View up the steps to the House of Caiaphas, below the view from the site toward Temple Mount
Beautiful mosaic carpet type tile floors were found
The original entrance exit to the dungeon was only this narrow, forlorn hole.
Actual Ossuary for Caiaphas
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”
45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” 46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
Many things we see of Jesus' writings came to be so. Caiaphas was found in a building project. In November 1990 in the Peace Forest near the North Talpiot neighborhood, a building supervisor reported to the Antiquities Authority, the tomb’s roof was opened by a bulldozer, revealing a rock-hewn burial cave. It was typical of the Second Temple period in Jerusalem.
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Rylands Papyrus of the Gospel of John was recently carbon dated to 90 A.D.
Magdalen Papyrus 70 A.D.
Beatty Papyrus was two centuries later, with 46 Scriptures. Still - we read in Paul's writings - in present tense - the sacrifices were still being done in the intact Temple.
How many Roman Emperors made it their life's work to wipe out, obliterate Scripture? Hmmm.
When Jesus died, Claudius was Emperor of Rome. It was Claudius who imprisoned Paul, the first time. In the remote, far away country of Judea, the name of Jesus Christ and His promises and His word, created unease for Claudius. Imagine this could occur in the time there were no mass methods of communication. It is historical fact. The Roman Emperors became concerned about Jesus within 16 years of His death.
Claudius – Imprisoned Christians. Reigned 25 -54 AD. Emperor during the death and resurrection of Jesus. Imprisoned Paul, for his first imprisonment, house arrest.
Nero – Tortured, burned and vilified Christians. Blamed them for burning Rome . 54- 68 AD
Galba – Put St. Paul and others to death. 69 AD
Otho & Vittelius– only 4 months as Emperor
Vespasian – Sent Titus to destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD, it was the natural end time of Jesus’ life. It is said it is the prophecies Jesus spoke of, His forgiveness was given to the people of His generation. In that destruction, the Temple of the Jews has not been built in 2,000 years. (In 300 A.D, a third temple had the materials gathered, but earthquake, war and fire put an end to that.) Jewish Sacrifice has not been practiced for 2,000 years, it is forsaken. The Jews don’t even know why. God said Jesus was the sacrifice for you.
Titus – See Arch of Titus, still standing, in Rome today. The Temple Tools minus the Ark of the Covenant, is carved in the marble. The profit from the sack of Jerusalem is used for the Coliseum. The Coliseum was used to burn Christians until Constantine naively adopted Christianity thinking Christians would be model citizens. Still a triumph for the 1,100 Bishops, Priests, Christians proclaiming Jesus Christ for 300 years even if they would be burned alive for it.
Domitian – Hauled St. John from Ephesus and exiled him to Patmos. Continued to be fearful of Christians. Conducted one of the fiercest battles against Christians. Under Domitan, the Church split in half. Domitan Heresy - the Church is only for saints. Domitan tortured until Christians surrendered every fragment of the Gospels and New Testament he could find. 81-96. Because of Domitan – we have the word traitor . Part of the Church wanted to forever exile anyone who lied to get out of torture or gave up Scripture. Forgiveness is the business of the Church and Jesus Christ.
Because of Domitan, we only have 15 fragments of the Gospel before 96 AD. But these portions exist and date to 30 AD.
ARE YOU GOING TO TELL ME THESE MEN WERE AFRAID of the scaries? No, the name of Jesus Christ opening His arms to slaves, lepers, women, the poor, the wife of the steward of Herod’s household, Nicodemus of the Sanhedrin Council and Josephus. Jesus converted thousands, leaving Jewish rabbi letters saying it would be the end of Judaism because of the incredible miracles of healing, restoration, life transformation and complete hope. These are letters confirming the Gospels where the Rabbi is extremely unhappy. Josephus, the Israeli General turned traitor, turned Historian says Jesus was the Christ and his brother James formed the later Christian Church until martyred in 62 AD.
Trajan (c. 53 - 117) Philosopher Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan on the subject of the Christians and the response of Trajan to Pliny the Younger. On Early Christian Writings. How to torture Christians to discredit the claims of Jesus Christ.
Hadrian (c. 76 - 138) Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- Persecution Under Trajen...... The forenamed authors, Antoninus and Equilius
Antoninus Pius (c. 86 - 161) Instead of stirring up persecution against the Christians, he extended to them the strong hand of his protection throughout the empire. Rather than give occasion to that oppression which he regarded as inseparable from an emperor's progress through his dominions, he was content to spend all the years of his reign in Rome, or its neighborhood. Under his patronage the science of jurisprudence was cultivated by men of high ability, and a number of humane and equitable enactments were passed in his name. 161 – 180
166 Christian persecution returned - The period was one of ever-increasing calamities. The earthquakes which had alarmed Asia under Antoninus were but the prelude to more serious convulsions. The Tiber rose to an unprecedented height and swept away the public granaries. This was followed by a famine, and that by a pestilence, which spread from Egypt and Ethiopia westward. Everywhere on the frontiers there were murmurs of insurrection or invasion. The year 166 was long known as the "annus calamitosus," and it was in that year that the persecution broke out and that Justin suffered. These calamities roused the superstition of the great mass of the people, and a wild fanaticism succeeded to an epicurean atheism. The gods were wrath, and what had roused their anger but the presence of those who denied them?
Marcus Aurelius (c. 121 - 180) The Thundering Legion incident (174)
During the war with the Quadi in 174 there took place the famous incident of the Thundering Legion (Legio Fulminatrix, Fulminea, Fulminata) which has been a cause of frequent controversy between Christian and non-Christian writers. The Roman army was surrounded by enemies with no chance of escape, when a storm burst. The rain poured down in refreshing showers on the Romans, while the enemy were scattered with lightning and hail. The parched and famishing Romans received the saving drops first on their faces and parched throats, and afterwards in their helmets and shields, to refresh their horses. Marcus obtained a glorious victory as a result of this extraordinary event, and his enemies were hopelessly overthrown.
That such an event did really happen is attested both by pagan and Christian writers. The former attribute the occurrence either to magic (Dion Cassius, LXXI, 8-10) or to the prayers of the emperor (Capitolinus, "Vita Marci", XXIV; Themistius, "Orat. XV ad Theod"; Claudian, "De Sext. Cons. Hon.", V, 340 sqq.; "Sibyl. Orac.", ed. Alezandre, XII, 196 sqq. Cf. Bellori, "La Colonne Antonine", and Eckhel, "Doctrina Nummorum", III, 64). The Christian writers attributed the fact to the prayers of the Christians who were in the army (Claudius Apollinaris in Eusebius, Church History V.5; Tertullian, "Apol.", v; ad Seap. c. iv), and soon there grew up a legend to the effect that in consequence of this miracle the emperor put a stop to the persecution of the Christians (cf. Euseb. and Tert. opp cit.). It must be conceded that the testimony of Claudius s the most valuable of all that we possess, as he wrote within a few years of the event, and that all credit must be given to the prayers of the Christians, though it does not necessarily follow that we should accept the elaborate detail of the story as given by Tertullian and later writers 161 - 169
Lucius Verus (co-emperor) (c. 130 - 169) with Marcus Aurelius
180 - 192
Commodus (c. 161 - 192) All these who failed to follow the decree were brought to the senate and were tried. This decree was a forceful attempt to put down Christians completely. But the followers who believed in Jesus Christ refused to accept this and many were ready to face the trial. "The Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs" written.
Persecution slows down -
Didius Julianus (193) .
Septimius Severus (193-211) Edict makes it illegal to convert to Christianity; persecution especially in North Africa
ca. 203: Perpetua & Felicity martyred in Carthage (North Africa)
Severus Alexander (222-235)
Gordian I and II (238)
Gordian III (238-244)
Philip the Arab (244-249) .
Trajanus Decius (249-251) 250: Major Empire-Wide Persecution; Christians required to participate in Emperor Worship
Bishop Fabian of Rome martyred; Bishop Cyprian of Carthage exiled; Origen of Alexandria tortured to death
Trebonianus Gallus (251-253)
Aemilian (253) .
Valerian (253-260) ca. 258: Bishop Cyprian of Carthage martyred
Claudius Gothicus (268-270) .
Aurelian (270-275) some persecutions
Numerian (283-284) .
Diocletian (284-305) Major Empire-Wide Persecution begins ca. 303; confiscation of Christian churches and books; arrest, torture, and execution of many Christian leaders. Personally sends troops to Nazareth, the Bishop of Caesarea Eusibius records Diocletian offering clemency to the nephews carefully recording their ancestry to Jesus Christ. All refuse and are tortured and put to death. Diocletian sends troops to Turkey to place the Bishop Nicholas in prison.
& Maximian (286-305) Major Empire-Wide Persecution begins ca. 303; confiscation of Christian Churches and books; arrest, torture, and execution of many Christian leaders
Constantius Chlorus (305-306)
Maxentius (306-312) .
Licinius (311-323) 311: Edict of Galerius: toleration for Christians, allowing them to worship openly
Constantine (307-337) 313: Edict of Constantine (Edict of Milan): toleration for all religions, including Christianity; ends persecutions
Constantine's position on the religions traditionally practiced in Rome evolved during his reign. At first he prohibited the construction of new temples and tolerated traditional sacrifices; by the end of his reign, he had begun to order the pillaging and tearing down of Roman temples
The triumph of Christianity is actually a very remarkable historical phenomenon. ... We begin with a small group from the backwaters of the Roman Empire and after two, three centuries go by, lo and behold that same group and its descendants have somehow taken over the Roman Empire and have become the official religion when it was people believing in Jesus Christ and having life transformations in hope in the life of Jesus Christ and the promises He brought.
Very few of the Emperor burial grounds are easy to locate. And let's all be thankful for a moment for the Bible so available to us today.
Jesus said a few, understatement, very bold things. And long before they occurred.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
That is a bold statement for a man identified in Nazareth as Joseph's son, David's descendant.
What about a man condemned to die as a common criminal saying this to multitudes of women turning out to mourn Jesus carrying His Cross?
Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children."
Relating probably to the ruin of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 A.D. A natural life span according to Psalm 90.
"If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation."
An Embankment? The Arch of Titus was when the Triumphant Parade of Titus boasted all the Temple tools and the gold used to build the Roman Colosseum.
Imagine going to the Synagogue with Jesus.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21
And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus says bold things. Because:
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.