Thursday, April 17, 2014

Antonia Fortress- The Stone Pavement

Perhaps near the spot where Jesus stood before Pilate.

The Antonia Fortress was a military barracks
 built around 19 BC by Herod the Great in Jerusalem
 on the site of earlier Ptolemaic and Hasmonean strongholds,
 named after Herod's patron Mark Antony
The fortress was built at the eastern end
 of the great wall of the city (the second wall),
 on the northeastern side of the city,
 near the Temple Mount and the Pool of Bethesda.

Site of Pilate's Praetorium?
Traditionally, it has been thought that the vicinity of the Antonia Fortress later became the site of the Praetorium, and that this latter building was the place where Jesus was taken to stand before Pilate. However, this tradition was based on the mistaken assumption that an area of Roman flagstones, discovered beneath the Church of the Condemnation and Imposition of the Cross and the Convent of the Sisters of Zion, was the pavement (Greek: lithostratos) which the Bible describes as the location of Pontius Pilate's judgment of Jesusarchaeological investigation now indicates that these slabs are the paving of the eastern of two 2nd century Forums, built by Hadrian as part of the construction of Aelia Capitolina. The site of the Forum had previously been a large open-air pool, the Strouthion Pool, which was constructed by the Hasmoneans, is mentioned by Josephus as being adjacent to the Fortress in the 1st century, and is still present beneath Hadrian's flagstones; the traditional scene would require that everyone was walking on water.
Like Philo, Josephus testifies that the Roman governors stayed in Herod's Palace while they were in Jerusalem, and carrying out their judgements on the pavement immediately outside it; Josephus indicates that Herod's palace is on the Western Hill (Upper City) and it has recently (2001) been rediscovered under a corner of the Jaffa Gate citadel. Archaeologists now therefore conclude that in the 1st century, the Praetorium – the residence of the governor (Praetor) – was on the Western Hill, rather than the Antonia Fortress, on the diametrically opposite side of the city.  (wikipedia)

Whether or not this is the exact spot in Jerusalem where Jesus 
would have stood before 
Pilate- it is in this Holy Week- 
we are called to remember the Sinless One-
 who took on our sin- because of the greatest 
LOVE this world has ever known.

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