Archaeologists in Jerusalem have made a startling find:
It started 15 years ago with plans to expand the Tower of David Museum. But the story took a strange turn when archaeologists started peeling away layers under the floor in an old abandoned building adjacent to the museum in Jerusalem’s Old City.
They knew it had been used as a prison when the Ottoman Turks and then the British ruled these parts. But, as they carefully dug down, they eventually uncovered something extraordinary: the suspected remains of the palace where one of the more famous scenes of the New Testament may have taken place — the trial of Jesus.
Now, after years of excavation and a further delay caused by wars and a lack of funds, the archaeologists’ precious find is being shown to the public through tours organized by the museum.
Piece by piece, brick by brick, find by find, researchers are discovering that the New Testament, far from being a collection of fairy tales, is trying to tell us something.
For the more than 1 million Christian pilgrims who visit Jerusalem each year, the site is especially significant because it could have been an important place in the life of Jesus. “For those Christians who care about accuracy in regards to historical facts, this is very forceful,” said Yisca Harani, an expert on Christianity and pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
So far, no reports on whether archaeologists have discovered the hitching post for Mohammed’s flying steed (whose name was “Buraq“) during his fabulous “night journey” from Mecca to Jerusalem, up to Heaven, and back again. Maybe this inconvenient fact has something to do with it:
There were many skeptics when Mohammed recounted the details of his trip the morning after his night journey on the flying animal. As Dr. Rafat Amari points out in the introduction to “Islam: In Light of History”, Abu Bakar (the first assistant of Mohammed who became his first Caliph) confirmed Mohammed’s descriptions of the temple he had visited, because Abu Baker claimed he had once taken a journey to Jerusalem and had seen the temple himself, and remembered it to be just as Mohammed had described it.
There is, however, a little difficulty with their accounts. The temple had been torn down over 500 years before their claims of having made personal visits to it. Indeed if Mohammed had actually hitched his flying animal anywhere near where the temple had been, to the “ring” he suggested “the prophets” had hitched theirs, at the time in history that his night flight was supposed to have taken place, he would have found that the temple mount was being used as a garbage dump.
Also read: Meanwhile, Back in the Land of the Pharaohs…