Religion Past and Present

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(402 words)

[German Version]

(Γολγοϑᾶ) is the designation for the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, attested only in the New Testament, derived from the Aramaic גּוּלְגּוּלְתָּא (gulgultā', “scull”) through syncopation. Its etymology is correctly interpreted in all the canonical Gospels (Mark 15:22; Matt 27:33; John 19:17; only interpreted in Luke 23:33). The term calls to mind an exposed rocky knoll, which according to New Testament information (John 19:17, 41f.; Heb 13:12) must have been situated outside the city of Jerusalem in accordance with Jewish tradition (Lev 24:14; Num 15:35f.; b. Sanh.

Cite this page
Bieberstein, Klaus, “Golgotha”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 12 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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