Full text: Pope Francis’s address at World Youth Day Prayer Vigil

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Jesus is calling you to leave a mark on history, Pope tells 1.6 million young people

Dear young people, good evening!

It is good to be here with you at this Prayer Vigil!
At the end of his powerful and moving witness, Rand asked something of us. He said: “I earnestly ask you to pray for my beloved country”. Her story, involving war, grief and loss, ended with a request for prayers. Is there a better way for us to begin our vigil than by praying?
We have come here from different parts of the world, from different continents, countries, languages, cultures and peoples. Some of us are sons and daughters of nations that may be at odds and engaged in various conflicts or even open war. Others of us come from countries that may be at “peace”, free of war and conflict, where most of the terrible things occurring in our world are simply a story on the evening news. But think about it. For us, here, today, coming from different parts of the world, the suffering and the wars that many young people experience are no longer anonymous, something we read about in the papers. They have a name, they have a face, they have a story, they are close at hand. Today the war in Syria has caused pain and suffering for so many people, for so many young people like our good friend Rand, who has come here and asked us to pray for his beloved country.
Some situations seem distant until in some way we touch them. We don’t appreciate certain things because we only see them on the screen of a cell phone or a computer. But when we come into contact with life, with people’s lives, not just images on a screen, something powerful happens. We feel the need to get involved. To see that there are no more “forgotten cities”, to use Rand’s words, or brothers and sisters of ours “surrounded by death and killing”, completely helpless. Dear friends, I ask that we join in prayer for the sufferings of all the victims of war and for the many families of beloved Syria and other parts of our world. Once and for all, may we realize that nothing justifies shedding the blood of a brother or sister; that nothing is more precious than the person next to us. In asking you to pray for this, I would also like to thank Natalia and Miguel for sharing their own battles and inner conflicts. You told us about your struggles, and about how you succeeded in overcoming them. Both of you are a living sign of what God’s mercy wants to accomplish in us.
This is no time for denouncing anyone or fighting. We do not want to tear down. We have no desire to conquer hatred with more hatred, violence with more violence, terror with more terror. We are here today because the Lord has called us together. Our response to a world at war has a name: its name is fraternity, its name is brotherhood, its name is communion, its name is family. We celebrate the fact that coming from different cultures, we have come together to pray. Let our best word, our best argument, be our unity in prayer. Let us take a moment of silence and pray. Let us place before the Lord these testimonies of our friends, and let us identify with those for whom “the family is a meaningless concept, the home only a place to sleep and eat”, and with those who live with the fear that their mistakes and sins have made them outcasts. Let us also place before the Lord your own “battles”, the interior struggles that each of your carries in his or her heart.
As we were praying, I thought of the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. Picturing them can help us come to appreciate all that God dreams of accomplishing in our lives, in us and with us. That day, the disciples were together behind locked doors, out of fear. They felt threatened, surrounded by an atmosphere of persecution that had cornered them in a little room and left them silent and paralyzed. Fear had taken hold of them. Then, in that situation, something spectacular, something grandiose, occurred. The Holy Spirit and tongues as of fire came to rest upon each of them, propelling them towards an undreamt-of adventure.
We have heard three testimonies. Our hearts were touched by their stories, their lives. We have seen how, like the disciples, they experienced similar moments, living through times of great fear, when it seemed like everything was falling apart. The fear and anguish born of knowing that leaving home might mean never again seeing their loved ones, the fear of not feeling appreciated or loved, the fear of having no choices. They shared with us the same experience the disciples had; they felt the kind of fear that only leads to one thing: the feeling of being closed in on oneself, trapped. Once we feel that way, our fear starts to fester and is inevitably joined by its “twin sister”, paralysis: the feeling of being paralyzed. Thinking that in this world, in our cities and our communities, there is no longer any room to grow, to dream, to create, to gaze at new horizons – in a word to live – is one of the worst things that can happen to us in life. When we are paralyzed, we miss the magic of encountering others, making friends, sharing dreams, walking at the side of others.
But in life there is another, even more dangerous, kind of paralysis. It is not easy to put our finger on it. I like to describe it as the paralysis that comes from confusing happiness with a sofa. In other words, to think that in order to be happy all we need is a good sofa. A sofa that makes us feel comfortable, calm, safe. A sofa like one of those we have nowadays with a built-in massage unit to put us to sleep. A sofa that promises us hours of comfort so we can escape to the world of videogames and spend all kinds of time in front of a computer screen. A sofa that keeps us safe from any kind of pain and fear. A sofa that allows us to stay home without needing to work at, or worry about, anything. “Sofa-happiness”! That is probably the most harmful and insidious form of paralysis, since little by little, without even realizing it, we start to nod off, to grow drowsy and dull while others – perhaps more alert than we are, but not necessarily better – decide our future for us. For many people in fact, it is much easier and better to have drowsy and dull kids who confuse happiness with a sofa. For many people, that is more convenient than having young people who are alert and searching, trying to respond to God’s dream and to all the restlessness present in the human heart.
The truth, though, is something else. Dear young people, we didn’t come into this work to “vegetate”, to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: to leave a mark. It is very sad to pass through life without leaving a mark. But when we opt for ease and convenience, for confusing happiness with consumption, then we end up paying a high price indeed: we lose our freedom.
This is itself a great form of paralysis, whenever we start thinking that happiness is the same as comfort and convenience, that being happy means going through life asleep or on tranquillizers, that the only way to be happy is to live in a haze. Certainly, drugs are bad, but there are plenty of other socially acceptable drugs, that can end up enslaving us just the same. One way or the other, they rob us of our greatest treasure: our freedom.
My friends, Jesus is the Lord of risk, of the eternal “more”. Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths. To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable of spreading joy, the joy that is born of God’s love and wells up in your hearts with every act of mercy. To take the path of the “craziness” of our God, who teaches us to encounter him in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the friend in trouble, the prisoner, the refugee and the migrant, and our neighbours who feel abandoned. To take the path of our God, who encourages us to be politicians, thinkers, social activists. The God who asks us to devise an economy inspired by solidarity. In all the settings in which you find yourselves, God’s love invites you bring the Good News, making of your own lives a gift to him and to others.
You might say to me: Father, that is not for everybody, but just for a chosen few. True, and those chosen are all who are ready to share their lives with others. Just as the Holy Spirit transformed the hearts of the disciples on the day of Pentecost, so he did with our friends who shared their testimonies. I will use your own words, Miguel. You told us that in the “Facenda” on the day they entrusted you with the responsibility for helping make the house run better, you began to understand that God was asking something of you. That is when things began to change.
That is the secret, dear friends, and all of us are called to share in it. God expects something from you. God wants something from you. God hopes in you. God comes to break down all our fences. He comes to open the doors of our lives, our dreams, our ways of seeing things. God comes to break open everything that keeps you closed in. He is encouraging you to dream. He wants to make you see that, with you, the world can be different. For the fact is, unless you offer the best of yourselves, the world will never be different.
The times we live in do not call for young “couch potatoes” but for young people with shoes, or better, boots laced. It only takes players on the first string, and it has no room for bench-warmers. Today’s world demands that you be a protagonist of history because life is always beautiful when we choose to live it fully, when we choose to leave a mark. History today calls us to defend our dignity and not to let others decide our future. As he did on Pentecost, the Lord wants to work one of the greatest miracles we can experience; he wants to turn your hands, my hands, our hands, into signs of reconciliation, of communion, of creation. He wants your hands to continue building the world of today. And he wants to build that world with you.
You might say to me: Father, but I have my limits, I am a sinner, what can I do? When the Lord calls us, he doesn’t worry about what we are, what we have been, or what we have done or not done. Quite the opposite. When he calls us, he is thinking about everything we have to give, all the love we are capable of spreading. His bets are on the future, on tomorrow. Jesus is pointing you to the future.
So today, my friends, Jesus is inviting you, calling you, to leave your mark on life, to leave a mark on history, your own and that of many others as well.
Life nowadays tells us that it is much easier to concentrate on what divides us, what keeps us apart. People try to make us believe that being closed in on ourselves is the best way to keep safe from harm. Today, we adults need you to teach us how to live in diversity, in dialogue, to experience multiculturalism not as a threat but an opportunity. Have the courage to teach us that it is easier to build bridges than walls! Together we ask that you challenge us to take the path of fraternity. To build bridges… Do you know the first bridge that has to be built? It is a bridge that we can build here and now – by reaching out and taking each other’s hand. Come on, build it now, here, this first of bridges: take each other’s hand. This is a great bridge of brotherhood, and would that the powers of this world might learn to build it… not for pictures on the evening news but for building ever bigger bridges. May this human bridge be the beginning of many, many others; in that way, it will leave a mark.
Today Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life, is calling you to leave your mark on history. He, who is life, is asking each of you to leave a mark that brings life to your own history and that of many others. He, who is truth, is asking you to abandon the paths of rejection, division and emptiness. Are you up to this? What answer will you give, with your hands and with your feet, to the Lord, who is the way, the truth…..

Taken from: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/07/30/full-text-pope-franciss-address-at-world-youth-day-prayer-vigil/

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Killing of innocents proof ‘the world is at war’, says Pope Francis

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Posted about an hour agoThu 28 Jul 2016, 8:49am

Pope Francis says the recent attacks on innocent people in Europe, including the murder of a priest in France, is proof that “the world is at war”.

The head of the Catholic Church described Father Jacques Hamel, who was forced to his knees by suspected militants who then slit his throat, as a saintly priest, but said he was one of many innocents who had died.

“The word that is being repeated often is insecurity, but the real word is war,” he said.

“Let’s recognise it. The world is in a state of war in bits and pieces,” he said, adding that the attacks could be seen as another world war, specifically mentioning World War I and II.

“Now there is this one (war). It is perhaps not organic, but it is organised and it is war.

“We should not be afraid to speak this truth. The world is at war because it has lost peace.”

About 15 minutes later, after an adviser spoke to him, Pope Francis took the microphone again as he was leaving the journalists’ section in the plane and said he wanted “to clarify” that he was not referring to a war of religion.

“Not a war of religion. There is a war of interests. There is a war for money. There is a war for natural resources. There is a war for domination of peoples. This is the war,” he said.

“All religions want peace. Others want war. Do you understand?”

Upon his arrival in Poland to celebrate World Youth Day, Pope Francis also took on Poland’s conservative Government, implicitly criticising its anti-immigration stance.

In a speech to President Andrzej Duda and his Government in Krakow’s historic Wawel Castle, he pointedly called for “a spirit of readiness to welcome those fleeing from wars and hunger, and solidarity with those deprived of their fundamental rights”.

“This means doing everything possible to alleviate the suffering while tirelessly working with wisdom and constancy for justice and peace, bearing witness in practice to human and Christian values,” he said.

The Pontiff’s five-day trip to Krakow is taking place in the shadow of a predecessor, John Paul, who has cult-like status in Poland for his role in inspiring his native country to stand up to communist rule in the 1980s.

ABC/Reuters

Judas Iscariot a Priest Aaronite?

by

 Damien F. Mackey

  

 

Dr. Ernest Martin had suggested in Secrets of Golgotha (1987) that Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus, having access to the priestly part of the Temple, was himself likely, therefore, a priest, and perhaps of the line of Aaron.

  

 

This interesting notion we find also considered at: http://biblestudying.net/crucifixion4.pdf

In Matthew 27:6 the chief priests refer to the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas using the same Greek word “time” (5092) that Leviticus uses when discussing the estimation of the value of the ram in silver pieces.

 

Matthew 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed (3680) the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down (4496) the pieces of silver in (1722) the temple (3485), and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests (749) took (2983) the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful (1832) for to put (906) them into (1519) the treasury (2878), because it is the price (5092) of blood. 7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. 8 Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

 

Notice from verse 6 that the chief priests considered this money as ordinarily designated for the treasury. This is reminiscent of Exodus 30:16 in which the atonement money of the children of Israel given for each man was also to be put away for service in the tabernacle.

 

Moreover, verse 5 states that after Judas realized the full extent of what he had done and that Jesus was condemned to death, he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple. There are several aspects of this account that deserve our attention. First, we must recognize that verse 7 reports that the chief priests reckoned this money to be the price (“time” 5092) of blood which connects to the close relationship exhibited in the Old Testament between redemption and atonement by blood or by paying a price (in coins.)

 

Second, we have to take note of the fact that Matthew 27:5 uses the Greek word “naos” (3485) here to refer to the Temple. This Greek word is used in the New Testament to refer to the Temple house itself (which was comprised of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies) and not to the courts or the rest of the Temple complex.

 

3485 ναος naos

from a primary naio (to dwell); TDNT-4:880,625; n m

AV-temple 45, a shrine 1; 46

1) used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies (in classical Greek it is used of the sanctuary or cell of the temple, where the image of gold was placed which is distinguished from the whole enclosure)

2) any heathen temple or shrine

3) metaph. the spiritual temple consisting of the saints of all ages joined together by and in Christ

 

The Greek word translated as “cast down” is “rhipto” (4496.) It conveys the idea of throwing down, setting down, or throwing to the ground. So, according to Matthew, Judas throws the money (which the chief priests valued for Jesus’ life) into the Temple building itself, at least as far as the Holy Place.

 

We must keep in mind that Herod’s Temple complex was quite large in size and that the Temple building was surrounded by a large court, the court of the priests. In order for Judas to actually have thrown down the silver pieces into the Temple building it is very likely that he would have had to been standing in the Temple itself or perhaps near the Temple in the court of the priests. Consequently, in order to be in position to throw the silver coins into the Temple itself Judas would therefore have to be a priest. Otherwise, he would not have been permitted to be in a location near enough to place the silver coins in the Temple itself. Furthermore, if the Temple doors were not normally left open, then the conclusion that Judas was actually standing in the Temple building itself (and not just near to it) seems absolutely necessary.

 

We must also note some connections between these events and Zechariah who, in addition to being a prophet, was also a priest.

 

….

 

Consider that Judas has been paid the estimated value for Jesus’ life in pieces of silver in close parallel to Leviticus 5. But, we have also seen that Exodus and Numbers indicate that God required atonement to be paid in coins. Likewise, we know that animals could be purchased at the Temple for sacrificial purposes. Monetary offerings were to be placed in the Temple treasury. The blood which was used in atonement was to be sprinkled before the Lord in the Temple by a priest. And we have seen that the blood of the Passover lambs was sprinkled in the Temple by the attending priests. It is within this context that Judas (a priest) stands in the Temple (or the court of the priests) and casts the silver pieces that are identified by the chief priests themselves as blood money for Jesus’ death. In this way, Jesus’ blood was figuratively sprinkled into the Temple by a priest in the form of the silver pieces for which he was valued as the ram atoning for sin. Christ’s blood paid the ransom for our sins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II

New book says Vatican II key to understanding Pope Francis

by Eduardo Echeverria – published by Lectio Publishing, 2015
 
A Book Review by Father John McCloskey
 
Pope Francis presents a great puzzlement to many of the faithful, particularly those Catholics who are accustomed to the clarity of Pope Emeritus Benedict and his holy predecessor St. John Paul. As a result, those Catholics who are faithful to the teachings of the Church have a difficult time penetrating the meaning behind the current pope’s rhetoric. This is understandable, given that he has so far produced only two encyclicals – one on Faith (written with the help of Pope Benedict) and the second a complex reflection on the environment.
He is most misunderstood, however, because of the secular media, which, stoked by the Internet, constantly portray him as a man who in some way or other intends to change the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly in the area of marital life.
….
Many seem to hope that, somehow, Pope Francis is going to give in to radical changes in sexual morality, especially with regard to the divorced and remarried and on homosexuality.
Well-formed Catholics think this is impossible – and Francis’s words, at least on homosexuality, seem to confirm that belief. But partly owing to Francis’s own off-the-cuff statements, the impression persists.
….
Ironically – and as a witness to the new universality of the Church – the strongest and most outspoken defenders of Catholic teaching on this matter are African Catholics. The hierarchies of the Catholic dioceses in Sub-Saharan Africa insist that the Church preach and encourage people to follow its treasury of teachings on faith and morals. Given the apparent decay of the West, the Africans constitute perhaps the best example of faithful and fruitful Catholic communities in the world.
Which brings us to Eduardo Echeverria and his just released book Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II. George Weigel, the well-known Catholic thinker – and friend and biographer of St. John Paul – describes the author as one of the liveliest and most insightful thinkers practicing the ancient craft of theology in the United States today. His book sheds new light on the Catholic Church and on Pope Francis himself at this challenging moment in history. Echeverria is a professor of philosophy and systematic theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
What Echeverria shows is that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, is [a] man of the Second Vatican Council and faithful, in the best sense, to its teaching. As The Catholic Thing’s Robert Royal notes in his Foreword to this volume, through a careful reading of Jorge Bergoglio’s writings prior to being elected pope, Echeverria has discovered there two key interpretive elements. First, the pope very much believes that the Church should judge between “yes” and “no,” whatever the media would like to believe about “Who am I to judge?” And second, the future pope leant heavily on the notion of the pueblo fiel, (“faithful people”) in Argentina, by which he meant a genuinely popular Catholicism that was also profoundly faithful to the Catholic tradition. The author includes chapters that detail his dealings with traditionalists and with the liberal and progressive sectors of the Church.
Echeverria also devotes space to the pope’s particular mission of encouraging Protestants and others outside the Catholic faith to engage with Rome. In addition, he describes the great attractiveness of Francis to people throughout the world – which we may hope could eventually draw many back to the Church that Christ founded.
Contrary to public impressions, Francis frequently addresses that part of Christian life that is a spiritual “battle” within the soul of each Christian (for example, battling gossip, prejudice, and self-indulgence). But he’s also demonstrated the importance of showing joy and sharing our faith with family and friends, as well as in the workplace.
…. Given the ongoing collapse of Christianity in United States, Pope Francis’ teachings and the degree to which he is properly understood will play a large role in the fate of America, which has already begun the long, grueling process of electing a new president.
These elections will also, of course, have repercussions for the selection of new members of the Supreme Court, which has done so much damage to what at one time was a Christian land, most recently by the Obergefell decision allowing same-sex marriage.
Perhaps this extraordinary gift from God that is Pope Francis will awaken us to the extraordinary treasure of the Church that Christ founded. In any case, this book will help confirm for all who read it that the Church, in one way or another, will prevail until the end of time, as its Founder has assured us.

Resurrection and the Shroud: A Wildly Mistaken Geography

by

 Damien F. Mackey

  

Mistranslation of a key Latin word can be the source of some confusion, concerning the Shroud of Turin and associated legends.

 

According to the following informative blog, the Venerable Bede re-cast the Latin word britio, referring to a citadel, as a reference to ancient Britain, thereby opening the door to wild theories connecting ancient Britain with the Shroud of Turin, and even the Grail legend of King Arthur (http://theshroudofturin.blogspot.com.au/2015_07_01_archive.html):

 

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735), an English monk, learned from a friend Nothelm in Rome that in the 6th century Liber Pontificalis (“Book of the Popes“), Pope Eleutherius († c. 174-189) “… received a letter from Lucio Britannio rege asking for assistance in converting his lands to the Faith.” Bede wrongly included this in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in c. 731, as “Lucius King of Britain” and cited it as evidence that Britain had become Christian in the second century. But German Church historian Adolph Harnack (1851–1930) knew there were no British kings in second century Britain when it was a province of Rome. And that there was only one King Lucius who converted to Christianity in the second century: Lucius Abgar VIII of Edessa, who had visited Rome in the time of Pope Eleutherus. Harnack also revealed that Edessa was sometimes referred to by the name of its citadel: in Syriac Birtha and in Latin Britium. The late second century Church Father, Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–c.215) had written that the tomb of St. Jude-Thaddaeus (1st-2nd century) was known to be in Britio Edessenorum, the citadel of Abgar.

 

Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100–1155), an English historian, in his Historia Regum Britanniae (“History of the Kings of Britain”), did not mention Bede’s King Lucius, but did mention a first-century British king named Arviragus, whom he found in the Roman satirist, Juvenal (fl. 98-128), who wrote in jest: “Veiento … will capture some king – perhaps Arviragus will tumble out of his British wagon”. Since, like Lucius, there never was a King Arviragus in Britain, Juvenal presumably was referring to Edessa’s King Abgar VII (109-116), pronounced “Avgarus”, who had led a failed revolt against Rome in 116. But since Geoffrey placed Arviragus between AD 44-54, he presumably had in mind Edessa’s King Abgar V (r. BC 4-AD 7, 13–50) of the same period.

 

In the version of the Abgar story current in Geoffrey’s time, the Acts of Thaddaeus, Edessa’s King Abgar V had suffered a crippling ailment, and sent his agents to the Roman governor at Eleutheropolis, a town near Hebron in Israel. Abgar V was then healed by a portrait of Jesus’ face painted in “choice pigments” on a “towel” which was “acheiropoietos” (“not made by hands“), and was further called a “sindon tetradiplon,” (“linen sheet fourdoubled“). This can only be the Shroud as the Mandylion/Image of Edessa (see my “Tetradiplon and the Shroud of Turin“). However, this can only be a reference to Edessa’s King Lucius Septimius Severus Abgar VIII, who (as we saw) sent a letter to Pope Eleutherus asking for missionaries to come and preach the Faith in Edessa and had also paid a visit to Rome in Pope Eleutherus’s time (174-189). This is because it was only in Abgar VIII’s time that Roman emperor Lucius Septimius Severus (145–211) renamed the town of Beth Gubrin in Israel to Eleutheropolis in c. 200, and it was Abgar VIII who took that Emperor’s names as his own. Geoffroy also included in his “History of the Kings of Britain” stories about another non-existent British king, “King Arthur,” who according to folklore led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century.

Chrétien de Troyes (1130-91), a French poet, in his c. 1191 romance, Perceval, the Story of the Grail, introduced the Grail into Western literature as a large platter or dish holding only a single communion wafer, representing the body of Jesus. Although French, Chrétien set his story of the Grail in Britain, presumably ultimately based on Bede’s misunderstanding of “Lucio Britannio rege” to mean “Lucius King of Britain,” when it actually meant “Lucius [Abgar VIII], King of Britio [Edessa]” (see above). The grail dish was carried in procession to a crippled king, reminiscent of the crippled King Abgar V in the Acts of Thaddaeus. The theme of the poem was the quest for the Holy Grail by Perceval, a knight of King Arthur.

[End of quote]

Golgotha Situated near Altar of the Red Heifer

golgotha

by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

“Dr. Martin [in his book, Secrets of Golgotha] goes into exhaustive detail about why neither the Church of the Holy Sepluchre or Gordon’s Calvary and the Garden Tomb could possibly have been the scenes of the most significant events in human history”.

 

 

According to this review of Dr. Martin’s enthralling book, the author (https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Golgotha-History-Jesus-Crucifixion/dp/0945657862):

 

Using scriptural evidence (which has been under the noses of theologians for centuries but ignored), archeological findings and historical documentation about Roman and Jewish execution practices … convincingly pinpoints the locations of the death and resurrection of Christ as having occured at the Southern summit of the Mount of Olives, not the two different areas that Catholics and Protestants have separately believed and disputed. ….

 

And here is another assessment of it (http://philologos.org/guide/books/martin.ernest.1.htm):

 

Recently uncovered geographical and historical evidence now point to the site recognized by early Christians—the southern summit of the Mt. of Olives—and confirm Paul’s indication that the punishment occured “outside the camp.” Reconciles in great detail both Roman and Jewish legal requirements.

This book has extensive historical research to show that the people of the fourth century were deceived in selecting the present day Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This 455 page book has a great deal of carefully researched information that will make the biblical messages come alive as never before. It shows that the teachings of the New Testament about the crucifixion are historically true. It presents a central key to understanding the whole of the Bible.

Excellent!!

 

Finally, Benjamin Hartman provides this more extensive consideration of the important subject (http://www.leaderu.com/theology/stunning.html):

 

Stunning Answers to the Mystery of Calvary

 

Scholars Find Evidence of Jesus’ Crucifixion at Golgotha

 

….

JERUSALEM, Israel – “There is no question in my mind… the greatest single event in all of history happened on the cross.”

So were the words of Alexander Maclaren describing the importance of Calvary (Jesus’ crucifixion). He continued: “The cross is the center of the world’s history; the incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot around which all the events of the ages revolve.”

Indeed, for centuries, scholars and theologians have studied the last days of Jesus’ life on earth. Throughout the years, an important question has puzzled many: where did Jesus’ crucifixion actually take place, and was there a very special significance to this place?

In Jerusalem there are several sites which have been suggested for many years as the location of Jesus’ crucifixion (“Golgotha” or “Calvary”, both meaning in Hebrew “the place of the skull”). Two of them are best known.

Northwest of the Old City there is a small hill with features which some say resembles the eye sockets of a human skull. Near it an ancient burial cave is known today as the Garden Tomb.

Another well known location is the present site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the oldest church still in existence. It was built by the mother of Emperor Constantine, Queen Helena, in the 4th century AD. On the same site, before that time, a temple to the goddess Venus was built on top of the remains of a second century BC monument to the King/Priest John Hyrcanus of the Hashmonean dynasty.

Early Church historians indicated that in the first century, Christians revered the Mount of Olives …. It was the site of the first church and was considered to be the most significant place in Christian history. The red arrow [see original article] marks the place believed to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion near the ancient Altar of the Red Heifer – the Altar of the Sin Sacrifices.

While much tradition is found at these and other places, “the one thing all these sites have in common is that they are all the wrong place,” says the Christian-Biblical historian, Prof. Ernest L. Martin, in an exclusive interview with the Jerusalem Christian Review.

Indeed, several years ago, Dr. Martin, president of the Academy of Scriptural Knowledge in Portland, Oregon, took a fresh look at the question with some startling results.

“The simplest of my findings revolves around some basic New and Old Testament Scriptures, whose significance has been overlooked for centuries,” said Dr. Martin as he described his latest book, Secrets of Golgotha.

While working with the renowned Jerusalem archaeologist, Prof. Benjamin Mazar, at the Temple Mount excavations in the 1960s, Martin studied the geographical history of Jerusalem with some of Israel’s leading scholars.

“My initial interest in researching this subject was spawned from… one primary fact,” said Martin. “It appears as though the centurion who was at the foot of the cross was able to observe the tearing of the Temple veil [the outside curtain, called in Hebrew ‘Masach’], something that would have been possible only from a point east of the Temple Mount, and not from any point west of it.”

“While this is not evidence in itself,” said the historian, “it did inspire my curiosity.”

Historical sources are conclusive that the massive 80-foot curtain was located in a spot that was visible only from atop the Mount of Olives. “It would have been a physical impossibility for anyone in Jerusalem to have seen this curtain from the south, the west, or the north – the locations of today’s traditional crucifixion sites,” says Martin.

Throughout Martin’s investigations, he searched through hundreds of contemporary and first-century writings, ancient church literature, and the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptural sources.

He found that the Bible itself indicates that the crucifixion occurred in a “holy place” – a place John describes as belonging to the the Temple worship ritual – which the Book of Hebrews refers to as an altar called “Outside-the-Camp” (John 19:20; Hebrews 13:10-14).

“‘Outside-the-Camp’ was not a description but the name of a specific place, known from biblical and contemporary sources,” said well-known Jerusalem historian, Prof. Ory Mazar, the author of numerous books on the history of Jerusalem.

Mazar, who worked with Martin on part of his research, explained that this place, “was the location of the ‘Altar of the Red Heifer’.” Although the altar was located “outside the city” on the Mount of Olives and not on the Temple Mount, it was still an extremely important part of the Temple worship ritual – it was the Altar of the major Sin Sacrifices.

“According to the Law of Moses,” said Mazar in a interview with the Jerusalem Christian Review, “one could not worship on the holy grounds of the Temple without first sacrificing a sin offering ‘Outside-the-Camp.'”

Adding to dozens of additional pieces of evidence, Martin found that the Bible itself identifies the place called “Golgotha” (“the Place of the Head”) in 2 Samuel 15. The “Place of the Head” (mistranslated in English translations as the summit of the mountain) was the place on the Mount of Olives where King David stopped to worship as he was fleeing from Jerusalem to Jericho. The original Hebrew is clear, describing a specific site called “the Place of the Head.”

“What strikes me as incredibly significant is that this would mean Jesus was crucified near the Altar of the Sin Sacrifices – a place that had been the traditional site of the Sin Sacrifice of the Red Heifer for over ten centuries,” said Martin.

“The true place of Golgotha is very critical, because it proves that Jesus Christ was indeed sacrificed, as the ultimate Sin Sacrifice for the world, at precisely the same place which was designated by Biblical Law, by tradition and by the ritual custom of the Temple for the major sin sacrifices to be killed,” said Martin, adding, “It happened on the Mount of Olives in the Holy City of Jerusalem. “This evidence was proof positive for all His disciples to see… that His prophesy came true – He was indeed the Lamb of God!”

 

Part Two: Not Mount of Transfiguration

 

Mistranslation of a key Latin word can be the source of some confusion, concerning the Mount of Transfiguration, the Shroud of Turin.

 

 

According to the following informative blog, the Venerable Bede re-cast the Latin word britio, referring to a citadel, as a reference to ancient Britain, thereby opening the door to wild theories connecting ancient Britain with the Shroud of Turin, and even the Grail legend of King Arthur (http://theshroudofturin.blogspot.com.au/2015_07_01_archive.html):

 

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735), an English monk, learned from a friend Nothelm in Rome that in the 6th century Liber Pontificalis (“Book of the Popes“), Pope Eleutherius († c. 174-189) “… received a letter from Lucio Britannio rege asking for assistance in converting his lands to the Faith.” Bede wrongly included this in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in c. 731, as “Lucius King of Britain” and cited it as evidence that Britain had become Christian in the second century. But German Church historian Adolph Harnack (1851–1930) knew there were no British kings in second century Britain when it was a province of Rome. And that there was only one King Lucius who converted to Christianity in the second century: Lucius Abgar VIII of Edessa, who had visited Rome in the time of Pope Eleutherus. Harnack also revealed that Edessa was sometimes referred to by the name of its citadel: in Syriac Birtha and in Latin Britium. The late second century Church Father, Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–c.215) had written that the tomb of St. Jude-Thaddaeus (1st-2nd century) was known to be in Britio Edessenorum, the citadel of Abgar.

 

Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100–1155), an English historian, in his Historia Regum Britanniae (“History of the Kings of Britain”), did not mention Bede’s King Lucius, but did mention a first-century British king named Arviragus, whom he found in the Roman satirist, Juvenal (fl. 98-128), who wrote in jest: “Veiento … will capture some king – perhaps Arviragus will tumble out of his British wagon”. Since, like Lucius, there never was a King Arviragus in Britain, Juvenal presumably was referring to Edessa’s King Abgar VII (109-116), pronounced “Avgarus”, who had led a failed revolt against Rome in 116. But since Geoffrey placed Arviragus between AD 44-54, he presumably had in mind Edessa’s King Abgar V (r. BC 4-AD 7, 13–50) of the same period.

 

In the version of the Abgar story current in Geoffrey’s time, the Acts of Thaddaeus, Edessa’s King Abgar V had suffered a crippling ailment, and sent his agents to the Roman governor at Eleutheropolis, a town near Hebron in Israel. Abgar V was then healed by a portrait of Jesus’ face painted in “choice pigments” on a “towel” which was “acheiropoietos” (“not made by hands“), and was further called a “sindon tetradiplon,” (“linen sheet fourdoubled“). This can only be the Shroud as the Mandylion/Image of Edessa (see my “Tetradiplon and the Shroud of Turin“). However, this can only be a reference to Edessa’s King Lucius Septimius Severus Abgar VIII, who (as we saw) sent a letter to Pope Eleutherus asking for missionaries to come and preach the Faith in Edessa and had also paid a visit to Rome in Pope Eleutherus’s time (174-189). This is because it was only in Abgar VIII’s time that Roman emperor Lucius Septimius Severus (145–211) renamed the town of Beth Gubrin in Israel to Eleutheropolis in c. 200, and it was Abgar VIII who took that Emperor’s names as his own. Geoffroy also included in his “History of the Kings of Britain” stories about another non-existent British king, “King Arthur,” who according to folklore led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century.

 

Chrétien de Troyes (1130-91), a French poet, in his c. 1191 romance, Perceval, the Story of the Grail, introduced the Grail into Western literature as a large platter or dish holding only a single communion wafer, representing the body of Jesus. Although French, Chrétien set his story of the Grail in Britain, presumably ultimately based on Bede’s misunderstanding of “Lucio Britannio rege” to mean “Lucius King of Britain,” when it actually meant “Lucius [Abgar VIII], King of Britio [Edessa]” (see above). The grail dish was carried in procession to a crippled king, reminiscent of the crippled King Abgar V in the Acts of Thaddaeus. The theme of the poem was the quest for the Holy Grail by Perceval, a knight of King Arthur.

[End of quote]

 

And something similar appears to have occurred in the case of the Mount of Transfiguration, as discussed by Dr. Ernest L. Martin in his 1998 book, Secrets of Golgotha. This is explained as follows at: http://www.hope-of-israel.org/wherejer.htm

 

What About “The Place of the Skull”?

 

It is plainly indicated that our Savior was led to a place known as “Golgotha” for his crucifixion: “They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).” (Mat. 27:33). “Carrying his own cross, he went out to The Place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).” (John 19:17).

The word “Golgotha” is also used in the Old Testament and signifies a “skull” in two places (Judges 9:53; II Kings 9:35), the human “head” once (I Chron. 10:10) and nine times it denotes “poll” or “head-count.” The New Testament, however, indicates the connotation of “skull” — “The Place of the Skull.”

Is there any indication in the records of history of a small hill or outcropping on the slopes of the Mount of Olives facing the east gate of the Temple? Indeed there is. A Christian pilgrim known as the Bordeaux Pilgrim visited the area in 333 A.D. In his written itinerary of the trip he mentions that on top of the Mount of Olives there was a MONTICULUS or “little hill.”

Then, to the puzzlement of scholars over the ages, he claims the TRANSFIGURATION of the Messiah took place at this spot. This is a BLATANT GEOGRAPHICAL MISTAKE because the New Testament makes it quite clear that the “transfiguration” took place in Galilee — many miles to the north of the Holy City! So why, then, did he make this claim? Probably because of a MISUNDERSTANDING of the Latin! There are several different words in Latin used to denote the act of crucifixion. One of these is TRANSFIGERE — meaning to “transfix a person with nails or some other sharp instrument.” This word, which means TRANSFIXIATION, is very close phonetically to the word which means “TRANSFIGURATION” — TRANSFIGURARE! Dr. Martin claims that “In spoken Latin (and with various Latin accents found among the pilgrims and residents of Jerusalem when the Pilgrim was there) the words TRANSFIGERE and TRANSFIGURARE could well have sounded similar to the Bordeaux Pilgrim…But even the Latin people in Jerusalem at the time of the Pilgrim were also making the mistake of thinking the transfiguration occurred on Olivet.” (Secrets of Golgotha, p. 61).

It is highly probable, though, that this MONTICULUS on top of the Mount of Olives was indeed the site of the Messiah’s death, or TRANSFIXIATION.

A verse in II Samuel speaks of this very hill: “And David went up by the ASCENT OF MOUNT OLIVET, and wept as he went up…” (15:30). The Septuagint version of the Old Testament calls this “ascent of Mount Olivet” The Place of the Ros (Head). Now just what does this refer to? Notice that the verses in question call the site The Place of THE Skull or Head (Ros) — NOT The Place of A Skull or The Place of Skulls (plural)! It is very definitely referring to A PARTICULAR SKULL OR HEAD! Many people have conjectured, over the centuries, that this phrase indicates a geographical feature that looks like a skull or the top of a skull. But is this correct?

Is it just possible this small hillock on the Mount of Olives was called The Place of THE Skull because it was the burial place of A PARTICULAR SKULL?

Let’s see what history and tradition reveal: “It was an EARLY TRADITION that Christ was crucified IN THE SAME PLACE WHERE ADAM WAS BURIED. S. Chrysostom alludes to it. ‘Some say that Adam died there, and there lieth, and that Jesus, in that place where death had reigned, there also set up the trophy.'” (The Cross in Tradition, History, and Art, by William Wood Seymour, p. 99).

Tentzelius’ “Numial Treatise,” quoted in Southey’s Omniana, vol. i., p. 281, records this amazing episode in ancient history: “The tree [of life], WITH THE BONES OF ADAM, was preserved in the ark by Noah, who divided the relics among his sons. THE SKULL FELL TO THE SHARE OF SHEM [Noah’s son], WHO BURIED IT IN A MOUNT OF JUDEA CALLED FROM THIS CIRCUMSTANCE CALVARY AND GOLGOTHA [THE PLACE OF THE SKULL].”

Isn’t that remarkable?

In early art Adam is frequently shown as rising up (from the grave) at the very foot of the cross, holding a chalice or cup to catch the blood of the Messiah as it fell from the tortured body. Many paintings or drawings of the crucifixion scene show THE SKULL OF ADAM beneath the stauros or cross of the Messiah.

With this newly discovered knowledge it’s easy to see WHY the site of the Messiah’s death was called Golgotha — THE PLACE OF THE (ADAM’S) SKULL!!

This belief that Adam’s skull was buried at Golgotha was common in the early church. Origen speaks of it as well known in his time; and St. Augustine wrote: “The ancients hold that because Adam was the first man, and was buried there [at Golgotha], it was called Calvary, because it holds the HEAD of the human race.” (De Civitate Dei, cap. 32).

St. Basil said, “Probably Noah was not ignorant of the sepulchre of our forefather [Adam] and that of the first born of all mortals, and in that place, CALVARY, the Lord suffered, the origin of death there being destroyed.” (Isa. cap. 5).

The fact that this spot outside Jerusalem is called The Place of THE Skull in the gospels, would tend to support the tradition of Shem having buried Adam’s skull there.

According to Dr. Martin:

“In the Hebrew language this highest summit of Olivet was known as the ‘Bamah.’ It was the ‘high place’ on the Mount of Olives and this is where King David went to worship God overlooking the city of Jerusalem to the WEST. It also answers to the SAME MONTICULUS that the Bordeaux Pilgrim talked about. Indeed, this highest point on the southern summit of Olivet became known as the IMBOMON (which comes from the Greek ‘en bommo’ which means ‘high place’ or ‘altar’). It is this name which has been attached to THIS MONTICULUS on Olivet for the past 1600 years. At the present there is a small Moslem shrine built over the site” (Secrets of Golgotha, p. 61-62). ….