The Garden Tomb: Jesus’ Burial Location or Just Another Tomb?
The Garden Tomb is not just a beautiful-sounding landmark. In fact, it is said to be the site of both the burial and the following resurrection of Jesus Christ. The next time you are visiting Israel, head straight for Jerusalem, and explore this beautiful and memorable location.
The Garden Tomb Location
The Garden Tomb is located in Jerusalem. The ancient crypt is carved out of rock overlooking a prominent cliff that many historians believe to be Calvary or Golgotha, better known as the actual site where Jesus was crucified. Both the Garden Tomb and Golgotha are popular tourist attractions for Christian travelers venturing through Israel.
The name of the site is apropos as the tomb and cliff have a beautiful green garden surrounding them. The grounds are maintained by the Garden Tomb Association, a non-profit organization that runs out of England.
Construction of the Tomb
The tomb itself is made up of two chambers standing next to one another. There are benches along many of the walls in either chamber, and a groove with a diagonal edge carved out on the outer side of the tomb (this is one of the proofs that Barkay used to argue that the Garden Tomb couldn't have been the tomb of Jesus, as this style was common to the First Temple period and fell into disuse after this era).
Controversy Over Location
The Garden Tomb was unearthed finally in 1867. While many Protestant Christians hold firmly that the Garden Tomb is the actual burial place of their savior, this truth had come into question in the 1990’s when Gabriel Barkay began researching the area. A well-known archeologist and professor of Biblical archeology at Hebrew University and Bar Ilan, Barkay dated the tomb at this site to be from around the 7th or 8th century BC. If that is true, it couldn’t be the true resting place of Jesus. Other possible locations of Jesus’ burial place include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Roza Bar in Kashmir, the Talpiot Tomb in Talpiot, and Kirisuto no haka in Shingo.
Maybe the Protestants (along with many archeologists, historians, and investigators into the matter) are correct about the location of Jesus’ tomb or perhaps Gabriel Barkay was correct. Either way, the Garden Tomb is a stunning landmark to behold, and a frequent stop for most Christians when in the Holy Land.