If there’s one building in Jerusalem that represents the tangle of religions in this city, this is it. The ground floor is a Jewish holy site said to house the tomb of the biblical King David. The second floor is the Cenacle, a Christian holy site, the room believed to be the site of Jesus’ Last Supper. On the roof, there’s an old minaret from when this place was marked a Muslim holy site. One building, three religions, decades of property disputes. And the fight isn’t over.
Shimon Gibson, an archaeologist from London who has excavated sites connected to Jesus’ final week, says he believes the Last Supper – and the burial of King David – happened in other parts of the city. Still, Jews, Christians and Muslims venerate this site.
The building was destroyed and rebuilt a few times over. The original Byzantine church was replaced by the Crusaders.
Guess what? All of that is really, really old news. No one who has ever been to the place isn’t aware of the fact that it was just chosen at random. It’s not all that holy. And yet
“The place is so essential, so much an integral part of the Christian narrative,” says the Rev. David Neuhaus, a Catholic vicar in Jerusalem. “Needless to say, it’s a dream that we could pray there in regular fashion like other holy places.”
No not really. It’s a Crusader period building. Nothing more. It is interesting historically- for Crusader enthusiasts. On the Jewish side, the lower floor is the ‘Tomb of David’ (uh huh….) and so that’s why both Jews and Christians want to claim the building for themselves:
For two decades, Israel and the Holy See have been trying to work out disputes over church properties in Jerusalem. One of the few remaining thorns is the Last Supper room. Shmuel Ben Shmuel, an Israeli negotiator, says the talks are at a critical moment.
The Vatican should just say ‘let them have it. It’s not the actual room of the Last Supper anyway and NO ONE should think it is (since it’s a Crusader era building)’. Problem solved.
- ‘Passion of the Christ’ Comes to TBN During Easter Week (thesalvationtimes.wordpress.com)