The New City
This view is from the northwest looking southeast across the New City. Jerusalem expanded to the north in Jesus’ time, to the area in the foreground called the New City. The wall in the center is the second wall, and the area inside it is the business district. In the distance, the Temple Mount is clearly visible.The four massive towers of the Antonia are on the front right of the Temple Mount. Jesus may have faced Pilate here. The Mount extends behind and to the left of the Antonia. The marble Temple is obvious. The royal stoa can be seen on the far side of the Temple Mount.
Jesus was probably crucified in this section of the city. There are two traditional locations: The first location, which has superior historical and archaeological evidence, is just outside the second wall near Herod’s Palace (not clearly visible here). To its left was an abandoned quarry (a place of execution and a location for tombs), and there were gardens nearby. Currently, the Catholic Church of the Holy Sepulchre occupies this site.
The second location is just outside the gate in the second wall (front right foreground in the photograph). Currently, the Protestant garden tomb, which is much closer in appearance to the actual place described in the Bible, occupies this site. Today this location is called the Damascus Gate. (It was called the Towers Gate in Jesus’ time.)
The exact location of Jesus’ crucifixion is not important. What is important is the fact that he was crucified outside the city and near busy roads.
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