Friday, March 29, 2013

Beneath the Church of Peter Gallicantu








Beneath the upper church is a chapel which incorporates stone from ancient grottos inside its walls. Down a hole in the center of the sanctuary one can see caves that may have been part of the Byzantine shrine. These walls are engraved with crosses left by fifth-century Christians. On an even lower level there is a succession of caves from the Second Temple period. Since tradition places the palace of Caiaphas on this site, many believe that Jesus may have been imprisoned in one of these underground crypts after his arrest, however, these underground caves were normal in many Roman-era homes, and often served as cellars, water cisterns, and baths. On the north side of the church is an ancient staircase that leads down towards the Kidron Valley. This may have been a passage from the upper city to the lower city during the first temple period. Many Christians believe that Jesus followed this path down to Gethsemane the night of his arrest.


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Church of Peter in Gallicantu

MK 14:26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. MK 14:27 "You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written: " `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' MK 14:28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." MK 14:29 Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not." MK 14:30 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "today--yes, tonight--before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times." MK 14:31 But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same. 





The entrance to the church is from a parking lot which is located above the main level of the church. In the courtyard is a statue that depicts the events of the denial and include its main figures; the cock, the woman, and the Roman soldier. The inscription includes the biblical passage; But he denied him, saying "Woman, I know him not"! (Luke 22:57)


The entrance itself is flanked by wrought iron doors covered with biblical bas reliefs. To the right are two Byzantine-era mosaics found during excavation, these were most likely part of the floor of the fifth-century shrine. The main sanctuary contains large, multi-colored mosaics portraying figures from the New Testament. Facing the entrance is a bound Jesus being questioned at Caiaphas' palace; on the right Jesus and the disciples are shown dining at the Last Supper; and on the left Peter, considered the first Pope, is pictured in ancient papal dress. Perhaps the most striking feature of the interior is the ceiling, which is dominated by a huge cross-shaped window designed in a variety of colors. The fourteen Stations of the Cross also line the walls and are marked with simple crosses.













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The Upper Room

MK 14:12 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" MK 14:13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, `The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' 15 He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there." 



Since at least the fourth century CE a structure identified as the Cenacle, the site of the Last Supper, has been a popular Christian pilgrimage site on Mount Zion in Jerusalem




The Cenacle (from Latin cenaculum), also known as the "Upper Room", is the site of The Last Supper. The word is a derivative of the Latin word cena, which means dinner. In Christian tradition, based on Acts 1:13, the "Upper Room" was not only the site of the Last Supper (i.e. the Cenacle), but the usual place where the Apostles stayed in Jerusalem.

Thus the Cenacle is considered the site where many other events described in the New Testament took place, such as:

  • ·         the Washing of the Feet
  • ·         some resurrection appearances of Jesus
  • ·         the gathering of the disciples after the Ascension of Jesus
  • ·         the election of Saint Matthias as apostle
  • ·         the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost












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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shrine of the Book

The Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, as well as rare early medieval biblical manuscripts. The scrolls were discovered in 1947–56 in 11 caves in and around the Wadi Qumran. An elaborate planning process of seven years led to the building's eventual construction in 1965 which was funded by the family of David Samuel Gottesman, the Hungarian émigré, the philanthropist who had purchased the scrolls as a gift to the State of Israel.





The building consists of a white dome over a building located two-thirds below the ground. The dome is reflected in a pool of water that surrounds it. Across from the white dome is a black basalt wall.


The colors and shapes of the building are based on the imagery of the Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, whereas the white dome symbolizes the Sons of Light and the black wall symbolizes the Sons of Darkness. The interior of the shrine was designed to depict the environment in which the scrolls were found. There is also a permanent display on life in the Qumran, where the scrolls were written. The entire structure was designed to resemble a pot in which the scrolls were found. The shrine was designed by Armand Bartos and Frederick Kiesler, and was opened in 1965.










interior of the dome with the structure of a scroll. The Isaiah document is the bright lower yellow ring

As the fragility of the scrolls makes it impossible to display all on a continuous basis, a system of rotation is used. After a scroll has been exhibited for 3–6months, it is removed from its showcase and placed temporarily in a special storeroom, where it "rests" from exposure. The museum also holds other rare ancient manuscripts and displays The Aleppo Codex, which is from the 10th-century and is believed to be the oldest complete Bible in Hebrew



Examine the scrolls:
View the Commentary on the Habakkuk Scroll
The Commentary on the Habakkuk Scroll














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