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Upper Room (2)

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

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1. The words ‘guest-chamber’ and ‘upper room.’—(1) Guest-chamber (κατάλυμα). In the LXX Septuagint κατάλυμα denotes (a) an inn or lodging-place: Exodus 4:24, Sirach 14:25, Jeremiah 14:8; (b) a dwelling-place in general: Exodus 15:13, Jeremiah 32:24, (= Jeremiah 25:38), Jeremiah 40:12, (= Jeremiah 33:12), Ezekiel 23:21, 1 Maccabees 3:45; (c) a chamber connected with a sanctuary or the Temple: 1 K (= 1 S) 1 Kings 1:18; 1 Kings 9:22, 1 Chronicles 28:13, being in one case the room where the sacrificial meal was eaten, 1 K (= 1 S) 1 Kings 9:22; (d) a tent: 2 K (=2 S) 2 Kings 7:6; (e) the tabernacle: 1 Chronicles 17:5 (not B). In the NT κατάλυμα occurs only in Luke 2:7 (inn, or possibly guest-chamber) and Mark 14:14, Luke 22:11 (apparently guest-chamber). The best Manuscripts of Vulgate have diversorio in Luke 2:7; refectiomea (also in bfi) in Mark 14:14, diversorium in Luke 22:11. Of other Lat. Manuscripts (besides differences of spelling,—divor., dever.), in Luke 2:7 e has stabu.; in Mark 14:14 X* [Note: The signs here used are those adopted in Wordsworth and White’s edition of the Vulgate, and Old Latin Biblical Texts. See also Hastings’ DB iii. 47–62, iv. 873–890.] q have diversorium meum, Z has diversorium meum refectio mea, ΒΗΘ Mt O have diversorium meum et refectio mea, ff2 has refectorium, k has hospitium; in Luke 22:11 e f r have hospitium, a has refectio, I has locus.* [Note: The signs here used are those adopted in Wordsworth and White’s edition of the Vulgate, and Old Latin Biblical Texts. See also Hastings’ DB iii. 47–62, iv. 873–890.]

(2) Upper room (ἀνάγαιον in best Manuscripts : other Manuscripts have ἀνόγαιον, ἀνωγέων, ἀνωγέως, ἀνώγαιον, ἀνώγεον).

In the LXX Septuagint ἀνάγαιον does not occur in any form, ὑπερῷον occurs twenty-three times, apparently always in the sense of upper room. In the NT ἀνάγαιον (Textus Receptus ἀνώγεον) occurs only in Mark 14:15, Luke 22:12, ὑπερῷον occurs only in Acts 1:13; Acts 9:37; Acts 9:39; Acts 20:8, both words in the sense of upper room. The best Manuscripts of Vulgate have cenaculum for both words in all places. Of other Lat. Manuscripts (besides differences of spelling,—cacn., cocn., cin., cenn.), in Mark 14:15 k has sub ‘pedaneum’ sterranœum (having apparently first written subpedaneum, and then tried to alter it to sterranœum), q has locum stratum, ff2 has stratum; in Luke 22:12 a has mœdianum, b has pede plano locum, d has superiorem domum, q has superiorem locum, c e ff2 ir have in superioribus locum, l has in superioribus; in Acts 1:13 degig Manuscripts used by St. Augustine (Adv. Fel. Man. i. 4; De unit. eccl. 27) have superiora, Grec Θ p. 2 tepl have cum introissent in cenaculum ascenderunt in superiora (combining cenaculum with superiora: see Wordsworth and White’s note on Acts 1:13 in their edition of Vulgate ); in Acts 9:37 m has superiori cœnaculo, p has superioribus; in 9:39 m has superiora cœnaculi, e p have superioribus; in 20:8 d has superioribus.

2. Events in the upper room.—(1) The Last Supper (wh. see): Mark 14:17, Matthew 26:20, Luke 22:14; (2) the washing of the Apostles’ feet and subsequent discourse: John 13:2-20; (3) the prophecy of the betrayal of our Lord by Judas: Mark 14:18-21, Matthew 26:21-25, Luke 22:21-23, John 13:21-35; (4) the Institution of the Eucharist: 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, Mark 14:22-25, Matthew 26:26-29, Luke 22:19-20 (see Lord’s Supper); (5) the prophecy of the denial of our Lord by St. Peter and subsequent discourse: Luke 22:31-38, John 13:36-38; cf. Mark 14:27-31, Matthew 26:31-35, where such a prophecy—either that here recorded or a repetition of it—is placed after the departure from the upper room; (6) discourse: John 14; (7) the departure from the upper room: Mark 14:26, Matthew 26:30, Luke 22:39, John 14:21.

It is possible that the room in an unspecified house in Jerusalem where the disciples met after the Resurrection (Mark 16:14, Luke 24:33; Luke 24:36, John 20:19; John 20:26), and ‘the upper chamber (ὑπερῷον) where they were abiding’ after the Ascension (Acts 1:13), were the same as the ‘upper room’ (ἀνάγαιον) in which the above events took place; and that this, again, was in ‘the house of Mary the mother of John whose surname was Mark’ (Acts 12:12). ‘The combinations are quite legitimate, and only give unity and compactness to the history, if we suppose that the house of Mary and her son was the one central meeting-place of the Church of Jerusalem throughout the Apostolic age’ (Sanday, Sacred Sites, p. 83). At the same time, there is no positive evidence in the NT for identifying the ἀνάγαιον of Mark 14:15, Luke 22:12 with the ὑπερῷον of Acts 1:13, or for placing it in the house of Mary the mother of John.

3. Places at table in the upper room.—There is some probability in the suggestion (Edersheim, LT [Note: T Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah [Edersheim].] ii. 494–95) that our Lord occupied the place of the host, that St. John was on His right hand, Judas in the place of honour on His left hand, and St. Peter in the least honourable place opposite St. John.

Such an arrangement would account for (1) our Lord telling St. John by what sign to know the traitor without the rest hearing, John 13:26; (2) the giving of the ‘sop’ first to Judas, John 13:26, Mark 14:20, Matthew 26:23; (3) the inquiry of Judas whether he was the traitor, and our Lord’s reply without the rest hearing the latter, Matthew 26:25, John 13:27-30; (4) the beckoning of St. Peter to St. John, and St. Peter’s request that St. John should ask our Lord who was the traitor, John 13:23-24; (5) the possibility that in the ‘contention’ among the Apostles (Luke 22:24), if this took place in connexion with the Supper and before it, Judas claimed and obtained the chief place; (6) the possibility that after our Lord’s rebuke of the ‘contention’ (Luke 22:25-30), St. Peter eagerly seized on the lowest place.

4. The identification of the site.—It is thought by many good judges that the traditional site of the cenaculum (the present building dates from the 14th cent.) is probably the place where the upper room stood. Dr. Sanday (p. 77) writes, ‘I believe that of all the most sacred sites it is the one that has the strongest evidence in its favour. Indeed, the evidence for it appears to me so strong that, for my own part, I think that I should be prepared to give it an unqualified adhesion.’ The most interesting testimonies in the tradition are the following:

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. (a.d. 348) xvi. 4: ‘The Holy Ghost, who spake in the prophets and on the Day of Pentecost, came down on the Apostles in the form of fiery tongues here in Jerusalem, in the upper church of the Apostles; for with us are the most valuable privileges of all. Here Christ came down from heaven. Here the Holy Ghost came down from heaven. And truly it is most fitting that, as we speak of Christ and Golgotha here in Golgotha, so also we should speak of the Holy Ghost in the upper church. But, since He who came down there shares in the glory of Him who was crucified here, we speak here of Him who came down there, for the worship of Them is indivisible.’

Silvia (or Etheria), Peregrinatio (c. [Note: circa, about.] 385 a.d.), 39–43: At Easter ‘all the people conduct the bishop with hymns to Sion. When they have come there, suitable hymns for the day and place are said, prayer is made, and that passage from the Gospel is read in which, on the same day, in the same place where the church itself in Sion now is, the Lord came in to the disciples when the doors were shut, that is, when one of the disciples, namely, Thomas, was not there.’ On the octave of the Resurrection ‘all the people conduct the bishop with hymns to Sion. When they have come there, suitable hymns for the place and day are said, and that passage from the Gospel is read in which, eight days after the Resurrection, the Lord came in where the disciples were, and rebuked Thomas for his want of belief.’ At Pentecost ‘all the people conduct the bishop with hymns to Sion, so that they may be in Sion at the third hour. When they have come there, that passage from the Acts of the Apostles is read in which the Spirit descends.… In Sion is the very place, though there is a new church, where of old after the passion of the Lord the multitude was gathered together with the Apostles.’

Epiphanius, de Mens. el Pond. (a.d. 392) 14: ‘Hadrian’ ‘found the whole city [Jerusalem] razed to the ground, and the temple of God trodden under foot, except for a few buildings and the little church of God. It was there that the disciples, on their return when the Saviour had ascended from the Mount of Olives, went up into the upper chamber (τὸ ὑπερᾷον); for on that site had it been built.’ (If Epiphanius possessed accurate information, this statement carries back the tradition about the site to the reign of Hadrian, a.d. 117–138).

Lucian of Caphargamala, near Jerusalem, Ep. de revel, corp. Steph. 8, after describing the discovery of the relics of St. Stephen (a.d. 415): ‘Then, with psalms and hymns, they carried the relics of the most blessed Stephen to the holy church of Sion, where also the Archdeacon had been ordained.’ Cf. Breviarium Romanum, lect. v. for August 3; Breviarium Ambrosianum, lect. iii. for August 3.

Theodosius, De situ terrœ sanctœ (a.d. 530), 7: ‘Sion, which is the mother of all churches, which our Lord Christ founded with the Apostles. It was the house of holy Mark the Evangelist.’

Liturgy of St. James (Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western, i. 53, 54): ‘Thy all-holy Spirit,’ ‘who came down on Thy holy Apostles in the form of fiery tongues in the upper chamber (ἐν τῷ ὑπερῴῳ) of the holy and glorious Sion on the Day of the holy Pentecost.’ ‘We offer unto Thee, O Lord, also for Thy holy places, which Thou didst glorify with the manifestation of Thy Christ and the descent of Thy all-holy Spirit, especially for the holy and glorious Sion, the mother of all churches.’

Hippolytus of Thebes, Chronicle, (usually assigned to 10th cent., but perhaps of 7th cent.): ‘This is John, whom the Lord loved, the virgin and evangelist, who remained at Jerusalem, the mother of the churches, at his own house, to which the Apostles fled in fear of the Jews. There also was prepared the Passover. There also the first mystery was consecrated for the disciples. There also the Lord appeared to them after the resurrection. There also He showed the prints of the nails to Thomas. There the Apostles ordained as first bishop the son of Joseph, the brother of the Lord.… He [John] received the all-holy Mother of God (Θεοτόκον) in his house until her assumption (μεχρὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτῆς).’

See also the plan, identifying the place of the Last Supper, of the descent of the Holy Ghost, and of the death of the Blessed Virgin, left by Bishop Arculf, who visited Jerusalem in a.d. 685, with Adamnan at Iona, and reproduced in Adamnan, De locis sanctis, of which reproduction there is a facsimile in vol. xxxviii. of the Vienna Corpus Script. Eccl. Lat. p. 244.

Literature.—Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, ii. 482–519; Le Camus in Vigouroux, Dict, de la Bible, ii. 399–403; Zahn, ‘Die Dormitio Sanctae Virginis und das Haus des Johannes Markus’ in NKZ [Note: KZ Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift.] , vol. x.; Mommert. Die Dormitio und das deutsche Grundstück auf dem traditionellen Zion; Sanday, Sacred Sites of the Gospels, pp. 77–88; J. Watson. The Upper Room (1895); J. Telford, The Story of the Upper Room (1905); D. M. M‘Intyre, The Upper Room Company (1906).

Darwell Stone.


Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Upper Room (2)'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament.​dictionaries/​eng/​hdn/​u/upper-room-2.html. 1906-1918.