DID YOU KNOW: What Golgotha really means?

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Golgotha, which is near Jerusalem, is place where Jesus was crucified. The name “Golgotha” is derived from the Aramaic word gulgulta. Matthew 27:33 and Mark 15:22 give its meaning as “place of the skull.” When Saint Jerome translated these verses into Latin, he used the Latin word for skull, calvaria, which was later converted into the English word Calvary.

Golgotha appears in 3 Bible verses: Matt 27:33, Mark 15:22 and John 19:17.

According to Gospel Mysteries The second clue is consistent with a traditional Jewish religious requirement that all executions had to take place outside the city, a requirement which the Romans appear to have generally honored. And the third clue is consistent with the fact that the Romans often crucified people on elevated spots near major roads, to serve as a warning of the probable fate of anyone who challenged their authority.

Some scholars have suggested that Golgotha was probably near the northern section of the city, because this would put it close to the administrative area, where the main public buildings were located. At the time of the crucifixion, the northern section of the city was bounded by the so-called Second Wall. Unfortunately Jerusalem was destroyed twice by the Roman army during Jewish revolts in the first and second centuries, and this makes it difficult to determine the exact boundaries of the ancient city. However, the approximate location of the Second Wall is known.

During the first destruction of Jerusalem, most Christians fled the city, and the second destruction dispersed almost the entire population. Because of these upheavals, and because Christian writers rarely mentioned Golgotha during the next two centuries, some scholars think that knowledge of its location was probably lost. But other scholars argue that local traditions could have been strong enough to preserve the knowledge despite the upheavals. The scarcity of reliable information from these early centuries makes it impossible to know for sure.

Better information is available in writings from the fourth century onward, starting from the time of Constantine the Great. During his reign he and his mother, Empress Helena, became interested in building a church near the locations of Golgotha and the tomb in which Jesus was placed. The idea was especially appealing to the Empress, and in 326 AD she made a trip to Jerusalem to explore the possibilities. Continue here

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