SEEK THE CONTEXT: Biblical Texts, Language, Cultural Background & Meaning. Context Changes Everything!

No such place as Calvary in Ancient Jerusalem

No such place as Calvary in Ancient Jerusalem

An old Christian hymn evokes God’s help to never to forget the suffering of Jesus – “King of my life, I crown Thee now, Thine shall the glory be; lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow, lead me to Calvary… Lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.” These are heartfelt and meaningful words. But you might be shocked… There was no such place as Calvary in ancient Jerusalem.

Search all over the New Testament and you will not find it. You will not find it in any of the gospel passages, describing how Jesus was executed. You may find it in the English translations, but not in the Greek text. Mark, Matthew and John all mention Golgotha – a word which according to them translates as “the place of the skull”. Luke also mentions the “skull place” but does not mention the original Semitic name.

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I am an educator, researcher, a faculty member and an avid believer in online education. My specialties are Sacred Texts and Cultures (Second Temple period, early Judaism and nascent Christianity). I am passionate about meaning, context, and cultural transmission of ancient texts. My preoccupations with history, ancient languages and contextual interpretation often find expression in my blog posts. Every human has a pretext, every message has a context. Context changes everything! Enjoy reading.