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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
1. The name.-Two forms occur in the NT: (a) Ιερουσαλήμ, the ‘genuinely national form,’ ‘hieratic and Hebraising,’ used ‘where a certain sacred significance is intended, or in solemn appeals’; it occurs forty times in Acts, and is also found in the letters of St. Paul, in Hebrews, and in the Apocalypse; it is indeclinable, and without the article except when accompanied by an adjective; (b) Ιεροσόλυμα, the hellenized form, favoured by Josephus, and occurring over twenty times in Acts, and in the narrative section of Galatians. As a rule it is a neuter plural, with or without the article. In each case the aspirate is doubtful. For a discussion of the forms see G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, i. 259ff.; W. M. Ramsay, Luke the Physician, London, 1908, p. 51ff.; and T. Zahn, Introduction to the NT, Eng. translation , Edinburgh, 1909, ii, 592ff.
2. Topography.-The chief authority for Jerusalem in the 1st cent. a.d.-its topography no less than its history-is the Jewish writer Josephus. His historical works cover the period with which we have here to deal, and it is to the details there furnished that we owe most of our knowledge of the fortunes and aspect of the city in the Apostolic Age. Any account of the topography of Jerusalem at this time must necessarily follow the descriptions of Josephus, as interpreted by the majority of modern scholars. It has always to be kept in mind, however, that there is considerable difference of opinion on many points, and that the views of the minority, or even of an individual, although we may not be able to accept them, are to be regarded with respect.
i. The City Walls, as they existed at the time of the siege in a.d. 70, first claim attention.
(a) First Wall.-In historical order, but not according to the standpoint of the besiegers, for whom the first wall was the third, the walls of Jerusalem on the north side proceed from the interior to the exterior of the city. At all times the south side of the city had only one encompassing wall, but during most of our period there were three walls-the third only in part-upon the north side. The first of these northern walls commenced on the W. of Jerusalem near the modern Jaffa Gate, and ran in an easterly direction along the northern face of the so-called S. W. Hill, crossing the Tyropœon Valley, which then markedly divided the city from N. to S., and joining the W. wall of the Temple enclosure. At its W. extremity it was marked by the three towers of Herod the Great-Hippicus, Phasaël, and Mariamne (or Mariamme); and at the Temple end it ran near to the bridge which gave access from the S. W. Hill to the outer court of the Temple. This point is now marked by the modern Bab es-Silsileh, and Wilson’s Arch found here stands over the remains of an older bridge which is doubtless the viaduct of Josephus’s time. From the Tower of Hippicus the wall ran southwards and followed approximately the line of the modern W. wall, but it extended further south, turning S. E. along Maudslay’s Scarp and proceeding in a straight course to the Pool of Siloam, at the mouth of the Tyropaeon Valley. At this time the pool possibly lay outside the wali (F. J. Bliss and A. C. Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem, 1894-1897, pp. 304, 325), although G. A. Smith places it inside (Jerusalem, i. 224). After crossing the Tyropaeon, at some point or other, the wall was continued in a N.E. direction, running along the slope of Ophel to join the Temple enclosure at its S.E. angle. A considerable part of this wall upon the S. side of the city has been excavated by Warren, Guthe, Bliss, and Dickie. The last two explorers found remains of two walls with a layer of debris between. Bliss is of opinion that the under wall is the one destroyed by Titus, and he says further: ‘There is no evidence, nor is it probable, that the south line was altered between the time of Nehemiah and that of Titus’ (Excav. at Jerus., p. 319).
We are here concerned with the subsequent history of the wall upon the S. side only in so far as after the destruction by Titus it appears to have been rebuilt on a new line to form the S. side of the Roman camp upon the S.W. Hill, this being the line of the modern city wall on the S. The part upon the W., together with Herod’s three towers, was spared by Titus and utilized by him for the ‘Camp.’ So also, we may infer, was the wall skirting the W. side of the Tyropaeon, running N. and S. from the neighbourhood of the bridge to the region of the Pool of Siloam to form the E. boundary of the S.W. Hill. This wall is not mentioned by Josephus, but its presence may be concluded from the fact that Titus had to commence siege operations anew against that division of the city which stood on the S.W. Hill (‘the Upper City’). According to C. W. Wilson, the ground enclosed by the walls of the Upper City extended to 74½ acres. The new wall drawn on the S. side over the summit of the hill reduced the area to about 48½ acres, only a little short of the normal dimensions of a ‘Camp’ (Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre, p. 143f.
(b) Second Wall.-According to Josephus, this commenced at the Gate Genath (or Gennath) in the First Wall, and circled round the N. quarter of the city, running up to Antonia, the castle situated at the N.W. corner of the Temple area. It had fourteen* [Note: τέσσαρας καὶ δέκα (Niese); Whiston reads ‘forty’ (BJ v. iv. 3).] towers, compared with sixty on the First Wall and ninety on the Third. Its extent was therefore limited in comparison with the others. There is much discussion as to its actual line in view of the importance of this for the determination of the site of Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre. This is a question that falls to be treated under the Gospel Age, although we have an interest in the projection of the wall towards the N., since upon this depends the view taken of the line of the Third Wall. With the majority of modern investigators we decide for a limited compass, no part being further N. than the extremity which went up from the Tyropaeon to Antonia. The Gate Genath has not been located, but it must have been in the neighbourhood of the three great towers, and perhaps lay inside of all three. C. M. Watson concludes from a study of the records and from personal investigation of the site that the Second Wall was most probably built by Antipater, father of Herod the Great. He interprets Josephus as speaking of ‘a new construction necessitated by the growth of the new suburb on the northwestern hill’ (The Story of Jerusalem, p. 85). The Second Wall is usually identified with the North Wall of Nehemiah (Smith, Jerusalem, i. 204). In the opinion of Smith ‘we do not know how the Second Wall ran from the First to the Tyropaeon; we do not know whether it ran inside or outside the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre’ (ib. p. 249). Wilson also leaves the question open (Golgotha, p. 137).
(c) Third Wall.-As already noted, the line of the Third Wall is bound up with the question of the line of the Second Wall. Following Robinson, both Merrill (Ancient Jerusalem, ch. xxiv.) and Paton (Jerusalem in Bible Times, pp. 111-115) place it a considerable distance N. of the modern city wall. Most other students of the subject are content to accept the present North Wall as marking the site of the Third or Agrippa’s Wall. Conder (The City of Jerusalem, pp. 162-166) occupies an intermediate position, giving a northerly extension beyond the present limits only on the side W. of the Damascus Gate. The wall was commenced about a.d. 41 on a colossal plan; but, suspicion having been aroused, operations had to be suspended by order of Claudius. The wall was hurriedly completed before the days of the siege. The main purpose of the Third Wall was to enclose within the fortified area of the city the new suburb of Bezetha, which had grown up since Herod the Great’s time on the ridge N. of the Temple and Antonia. The most conspicuous feature on the wall was the Tower of Psephinus at the N.W. corner, which is named in conjunction with the three great towers of Herod, and may have existed at an earlier time (Smith, Jerusalem, ii. 487), being also the work of Herod (Encyclopaedia Biblica ii. 2428). The W. extremity of the wall was at Hippicus; the N.W. point at Psephinus; the N.E. point, according to Josephus, at the Tower of the Corner, opposite the ‘Monument of the Fuller’; and the E. extremity at the old wall in the Kidron Valley, i.e. the N.E. point of the Temple enclosure. Merrill’s view (Anc. Jerus., pp. 44, 51) is that the line of this wall in its southerly trend would cut the line of the present wall a little E. of Herod’s Gate; in other words, the present N.E. corner of the city was not within the walls of Jerusalem before its destruction by Titus. This view has much to commend it, although it is not admitted by those who advocate that the Third Wall followed the line of the present wall in its entire course (Smith, Jerusalem, i. 245ff.).
ii. Temple Walls.-The remainder of the perimeter of the outer wall of Jerusalem was made up by the E. wall of the Temple, which in Herod’s time coincided with the city wall (Smith, Jerusalem, i. 234f.). The enclosure of the sanctuary did not, however, extend so far N. as it does to-day. Warren’s Scarp, as it is called, marks the N. limit of the outer court of Herod’s temple (Expository Times xx. [1903-09] 66). This would cut the E. wall only slightly N. of the present Golden Gate. An extension to the N. was perhaps made by Agrippa I. (Smith, Jerusalem, i. 237f.), but even then the N. boundary must have fallen considerably short of the present wall. The fore-court of Antonia must therefore have projected some distance into the present Ḥaram area, and the rock on which the castle stood, while scarped on the other three sides, must on the S. have formed part of the same ridge as that on which the Temple lay. The N. Temple area wall presumably joined this rock, while the W. Temple area wall started from the S.W. point of the fore-court of Antonia and ran S. to meet the S. wall lower down the Tyropaeon Valley. Examination of the rock levels has proved that the S.W. corner of the Temple area is upon the far side of the valley, i.e. upon the S.W. Hill.
A proper understanding of this complex of walls is essential to an appreciation of Josephus’s narrative of the siege of a.d. 70, which in turn gives the key to the whole situation within Jerusalem in the time of the apostles. The city was fortified in virtue of its complete circuit of walls. When the most northerly wall was breached it still was fortified by the second N. wall and all that remained. When the second wall was taken, access was given to the commercial suburb (προάστειον) in the Upper Tyropaeon Valley. Antonia formed a fortress by itself, likewise the Temple both in its outer court and in the inner sanctuary. After the Temple was taken the way was open to the ‘Lower City’ and the Akra, which is almost synonymous with the ‘Lower City,’ i.e. the Lower Tyropaeon Valley from the First Wall to the Pool of Siloam together with the S.E. Hill, of which Ophlas formed a part. Lastly, the S.W. Hill, on which stood the ‘Upper City’ with the ‘Upper Agora,’ was completely fortified, and doubtless the Palace of Herod at the N.W. corner of the ‘Upper City’ also was a strong place within four walls, with the three great towers upon the N. side.
iii. Changes in the City during the Apostolic Age.-While there was nothing to equal the great building achievements of Herod the Great, activity was by no means stayed during the interval between the Death of Christ and the Destruction of Jerusalem (circa, about a.d. 30-70). This we judge from the fact that it was not until c. [Note: . circa, about.] a.d. 64 that operations in the courts of the Temple were at an end. Even then the cessation of work involved about 18,000 men. To prevent disaffection and privation, they were transferred with the sanction of Agrippa II. to the work of paving the streets of the city (Jos. Ant. XX. ix. 7). Reference has already been made to the building of the Third Wall during the reign of Agrippa I., and this was necessitated by the growth of the suburb Bezetha, or New Town, lying north of Antonia and the Temple on the N.E. ridge. The Lower Aqueduct, which brought water to the Temple enclosure from a distance of 200 stadia, is ascribed to Pontius Pilate during the years preceding his recall and was in a way responsible for his demission of office (a.d. 36). Several palaces were built at this time-all overlooking the Tyropaeon: that of Bernice, near the Palace of the Hasmonaeans (see below); of Helena, Queen of Adiabene, who was resident in Jerusalem during the great famine (Acts 11:28); of Monobazus, her son; and of Grapte, a near relative. Agrippa II. enlarged the Hasmonaean Palace, which was situated on the S.W. Hill near the bridge over the Tyropaeon, and when finished overlooked the sanctuary. This was a cause of friction, and led to the building of a screen within the sacred area (Ant. XX. viii. 11). Most of these notable buildings were destroyed or plundered during the faction fights on the eve of the siege (Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) ii. xvii. 6, IV. ix. 11) and during its course (vi. vii. 1).
While stone was freely used in construction, it ought to be realized that timber also played a large part-much more so than at the present day (Merrill, Anc. Jerus., pp. 136, 150, 152). The Timber Market was in Bezetha, the new suburb. For ordinary building purposes wood was brought from a distance, but during the siege the Romans availed themselves of the trees growing in the environs, totally altering the external aspect of the city. Still more fatal to its beauty was the havoc wrought by fire within the Temple area, and in the various quarters of the city after the victory of the Romans, and most of all in the execution of Titus’s order to raze the city to the ground. In spite of Josephus’s testimony, all writers are not of one mind regarding the extent of the ruin. Thus Wilson says of the ‘Upper City’ at least: ‘Many houses must have remained intact. The military requirements of the Roman garrison necessitated some demolition; but there is no evidence that a plough was passed over the ruins, or that Titus ever intended that the city should never be rebuilt’ (Golgotha, p. 52; cf. Merrill, Anc. Jerus., p. 179).
iv. Sacred sites pertaining to the Apostolic Age.-For this department of our subject we must call in the aid of tradition, in so far as this appears to be in any measure worthy of credence. The sites to be dealt with are mostly suggested by the narrative of the Book of Acts.
(a) The Caenaculum.-Outside the present S. city wall on the S.W. Hill lies a complex of buildings, which since the 16th cent. have been in Moslem possession and are termed en-Nebi Dâ’ûd. Underground is supposed to be the Tomb of David, but this part is not open to the inspection of Christians. Immediately above this is a vaulted room (showing 14th cent. architecture), which is now identified with the ‘large upper room’ in which the Last Supper was held, where Christ appeared to His disciples, in which the early Christians assembled, and where the Holy Ghost was given. It is supposed to be the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark. According to a later tradition-which probably arose from a confusion of this Mary with the Mother of Jesus-this is also the scene of the death of the Virgin. Here also Stephen was thought to be martyred (still later). The earliest tradition with which we are here concerned dates from the 4th cent, a.d., being preserved by Epiphanius (de Mens. et Pond. xiv. [Migne, Patr. Graeca, xliii. col. 259ff.]; cf. Wilson, Golgotha, p. 173):
‘He [Hadrian] found the whole city razed to the ground, and the Temple of the Lord trodden under foot, there being only a few houses standing, and the Church of God, a small building, on the place where the disciples on their return from the Mount of Olives, after the Saviour’s Ascension, assembled in the upper chamber. This was built in the part of Sion which had escaped destruction, together with some buildings round about Sion, and seven synagogues that stood alone in Sion like cottages.’
Since then there have been many changes in the buildings themselves and in their owners, but the tradition has been constant. What it is worth still awaits the test, but, as Stanley says: ‘there is one circumstance which, if proved, would greatly endanger the claims of the “Caenaculum.” It stands above the vault of the traditional Tomb of David, and we can hardly suppose that any residence, at the time of the Christian era, could have stood within the precincts of the Royal Sepulchre’ (Sinai and Palestine, new ed., London, 1877, p. 456). It may be noted that the Tomb of David is now sought, although it has not been found, on the S.E. Hill, where, in the opinion of most, the ‘City of David,’ or Zion, lay (Paton, Jerusalem, p. 74f.). From the language of Acts 2:29 the tomb was evidently in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem (cf. Ant. XIII. viii. 4, XVI. vii. 1, Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) I. ii. 5). Sanday is prepared to give the tradition about the Caenaculum ‘an unqualified adhesion’ (Sacred Sites of the Gospels, p. 78), and proceeds to argue the matter at length (pp. 78-88). His argument is contested by G. A. Smith (Jerusalem, ii. 567ff.), whose opinion is that ‘while the facts alleged (by Dr. Sanday) are within the bounds of possibility, they are not very probable’ (p. 568). Wilson is more favourable, and thinks that here ‘amidst soldiers and civilians drawn from all parts of the known world, the Christians may have settled down on their return from Pella, making many converts and worshipping in a small building [see Epiphanius, as above] which in happier times was to become the “Mother Church of Sion,” the “mother of all the churches” ’ (Golgotha, p. 54; cf. T. Zahn, Introduction to the NT, ii. 447f.).
(b) The Temple and its precincts.-Although tradition has fixed on one spot as being the special meeting-place of the first Christians, there can be no doubt they still continued to frequent the Temple. While they had indeed become Christians they did not cease to be Jews, at least not that section which remained in Jerusalem during the years preceding the Fall of the city. Accordingly we find in the Book of Acts a considerable body of evidence regarding the presence of Christians in and about the Temple. A detailed notice of all these references properly belongs to another article (Temple), but a brief mention of those concerning the environs may here be made.
(α) ‘Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer’ (Acts 3:1). This is topographically exact, whether we take the outer court or the sanctuary proper, which only Jews could enter (Acts 21:28 ff.). There were ramps and stairs and steps at many points. An exception would have to be made if we accepted Conder’s identification of the Beautiful Door or Gate (Acts 3:2; Acts 3:10) as being the main entrance on the W., ‘probably at the end of the bridge leading to the Royal Cloister’ (The City of Jerusalem, p. 129). But for several reasons this cannot be entertained. A. R. S. Kennedy has shown (Expository Times xx. 270ff.; cf. Schürer, History of the Jewish People (Eng. tr. of GJV).] ii i.  280) that the Beautiful Door is to be sought in the inner courts, and preferably on the E. side of the Court of the Women. Little value can be attached to the tradition that the Golden Gate above the Kidron Valley is the gate referred to in Acts 3:2.
(β) The porch or portico along the E. side of the Temple area is the Solomon’s Porch of Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12. Its appearance may be realized from the frontispiece (by P. Waterhouse) of Sacred Sites of the Gospels, where a full view is given of the so-called Royal Porch on the S. side. This is generally supposed to have had an exit on the W. by a bridge crossing the Tyropaeon (see Conder, above) at Robinson’s Arch, but Kennedy has shown that nearly all moderns are in error about this (Expository Times xx. 67; cf. Jos. Ant. XV. xi. 5). On the W. and N. sides there were also porches or cloisters which met at the entrance to Antonia.
(c) Antonia.-This fortress is about the most certainly defined spot within the walls of Jerusalem. To-day it is occupied in part by the Turkish barracks, on the N.W. of the Ḥaram area. In Herod the Great’s time the castle was re-built on a grand scale and strongly fortified. Later it was occupied as a barracks (παρεμβολή, Acts 21:34; Acts 21:37, etc.) by the Romans, who here maintained a legion (τάγμα [Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) v. v. 8], understood by Schürer [History of the Jewish People (Eng. tr. of GJV).] I. ii. (1890) 55] as = ‘cohort’; this is not accepted by Merrill [Anc. Jerus. 216f.]). As shown above, it is probable that some slight re-adjustment of the forecourt of Antonia and of the N. side of the Temple area had taken place in the interval following Herod the Great’s reign. From the vivid narrative of Acts 21:27 ff. it is evident that the Temple area was at a lower level than the Castle, for stairs led down to the court. According to Josephus (Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) v. v. 8), on the corner where Antonia joined the N. and W. cloisters of the Temple it had gangways down to them both for the passage of the guard at the Jewish festivals. While the exact plan of the ground can hardly be determined, there seems to be no justification for ‘a valley’ and ‘a double bridge,’ as supposed by Sunday and Water-house (Sacred Sites, p. 108 and plan [p. 116]; cf. Smith, Jerusalem, ii. 499 n. [Note: . note.] ). By cutting down the cloisters a barricade could be erected to prevent entrance to the Temple courts from the Castle, as was done by the Jews in the time of Florus (a.d. 66 [Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) II. xv. 6; cf. VI. ii. 9, iii. 1]). Opinion is divided as to whether the Roman procurator made his headquarters in Antonia or in Herod’s Palace on the S.W. Hill, but the evidence seems to be in favour of the latter. This appears most clearly from the proceedings in the time of Florus (Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) II. xiv. 8, 9; see Wilson, Golgotha, p. 41f.; Smith, Jerusalem, ii. 573ff.). Antonia was certainly used as a place of detention, as is plain from Acts 22:30. This leads us to remark on the position of-
(d) The Council House.-The meeting-place of the Sanhedrin in apostolic times is of some importance in view of the experience of St. Peter, St. John, and St. Paul. From data provided by Josephus we judge that it lay between the Xystus and the W. porch of the Temple, i.e. near the point where the bridge crossed the Tyropaeon. From Josephus (Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) VI. vi. 3) we also infer that it was in the ‘Lower City,’ for it perished together with Akra and the place called Ophlas. It is reasonable to seek in proximity to the Council House the prison of Acts 4:3; Acts 5:18; that of Acts 12:4 was probably in connexion with the Palace of Herod, where presumably Agrippa I. lived and maintained his own guard (see Ant. XIX. vii. 3). The traditional spot was shown in the 12th cent. E. of where this palace stood, in the heart of the ‘Upper City,’ while the present Zion Gate upon the S. was taken to be the iron gate of Acts 12:10 (Conder, The City of Jerusalem, p. 16).
(e) Sites associated with the proto-martyrs.-(1) St. Stephen.-The association of St. Stephen with the Caenaculum dates from the 8th cent., and with the modern Bâb Sitti Maryam (St. Stephen’s Gate) from the 15th century. These traditions may be ignored, and attention fixed on the site N. of the city, where Eudocia’s Church was built as early as the 5th century. Its site was recovered in 1881. It must be recalled that when St. Stephen perished (between a.d. 33 and 37) the Third wall was not in existence, and the total irregularity of the proceedings at his stoning leads us to think that he was killed at the readiest point outside the city. If on the N. side, as the tradition bound up with Eudocia’s Church seems to imply, it would probably be outside the gate of the Second Wall.
(2) James the Great, the brother of John, is supposed to have been beheaded in a prison now marked by the W. aisle of the Church of St. James in the Armenian Quarter-a tradition of no value. It is worthy of note, however, that, as in the case of St. Peter, the spot is not remote from the Palace of Herod.
(3) James the Just, ‘the brother of Jesus, who was called the Christ’ (Ant. XX. ix. 1), according to Hegesippus (preserved in Eusebius, HE [Note: E Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.).] ii. xxiii. 4ff.) also suffered a violent death (circa, about a.d. 62) after a mode which is very improbable (see Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) , article ‘James,’ § 3), the stoning excepted, to which Josephus testifies. The Grotto of St. James near the S.E. corner of the Temple area, on the E. side of Kidron, is supposed to be his tomb (15th cent. tradition), or preferably his hiding-place (6th cent. tradition). While the tomb is as old as the days of the Apostle, or even older, the inscription above its entrance bears reference to the Benê Ḥezir (S. R. Driver, Notes on Heb. Text of Books of Samuel2, 1913, p. xxi).
(f) The tree (with the bridge) where Judas hanged himself, and Akeldama, the field of blood (Acts 1:19), are shown, but there are rival sites for the latter, and the former has often changed (Conder, The City of Jerusalem, p. 18f.).
(g) Sites associated with the Virgin.-Besides the tradition of the Dormitio Sanctae Mariae, the scene of the Virgin’s death, in proximity to the Caenaculum, the Tomb of the Virgin is marked by a church, originating in the 5th cent., in the valley of the Kidron, outside St. Stephen’s Gate (Sanday, Sacred Sites, p. 85).
(h) The scene of the Ascension.-Discarding Luke 24:50, Christian tradition early laid hold upon the summit of the Mount of Olives (cf. Acts 1:12) as the scene of the Ascension. The motive for this will he understood from what has been written by Eusebius (Demons. Evang. vi. 18 [Migne, Patr. Graeca, xxii. col. 457f.]; cf. Wilson, Golgotha, p. 172):
‘All believers in Christ flock together from all quarters of the earth, not as of old to behold the beauty of Jerusalem, or that they may worship in the former Temple which stood in Jerusalem, but that they may abide there, and both hear the story of Jerusalem, and also worship in the Mount of Olives over against Jerusalem, whither the glory or the Lord removed itself, leaving the earlier city. There, also, according to the published record, the feet of our Lord and Saviour, who was Himself the Word, and, through it, took upon Himself human form, stood upon thy Mourn of Olives near the cave which is now pointed out there.’
Constantine erected a basilica on the summit, where the Chapel of the Ascension now stands. His mother, the Empress Helena, built a church at the same point, and another, called the Eleona, to mark the cave where Christ taught His disciples (Watson, Jerusalem, p. 124). The latter has recently been discovered and excavated (Revue Biblique , 1911, pp. 219-265).
i. Jerusalem under Roman Procurators; Agrippa i and Agrippa ii. (a.d. 30-70).-The writings of Josephus afford evidence that it is possible to narrate the history of events in Jerusalem during the Apostolic Age without reference to the Christians. From our point of view we must sit loose to the fortunes of the Jews as such, in whom Josephus was interested; but for a due appreciation of the history of the Christian Church in Jerusalem a sketch of contemporary events must first be given, special note being made of points of contact with the narrative of Acts.
Pontius Pilate continued in office for some years after the Death of Christ. At the beginning of his term (a.d. 26) he had shown marked disregard for the feelings of the Jews by introducing ensigns bearing images of Caesar into Jerusalem. Later, he gave further offence by appropriating the Corban in order to carry out his scheme for the improvement of the water-supply of the city and of the Temple. Even though the work proceeded, Pilate’s cruelty in this instance was not forgotten and helped to swell the account against him, which resulted in his recall for trial (a.d. 36). Vitellius, governor of Syria, paid a visit to Jerusalem at the Passover of the same year, and adopted a more conciliatory policy, remitting the market-toll and restoring the high-priestly vestments to the custody of the Jews. The procurators of Caligula’s reign (a.d. 37-41) may be left out of account.
The government now passed into the hands of King Agrippa i., who ruled in Jerusalem during the last years that the apostles as a body continued there (a.d. 41-44). Agrippa had already rendered service to the nation of the Jews by preventing Caligula from setting up his statue in the Temple. He was promoted by Claudius to be King of Judaea , as his grandfather Herod had been. He journeyed to Jerusalem, and as a thank-offering dedicated and deposited in the Temple a chain of gold, the gift of Caligula, in remembrance of the term he had passed in prison before good fortune attended him.
While keeping the favour of the Emperor, he also took measures further to ingratiate himself with the Jews. According to Josephus, so good a Jew was he that he omitted nothing that the Law required, and he loved to live continually at Jerusalem (Ant. XIX. vii. 3). His Jewish, or rather his Pharisaical, policy seems to have been at the root of his scheme for building the Third Wall, and also explains his persecution of the Christians (Acts 12:3). His coins circulating in Jerusalem bore no image, as an accommodation to Jewish scruples. Outside the Holy City, however, he was as much under the influence of the Graeco-Roman culture of the age as his grandfather had been. After his death, in the manner described in Acts 12:23 (cf. Ant. XIX. viii. 2; see article Josephus), Palestine reverted to the rule of procurators, so far as civil administration was concerned. In religious matters control was entrusted to Agrippa’s brother, Herod the King of Chalcis, whom the younger Agrippa succeeded. Hence the intervention of the latter at the trial of St. Paul (Ac 25:13ff-26). With one or two exceptions the procurators who followed were distasteful to the Jews, whose discontent worked to a head in a.d. 66, when the open breach with Rome occurred.
Under Cuspius Fadus (a.d. 44-46) the custody of the high-priestly vestments was resumed by the Roman authorities, and once more they were guarded in Antonia, but this was countermanded upon a direct application of the Jews to Claudius. During the rule of Fadus and his successor Tiberius Alexander (a.d. 46-48) the people of Jerusalem, like their brethren throughout Judaea , were oppressed by the great famine (Acts 11:28 ff.), which Queen Helena of Adiabene, now resident in Jerusalem (see above), did much to relieve (Ant. XX. ii. 5, v. 2; cf. article Famine). In the time of Ventidius Cumanus (a.d. 48-52) the impious act of a Roman soldier at the Passover season led to serious collision with the Roman power and to great loss of life (Ant. XX. v. 3, Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) II. xii. 1). This was the first of a series of troubles that led to Cumanus being recalled. Antonius Felix (a.d. 52-60) was sent in his stead, and under him matters proceeded from bad to worse. Owing to the violent methods of the Sicarii, life in Jerusalem became unsafe, and even the high priest Jonathan fell a victim to their daggers. Not only against Rome was there revolt, but also on the part of the priests against the high priests (Ant. XX. viii. 8). The events recorded in Acts 23, 24 fall within the last two years of Felix’s rule. Porcius Festus (60-62) succeeded Felix, and died in office. In the confusion following his death, which was fomented by Ananus the high priest, Agrippa II. intervened, and Ananus was displaced, but not before James, the brother of Christ, had suffered martyrdom at his hands (Ant. XX, ix. 1). The date (a.d. 62) is regarded as doubtful by Schürer (History of the Jewish People (Eng. tr. of GJV).] i. ii. 187). Albinus (a.d. 62-64) devoted his energies to making himself rich, and under him anarchy prevailed, which became even worse under Gessius Florus (a.d. 64-66). His appropriation of the Temple treasures precipitated the great revolt from Rome, which ended with the Destruction of Jerusalem (Sept., a.d. 70).
Agrippa ii. enters into the history of Jerusalem during the procuratorship of Festus, whose services he enlisted against the priests in their building of a wall within the Temple area counter to his heightened Palace (see above). Along with his sister Bernice he sought in other ways, outwardly at least, to conciliate the Jews. While Bernice performed a vow according to prescribed ritual (Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) II. xv. 1), Agrippa showed some zeal, but little discretion, in matters affecting the Temple. His efforts at mediation upon the outbreak of hostilities were in vain; he was forced to take sides with Rome, and appears in attendance upon Titus after he assumed the command.
The harrowing details of the last four years preceding the Fall of Jerusalem, the factions, privations, bloodshed, and ruin, lie apart from the history of the Apostolic Church, and are here omitted. At an early stage of the war the Christians escaped to Pella beyond Jordan ( Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.)iii. v. 3), where they remained till peace was concluded and a return made possible. This is usually dated fully half a century later, after the founding of the Roman city aelia Capitolina in the reign of Hadrian (a.d. 136), but nothing is known for certain beyond the fact of the return (Epiphanius, de Mens. et Pond. xv. [Migne, Patr. Graeca, xliii. col. 261f.]). Some would date the return as early as a.d. 73 (see Wilson, Golgotha, p. 54f.).
ii. The Christians in Jerusalem.-Apart from the Book of Acts there is little information regarding the Christians during the years that they tarried in Jerusalem. A not unlikely tradition gives twelve years as the period that the Twelve remained at the first centre of the Church. After that arose persecution and consequent dispersion. This may be dated in the short reign of Agrippa I. (a.d. 41-44). Subsequent to this the Church in Jerusalem, which from the first had been Jewish-Christian, became pronouncedly Judaistic, perhaps an essential to its own preservation. Up to the time of the revolt (a.d. 66], while there were indeed conflicts with the Jewish authorities, more or less coincident with interregna in the procuratorship, there was no open breach. The sect was tolerated, as others were, by the Jewish leaders, so long as there was outward conformity to the ritual of the Temple. The progressive movement in Christianity was external to Jerusalem and even to Palestine; the Church in the metropolis of the faith became increasingly conservative, and in the end ceased to have any standing within the Church Catholic. But this did not take place until the post-Apostolic Age. Attention must be fixed chiefly on the first few decades following the Death of Christ, years in which originated much that became permanent within the Church as well as features that were destined to pass away.
(a) The disciples and the Lord.-Throughout the Book of Acts emphasis is laid upon the fact that Christ had risen from the dead. So far as can be discovered, the first Christians had no concern for the scene of the Crucifixion nor yet for the empty tomb. It was not until the 4th cent. a.d. that these spots, so venerated in after ages, came to be marked by a Christian edifice. The thoughts of the early Christians were upon the living and not the dead. They cherished the hope of the speedy return of Christ to earth in all the glory of His Second Coming, and reckoned that they lived in the time of the end, when the fullness of Messiah’s Kingdom was about to be ushered in. This being the case, they made no provision for posterity in the way of erecting memorials to the Christ who had sojourned among them in the flesh, and, as the extracts from Patristic writers (see small type above) reveal, after ‘sacred sites’ began to be marked, they were those associated with the post-resurrection life of the Lord.
(b) Relation of the Christians to other dwellers in the city.-The desire to make converts to the faith must have brought the Christians into contact with their fellow-citizens and with those of the Dispersion who chanced to be present in the city. Their assembling in the Temple, for instance, was not simply to fulfil the Law (Acts 3:1), nor yet for the sake of meeting with each other (5:12), but to work upon the mass of the people through the words and wonders of the apostles. Only by public activity could the numbers have grown with the rapidity and to the extent they did. Of necessity this propaganda was attended by a measure of opposition from those who were the traditional enemies of the Lord. But, so long as Roman rule was exercised, persecution could not make headway. While thus mixing to some extent with other elements in the city, the Christians also lived a life apart for purposes of instruction and fellowship, and for the performance of the simple ritual of the faith (Acts 2:42; Acts 12:12, etc.). There is no evidence that they possessed any special building like a synagogue. A private house, such as that of Mary, the mother of John Mark, would have served their purpose, and according to tradition (see above) this was the recognized centre. Even at the time of the so-called Council (Acts 15:6) no indication is given that the assembly was convened in an official building.
(c) Organization.-Those who had companied with Jesus in the days of His public ministry were from the outset regarded as leaders in the Church, and were in possession of special gifts and powers. To the Twelve, who were Hebrews, there were shortly added the Seven, perhaps as an accommodation to the Hellenists (Acts 6:1). This step probably marks the first cleavage in the ranks of the Christians, as they began to be called, and paved the way for the wider breach which in a few years severed those at the ancient centre of Jewish faith and practice from the numerically stronger division of Gentile believers in other places. Harnack regards it as possible that the Seven were ‘Hellenistic rivals of the Twelve’ (The Constitution and Law of the Church, 30), the chief being St. Stephen, whose adherents were persecuted after his death, the apostles themselves being let alone (The Mission and Expansion of Christianity2, i. 50f.; cf. Acts 8:1).
The appointment of the Seven reveals the fact that in one respect the initial practice of the Christians had been tentative and could not be sustained. The community of goods, which theoretically was an ideal system, ultimately proved unworkable, and was not imitated in other Christian communities. The poverty of the mother Church, which continued after Gentile churches had been planted at many points, has been regarded as the outcome of this experiment, but it is likely that the causes of this poverty in Jerusalem lay deeper than that. G. A. Smith (Jerusalem, ii. 563) has shown that Jerusalem is naturally a poor city, and he attributes her chronic poverty to the inadequacy of her own resources and the many non-productive members her population contained. These conditions were not altered in apostolic times. In view of the circumstance that at a comparatively late stage the further commission was given to St. Paul and Barnabas to remember the poor (Galatians 2:10), i.e. at Jerusalem, this may conceivably be grounded not upon special need but upon the analogy of the tribute paid by those of the Diaspora to headquarters. ‘The church at Jerusalem, together with the primitive apostles, considered themselves the central body of Christendom, and also the representatives of the true Israel’ (Harnack, Mission and Expansion2, i. 330f.).
(d) The position of James, the Lord’s brother.-More than any of the Twelve, who at first were so prominent, is James, the Lord’s brother, associated with the Church in Jerusalem. He appears suddenly in Acts as possessed of authority equal to that of the greatest of the apostles, and at the Council he occupies the position of president. When St. Paul visited the city for the last time he reported himself to James and the elders. From extracts of Hegesippus preserved by Eusebius, and from Eusebius himself, we learn that James owed his outstanding position to his personal worth, as also to his relationship to Jesus, and it seems evident that he was the leading representative of Judaistic Christianity, of that section which by its adherence to the Law and the Temple was able to maintain itself in Jerusalem after others, even the chief apostles, had been compelled to leave the city. But James also suffered martyrdom (see above, 2, iv. (e)). He was followed by his cousin Symeon, whom Hegesippus (Euseb.) styles ‘second bishop.’
There is great diversity of opinion as to when this appointment was made (Wilson, Golgotha, p. 55n.). The date of his death is placed c. [Note: . circa, about.] a.d. 107. As Eusebius learned that until the siege of Hadrian (a.d. 135) there were fifteen bishops, all said to be of Hebrew descent (HE [Note: E Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.).] iv. v. 2), the tradition is hard to believe. Harnack thinks that relatives of Jesus or presbyters may be included in the number (Mission and Expansion2, ii. 97).
(e) Effect of the Fall of Jerusalem upon the Church there.-The final destruction of the city in a.d. 70 is generally regarded as crucial not only for the Jews but also for the Christians, not because the latter were present at the time, but because there had perforce to be a severance from the former ways now that the Temple had ceased to be. But the importance of this event has been over-rated (A. C. McGiffert, The Apostolic Age, p. 546). As regards the Church Catholic, the centre, or centres, had already been moved, while the local church, which escaped the terrors of the siege, was small, tending indeed to extinction. The Church in aelia Capitolina was Gentile-Christian, with Mark as first bishop. It fashioned for itself a new Zion, on the S.W. Hill; and when in the 3rd cent. Jerusalem became a resort of pilgrims, the ‘sacred sites’ did not include the Temple area, the Jewish Zion, which indeed was regarded by the Christians ‘with an aversion which is really remarkable, and which increased as years passed by’ (Watson, Jerusalem, p. 119).
Literature.-(a) Contemporary authorities and Patristic works are frequently cited in the article, and need not be repeated.-(b) Dictionary articles are numerous: Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) , Hastings’ Single-vol. Dictionary of the Bible , Dict. of Christ and the Gospels , Encyclopaedia Biblica , Jewish Encyclopedia , etc.-(c) Of topographical works those found of most service are: C. W. Wilson, Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre, London, 1906; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, do. 1907-08; L. B. Paton, Jerusalem in Bible Times, Chicago and London, 1908; C. R. Conder, The City of Jerusalem, London, 1909; S. Merrill, Ancient Jerusalem, London and New York, 1908; C. M. Watson, The Story of Jerusalem, do. 1912; F. J. Bliss and A. C. Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem, 1894-97, London, 1898; W. Sanday and P. Waterhouse, Sacred Sites of the Gospels, Oxford, 1903. Other works not already cited: K. Baedeker, Palestine and Syria, Leipzig, 1912, pp. 19-90; F. Bnhl, Geog. des alten Palästina, Freiburg and Leipzig, 1896, pp. 144-154; H. Vincent, Jérusalem antique, Paris, 1913ff.-(d) Historical works: E. Schürer, History of the Jewish People (Eng. tr. of GJV).] , Edinburgh, 1885-91; A. C. McGiffert, A History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age, do. 1897, pp. 36-93, 549-568; C. von Weizsäcker, The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church2, Eng. translation , London, 1897-98, bk. i. chs. i.-iv., bk. ii. ch. iii., bk. iv. ch. i., bk. v. ch. ii.; A. Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries2, Eng. translation , do. 1908, i. 44-64, 182-184, ii. 97-99, The Constitution and Law of the Church in the First Two Centuries, Eng. translation , do. 1910, pp. 1-39.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Jerusalem'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/j/jerusalem.html. 1906-1918.
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26