Museum: We've Found Possible Site of Jesus' Trial

The Tower of David in Jerusalem offers tours, too
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2015 5:05 PM CST
Updated Jan 10, 2015 7:00 AM CST
Possible Jesus Trial Site Opens to Public
An image of the tour at the Tower of David in Jerusalem.   (Museum of the History of Jerusalem)

(Newser) – Curious to see the possible site of Jesus' trial? The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem has begun offering tours to the suspected remains of Herod's palace, where some say Jesus was tried and sentenced to death, the Washington Post reports. "There is, of course, no inscription stating it happened here, but everything—archaeological, historical, and gospel accounts—all falls into place and makes sense," says a US archaeology professor. The Gospel of John, for example, describes the trial as occurring on uneven stone pavement close to a gate, details that jibe with earlier discoveries near the tower. A minister who runs a nearby Anglican congregation (including heritage center and guesthouse) says the discovery confirms "what everyone expected all along." The tour costs about $11.40 for adults and $8.90 for students, the International Business Times reports.

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The finding began 15 years ago with a plan to expand the Tower of David Museum, and started digging under the floor in an adjacent building that had been a prison under the Ottoman Turks and British rule. Archaeologists found suspected remains of Herod's palace, where some believe Jesus stood trial. Others debate the location, which is described in the Gospels as Pontius Pilate's "praetorium," a Latin word meaning a general's tent in a Roman camp. Whether Pontius had his praetorium in a military barracks or Herod's palace seems open to dispute. So will the old prison become a new Christian holy site? "I don’t think that will happen anytime soon," says the Anglican minister, who adds that places only become holy after people "have gone there for hundreds of years, prayed, cried, and even celebrated there." (Archaeologists may also have recently found a site where Jesus preached.)

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