Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Eyewitness Accounts

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death,  Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

What the Eyewitnesses Saw

In this Post we consider the eyewitness accounts of two important first century historians:  Flavius Josephus and Eleazar ben Ya’ir. Josephus was a Jewish rebel leader captured by the Romans during the early part of the Roman-Jewish War who then became a valued historian in the service of Rome. On the other hand, Eleazar was the head of the Jewish forces at the mountaintop fortress of Masada who withstood a nearly year-long siege by the Roman army before finally succumbing to an assault on the fortress in AD 73. Both Josephus and Eleazar witnessed firsthand the destruction of the Temple and of Jewish Jerusalem. However, with Eleazar’s account – which was actually written by Josephus – we have unique testimony regarding the preservation of the Roman Fort amid the destruction of the rest of Jerusalem.

These eyewitness accounts constitute the second of nine puzzle pieces in my case regarding the location of the Jewish Temples and figure significantly in the determination of the true locations of both the Temples and the Roman Fort Antonia.

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Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Jesus’ Prophecy

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

What Jesus Said

Of critical importance to the determination of the true location of Herod’s Temple during the time of Jesus are Jesus’ own prophetic words regarding what would happen to the Temple and all of Jerusalem because the Jews did not recognize the time of His coming.

An evaluation of this prophecy from Jesus is the first of nine puzzle pieces in my examination of the topic Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Consider the following two passages from the Gospel of Luke:

“For the days shall come upon thee, that thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. And shall lay thee [Jerusalem] even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” (Luke 19:43-44, KJV)

“As some spake of the Temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he [Jesus] said: ‘As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’” (Luke 21:5–6, KJV)

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Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Introduction

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

Things Are Not Always As They Seem

Relying on the eyewitness descriptions of Josephus and other early historians, Dr. Ernest Martin has presented a case that the true Temple location was to the south of the traditional “Temple Mount,” on the southeast ridge of Jerusalem. This is at the location of “Mount Zion” in the City of David.  Additionally, Dr. Martin argues that the entire traditional “Temple Mount” is actually the former site of the Roman Fort Antonia, a complex of structures constructed and enlarged by Herod the Great to support the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. Dr. Martin presents evidence that Fort Antonia was both much larger and in a different location than is typically depicted in models of ancient Jerusalem, where it is represented as a largely inconsequential structure physically attached to the northwest corner of the traditional “Temple Mount.”


As we have seen throughout my numerous Posts and among the various topics I have investigated, there is much about the life and times of Christ which are unknown, or – at the very least – not agreed-to. Depending on who you ask, even the location of the original Temples in Jerusalem is a mystery. Were the Temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel (the rebuilt Temple following the Babylonian exile), and Herod really located on the traditional “Temple Mount?”

Continue reading “Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Introduction”

How Did Jesus Really Die? – Conclusion

How Did Jesus Really Die?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death,  Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

The four pieces of the puzzle in our study, How Did Jesus Really Die?, have now been placed. I believe I have made a strong case that Jesus was executed by being both crucified and stoned, in accordance with Mosaic Law. Scripture, historical evidence, and religious law all point to this; and this is our conclusion in this case study.

If we accept that Jesus died principally from stoning during the act of crucifixion, we can fully appreciate how truly awful His crucifixion was. History is important; and I believe that the conclusion of this case is consistent with Jewish law and tradition, with Scripture, with the commentary of first century travelers, and – consequently – with history. I understand that this conclusion is at odds with the traditional church view of how Jesus died, and I acknowledge that this conclusion will not sit well with some. But as we have seen in other traditional views – many of which I have addressed in various Posts in this series on the Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed – tradition is often the enemy of truth. In spite of clear and convincing Scriptural and historical evidence, we often find that tradition replaces real truth with half-truths, fanciful stories, and wishful thinking, passed down through the centuries, from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, once tradition has taken hold, it can be very difficult to dislodge.

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How Did Jesus Really Die? – Place of Stoning

How Did Jesus Really Die?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death,  Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

This is the fourth and final puzzle piece in my case to establish the truth to the question, “How did Jesus Really Die?”

In this Post I will provide further evidence that Jesus was most likely stoned in concert with the crucifixion He endured for the blasphemy charge brought against Him by the Sanhedrin.  The crucifixion and stoning occurred at the same place – the place of stoning – on the Mount of Olives, the site prescribed for Jewish executions.

Since there was a specific location prescribed for Jewish executions, stoning at the place of stoning would have been just as appropriate in Jesus’ day as it was later for Stephen, as recorded in Acts 7:54-60.  According to Dr. Ernest Martin in his book, Secrets of Golgotha, when stoning was prescribed, it took place just below the summit of the Mount of Olives, directly east of the Temple, so that the condemned would be killed in the presence of God, who would witness the execution from the Holy of Holies in the Temple.

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