Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Temple Graphic

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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 would Herod’s Temple and Fort Antonia look like if we were to build them using the eyewitness descriptions recorded by Josephus? This was precisely the question asked by Dr. Ernest Martin.

Dr. Martin discovered that the answer to the question looked entirely different than what is presented in the maps and models of Jerusalem that are popular with tourists today, and he developed a striking graphic to display what he believed represented the truth regarding the Temple location. The presentation of this image and Dr. Martin’s rationale for the location of Herod’s Temple and Fort Antonia constitute the seventh puzzle piece in my case for the true location of Herod’s Temple.

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

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – The Rock

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

As we evaluate the sixth puzzle piece in our quest to determine the correct location of Herod’s Temple, we will once again be relying on the eyewitness testimony of Josephus and others, as well as other key evidence presented by Dr. Ernest Martin in his acclaimed book, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot.

Let’s begin again with the accounts of eyewitnesses from the first several centuries.  Writing during the first century AD, Josephus was intimately familiar with the locations and descriptions of Fort Antonia and the Temple of Herod.  Another eyewitness, known in historical literature as the Bordeaux Pilgrim, traveled from Bordeaux (in what later became France) to Jerusalem during the fourth century AD. He recorded his journeys in Itinerarium Burdigalense, and it is there where he wrote of his visit to Jerusalem in AD 333. He is the only eyewitness from the period AD 70 to AD 370 to record the existence of the walls of the Haram esh-Sharif in Jerusalem.

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

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Fort Antonia

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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 case being made by Dr. Ernest Martin – which I am inclined to support – is that the Jewish Temples were located over the Gihon Spring, which would place them near the northern foot of the original Mount Zion (the Akra) and just below the Ophel summit in the crescent-shaped original city of Jerusalem.  Certain evidence in support of this has already been presented in my previous Posts, and additional evidence will follow in succeeding Posts.

The fact that the traditional “Temple Mount” is located a third of a mile north of the Gihon Spring and is nowhere near any source of water is strong evidence that this is most likely not the site of the ancient Jewish Temples. In his book, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, Dr. Martin made a strong case that the traditionalTemple Mount” – now called the Haram esh-Sharif – was actually the site of the Roman Fort Antonia. As our fifth puzzle piece in this study to find the historically correct location of the Temple of Herod, we will now look more closely at the Haram esh-Sharif.

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

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Spring Water

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

In this fourth puzzle piece in our search for the true location of Herod’s Temple, I briefly discuss the significance of the Gihon Spring, the only source of fresh water available to the city of Jerusalem.

History is clear that King David originally conquered the Jebusites, who lived in what would later become the City of David. The account provided in 2 Samuel 5:8 reveals that David told his men to use the “water shaft” to conquer the fortress of the Jebusites. This “water shaft” led down to the Gihon Spring.

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

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Key Locations

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

Which is the Right Location?

This is the third of nine puzzle pieces in my examination of the topic Where Was Herod’s Temple? In this Post I look at some of the evidence regarding the location of the City of David, the Jewish Temples, and the Gihon Spring.

The First Jewish Temple was built by King David’s son, King Solomon, between 960 BC and 957 BC. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Temple was rebuilt following the Babylonian captivity under the leadership of a Jewish Governor named Zerubbabel, with the foundations laid in 538 BC and the Temple dedicated in 515 BC. This Second Temple was a modest reconstruction of the truly magnificent First Temple built by King Solomon.

The Second Temple existed for almost 500 years, until it was replaced by a new Temple during the reign of Herod the Great, beginning in 19 BC. The Second Temple was built on the same site as the First Temple, and Herod’s Temple was built at the same location. There is wide agreement with these facts.

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

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Eyewitness Accounts

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

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

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Jesus’ Prophecy

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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)

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

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Introduction

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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 the 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.

Continue reading “How Did Jesus Really Die? – Conclusion”

How Did Jesus Really Die? – Place of Stoning

How Did Jesus Really Die?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

Continue reading “How Did Jesus Really Die? – Place of Stoning”