Examining the tomb of Jesus in light of Second Temple-period Jerusalem tombs
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.”—John 20:1, NRSV
What kind of stone sealed the tomb of Jesus? Was it a round (disk-shaped) stone or a square (cork-shaped) stone? While both kinds of blocking stones are attested in Jerusalem tombs from the time of Jesus, square (cork-shaped) stones are much, much more common than round (disk-shaped) ones.
In fact, of the more than 900 Second Temple-period burial caves around Jerusalem examined by archaeologist Amos Kloner, only four have been discovered with disk-shaped blocking stones. These four elegant Jerusalem tombs belonged to the wealthiest—even royal—families, such as the tomb of Queen Helena of Adiabene.
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Was the tomb of Jesus among the “top four” Jerusalem tombs from the Second Temple period?
Since disk-shaped blocking stones were so rare and since Jesus’ tomb was built for an ordinary person—because it was actually the borrowed, but unused, tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:60)—it seems highly unlikely that it would have been outfitted with a disk-shaped blocking stone.
Archaeology therefore suggests that the tomb of Jesus would have had a cork-shaped blocking stone. Is this confirmed or contested by the Biblical text? How was Jesus’ tomb sealed according to the New Testament?
In his Biblical Views column “A Rolling Stone That Was Hard to Roll” from the March/April 2015 issue of BAR, Urban C. von Wahlde looks at the Gospel accounts to see how the stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus is portrayed. His careful analysis of the Greek grammar reveals a detail from the Gospel of John that supports the idea that the tomb of Jesus was indeed sealed with a cork-shaped stone.
In his BAR column, Urban C. von Wahlde explains that the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) all use a form of the Greek verb kulio to describe how the stone sealing Jesus’ tomb was moved. Kulio means “to roll.”
Mark 15:46 reads, “Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb” (NRSV). The Greek verb used in the last sentence of this passage is proskulisas. Von Wahlde says, “This is a combination of pros (meaning ‘toward’) and the past participle of kulio (meaning ‘to roll or roll along’).”
Mark 16:3 describes the scene on Easter Sunday when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome visit Jesus’ tomb: “They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’” The Greek word for “roll away” is apekulisen, which von Wahlde explains is “a combination of ap’ (meaning ‘away’) and … yes, kulio (meaning ‘to roll’).”
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke use similar compounds of the verb kulio. Thus, all of these accounts imply that the stone sealing Jesus’ tomb was rolled.
Can square (cork-shaped) blocking stones be rolled?
In his article “Did a Rolling Stone Close Jesus’ Tomb?” from the September/October 1999 issue of BAR, Amos Kloner added “dislodge” or “move” to the definition of the Greek verb kulio. A square (cork-shaped) blocking stone might more readily be described as being “dislodged” or “moved” than “rolled.” Thus, this definition resolves any incongruity between the Biblical text and the archaeological record. However, von Wahlde disagrees with Kloner’s definition:
In his article on the type of tomb closure used for the tomb of Jesus, Amos Kloner states that the Greek verb kulio means “to roll,” but it can also mean “dislodge” or “move.” I would disagree with this for two reasons: First, I at least cannot find any dictionary articles (including the largest, the Liddle-Scott-Jones) that give this other meaning. Second, as I pointed out above, almost all instances of the verb in the gospel texts are compounds of kulio, either pros-kulio (“roll up to”) or apo-kulio (“to roll away”). These are verbs of motion “toward” or “away from.”
It is not necessary to change the definition of kulio to make sense of the Gospel accounts. Von Wahlde points out: “It may very well be that people rolled the ‘cork-shaped’ stones away from the tomb. Once you see the size of a ‘stopper’ stone, it is easy to see that, however one gets the stone out of the doorway, chances are you are going to roll it the rest of the way.” Although they certainly would not have rolled as easily as round (disk-shaped) stones, cork-shaped stones still could have been rolled.
Many assume that Jesus’ Last Supper was a Seder, the ritual Passover meal. Examine evidence from the Synoptic Gospels with scholar Jonathan Klawans in “Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Seder?”
The Gospel of John presents a slightly different picture than the other Gospel accounts—with a different Greek verb used to describe the stone sealing Jesus’ tomb. John 20:1 reads, “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.”
The Greek word for “removed” or “taken away” is hairo, which Von Wahlde defines as “take away.” There is no mention of “rolling” the stone in the Gospel of John. Von Wahlde maintains that this description reflects “the Jewish burial practice much more accurately than any of the other gospels. He [John] has given us a detail none of the other gospels have.”
Thus, both the Gospel of John and archaeology support the interpretation that the tomb of Jesus would have been sealed with a cork-shaped blocking stone. For Urban C. von Wahlde’s full analysis of the type of stone that sealed Jesus’ tomb according to the Gospels, read his Biblical Views column “A Rolling Stone That Was Hard to Roll” in the March/April 2015 issue of BAR.
Later, during the late Roman and Byzantine periods, round (disk-shaped) blocking stones became less rare. Dozens of Jerusalem tombs dating to these periods have been found with disk-shaped stones—but on a smaller scale. Whereas the four disk-shaped blocking stones from the Second Temple period were at least 4 feet in diameter, the ones from later periods usually had a diameter of about 3 feet. The date and style of these tombs, however, disqualifies them as candidates for Jesus’ tomb since the tomb of Jesus belonged to an earlier period—the Second Temple period, which ended in 70 A.D. with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.
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Is it possible to identify the first-century man named Jesus behind the many stories and traditions about him that developed over 2,000 years in the Gospels and church teachings? Visit the Jesus/Historical Jesus study page to read free articles on Jesus in Bible History Daily.
Amos Kloner, “Did a Rolling Stone Close Jesus’ Tomb?” BAR, September/October 1999.
Jodi Magness, “What Did Jesus’ Tomb Look Like?” BAR, January/February 2006.
R. Steven Notley and Jeffrey P. Garcia, “Queen Helena’s Jerusalem Palace—In a Parking Lot?” BAR, May/June 2014.
Ehud Netzer, “Herod’s Family Tomb in Jerusalem,” BAR, May/June 1983.
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This Bible History Daily feature was originally published on March 9, 2015.
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[…] It’s really remarkable. They went to considerable expense, perhaps not knowing if Yeshua had been properly prepared, or just wanting to redouble the honor owed to their Teacher. But they have so many questions! Who will roll away the stone? And it was no small concern because the stones had to be awkward and heavy enough to keep animals out. But let’s maybe tip a sacred cow here and ask ourselves if the stone was really a disk or some other rounded shape. Although that’s the popular picture we see and the text in English certainly does support the idea of a disk and there were tombs with disk shaped stones, how likely was it? And the reason I ask is because out of more than nine hundred tombs in the area, only four had disk-shaped stones that could be rolled aside and those all belonged to families who were either royalty or extremely wealthy. Although such stones were more common in Byzantine times, at this point they were very much a novelty for the uber rich. I am linking a great article here by Megan Sauter, who is the Managing Editor at the Biblical Archaeology Society. She has also excavated at Ashkelon and Tel Shimron—having a Master’s Degree in Biblical Archaeology from Wheaton, which means she probably got to take classes from John Walton, making me officially jealous. The article is called How Was Jesus’ Tomb Sealed? Examining the tomb of Jesus in light of Second Temple-period Jerusalem…. […]
The tomb Jesus was in was sealed with a large boulder. The boulder was moved to allow people who have blood in them to walk into the tomb. Jesus was transformed back into the body that Jesus had before he was born, even as were are born, when Jesus was resurrected. Jesus moved through the stone.
[…] sly detail in the Gospels, where they say the stone was rolled away, gives away ahistoricity? Nope. As scholar and archaeologist Urban C. von Wahlde has pointed out to the Biblical Archaeology magazine, the square-shaped stones would also have been rolled. […]
[…] How Was Jesus’ Tomb Sealed? — Examining the tomb of Jesus in light of Second Temple-period Jerusalem tombs […]
What about the rolling stone on mount Nebo?
In the Tomb with Jesus
by MARK WARD
A tomb made of solid rock wasn’t strong enough to keep Jesus—and neither is your sin.
Somehow the centuries managed to hide this tomb at Akeldama until quite recently. But at one time the tombs here were impossible to hide; this was a burial place for elites, and elites build monuments to their names. The area you see pictured below was directly touched by people who directly touched the life of Jesus.
The tomb of Benei-Hezir on the Mount of Olives. A good example of spectacular monument tombs.
A Tomb in the Rock
It takes real human touch to carve a tomb. The countless swings of a chisel that hewed the Akeldama tomb out of solid limestone left marks which can still be seen today. And every cubit of that rock had to be hauled out of the tomb, too. This means labor, and labor means money. The elites, at least, put real money into their burials. Wealthy people such as Joseph of Arimathea—and whoever owned the Tomb of the Shroud—gave thought and attention (and cash) to their future burials.
617 ἀνακυλίω, ἀποκυλίω [apokulio /ap·ok·oo·lee·o/] v. From 575 and 2947; GK 375 and 653; Four occurrences; AV translates as “roll away” three times, and “roll back” once. 1 to roll off or away. Additional Information: This word is used in the Gospels to refer to the stone that was in front of the tomb of Jesus. In Palestine, graves were usually in a depression and the stone was rolled down an incline to cover the mouth of the tomb. For a small grave, about twenty men were required to roll a stone down hill to cover the door of the tomb. The Bible tells us that the stone covering the door of the tomb was a large stone. The women would have needed more men than even a full Roman guard of sixteen men to roll away the stone. This was a major task. Joseph of Aramethia was a “rich man” tomb was among the rich, not ordinary people. Irresponsible reporting on your part..Tombs has a track in which the stone could be rolled. The diameter fitted with the stone to roll
Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.
Another thing I thought about. I’m no legal scholar, but I would assume that the purpose of Res Judicata would be to save the courts (finite) time. Given that we are supposing an infinite number of universes, wo8d7n&#u21l;t that also presuppose an infinite number of courts, and thus an infinite amount of time to try these cases?
To roll a “great stone” into place, it must be either round in some way, or very exactly positioned previously so as to end up fitting just right on the final flip. A plug/square rock must come off its rollers before the final fitting if it ever had such – more likely to have been cut in-situ, and finally pushed into place by manpower sliding it.. A “cork” rock will obviously jam on top if rolled in or out: therefore the 4 gospels unanimous mention of “rolling” gives us no reason at all to doubt some form of “round” “great stone”. The clear Biblical mention in prophecy of “buried with the rich” seals the case conclusively.
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The prophet Isaiah tells us that Jesus was buried with the rich in His death. Isa 53:9 And He appointed Him His grave with the wicked, but He was with a rich man in His death; though He had done no violence, and deceit was not in His mouth
It is plain from the Tanaach that Joseph of Arimithea was a rich person as Mathew also bears witness too in Matthew 27:57. Mark 15:43 tells us that Joseph was a honourable councillor . This man had wealth, and honour and position. He was no ordinary man. The stone over the tomb of Jesus the Christ may well have been a round stone
This proves another scandal by the Romans & the Greeks, this was done to support two beliefs that dispute that Yeshua HaMashiach rose from the dead. One to prove the common belief among Jews even today that the Disciples bought some soldiers to roll away the stones and steal his body lie that Yeshua rose from the dead, how, because the stone could be easily rolled away, as long as it was a round disk stone(representing the sun). The second belief is that the Pagan Religions which have been in existence for over two thousand years, which promotes the worship of sun gods, reduces the death and resurrection of Yeshua to nothing but a daylight robbery, because most of the Roman & Greek gods were buried in this way, by sealing them with round disk stones(representing the sun), to seal their fate as sun gods, who are made to disappear and become some mystic gods, thus they deny the uniqueness of Yeshua’s resurrection as anything different to their Babylonian gods
I don’t see a comment that recognizes that Joseph of Aramathea was indeed the Blood brother of Jesus Mother Mary. He was also a member of the Sanhedrin as well as a follower of Christ (secretly from the other Jews). Jesus would have made many trips abroad with Joseph as there is no mention of Joseph ( Christ’s Father) after a while. Joseph of AR. was a tin merchant with many mines and properties up and down the coast. Christ would have had opportunity to study very young at some of the finest learning institutions of the day. So my point being This was a new tomb of the very wealthy Joseph so reasonable to assume the newest and finest. Also Jesus Daddy Joseph was not poor. The verse about them sleeing at the stable was not because he could afford nothing else, Have any of you ever traveled with a pregnant woman? By the time they got close for the Feast of Tabernacles they were already getting to sundown and had to bed down quick before sunset. So Christ would have been born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and circumcised On the Last Great Day.
Reading this on the rolling of the stone I am amazed at the stupidity of the arguments made. Lets change the meaning of the word! how about we think of these people where they came from and think from their point of view. what did they do in Egypt ?? For how long did they role square stones around in slavery ? It would be easier to place round objects under a square stone thus (role) it along. This was common knowledge for them so why would they spell it out for our ignorance two thousand years later. This was daily life for them.
Much ado about nothing. Romans never took down crucified remains for burial. They were left hanging as reminders too others. These events were fabricated by others as a false narrative to keep section relevant.
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Many large and heavy things are moved on rollers but are not round. This is a silly debate.
I believe the son of God had a special tomb, then again they did not want the stone to be easily moved. You might ask how many “flips” constitute a “role”. Mary was obviously upset and she may not have used the correct technical term.
John 20:11-15 The woman stooped down and was able to look inside the cave-tomb. The entrance was probably at least 3 feet high, with a groove of at least 1 ½ – 2 feet in depth, of sufficient width to allow a man to safely turn about in it without falling down. The platform and floor of the cave had to drop another 3-5 feet below the elevation where the woman was standing, and be back into the cave some 8-10 feet. In all likelihood, there were finger mausoleums — which were also cut into the back of the cave, curving out of sight, even from the light of the angelic radiance. Because of its proximity to the tomb of King David, and its being on the Mount of Olives, this newly hewn out rock-cave tomb was a very expensive purchase and stone cutting project, and speaks of immense wealth. Whoever owned this cave was not only rich, he was almost like a government treasury unto himself. Perhaps more so than the rich young man of Matthew 20:16-22. The context of the rolling back of the stone appears to be that it was done so forcefully, that the great rock was out of its groove, and tossed a short way up and behind the tomb entrance, yet still over the cave’s perspective.
The location of the tomb is north of En Rogel and south of the Azal fissure on Mt. Olivet, and likely still remains unmolested. Many Old Testament prophecy passages (as well as having Gematriac confirmations) demonstrate the resurrection tomb was EASTWARD from the Temple mount. For example,
“And the glory of YHVeH went up in the midst of the city,
and stood (as though erected or propped up)
upon the mountain eastward of the city.” (Ezekiel 11:23)
In the Hebrew of the above verse, the Hebrew for “went up” is VeYaAhL (Vav-Yod-Ayin-Lamed), “alah” in the Qal imperfect. Comparison of “alah” in the phonetic should also be made (Alef-Lamed-He and Ayin-Lamed-He). In the Tanakh (Old Testament), alah is often translated as “that which is brought up”, and as “that which is offered up”. The idea conveyed here, is not just that which merely “ascends” or “goes up from”; but “that which is being led away from.” It is a word picture prophesying of Christ being led away to the crucifixion. The Greek equivalent is “ago’, from which root word “angel” is derived. It is a picking up, of carrying away, and of coming, going, or leading away. That “leading away” in “Alah” is the same experience that Jesus (called Yeshua in the Hebrew) experienced personally, in fulfillment of this prophecy, when He was led away from the midst of the city.
“eastward of the city” (Ezekiel 11:23).
This verse is so important in prophecy, that in Ezekiel 43:1-7, we see how that Tawech (Tav-Vav-Kaf] is reinforced so that it clearly defines how that the entire Temple Mount area, including that which would later become known as “Gabbatha”. Again, “Gabbatha” was that “midst of the city” from which “the Glory of YHVeH” was “led away from.” Tawech is a derivative from a Hebrew root word that means, “to sever”. And, indeed, “after 62 weeks…Messiah the Prince…(was) cut off [severed], but not for Himself”(Daniel 9:23). So, even in Ezekiel, we have a prophecy signifying the manner in which Messiah must die consistent with that of Jesus Christ: as being led away (and rejected out of Jerusalem), then lifted up and killed (in a propped up manner such as a crucifixion).
When the glory of YHVeH “stood” upon the mountain, eastward of the city, the word used here for “stood” in the Hebrew is VaYAMaD (Vav-Yod-Ayin-Mem-Dalet). This word not only means “to stand”, but is also inclusive of “that which is propped up” or “erected”, such as the Cross. Even as the Cross was erected and stood up, being propped by means of a rope and pulley system, so too, does the prophecy point to a “suspension” or SeLaH of GOD’s Glory to the East of the Temple, and in relationship to the Siloam Gate (which is far to long to post in comments here).
In getting to this location, we find that the Kidron torrent river was flowing in John 18:2.
Twice, on the night prior to the Crucifixion, Christ and others crossed this flowing (flash flood runoff) river. That means: that there were at least two wooded bridges that specifically crossed the Kidron from Mt. Moriah to Mt. Olivet in Jerusalem in A.D. 30:
1) in the northeast area by the Temple spanning Olivet to Moriah; and
2) one to the south, spanning Olivet to the Lower city near the Gate of Siloam.
This latter point requires a road leading north on the westward side of Olivet from En Rogel to this bridge. Christ, upon being cast out of Jerusalem, was denied access of the lower city bridge, and likely had to wade through its frigid running torrent on the early morning when he was arrested and led back to the Temple Mount.(cf. 2 Kings 6:6 as prophetic). In 2 Kings 23:13, the Mount of Olives is viewed in the context of a northern and southern mount, or a double peaked mount, as it were. Modern geographers will designate this Mount of Olives with 4 peaks. The southern aspect of this mount is known as Lehar HaMaschiyith , the “hill of destruction” or the “destroying mountain”. While some uses of Maschiyith mean “to pull down” (e.g. Genesis 13:10, and Ezekiel 26:4); it is also translated as “to wound” in Exodus 21:26. Both of these carry Messianic implications: “the pulling down of strongholds” via the Cross, to which Paul alludes to in 2 Corinthians 10:4; and being “wounded for our transgressions” in Isaiah 53:5. Even the bruising of the head, while having His heel bruised in turn, in Genesis 3:15, can be experienced through the Cross in prophecy and Gematria at this location.
The tomb of “the rich man” is in this general location, at the westward base of this 4th peak of Mt. Olivet; for in relation to the Tomb, we see the prophecy of Isaiah, which states:
“[GOD] Who raised the Righteous (One) from the East,
called Him to His foot.” (Isaiah 41:2a)
That is “resurrected the Righteous One from the Eastern hill of Olivet”, and from this direction, GOD the Father “called Him up in the clouds to Heaven” — Acts 1:9,11.
It may be that the Scriptures have the exact dimensions of the stone that rolled away in prophecy, but until one day when it is revealed, either in this life or the eternal to come, we may have to simply agree as to that question we just don’t know the answer yet. However, scholars SHOULD have known all along that they were looking for Christ’s tomb in the WRONG PLACE by looking north instead of East.
We are given an overwhelming amount of internal Biblical Evidence that places the Cross and the Tomb in this location South and East of the Temple. So why has this information been ignored, and why hasn’t this area been excavated as of yet? Because, as Paul points out, even when that which is known of GOD is made clear and apparent, men will prefer to hold an alternate version or slant upon the truth, to follow after the lusts of the vanity of their imaginations — that they may be void of GOD in them (cf. Romans 1:18-23). And as Messiah puts it, “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil”(John 3:19 – KJV).
Surely the differences relate to the time when the gospels were written? I don’t think that Luke ever went to Jerusalem anyway, even if he was the actual writer. It might have been (and probably was) written by a scribe. Similarly with Luke, although Matthew might have been a scribe.
I see that Jesus’ Tomb was one of the four tombs with disk-shaped blocking stones that belonged to the wealthy families of Jerusalem because, according to all four canonical Gospels, Joseph of Arimathea (who was rich) was the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus’ crucifixion.
There is no contradiction between the archeological findings and definitions of Jesus’ Tomb in the Gospels.
Four gospels are clearly mentioned about Jesus birth,his work and culture and history of that particular period. They did not give much important on days months or years to which it happened. They always pointed on divinity of Jesus.It is not required to what types of stone or which day he crucified.
Everyone who moves stone blocks “ROLLS” them on rollers as far as possible. Only the final positioning of the stone was without rollers. It would be normal for people to refer to moving the stone blocks as rolling them into place.
A Vital Date in Bible History Nisan 14, (2015 this occur Friday, April 3 after sunset.)
The date on which Abram crossed the Euphrates River is important in Bible chronology. Other key events transpired on that date in later years. Exactly 430 years later, on Nisan 14, 1513 B.C.E., Jehovah freed Israel from bondage to Egypt so that they could go and claim the land that God had promised to Abram. (Ex. 12:40, 41; Gal. 3:17) And on that same date in 33 C.E., Jesus gathered his apostles together and established with them a covenant that made them part of a government in heaven that will soon solve all mankind’s ills. (Luke 22:29) To this day, the Christians gather each year to commemorate the Lord’s Evening Meal on the same date of the Jewish calendar—Nisan 14.—Luke 22:19.
Should Jesus’ death be commemorated monthly, weekly, or even daily? No. Jesus instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal and was killed on the day of Passover, which was observed “as a memorial” of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage in 1513 B.C.E. (Exodus 12:14) The Passover was held only once a year, on the 14th day of the Jewish month Nisan. (Exodus 12:1-6; Leviticus 23:5) This indicates that Jesus’ death should be commemorated only as often as the Passover—annually—not monthly, weekly, or daily.
So, then, it is appropriate to observe the Memorial annually on Nisan 14. Says one reference work: “The Christians of Asia Minor were called Quartodecimans [Fourteenthers] from their custom of celebrating the pascha [Lord’s Evening Meal] invariably on the 14th of Nisan . . . The date might fall on Friday or on any of the other days of the week.”—The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Volume IV, page 44.
Commenting concerning the second century C.E. practice, historian J. L. von Mosheim says that the Quartodecimans observed the Memorial on Nisan 14 because “they considered the example of Christ as possessing the force of a law.” Another historian states: “The usage of the Quartodeciman churches of Asia was continuous with that of the Jerusalem church. In the 2nd century these churches at their Pascha on the 14th of Nisan commemorated the redemption effected by the death of Christ.”—Studia Patristica, Volume V, 1962, page 8.
Matthew 27:60 – And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
Matthew 28:2 – And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
Mark 15:46 – And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and rapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre, which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
Mark 16:3-4 – And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
Luke24:2 – And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
Isn’t it amazing that there are still so many who are seeking fame and fortune, while actually misleading readers? BAS has never given Ron Wyatt the credit for his discoveries, but will always try to give credit to those who are in fact either trying to prove him wrong, or rediscover what he has already discovered years ago! The site of Mt. Sinai, the Red Sea crossing, Noah’s Ark, & Sodom, to name but a few.
Ever since I was a kid I have always wondered how a round block of stone could have stayed in place and . I don’t have to wonder anymore.
Nevermind what the manuscripts say, I have a theory and want some name recognition!!!
SWAK, of course!
In the Kingdom of Edessa (modern Sanlurfa), the royal tombs have rolling stones just like the one on Herod’s tomb.
I agree with the previous 3 posts. I would also say it’s a far stretch to consider “taken away” presumes a cork type stone vs. a round stone….Just saying.
But does it really matter what type of stone it was after all? The point was the tomb was empty except for the burial cloths.
‘Von Wahlde maintains that this description reflects “the Jewish burial practice much more accurately than any of the other gospels. He [John] has given us a detail none of the other gospels have.” Thus, both the Gospel of John and archaeology support the interpretation that the tomb of Jesus would have been sealed with a cork-shaped blocking stone.’
Both Sauter and Von Wahlde are trying too hard I think, and for what reason I couldn’t say. All the accounts, including John’s, are consistent with a round stone being rolled away or removed from the mouth of the tomb.
To say that John’s account, which is typically more theological and philosophical, is somehow more technical with respect to the mechanics of the tomb closure begs the question and smacks of an ulterior motive.
You make the assumption that it was human effort which removed the stone. A natural assumption if you exclude the supernatural.
Jesus was placed in a tomb prepared for no “ordinary man” as claimed in this article. The owner of the tomb, Joseph of Arimathea is described clearly in the gospels as both a rich man and a prominent member of the council. (Matthew 27:57 & Mark 15:43) Remember that beyond being a wealthy council member, Joseph was in a high enough social position, that Pontius Pilate agreed to his bold request to take possession of Jesus’ dead body.
It is not only possible, but probable that his tomb was similar to the four examples found with disk-shaped blocking stones. I’d go so far as to suggest that one of those four examples studied would be good candidates for being the very tomb of Jesus since that would align with the gospel accounts and the archaeological evidence even better than the theory of either Kloner or Von Wahlde.