Holy Land Churches

Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Wikipedia

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a Christian church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan. The site is venerated by many Christians as Golgotha,[1] (the Hill of Calvary), where the New Testament says that Jesus was crucified,[2] and is said to also contain the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre). The church has been an important Christian pilgrimage destination since at least the 4th century, as the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus. Today it also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, while control of the building is shared between several Christian churches and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for centuries. Today, the church is home to six denominations, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, and Ethiopian Orthodox. The church is also of limited importance to Protestant Christians. History - Construction -- In the early second century, the site of the present Church had been a temple of Aphrodite; several ancient writers alternatively describe it as a temple to Venus, the Roman equivalent to Aphrodite. Eusebius claims, in his Life of Constantine,[3] that the site of the Church had originally been a Christian place of veneration, but that Hadrian had deliberately covered these Christian sites with earth, and built his own temple on top, due to his alleged hatred for Christianity[4] (the authenticity/inaccuracy of this claim is discussed below). Although Eusebius does not say as much, the temple of Aphrodite was probably built as part of Hadrian's reconstruction of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina in 135, following the destruction of the Jewish Revolt of 70 and Bar Kokhba's revolt of 132–135. Emperor Constantine I ordered in about 325/326 that the temple be demolished and the soil - which had provided a flat surface for the temple - be removed, instructing Macarius of Jerusalem, the local Bishop, to build a church on the site. The Pilgrim of Bordeaux reports in 333: There, at present, by the command of the Emperor Constantine, has been built a basilica, that is to say, a church of wondrous beauty.[5] Constantine directed his mother, Helena, to build churches upon sites which commemorated the life of Jesus Christ; she was present in 326 at the construction of the church on the site, and involved herself in the excavations and construction. During the excavation, Helena is alleged to have rediscovered the True Cross, and a tomb, though Eusebius' account makes no mention of Helena's presence at the excavation, nor of the finding of the cross but only the tomb. According to Eusebius, the tomb exhibited a clear and visible proof that it was the tomb of Jesus;[6][7] several scholars have criticised Eusebius' account for an uncritical use of sources, and for being thoroughly dishonest[8][9] with Edward Gibbon, for example, pointing out that Eusebius' own chapter headings[10] claim that fictions are lawful and fitting for him to use.[11] Socrates Scholasticus (born c. 380), in his Ecclesiastical History, gives a full description of the discovery[12] (that was repeated later by Sozomen and by Theodoret) which emphasizes the role played in the excavations and construction by Helena; just as the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (also founded by Constantine and Helena) commemorated the birth of Jesus, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre would commemorate his death and resurrection. Constantine's church was built as two connected churches over the two different holy sites, including a great basilica (the Martyrium visited by the nun Egeria in the 380s), an enclosed colonnaded atrium (the Triportico) with the traditional site of Golgotha in one corner, and a rotunda, called the Anastasis ("Resurrection"), which contained the remains of a rock-cut room that Helena and Macarius had identified as the burial site of Jesus. The rockface at the west end of the building was cut away, although it is unclear how much remained in Constantine's time, as archaeological investigation has revealed that the temple of Aphrodite reached far into the current rotunda area,[13] and the temple enclosure would therefore have reached even further to the west. According to Christian tradition, Constantine arranged for the rockface to be removed from around the tomb, without harming it, in order to isolate the tomb; in the centre of the rotunda is a small building called the Kouvouklion (Kουβούκλιον; Modern Greek for small compartment) or Aedicule[14] (from Latin: aediculum, small building), which supposedly encloses this tomb, although it is not currently possible to verify the claim, as the alleged remains are completely enveloped by a marble sheath. The discovery of the kokhim tombs just beyond the west end of the Church, and more recent archaeological investigation of the rotunda floor, suggest that a narrow spur of at least ten yards length would have had to jut out from the rock face if the contents of the Aedicule were once inside it. The dome of the rotunda was completed by the end of the 4th century. Each year, the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the anniversary of the consecration of the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) on September 13 (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, September 13 currently falls on September 26 of the modern Gregorian Calendar)....

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Church of the Nativity in Wikipedia

The Church of the Nativity (Arabic: كنيسة المهد‎) in Bethlehem is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. The structure is built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth, and it is considered sacred by followers of both Christianity and Islam (see Jesus in Islam). History -- The antiquity of this tradition is attested by the Christian apologist Justin Martyr (c. 100 - 165), who noted in his Dialogue with Trypho that the Holy Family had taken refuge in a cave outside of town: Joseph took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him.(chapter LXXVIII). Origen of Alexandria (185 AD–ca. 254) wrote: In Bethlehem the cave is pointed out where He was born, and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. And the rumor is in those places, and among foreigners of the Faith, that indeed Jesus was born in this cave who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians. (Contra Celsum, book I, chapter LI). The first basilica on this site was begun by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine I. Under the supervision of Bishop Makarios of Jerusalem, the construction started in 327 and was completed in 333. That structure was burnt down in the Samaritan Revolt of 529. The current basilica was rebuilt in its present form in 565 by the Emperor Justinian I. When the Persians under Chosroes II invaded in 614, they unexpectedly did not destroy the structure. According to legend, their commander Shahrbaraz was moved by the depiction inside the church of the Three Magi wearing Persian clothing, and commanded that the building be spared. The Crusaders made further repairs and additions to the building during the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem with permission and help given by the Byzantine Emperor, and the first King of Jerusalem was crowned in the church. Over the years, the compound has been expanded, and today it covers approximately 12,000 square meters. The church was one of the direct causes for French involvement in the Crimean War against Russia. The church is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities. All three traditions maintain monastic communities on the site...

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Church of John the Baptist in Wikipedia

The Church of St John the Baptist in Nessebar, Bulgaria is a domed cruciform church, built of undressed stone. It's one of the best preserved in Nessebar. It is 12 m long and 10 wide. The structure of the church consists of two cylindrical vaults which intersect in the center of the composition. The masonry is crushed stone and pebbles and the facades were probably smoothly plastered. It was built in the 10th century. It has no narthex. The altar space consists of three semi-circular apses. Four massive pillars support the dome and form the cross. Inside the walls are smooth and unbroken. Some frescoes have been preserved dating from later periods. The faded portraits of the donor and his contemporaries on the southern wall and the fragments beneath the dome date from 14th c. and the others are from the 16th and 17th centuries. One depicts St. Marina pulling a devil from the sea before braining it with a hammer - possibly representing the local merchants' hopes that their patron would deal the Cossack pirates who raided Nessebar in the 17th Century A.D. The exterior is simple without decorative niches and ceramic plaques, typical of the ornamental style. Bricks were used as a decorative element over the entrance, in the jagged cornices and around the windows. Nowadays the church houses a gallery.

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Theophrastus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)

(Θεόφραστος). The Greek philosopher. He was a native of Eresus in Lesbos, and studied philosophy at Athens, first under Plato and afterwards under Aristotle. He became the favourite pupil of Aristotle, who named Theophrastus his successor in the presidency of the Lyceum, and in his will bequeathed to him his library and the originals of his own writings. Theophrastus was a worthy successor of his great master, and nobly sustained the character of the school. He is said to have had two thousand disciples, and among them such men as the comic poet Menander. He was highly esteemed by the kings Philippus, Cassander, and Ptolemy, and was not the less the object of the regard of the Athenian people, as was decisively shown when he was impeached of impiety; for he was not only acquitted, but his accuser would have fallen a victim to his calumny had not Theophrastus generously interfered to save him. He died in B.C. 287, having presided over the Academy about thirty-five years. His age is variously stated. According to some accounts he lived 85 years, according to others 107 years. He is said to have closed his life with the complaint respecting the short duration of human existence, that it ended just when the insight into its problems was beginning. He wrote a great number of works, the great object of which was the development of the Aristotelian philosophy. His Ἠθικοὶ Χαρακτῆρες, in thirty chapters; his work on plants (Περὶ Φυτῶν Ιστορίας), in ten books; his account of the causes of plants (Περὶ Φυτῶν Αἰτιῶν); and his treatise on stones (Περὶ Λίθων), are extant. These are edited together by Wimmer (Breslau, 1842-62). A separate edition of the Characteres is that of Jebb (London, 1870).

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Theopompus in Wikipedia

Theopompus (Ancient Greek: Θεόπομπος) was a Greek historian[1] and rhetorician, born on Chios about 380 BC. Biography In early youth he seems to have spent some time at Athens, along with his father, who had been exiled on account of his Laconian sympathies. Here he became a pupil of Isocrates, and rapidly made great progress in rhetoric; we are told that Isocrates used to say that Ephorus required the spur but Theopompus the bit (Cicero, Brutus, 204). At first he appears to have composed epideictic speeches, in which he attained to such proficiency that in 352‑351 he gained the prize of oratory given by Artemisia II of Caria in honour of her husband, although Isocrates was himself among the competitors. It is said to have been the advice of his teacher that finally determined his career as an historian-a career for which he was peculiarly qualified owing to his abundant patrimony and his wide knowledge of men and places. Through the influence of Alexander, he was permitted to return to Chios about 333, and figured for some time as one of the leaders of the aristocratic party in his native town. After Alexander's death he was again expelled, and took refuge with Ptolemy in Egypt, where he appears to have met with a somewhat cold reception. The date of his death is unknown. Works The works of Theopompus were chiefly historical, and are much quoted by later writers. They included an Epitome of Herodotus's History (Whether this work is actually his is debated[2]),the Hellenics, the History of Philip, and several panegyrics and hortatory addresses, the chief of which was the Letter to Alexander. The Hellenics The Hellenics treated of the history of Greece, in twelve books, from 411 (where Thucydides breaks off) to 394 BC - the date of the battle of Cnidus (cf. Diod. Sic., xiii. 42, with xiv. 84). Of this work only a few fragments were known up till 1907. The papyrus fragment of a Greek historian of the 4th century, discovered by B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, and published by them in Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. v. (1908), has been recognized by Eduard Meyer, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and Georg Busolt as a portion of the Hellenics. This identification has been disputed, however, by Friedrich Blass, J. B. Bury, E. M. Walker and others, most of whom attribute the fragment, which deals with the events of the year 395 BC and is of considerable extent, to Cratippus. In the Hellenics, Theopompus mentions Herostratus and his arson of the Temple of Artemis, thus helping Herostratus to his goal of achieving fame, despite the Ephesian authorities forbidding mention of his name under penalty of death. History of Philip II A far more elaborate work was the history of Philip's reign (360‑336), with digressions on the names and customs of the various races and countries of which he had occasion to speak, which were so numerous that Philip V of Macedon reduced the bulk of the history from 58 to 16 books by cutting out those parts which had no connection with Macedonia. It was from this history that Trogus Pompeius (of whose Historiae Philippicae we possess the epitome by Justin) derived much of his material. Fifty-three books were extant in the time of Photius (9th century), who read them, and has left us an epitome of the 12th book. Several fragments, chiefly anecdotes and strictures of various kinds upon the character of nations and individuals, are preserved by Athenaeus, Plutarch and others. Of the Letter to Alexander we possess one or two fragments cited by Athenaeus, criticizing severely the immorality and dissipations of Harpalus. Attack upon Plato The Attack upon Plato, and the treatise On Piety, which are sometimes referred to as separate works, were perhaps only two of the many digressions in the history of Philip; some writers have doubted their authenticity.’ The libellous attack (the "three-headed") on the three cities-Athens, Sparta and Thebes-was published under the name of Theopompus by his enemy Anaximenes of Lampsacus. The nature of the extant fragments fully bears out the divergent criticisms of antiquity upon Theopompus. Their style is clear and pure, full of choice and pointed expressions, but lacking in weight and dignity. The artistic unity of his work suffered severely from the frequent and lengthy digressions already referred to. The most important was that On the Athenian Demagogues in the 10th book of the Philippica, containing a bitter attack on many of the chief Athenian statesmen, and generally recognized as having been freely used by Plutarch in several of the Lives. Another fault of Theopompus was his excessive fondness for romantic and incredible stories; a collection of some of these was afterwards made and published under his name. He was also severely blamed in antiquity for his censoriousness, and throughout his fragments no feature is more striking than this. On the whole, however, he appears to have been fairly impartial. Philip himself he censures severely for drunkenness and immorality, while Demosthenes receives his warm praise.

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St. Peters Church – Tiberias

According to the Gospel, many people from Tiberias sailed to Capharnaum to meet Jesus. The ancient Christian tradition shows the presence of a large Judeo-Christian community there. Later tradition concentrated the memory of many evangelical episodes in Tiberias. Tiberias is the most important city of the sea of Galilee and it could already have been so in the time of Christ, as it was the residence of the tetrarch Herod Antipas. it was he who founded it and had given it the name of his protector and friend, the emperor Tiberius Caesar. In the Gospel according to John, boats that came from the city of Tiberias to the place of the multiplication of the loaves (John 6.23) are mentioned. The increased importance of the city is shown by the fact that the lake is called "Sea of Tiberias". According to Epiphanius, Christianity became clearly established in Tiberias in the 4th century, when a convert from Judaism, Count Joseph, obtained permission from the emperor Constantine to build a church where the pagan temple of Adrian had stood. From him, we also know that in Tiberias (as in Nazareth and Capharnaum) there were Jews who believed in Christ and kept and spread the books of the New Testament translated into Hebrew.

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Church of the Nativity

Second only to the Holy Sepulcher, it’s no wonder the Church of the Nativity is one of the most popular places to visit on Christian Holy Land tours as it was built on the site of Jesus’ birth. The Church of the Nativity is actually built over a cave that is believed to be the bottom floor of a 2-story house. Back then, humans would have lived on the top floor and animals would have lived below. Though often referred to as an "inn" in the Bible, it was actually a "guest room" attached the house. When Joseph and Mary arrived for the census, this room was already full, which was why Mary and Joseph were told to stay downstairs with the animals. Surely this is a must-see on your tour to the Holy Land. Luke Chapter 2:1-7 1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirini-us was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

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