Home Christian Values Tomb of Jesus uncovered for the first time in centuries

Tomb of Jesus uncovered for the first time in centuries

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The original surface of what is traditionally known to be the tomb of Jesus Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been exposed for the first time in centuries.

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Scientists believe that the tomb has been covered with marble since 1555 A.D. or earlier. It has been identified as a sacred relic in 326 A.D. by Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine.

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Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, said that the scientists were surprised by the amount of material behind the marble covering.

“It will be a long scientific analysis, but we will finally be able to see the original rock surface on which, according to tradition, the body of Christ was laid,” he told National Geographic.

Christian tradition said that Jesus’ body was laid on a shelf that was hewn from the side of a limestone cave. The shelf is currently enclosed by a small structure known as the Edicule, which is undergoing restoration.

Thephilos III, the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, was pleased as he observed the events at the church. “I’m glad that the atmosphere is special, there is a hidden joy,” he told National Geographic.

“Here we have Franciscans, Armenians, Greeks, Muslim guards, and Jewish police officers. We hope and we pray that this will be a real message that the impossible can become the possible. We all need peace and mutual respect,” he added.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is being shared by six different Christian denominations – Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox Church. Some parts of the church are designated as common areas of worship for all sects.

Riots between sects have taken place at the site over the years. Monks from different sects have frequently fought over the rights to maintain certain areas of the church.

The Christian sects agreed to restore the Edicule in March 2016. King Abdullah II of Jordan has issued a royal benefaction to support the project.

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