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Entrance to the Garden Tomb 1

The so-called "Garden Tomb". This tomb was first proposed in the 19th century as the site of Jesus' burial, in part as an alternative to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Unfortunately, it is very doubtful that this was actually Jesus' tomb. Not only was there no ancient tradition associated with this location, but the tomb is not of the correct age. It was originally an ancient Israelite tomb and seems to have gone out of use during the time of Jesus. Hence it was not re-shaped in the distinct "niche" or "kokkhim" pattern of Second Temple Jewish burials. The tomb was then only re-used in the Byzantine period. Nevertheless, a dedicated Protestant group maintains a beautiful garden around the tomb and many (Protestants in particular) find the site more condusive to prayerful reflection than the busy and ornate Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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Taken on May 25, 2009