JERUSALEM - The Old City




Kolam "Siloam" (artinya "Yang Diutus") ketika digali tahun 1920


The Pool of Siloam is a pool mentioned in John 9, when Jesus cured a blind man with a mud mixture and told him to go wash it from his eyes.
Recent excavations in the City of David area of Jerusalem have uncovered what may be the very pool where Jesus performed the miracle, just 50 meters from the traditional site.

Kolam Siloam tahun 1900an

The Pool of Siloam has been regarded as sacred by a variety of faiths since ancient times. Jews used water from the pool for purification rituals in the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles, and it was probably the site of the pagan Shrine of the Four Nymphs built by Hadrian in 135 AD.
Christians were naturally attracted to the pool because of Jesus' miraculous cure, and its healing properties are mentioned in the journals of the earliest pilgrims. The Bordeaux pilgrim (333 AD) described the pool as having four porches. The Piacenza pilgrim (6th century AD) wrote:

You descend by many steps to Siloam, and above Siloam is a hanging basilica beneath which the water of Siloam rises. Siloam has two basins constructed of marble, which are separated from each other by a screen. Men was in one and women in the other to gain a blessing. In these waters miracles take place, and lepers are cleansed. In front of the court is a large man-made pool and people are continually washing there; for at regular intervals the spring sends a great deal of water into the basins, which goes on down the valley of Gethsemane (which they also call Jehosaphat) as far as the River Jordan (Trans. J. Wilkinson).
The Pool of Siloam visited by these Byzantine pilgrims was probably the one next to Hezekiah's tunnel with that name (pictured at right), and may not have been the one visited by the blind man. A church was built next to this "Byzantine pool" by the empress Eudokia around 450 AD, which was destroyed by the Persians in 614 AD. The tradition of the pool's healing powers continued among the Arabs but its subsequent history is not entirely known. Perhaps debris from higher up washed into the pool and villagers cleared it away periodically as they needed water. A mosque was built next to the pool in the 1890s, which still stands today.


The Pool of Siloam seen by pilgrims prior to 2004 once you either emerge from Hezekiah's Tunnel or walk above through the City of David


In the summer of 2004, archaeologists were checking the area southeast of the traditional Pool of Siloam for a public works project when they discovered some large stone steps. Further excavations, which continued to summer 2005, uncovered several flights of steps and a pool that was in use during the 1st century AD. Scholars believe that this pool and not the one nearby traditional identified as such is the actual Pool of Siloam.
Dating of this newly discovered pool is based on: pottery pieces dated to the 1st century; four coins of Alexander Jannaeus (ruled 103 to 76 BC), which are known to have been used well into the time of Jesus; and the likelihood that the pool was not built before Herod the Great (37-4 BC), when economic and political conditions were stable enough to do so.


The new Pool of Siloam, early in the excavations in October 2004, just one corner had been uncovered top of the image

The newly discovered pool suffered a much quicker demise than the other one it probably began to fill with soil during the widespread destruction that followed the First Jewish Revolt (70 AD). Soil found in one corner of the pool contained coins dating from this period.
In addition, the pool is located at one of the lowest spots in Jerusalem and would have been filled with more mud and debris every winter until it disappeared from sight. This early destruction could explain why the nearby (higher) pool was venerated as the Pool of Siloam instead of this one by Byzantine pilgrims it was the only one visible in the area.
Much more of the pool remains to be excavated, and currently lies under a beautiful garden owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. Archaeologists hope to secure an agreement soon allowing them to proceed with the explorations of the Pool of Siloam.


Portion of the excavations of the Pool of Siloam

The two pools identified as the Pool of Siloam are only about 50 meters apart. The traditional Pool of Siloam, sometimes referred to as the "Byzantine pool" to distinguish it from the new one, is a narrow rectangular channel fed by water from Hezekiah's tunnel. Ruins of the church built by Eudokia can be seen next to it. This is where early pilgrims came to celebrate Jesus' miracle and receive cures, and which has long been identified as the Pool of Siloam.
The "new pool" or "Second Temple pool" is much larger and monumental, and consists of three flights of five steps leading down into it. Probably constructed in the early 1st century AD, it had disappeared under soil and debris by the end of the century. Half of it remains buried under the Greek Orthodox church's garden, which is a beautiful and fertile orchard due to the runoff that collects in the underlying pool.

Names: Pool of Siloam
Type of site: Biblical site
Dates: New pool: Built around 1st century AD; discovered 2004
Location: City of David, Jerusalem, Israel
Hours: The new pool is not generally open to the public, as it is an ongoing excavation site. Views of the site can be had from over a fence on the street above the pool.
Cost: Free



PROBATIC POOL  (Yohanes 5:1-18)


At the time of Jesus, the pool "which in Aramaic is called Bethesda," was outside the city walls, near the "Sheep Gate." In reality, the Pool of Bethesda ("house of mercy" or "flowing water") was a pair of large rectangular water reservoirs with steps going down into the water. John described it as "surrounded by five covered colonnades," indicating that there was a covered portico on each side of the pool, with a fifth running along a wide rock partition between its two halves.


Bethesda Pool


The meaning of the name Bethesda (Bethzatha in RSV) is not completely clear. Some say it comes from the Hebrew words bayith, meaning "house," and hesed, meaning "mercy." But others connect it to the 1st century when this area of the city and the olive groves beyond were part of a new suburb called "Bezetha" (from Hebrew bayith and zayith, "house of the olive"), that was developing to the north of the city walls.


Section of the model of 1st century AD Jerusalem at the Israel Museum showing the Pool of Bethesda with its "five covered colonnades;" also note the road entering the Sheep Gate and the Antonia Fortress, where the Roman garrison was stationed in Jerusalem


The pools were a kind of spa where healings were thought to take place, and many sick and crippled people gathered there in the hope of being cured. When Jesus asked the man if he wanted "to get well," he replied, "I have no-one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred." The use of this phrase suggests several things: that the pool was fed by a spring which gushed periodically; that its healing properties were thought to be greater when the water moved; that the Gospel was written to a Greek audience, because there was a common belief in the Greek world that moving water was associated with the gods and with healing (as you may recall from our earlier stop at Banias/Caesarea Philippi at one of the main sources of the Jordan River north of the Sea of Galilee). But, rather than help the man down into the pool, Jesus healed him with a simple command, proving his divine authority. Only after the healing are we told that it was the Sabbath and when the man appears at the Temple carrying his mat he is confronted by Jews (probably Pharisees) whose only concern is for the man's violation of strict regulations specified in the Mishnah forbidding all forms of labor on the Sabbath. The former cripple then escaped any guilt by passing the blame to Jesus who healed him, to which Jesus responded, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." (John 5:17)

Looking down into the excavations of the Pools of Bethesda, with remains of later structures built on the site in later times


Sisa Kolam Bethesda tidak jauh dari gereja St. Anna ada disebutkan dalam Injil Yohanes. Di Yerusalem dekat 'Pintu Domba' ada sebuah kolam yang dalam bahasa Ibrani dinamakan Bethesda. Di serambi-serambi itu banyak orang sakit berbaring; ada yang buta, ada yang timpang, dan ada yang lumpuh. Mereka semua menunggu air di kolam itu bergoncang. Sebab ada kalanya malaikat Tuhan turun ke dalam kolam itu dan menggoncangkan airnya. Dan orang sakit yang pertama masuk ke dalam kolam itu waktu air bergoncang akan sembuh dari penyakit apa saja yang dideritanya (Yohanes 5:24). Di kolam itulah Yesus menyembuhkan seorang lumpuh (Yohanes 5). Dahulu kala kolam ini dipakai juga untuk memandikan hewan yang dipersembahkan kepada Allah di Bait Suci.



The Church of St. Anne


St. Anne's Church with Crusader ruins in the foreground, nearby is the Bethesda Pool, where Jesus healed a paralytic


Di sebelah kanan Gerbang Singa /Gerbang St. Stefanus, kita dapat menyaksikan sebuah bangunan besar milik konggregasi Imam Putih (White Fathers, diakui secara resmi tahun 1908) yang mempersiapkan calon imam untuk daerah misi. Di halaman biara ini berdiri gereja St. Anna peninggalan clad zaman Perang Salib yang paling utuh tahun 1142. Gereja ini panjang 34 meter dan lebar 19,50 meter. Pada tahun 1954, para Imam Putih berhasil merenovasi gerejanya dan mengembalikan bentuk aslinya. Di bagian bawah gereja terdapat kapel untuk memperingati kelahiran Bunda Maria.

Menurut sebuah kitab apokrif yang dikenal dengan nama Proto-Injil St. Yakobus, St. Perawan Maria konon dilahirkan di dekat Bait Suci (Second Temple) di Yerusalem. Pada abad V di tempat itu didirikan sebuah gereja. Pada waktu para pejuang Perang Salib datang ke Yerusalem, gereja itu sudah hancur, lalu dibangun kembali di tempat kini berdiri gereja St. Anna. Di dekat gereja itu dibangun pula sebuah biara. Sejak tahun 1192, gereja itu dijadikan sekolah Islam dan tidak boleh dimasuki oleh umat Kristen. Baru pada abad XV para biarawan OFM mendapat ijin dari penguasa Islam untuk mengadakan misa di situ pada tanggal 8 September (hari kelahiran Bunda Maria), dan pada tanggal 8 Desember (hari raya Bunda Maria Tak Bernoda). Pada tahun 1856 gedung kuno ini diserahkan kepada Perancis, lalu pada tahun 1878 pemeliharaannya dipercayakan kepada para Imam Putih. Waktu perang 6 hari, gereja ini mengalami banyak kerusakan, tetapi direnovasi pada tahun 1971 di bawah pimpinan Trouvelot dan Ch. Couasnon, OP.


Gereja St. Anne dengan interior akustik sehingga siapa saja yang menyanyi akan terdengar suara yang indah sekali

The Church of St. Anne is a beautiful 12th-century Crusader church, erected over the traditional site of the birthplace of Anne (Hannah), the mother of Mary. It is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture.
St. Anne's Church was built between 1131 and 1138 to replace a previous Byzantine church. Shortly after its construction, it was enlarged by moving the facade forward by several meters.
In 1192, Saladin turned the church into a Muslim theological school, which is commemorated in an inscription above the church's entrance. Eventually abandoned, the church fell into ruin until the Ottomans donated it to France in 1856. It was subsequently restored, but most of what remains today is original.
The church is right next to the Bethesda Pool, believed to be the site where Jesus healed a paralytic (John 5:1-15). Here you can see ruins of a Roman temple to the god of medicine and remains of a Byzantine church built over the temple.

As the church is just a few hundred feet east of the Sanctuaries of the Flagellation and the Condemnation, at the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, you might want to visit it before following the stations of the cross.
Saint Anne's acoustics, designed for Gregorian chant, are so perfect that the church is virtually a musical instrument to be played by the human voice. Pilgrim groups come to sing in the church throughout the day, and you, too, are welcome to prepare a song of any religion--only religious songs are permitted. The church's acoustics are most amazing when used by a soprano or a tenor solo voice.
St. Anne's Church is located in the Muslim Quarter, near the Lion's Gate. Enter through a wooden doorway leading to a hidden garden enclave.


Location: The Lion's Gate, Old City, Jerusalem
Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-noon and 2-5pm (until 6pm in summer); closed Sunday
Cost: NIS 10 ($2.20)





The Greek Church of St. John the Baptist in Jerusalem's Christian Quarter (not to be confused with the Franciscan church on the Mount of Olives) can be easily spotted due to its distinctive silvery dome.
Although not regularly open to visitors, this church is worth seeking out, for it is the oldest church in Jerusalem and is the original "Hospital of St. John" for which the Knights Hospitallers were named.


Birthplace and Altar for John the Baptist

The Church of St. John the Baptist was founded in the 5th century, probably around 450-60 under the empress Eudokia. It is possible the church was built due to the presence here of the relics of John the Baptist, which were sent to various cities in the 4th century including Jerusalem.
A tradition that this is the site of the house of Zebedee, father of the apostles James and John, is first mentioned in the 14th century by the pilgrim Nicolas of Poggibonsi. The identification likely arose from a confusion between John the Evangelist and John the Baptist.


Church St. John

The church was restored by the Patriarch of Alexandria after its destruction by the Persians in 614. The church was extensively rebuilt over the original foundations in the 11th century. Aside from the modern facade with its two small bell towers, the Church of St. John the Baptist has remained mostly unchanged for almost 1,000 years.



Original Byzantine Chapel

The present church was built by the merchants of Amalfi and became the headquarters of the Knights Hospitallers. In 1099, many Christian knights who were wounded during the seige of Jerusalem were cared for in this church. After their recovery, some of the grateful knights dedicated themselves to helping the sick and protecting pilgrims to the Holy Land. Calling themselves the Knights of the Hospital of St. John, they later developed into the military order of the Hospitallers, who played a key role in the defense of the Holy Land.
The crypt of the church was apparently filled with debris and abandoned in 1187, after which only the upper church (the present church) was in use, probably by Greek Orthodox priests. The church seems to have become a mosque in the 16th century, but was soon returned to Greek ownership. In 1660, a large hospice for pilgrims was built adjacent to the church.


Kelahiran Johanes Pembaptis


In the 19th century, the crypt was cleared out and a splendid reliquary was discovered in the masonry of the altar (it is now in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Museum). Excavations also uncovered various architectural fragments from the Byzantine and Crusader eras.


Remains of the Church of St. John at Sabastiya; the supposed burial place of John the Baptist's head (Markus 5:37, Matius 17:1, 26:37)

The Church of St. John the Baptist is situated in a pleasant small courtyard with trees. Adjacent to the church is a modern Greek Orthodox monastery, whose priest (if present) will open the church if it is locked.
Some alterations were made to ensure the stability of the church, but the original plan of the 5th-century church is still evident today. It is in the shape of a trefoil, with three apses and a long narthex. A modern window is cut in the upper wall of the east apse. The dome, supported with four pillars in a central square, has eight windows and is painted silver on the exterior. A good view of the east exterior of the church can be had from the central square of the Muristan.
The crypt lies about 6.5m below ground level and is approached from the south where steps descend to the narthex. The central area of the crypt is roofed by groined vaulting. The iron grille over the altar may be 12th century.

The Church of St. John the Baptist is visible from the fountain in the middle of the Mauristan and is well-signposted from Christian Quarter Road. The entrance is near the intersection with David Street.


Names: Church of St. John the Baptist; Church of Prodromos (the Forerunner)
Type of site: Christian church
Faith: Greek Orthodox
Dates: Founded 5th century; rebuilt 11th century; minor modern additions
Address: Christian Quarter Rd., Christian Quarter, Old City, Jerusalem, Israel
Hours: No opening hours; when present, the priest of the Greek Orthodox monastery will open the church for visitors



Arab men and women praying at tomb of John the Baptist in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus (Syria)


Muslims worship at the tomb of John the Baptist in Damascus (Syria) - a reminder that Islam reveres Jesus, Mary, and prophets of the Old and New Testaments. In Syria the faiths have mingled since the seventh century, when Arab Muslims conquered lands of the Christian Byzantine Empire. Some church fathers even mistook early Islam for a form of Christianity.





Named for the "Our Father" prayer (Latin: Pater Noster), the Church of the Pater Noster stands on the traditional site in Jerusalem where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. Constantine built a church over a cave here in 4th century, and this has been partially reconstructed. Plaques in the cloister bear the Lord's Prayer in 62 different languages.

The Gospel account provides almost no information on the location of Jesus' teaching of the Lord's Prayer, also known as the "Our Father." The 3rd-century Acts of John (ch. 97) mentions the existence of a cave on the Mount of Olives associated with the teaching of Jesus, but not specifically the Lord's Prayer.


Gereja Bapa Kami tempat Yesus mengajarkan Doa Bapa Kami (Lukas 11:1-4), tak jauh dari Bukit Zaitun, gereja ini dimiliki ordo Carmelite Sisters

The church historian Eusebius (260-340) recorded that Constantine built a church over a cave on the Mount of Olives that had been linked with the Ascension. (Other Constantinian churches built over a cave are the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.) The church was built under the direction of Constantine's mother St. Helen in the early 4th century and was seen by the Bordeaux pilgrim in 333. The pilgrim Egeria (384) was the first to refer to this church as Eleona, meaning "of olives."
When the site for the veneration of Christ's ascension had been moved up the hill (see Chapel of the Ascension), this cave became exclusively associated with Jesus' teachings on the conflict between good and evil (Matt 24:1-26:2). Here Egeria heard this Gospel passage read on Tuesday of Holy Week.


Altar The Church of The Pater Noster

Like many buildings in Jerusalem, the Constantinian church suffered destruction by the Persians in 614. The memory of Jesus' teaching remained associated with this site, but the content of that teaching shifted from good and evil to the Our Father prayer. This new identification was based on a clever harmonization of Luke 10:38-11:4 with Mark 11:12-25 (the withered fig tree).
When the Crusaders arrived, the site was associated specifically with the Lord's Prayer. They constructed a small oratory amidst the ruins in 1106, and a church was rebuilt in 1152 thanks to the funds of the Bishop of Denmark, who was buried in it with his butler. 12th-century pilgrims mention seeing marble plaques with the Lord's Prayer inscribed in Hebrew and Greek at the church. Excavations have uncovered an inscribed Latin version.


Doa BAPA KAMI dalam bahasa Arameen dan Hebrew, terletak paling depan sebelum menuju lorong gereja

The Crusader-era church was damaged in 1187 and destroyed by 1345. In 1851 the remaining stones of the 4th-century church were being sold to Jews for tombstones in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
The site was finally rescued by the Princesse de la Tour d'Auvergne, who bought the land and began a search for the cave. In 1868 she built a cloister modeled on the Campo Santo at Pisa and founded a Carmelite convent to the east in 1872. In 1910, the Byzantine foundations over the cave were found partly beneath the cloister. The cloister was moved and the Byzantine church began to be reconstructed in 1915. The project is still unfinished.
The 4th-century Byzantine church has been partially reconstructed and provides a good sense of what the original was like. The half-restored church has the same dimensions as the original; the garden outside the three doors outlines the atrium area.
The unroofed church has steps leading down into the cave, which was partially collapsed when discovered in 1910. It is an interesting medley of ancient rock cuttings, concrete supports and marble furnishings. The cave cuts partly into a 1st-century tomb.

Plaques of the Lord's Prayer in 62 different languages


Left of the church's south door is an area paved with mosaic and identified as a baptistery. The 19th-century cloister is in a European style and upholds the tradition of multilingual plaques bearing the Lord's Prayer an impressive 62 tiled panels give the prayer in 62 different languages, from Aramaic to Japanese to Scots Gaelic. The tomb of the Princesse de la Tour d'Auvergne is on the south side of the cloister.
The lane to the right of the convent's entrance leads to the Russian Church of the Ascension, established 1887. Its white tower can be seen from the Old City on a clear day. Byzantine tomb chapels with some lovely Armenian mosaics are preserved in the small museum.

The Lord's Prayer in Indonesian Language, tetapi tahun 2010 tembok ini rusak berat terbelah dua terkena pohon ambruk

Di sebelah selatan dari gereja Kenaikan Tuhan Yesus berdiri gereja Pater Noster yang didirikan di sini berdasarkan tradisi bahwa di situlah Yesus mengajarkan Doa Bapa Kami (The Lord's Prayer) kepada para rasulnya. Tradisi ini didukung oleh Injil Lukas yang menempatkan doa itu langsung sesudah kunjungan Yesus di rumah Maria dan Marta (Lukas 10:38 dan 11:4), yang menurut Injil Yohanes 11:1 dan 12:1 tinggal di Betania. Gereja sekarang berdekatan dengan biara Suster Karmelit yang didirikan pada tahun 1875 di atas reruntuhan sebuah gereja dari abad XII. Di tembok gang gereja dan biara ini dapat dibaca Doa Bapa Kami dalam berbagai bahasa.



Names: Church of the Pater Noster; Church of the Paternoster; Convent of the Pater Noster; Eleona
Type of site: Christian church; Christian convent; biblical site
Dates: Church built 4th century, reconstructed 12th century and 20th century.
Location: Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:30-11:45, 3-5; closed Sun.
Cost: Free





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