martyrium (the basilica) to the church complex. (13)

The basilica (martyrium) and the domed structure above the tomb constituted two separate architectural features with the second, inner atrium between them as the connecting feature. On the Madaba Map the entire complex is shown: a propylaeum begins west of the colonnaded street (the cardo maximus), and behind it there is a basilica with three entrances and a domed structure (the Anastasis). (14)

Eusebius' brief description of the rotunda contrasts with his long and detailed description of the basilica (Martyrium), which at that time was already completed. Eusebius' fragmentary description of the rotunda appears to be due to the fact that during his visit to Jerusalem the rotunda was still under construction and surrounded by scaffolding. (15)




I understand that the author is actaully saying that Eusebius account contradicts the nature of the site. But read carefully, he actaully says that due to construction the nature of the site would have appeared this way to Ebusebius at the time. Had he just made it all up, and gotten a general description of the lay out from someone else, chances are he would not have been consistant with the construction going on but would have reflected the pre-construction condition.



Thus, in the time of Constantine the basilica was built and construction of the Anastasis (rotunda) was begun, but this was not completed until the end of the fourth century. It is possible that this is why Eusebius does not mention the structure of the Anastasis. On the other hand, Aetheria-Egeria, who visited the site at the end of the century (395), does give a description, which obliges us to conclude that a structure already stood there. (16) It is plausible to consider that if a straight wall around the aedicula, according to Couasnon's isometric plan, (17) did exist on its south, west and north sides, at sometime during the building of the rotunda, it was almost certainly meant to isolate the ongoing construction of the rotunda and the peripheral wall, to prevent pilgrims or visitors from being injured. This may be another reason for Eusebius' brief description of the rotunda. It would seem that Modestus' building projects after the Persian conquest were limited to repairs and restoration only, and did not include the construction of new buildings. Thus the structure which Arculfus saw in 670 was actually the fourth-century structure, which still stands today in large part.

We may conclude, therefore, that the rotunda with its two rings, the inner ring of columns, the dome, (18) and the outer ring (which is three quarters of a circle) with the three semi-circular niches, belong to the period of Constantinian construction. These conclusions are based on scholarly opinions, the schematic description of the church complex on the Madaba Mosaic Map, (19) and the absence of references in literary sources to changes and/or repairs and restorations of the rotunda between the reigns of Constantine and of Justinian, as well as recent archaeological discoveries. This form was adopted by the Patriarch Modestus in the third and fourth decades of the seventh century, when he restored and repaired the complex after the damage wrought by the Persians. Perhaps the twelve columns, mentioned by Eusebius as symbolizing the twelve Apostles, are those which form the inner ring of the rotunda and supported the hemisphere or the dome. (20



What this all means is that Eusebius either went to the site personally, or he consulted someone who did, and took such amazing notes that he could describe the site so well that it truely reflects the kind of work that would have been done on the site at the time. Chances are, he was an eye witness to the site, and to the discovery of the tomb. That also means he had ample opportunity to research the claims of the oral tradition first hand.


Another example of Eusebius' first hand knowledge of the site is the fill dirt over the tomb and the vestage of the pagan temple; including the fac that it was a temple of Venus.


franciscan cybrespot, the basillica


Christian literary sources recount how the Garden of Golgotha was filled up to level off the area for the construction of the new Roman temple. Here is how Eusebius of Caesarea (265-340 AD), a native of Palestine, describes these events in his Life of Constantine:

"This sacred cave, then, certain impious and godless persons had thought to remove entirely from the eyes of men, supposing in their folly that thus they should be able to effectively obscure the truth. Accordingly, they brought a quantity of dirt from a distance with much labor, and covered the entire spot; then, having raised this to a moderate height, they paved it with stone, concealing the holy cave beneath this massive mound. Then, as though their purpose had been effectively accomplished, they prepared on this foundation a truly dreadful sepulchre of souls, by building a gloomy shrine of lifeless idols to the impure spirit whom they call Venus, and offering detestable oblations therein on profane and accursed altars. For they supposed that their object could not otherwise be fully attained, than by thus burying the sacred cave beneath these foul pollutions." (III, XXVI - see also the account by Eusebius about the Holy Sepulchre)



compare with modern archaeology:


J.Randall Price

Th.M. DTS, Ph.D. Middle Eastern Studies Univ. Texas.


"Excavations conducted in the late 1970's at the site revealed further evidence for this being the place where the original Easter drama was performed. In the lower sections of the Church were discovered the foundations of the Roman emperor Hadrian's "Forum," in which his Temple of Aphrodite had been erected around A.D.135. Hadrian followed Roman custom in building pagan temples and shrines to supercede earlier religious structures. This was done at the site of the Jewish Temple, located not far from the Holy Sepulchre Church, and the fourth century church historian and Bishop of Caesarea Eseubius confirms that it was also done in this case: "Hadrian built a huge rectangular platform over this quarry, concealing the holy cave beneath this massive mound." If the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the actual site venerated by Christians as the tomb of Jesus, it would explain this location for the Roman building."



This shows that Eusebius was right about the fill dirt, the nature of the pagan temple, as well as the platform and other matters.





(2)The Nature of the Claims



(a) The description of the sites and its' place in the community.


Martin Biddle


Tomb of Chist

Israel Review of Arts and Letters

Wesite belonging to:Israel Ministry Foreign Affairs

visited 1/8/05


Biddle:"But is this indeed the Tomb of Christ? All we can say with absolutely certainty is that this is the tomb which has been recognized as such since 325-6. Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea, was surprised by its discovery. It was "beyond all expectation," and he hailed it, apparently without any doubt, as the place where Christ had risen from the dead. Why did he do this? What was the evidence? Eusebius, using the Greek word antron, says only that it was a cave. Perhaps, like the tomb of St. Peter in Rome, found below the papal high altar in the 1940s, the rock-cut tomb in Jerusalem bore inscriptions or graffiti: "Jesus, save us!", or "He is risen!" Eusebius does not say and we do not know."

"It is not as if it was the only tomb there. Some eight rock-cut tombs have so far been found below the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Some have kokhim (Heb.), the deep niches at right-angles to the wall into which a body could be inserted as into the drawers of a modern mortuary. At least one of these tombs (now below the Coptic Patriarchate) seems to be very like the tomb whose remains are still today covered by the edicule. Perhaps Eusebius identified the tomb now preserved within the edicule as the Tomb of Christ because it was near to Golgotha. This is suggested in St. Johns Gospel when it says that there was a "garden" at the place of Crucifixion, and that in that garden there was a tomb. But it may also have been because of the features of the tomb then discovered: a movable rolling stone, a low entrance through which it was necessary to bend down to look in or enter, and a bench on the right-hand side where Christs body could have lain and the "angel" could have sat, matched those described in the Gospel.

What we can say is this: if the events of Jesus arrest, trial and execution in Jerusalem are to be taken as historical fact, then there is no other site which has any significant claim to be the place of his execution and burial.

Some points are crucial to note. First, the site was outside the city walls at the date of the Crucifixion in 30 or 33 CE. Second, the tomb was in an existing Jewish cemetery of rock-cut tombs typical of the Jerusalem area in the Second Temple period. Third, the place-name Golgotha seems to have lived on in local memory, despite the vast changes in the area brought about by Hadrians foundation of Aelia Capitolina in 132 CE. Before the end of the third century, Eusebius wrote in his Onomastikon, the "Place-Names of Palestine," that: "... Golgotha, place of a skull, where the Christ was crucified ... which is pointed out in Aelia to the north of Mt. Sion."



In other words, the site of he CHS fits the site descriptions we have in relation to Eusebius site and it fits what we would expect of the tomb location, including the name Galgotha which has been associated with that place for a very long time. But this is not the best evidence. New evidence has come to light throuh Dr. Biddle



(b) New Evidence that Oral Tradition was Indepdent of Euebius


Ibid


"It is only in recent years that study of Eusebius text has shown that the writing of his Onomastikon should be dated to the late third century, perhaps to the 290s, long before Constantines workers cleared the Rock of Golgotha and uncovered the tomb.

There was thus a landmark to guide Constantines workmen. They removed the Roman temple covering the site and the masses of earth and rubble forming the platform on which it stood, cleared the Rock of Golgotha and then, to their surprise, found a tomb which fitted the Gospel descriptions. The position is best put by the Israeli scholar Dan Bahat, former City Archaeologist of Jerusalem:

"We may not be absolutely certain that the site of the Holy Sepulchre Church is the site of Jesus burial, but we certainly have no other site that can lay a claim nearly as weighty, and we really have no reason to reject the authenticity of the site."

What happened to the tomb thus discovered? Constantines engineers dug away the living rock leaving the block in which the tomb was cut standing as an isolated monolith in the middle of a broad flat area. They cut away the partly covered forecourt in front of the tomb a feature typical of Jewish tombs of the Second Temple period in the Jerusalem area and surrounded the rock with marble columns to form a small rotunda covered by a facetted conical roof, and in front of it, in the place of the forecourt, erected a pedimented portico.



In other words, Eusebius could not have made up the site and then fit the evidence to the facts, because it was already called "Galgotha" and thus thought to be the place, before any work was done and before Contantine's men even went to the Holy Land. This means that Eusebius was working from a prior tradition. We may now have no reason to doubt his word about the sources from which he derives the oral tradition, or that the Christians of Jerusalem always knew the location of the tomb by the temple of Venus above it.



(c) Eusebius had Multiple Sources


There was certainly no need for Eusebius to make up the information that M of S had provided the oral tradition about the site from pilgrims and Jews (and Jewish Christians) when he also had the Mayer of Jerusalem and others to guide him into the tradition. All he had to do was to say that his sources were not written and they would not need to be confirmed (nor could they disproven to exist).

The mayor of Jerusalem had to have access to this tradition, otherwise, would have dared to ask Constatine to clear the city of pagan cites which were over sacred Christian sites? Doesn't it just stand to reason that if he asked the emperor to do this, he would have a way of providing him with information to the cites? If it was just a matter of making things up, why go thorugh the pretense of asking? Clearly there are multiple sources here with each its own roote into that oral tradition of saved sacred sites.


Franciscan Cybrespot


In 325, during the first ecumenical council of Nicea, the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, invited Emperor Constantine to destroy the pagan temples built atop the Christian holy sites in the Holy City. The Emperor, now Pontifex Maximus of the whole Roman Empire and strong in his position decreed the demolition of the pagan temples built atop the Christian Holy Site. This is how Eusebius describe s the event:

"He judged it incumbent on him to render the blessed locality of our Saviour's resurrection an object of attraction and veneration to all. He issued immediate injunctions, therefore, for the erection in that spot of a house of prayer: and this he did, not on the mere natural impulse of his own mind, but being moved in spirit by the Saviour himself.....but calling on the divine aid, gave orders that the place should be thoroughly purified, thinking that the parts which had been most polluted by the enemy ought to receive special tokens, through his means, of the greatness of the divine favor. As soon, then, as his commands were issued, these engines of deceit were cast down from their proud eminence to the very ground, and the dwelling-places of error, with the statues and the evil spirits which they represented, were overthrown and utterly destroyed.....Nor did the emperor's zeal stop here; but he gave further orders that the materials of what was thus destroyed, both stone and timber, should be removed and thrown as far from the spot as possible; and this command also was speedily executed. The emperor, however, was not satisfied with having proceeded thus far: once more, fired with holy ardor, he directed that the ground itself should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place".(III, XXV-XXVII)


The claims of Eusebius are verified by modern archaeology. That proves he didn't make it up. It can't be proven that there was a resurrection, it can't be proven that there was a tomb, not absolutely, but he odds are strong since the facts stack up with the claims made, and the oral tradition is coming from a veriety of sources (see pervious page).
D. CHS fits the consensus on Holy Sites


Archaeology, New Testament, and Early Christianity

Alviero Niccacci, O.F.M


.

Tomado de la página del "Estudio Bíblico Franciscano"


"In the fourth century emperor Constantine dismantled the Capitolium and erected a splendid mausoleum on the tomb of Jesus, or Anastasis (resurrection), a basilica called Martyrium (testimony), while the rock of the Calvary remained on open air, having a cross on its top. Around the Calvary Christian legends flourished, especially two of them called “The cave of the treasures” and “The combat of Adam and Eve”. These legends have a strong Jewish background. Theologically they aim to link the first Adam to the second, sin to redemption for all humanity. This first group of holy places is authentic beyond reasonable doubt because we witness a large convergence of data - biblical, archaeological and literary both of ancient authors (such as apocrypha) and of pilgrims during the centuries (different itineraries to the Holy Land)."


Bib Arch. Review
Amos Kloner
Did a Rolling STone Close Jesus' Tomb?


"Scholars generally agree that the site of the Holy Sepulchre Church marks the location of Jesus' burial.*** But the aedicule (shrine) inside the church, which marks the traditional burial site, bears no signs of a first-century burial. The burial shelf in the aedicule is covered with a later slab, which does not appear to be part of the local bedrock and was probably imported into the cave.(15) Until recently, only the bench on the right side of the aedicule was thought to have been original. (The aedicule itself dates to the beginnning of the 19th century.) Recent studies at the site, however, have not shed light on the relationship between the rock, the foundations and the aedicule as they exist today and the original burial cave.(16) The only indication that the spot where the aedicule now stands might once have been a tomb is the presence of a burial cave with loculi a few yards away.(17)



It is worth noting that the profanation of the site by Emperor Hadrian targeted an existing place of worship of the Judeo-Christian community of Jerusalem both at the tomb and on Calvary. This early worship lies at the roots of the apocryphal writings of this primitive Judeo-Christian community of Jerusalem (these writings are known as the Adam and Eve cycle comprising "The Cave of Treasures" and "The combat of Adam").

2 comments:

Metacrock said: "the pilgrim's reports Eubuseibus speaks of when he says that the Jewish Christians kept the gentiles aprized of the location."

Where does Eusebius say this and where does he connect Melito to the site of the tomb? Could you cite the source and maybe even quote it?

Metacrock,

Peter Kirby’s criticisms are accurate. You’ve thrown together a bunch of stuff pulled from web sites, but are not really familiar with the evidence either for or against the Holy Sepulchre being the tomb of Jesus. You allude to ‘the archaeological evidence’ but do not seem to have much idea what that is. You do not clearly distinguish between the evidence for the present site being the site chosen by Constantine (which is hardly disputed) and evidence that would show that Constantine’s choice was right (which is widely disputed by scholars, and not just uninformed atheists and skeptics). The ring you talk about has a depiction of the shrine that Constantine built at the site and thus is not pre-Constantinian evidence. You badly overstate ‘the archaeological evidence’ in general. Martin Biddle, who favors the authenticity of the site and on whom you rely heavily, says: “The contribution of archaeology to this enquiry is very limited. There is evidence for a large building of Roman date on the site now occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but it is doubtful that it can be precisely dated or more closely identified. Except as a monumental public structure. There is certainly insufficient evidence to establish the former existence of a raised podium, let alone of a temple, on the site of the tomb, were it not for the evidence of Eusebius.” Biddle, in fact, does not consider Eusebius fully reliable and rejects Eusebius’ claim that there was a temple to Venus over the site of the tomb until Constantine demolished it. Biddle uses numismatic evidence to argue that the temple was that of Tyche and that Eusebius said it was to Venus because that goddess was more offensive to Christians (pp. 56-57). You also attribute to Eusebius a tradition that Jewish-Christian venerated the tomb and that they and Melito of Sardis knew the location of the tomb. Eusebius says no such thing. You have taken a hypothetical reconstruction proposed by modern defenders of the authenticity of the tomb and mis-attributed it to ancient sources. You are clearly not familiar with what Eusebius says about the tomb, or with Biddle’s book. One of the reasons that skeptics are skeptical is that they suspect that believers accept many of their beliefs uncritically and do not carefully examine the evidence on which they are based. In the case of you and the Holy Sepulchre, this suspicion is entirely justified.

--Sepulchral Voice

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