Where is Jerusalem?
Tue Feb 7, 2017 12:07

Here are just some of the problems.

1. Unlike Josephus, the Romans did not make any distinction whatsoever between Samaritans and Jews. Both were "Iudeans" as far as Romans were concerned.

2. When the First Jewish-Roman War began in 66 A.D., there were two temples of the Hebrew god in the holy land. One was on Mount Ephraim (north) and the other was on Mount Zion (south). The Samaritan temple on Mount Ephraim was a replica of the Jerusalem temple on Mount Zion. Both of these places were destroyed during the war. The Roman general Cerealis destroyed the Samaritan temple and killed 11,600 people gathered inside (so it was a big place). Titus destroyed the Jerusalem temple and killed an even far greater number of people gathered inside the city.

3. The city of Shechem at the foot of Mount Ephraim has place named Shalem (Gen 33:18).

4. Jerusalem's other name is also Shalem (Gen 14:18).

5. Josephus writes that Titus so completely destroyed the temple in Jerusalem none of the Herodian masonry was left unexcavated. The Romans leveled the city to the point Josephus says you would not think this place was ever inhabited.

6. On the other hand, the place universally called Jerusalem today has thousands of Herodian stone blocks still in their original place. Everywhere you look you can see Herodian masonry in the lower courses of the temple mount wall. I.e. this city was not completely destroyed but much of it was left standing.

7. There is no possibility that Masada has been misidentified. Josephus gives a very accurate and detailed description of this desert fortress. Contrast this with the city where Josephus was born and raised. All of the sudden, scholarship believes Josephus does not know what he is talking about. His description of Jerusalem, the layout of the city, the temple, the gates, the walls, and on and on, have what scholars describe as an astounding number of inaccuracies and discrepancies. The consensus is that Josephus had very poor memory of Jerusalem but not with other places like Caesarea, Samaria, Masada, etc. Something is very wrong here. Even Josephus' location of Jerusalem has been dismissed. He says Jerusalem is near Masada. Modern Jerusalem is nowhere near Masada but 200 km away!

This is just a sample of the problems, and its easy to see what may have led to the confusion. When Hadrian toured Syria he stopped in "Jerusalem" and decided to rebuild it as a Roman city. Which Jerusalem? Dio Cassius is short on details and the later Christian writers automatically assume he meant Mount Zion. But by the time of Hadrian's visit the Romans had not only altered the ethnic makeup of the holy land, they also renamed it "Palestine," and they presumably renamed cities and mountains in order to dilute the "Jewish" tie to the land.

Eusebius is proof this is what happened. He writes that he saw with his own eyes how the Romans plowed "Mount Zion" into a farmland and refuse dump. He says this was the cite of the Jewish temple and God's punishment was fulfilled. Mount Zion for Eusebius is the southwestern hill in modern Jerusalem, and for centuries this is where Christianity located the Jewish temple until modern scholarship said Mount Zion is really the southeastern ridge and the temple was not built on Mount Zion like Josephus says but north of it. Without realizing it, Eusebius confirms that the temple mount, or Haram es-Sharif as it is called in Arabic, was not completely destroyed but that the Romans built Aelia on top of its ruins and these Herodian ruins can still be seen to this day. I.e. Eusebius has the wrong Jerusalem and Aelia is not the place Titus leveled to the ground in 70 A.D.

Regards Tory

    • Re: Where is Jerusalem?Delvon, Tue Feb 14 17:36
      Hi Tory Lol, I'm not sure if I understand what you mean. Are you saying 3 cities called Jerusalem: Arad, Gerizim-Shechem and Jerusalem during the first temple period? "Even Josephus' location of... more
      • Re: Where is Jerusalem?Tory, Wed Feb 15 05:03
        Hi Delvon Yes in the past I would have attacked anyone who challenged Jerusalem's location, even Josephus. But living here in Israel, as I have now for many years, is a lot different than reading... more
    • 3147′N 3513′E now and thenJoe Baker, Wed Feb 8 20:56
      • Aelia 3147′N 3513′E now and thenTory, Thu Feb 9 14:10
        Josephus: Gibeon is 40 stadia from Jerusalem Bethlehem is 20 stadia from Jerusalem Gibeon sits in the valley that extends to Bethlehem Jerusalem is next to Masada All four of these claims are made by ... more
        • Josephus on Gibeah: Versions of a Toponym Rich McQuillen, Thu Feb 9 20:10
          An interesting topic, I wish I could read the rest of the article. Josephus on Gibeah: Versions of a Toponym
          • Rich The author does not talk about our issue. He is concerned with Gibeah not Gibeon. And he thinks Josephus is confused about the former's identity and location. No mention is made of the fact that ... more
            • GibeonTory, Thu Feb 9 23:52
              The jar-handles found at Al Jib in the 1950s have GB'N stamped on them. This is supposedly proof that Al Jib is the site of biblical Gibeon. Yet no one has asked the elementary questions: did the... more
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