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Jerusalem

(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce as a fortified town in the central Palestinian uplands at a strategic point for transportation between northern and southern Palestine. Outside the Bible, the name appears from the 18th century on in the Egyptian execration texts and the Amarna letters (as Akkad. uruu-ru-sa-lim). It derives from the verb yrh I…

Temple

(9,630 words)

Author(s): Maier, Bernhard | Berlejung, Angelika | Steimle, Christopher | Bieberstein, Klaus | Zellentin, Holger | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The English word temple derives from Latin templum. In the technical vocabulary of religious studies, it is more specialized than sanctuary, shrine, cult site, or place of worship. The usage of the originally Latin term beyond the sphere of classical antiquity is well established, particularly for structures that appear comparable in regard to their architectural form (monumentality, stone construction) or religious function (dwelling place of a god or goddess). But this usage does not reflect a precise defi-¶ nition it is based primarily …

Holy Sepulchre

(1,463 words)

Author(s): Bieberstein, Klaus | Thümmel, Hans Georg
[German Version] I. Archaeology – II. Art History I. Archaeology That Jesus was buried in a rock-cut tomb (Mark 15:46; Matt 27:60; Luke 23:53) was only natural, for earth burial is not attested in Jerusalem (II) until the late Herodian period (Herod/Herodian dynasty) and was extremely rare. A stone rolled to seal the tomb (Mark 15:46; Matt 27:60) presupposes an elevated layout; only John 19:41f. situates it in a garden not far from Golgotha. That the area to the west of the later Constantinian church site (Constantine the Great) was used as a cemetery in the Hasmone…

Akeldama

(185 words)

Author(s): Bieberstein, Klaus
[German Version] Matt 27:1–10 and Acts 1:15–20 (death of Judas) presuppose the existence of an otherwise unattested field which according to Matthew served as a necropolis for foreigners and was called the “Field of Blood” (Aram. ḥaqēl damā; Graecized in Acts 1:19 as ʿΑκελδαμάχ/ hakeldamách; translated in Matt 27:8 as ἀγρὸς αἵματος/ agrós haímatos and in Acts 1:19 as χωρίον αἵματος/ chōríon haímatos). Matthew and Acts, however, give the designation differing aetiological interpretations. Pilgrimage ac…

Golgotha

(402 words)

Author(s): Bieberstein, Klaus
[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.

Gilgal

(734 words)

Author(s): Bieberstein, Klaus
[German Version] I. History – II. Location גִּלְגָּל; from gll, “to roll, rotate,” perhaps “debris (field)” and often interpreted as “(stone) circle,” is interpreted etiologically in Josh 5:9 as “to roll away” in reference to guilt. I. History The book of Joshua cites (the) Gilgal as the first encampment after crossing the Jordan, as the site of the stone monument, of circumcision, of the first Passover-Mazzot Feast (Feasts and Festivals: II) in the land (4:19–5:12, literary prototype for Mic 6:5) and as the point of departure for…

Pretorium

(216 words)

Author(s): Bieberstein, Klaus
[German Version] (Lat.), originally the camp tent of the praetor or army general, later often applied to residences taken over from former indigenous rulers. While Mark 15:16 and Matt 27:27 note only that Jesus, after his condemnation, was taken to a pretorium called a “palace,” John 18:28–19:16 presupposes a place of judgment called a lithostrōton or “Gabbatha” in front of it. Although the Gospels do not allow the place to be identified, non-biblical authors relate that the governor used Herod’s former palace in the northwest of the city as his official seat (Jos. Bell. II 46; Ant. XVII 2…

Gethsemane

(246 words)

Author(s): Bieberstein, Klaus
[German Version] According to Mark 14:32 and Matt 26:36, after the Lord's Supper (Eucharist: I), Jesus went with his disciples to an otherwise unspecified estate, known as Gethsemane (Aram. gat šemānî, “oil press,” Grecized γεϑσημανί), Luke 22:39 speaks of an unspecified site “on the Mount of Olives,” and John 18:1 locates the arrest in a likewise unspecified garden beyond the Kidron (an allusion to 2 Sam 15:23?). Since 333, pilgrimage literature has located the site of the disciples who remained behind and of the arrest north of the Mount of Olives road (CChr.SL 175,17) and, si…