Simon Brown.

Proverbs 8:34-36 Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my door posts. For whoever finds me finds life, and will obtain favor from Yahweh. But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul. All those who hate me love death.” Psalm 84: 11 For Yahweh God is a sun and a shield. Yahweh will give grace and glory. He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly. 12 Yahweh of Armies, blessed is the man who trusts in you. 1 John 5:5 Now who is the one overcoming the world, except the one believing that Jesus is the Son of God?

Sunday 12 April 2015

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus BOOK. By Simon Brown.

Watch video.
 DISCOVERED: The True Tomb of Jesus & The GREAT Stone to The Tomb.

We do not sell any of our DVD’s, however our films are available on Amazon here:
Tomb of Jesus.

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Sodom and Gomorrah by Simon Brown.
Part 1

Real Discoveries near the Dead Sea DVD.
Part 2


The Shroud of Turin Speaks for Itself Paperback By Simon Brown.

You may read our book for free below as I Simon Brown pray you will be blessed.

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus Paperback – May 25, 2013 by Mr. Simon Brown (Author)

1st Edition © 2013
Simon Brown

Edited and Published by:

Life Application Ministries Publishing (LAMP)

Also edited by: LAMP
Original Cover Design: Ray Gucci and Redesigned by Linda Lange, LAMP
Photos on Front: Emma Brown Christian Brewer-Crystal and Simon Brown
All scripture was taken from the King James Version - 2000 Bible (©2003) unless otherwise indicated for research purposes
Dedication .......................................................................4
 About this Book ...............................................................5
Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus...................................9
 Our Pilgrimages..............................................................11
Garden Tomb ................................................................17
 Some Interesting Finds..................................................19
 Jesus’ Last Days ............................................................20 
Recap ............................................................................24
 Jerusalem Then and Now ..............................................25
 The Many Tombs of Jesus .............................................30
 Further Down the Garden Path......................................38 
The Turin Shroud...........................................................49
 The Believers..................................................................54 
Where to Next?..............................................................59
 An Exclusive Interview with Barrie Schwortz..............60
 Quick Facts of the Garden Tomb...................................77
 Evidence of a Wealthy Man’s Tomb..............................79
In Search for the Great Stone......................................105
 Questions Arise............................................................108
 The Link ......................................................................109
 Why Move the Great Stone? .......................................110
 Religious Relics............................................................111
 Transportation ............................................................. 112
 A Closer Look at the Great Stone..................................112
 Do You Obey the Lord’s Teachings?.............................114
 What is the Meaning of this Story? ...............................115
The Great Stone Facts...................................................116
 Where is the Stone Today?.............................................116
 Questions Answered .......................................................116
Updates ......................................................................... 119
 Further Evidence of the Great Stone at Mount Nebo..........124
 Correspondence ...................................................................129
 Conclusion ...........................................................................137
Salvation Prayer...................................................................139
 About the Author .................................................................140
 Books ...................................................................................141
 More Exciting Discoveries..................................................142
 Appendix .............................................................................143
 Contact Us ...........................................................................144
I want to first of all, thank my Lord Jesus Christ for saving me and helping me with these discoveries so I can share the great finds with others.
To my wife who has been with me to all hours of the night as I researched, traveled, and spent time writing my findings.
To Linda Lange (Life Application Ministries Publishing), who showed great dedication in putting this book together. Without her expertise, this book wouldn’t have become a reality.

About This book
Thank you for joining me as I share with you this new and exciting evidence. Yes more of God’s wonderful surprises, revealing hidden secrets unlocking hidden evidence.

It is always exciting when evidence is uncovered that has been hidden for thousands of years. Often the find is unexpected as in the case of this GREAT stone that proves the true tomb of Jesus.

In fact, the research in this book has such overwhelming evidence that supports and proves the reliability of the four gospels, but unfortunately, many cannot accept it.

Acts 13:41 Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.

Friends, follow me as I take you on a journey from the tomb of Jesus to the most famous place Moses closed his eyes and breathed his last breath.

Come with me and you will see that God works in every age and he meets us in the ordinary, everyday situations of life.

Walk with me through the Bible to discover the many hidden secrets. In this book I will reveal the evidence of the TRUE tomb of Jesus where the greatest story ever told in all human history of mankind took place.

Open your minds and hearts and be ready to let this book challenge you to the core. Here you will see the very place where over a hundred Old Testament Bible prophecies of Jesus came to be and where fulfilled.

Follow me as we reach out with both hands and try to touch the very place where Abraham was to sacrifice his only son Isaac, which God was foreshadowing this very place His One and only Son where Jesus Christ would become the lamb of God. Who would take away the sins of the world.

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 5

Follow me as we go back 1000’ s of years to the ancient histories and mysteries of God and where Jesus spent His last hours before His crucifixion, death and resurrection.

Come see and meet a rich man a secret disciple of Jesus who was Joseph of Arimathaea. He was an honourable counselor who went in boldly unto Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus. He then donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after His crucifixion.

Yes! The very man Joseph of Arimathaea who proceeded to Golgotha to take the body of Jesus down from the cross with the help of Nicodemus.

Come and see the very tomb prepared for Joseph’s own body. A man made cave hewn from rock in the garden located near his house.

Here you will see the overwhelming evidence where Joseph took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in fine linen and laid it in the tomb. This fine linen is called “The Shroud of Turin” in which Joseph applied myrrh and aloes which were substances which Nicodemus had brought-according to John 19:39.

The shroud is one of the most debatable and controversial artifacts known. (You can read more about the shroud in my book called, “The Shroud of Turin Speaks for Itself.”)

Come and see the very place Joseph’s role as fulfilling Isaiah’s prediction that the grave of the “Suffering Servant” would be provided by a rich man as told in Isaiah 53:9:
And that he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

In this book I will prove to you where the place and the tomb where Joseph of Arimathaea rolled a GREAT STONE to seal in the body of Jesus.

In this book I will prove to you the place where the faithful women (Myrrh bearers) came to the tomb of Christ early in the morning to carry out their last devotions to Jesus body by anointing His body with spices and by pouring oils over it. But then seeing and uncovering a wonderful surprise, yes the greatest miracle in the world, finding God Almighty had sent from heaven an angel to roll away the stone; thereby signifying, that the debt was fully paid, and Jesus (Yeshua) is now legally discharged. And so are those who believe in Him.

Please hold my hand as I then take you to see why the GREAT stone is no longer at the true tomb of Jesus. Follow me over the dead sea to Mount Nebo where you will see how the GREAT stone made by Joseph of Arimathaea came to be.

Come and share this discovery and treasure with me. God has made it possible for ALL to see.
You shall see the place where Jesus was nailed to the cross. 
Here is the place where you will see the physical evidence of the death of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus by crucifixion the recorded graphic detail of a supernatural picture of His pain and suffering He endured on the cross.

Come along with me to see the place Jesus endured the torture of the forty lashes that made the scars and pierced his body. The painful puncture wounds from the crown of thorns which pierced His head and his plucked out beard. His humiliation by the Romans who punched and bruised His swollen cheek bones. His pain from carrying His own cross to this very place imbedded in the cliff a feature of a skull still there to be seen called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull) Matthew 27:33.

That was the very place Jesus damaged His knee from falling. Here we can imagine His agony from the bloodshed of His pierced hands and feet that bears silent witness to the horror of the cross. Here is where He bore the spear wound in His side, and yes, the ultimate triumph of His Resurrection (Yeshua) meaning Salvation.

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 7

Follow me and you will see the very place where the truth has sprung out of the earth just for you and me. You will see the historical proof of the reliability of the Bible and also perhaps just for the sceptics and doubting Thomas’s the supernatural evidence of God’s love for humans to save the human race He made.

Come along with me and see where the centurion and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake and those things that were done. Matthew 27:54 says they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

Come along now as I share my discoveries in Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus and my discovery of the Great Stone that was rolled in front of the entrance to the tomb. I hope that by the time you finish reading these discoveries you will be more convinced of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No more doubt, no more fear, but increased faith because of the evidences that you will soon see.

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus
Matthew Tulloch and Simon Brown
I want to start by sharing my experiences when visiting Jerusalem for the first time. I was never going to be the same again, it changed everything. For a bit of my background, I was brought up in a Christian society but religion was not something I paid particular attention to when I was younger. I was apathetic, perhaps as many people are in today’s world. Where I come from if you ask people about their faith many would say they were Christian. Most would probably tell you that they believed in a creator. But few will relate these beliefs to their own life experience and what it really means to be a Christian. Their faith is something tucked away in the back of their minds, as mine was, as though it were something they didn’t want to deal with something to be afraid of or ashamed of. It’s not hard to understand why. Life has a way of constantly testing us. Testing our hearts and minds and testing our faith.

Sometimes even the strongest believer can hold their Bible
in their hands and wonder if it could really be true. The stories
of people and places are so far in the past that they blur the line between fantasy and reality. Did Adam and Eve really eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden? What exactly was that fruit? Did God rain down fire and Brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah? Did Jesus Christ die on the cross for our sins, and did He rise again?

These questions troubled me as they have troubled many others. My mind was like an unfinished jigsaw puzzle, faith and doubt swirling around like missing pieces.
There must be a creator! I knew there must! It just made sense to me. But then, why was He hiding? What did He want from me? From us? What is the meaning of it all? Jesus said, “Seek and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Well, I sought and I knocked and the doors began to open all round me.

I had heard of people investigating the stories of the Bible to

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 9

find evidence of the truth, and this seemed like a good place for me to start as well.
My first journey led me in search of Sodom and Gomorrah where I witnessed with my own eyes the remnants of the destroyed cities buildings, figures and landmarks just as described in the Bible residue of sulphur and ash. There was little doubt in my mind that the biblical account of what happened there must be true. How many people know that this evidence exists? How often do we hear about it? Maybe God wants people to open their eyes and see these things for themselves? Or maybe, I thought, maybe He wants me to show them.

My first book and documentary about my search for Sodom and Gomorrah was a wakeup call. My wife and I received letters, e-mails and phone calls from people all over the world thanking us for opening their eyes to these things that they had never seen before. Thanking us for affirming their faith and giving them strength to carry on. Some wept tears of joy as though they had just heard the Good news for the very first time. I was inspired and humbled. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to visit the Holy Land myself, see the prophets tombs and walk where Jesus walked.
There are no words to describe the experience of stepping into the Bible and seeing the evidence of its truth with my own eyes. But I will do my very best to share that enlightenment with you, through my films and books in hopes that they will bring you as much joy as making them brought me. This book is the story of my return to Israel in search of the final resting place of Jesus Christ.
What I am about to show you is based on what I saw there with my own eyes. Some of my findings astonished even those who have been studying the subject for decades. I will draw my own conclusions, but ultimately it is up to you to make up your own mind. There is a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path. And I pray that by the end of my journey you will be just beginning your own. God bless.

10 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

Our Pilgrimages
Human beings are travelers. We are explorers. Since the dawn of time people have embarked upon journeys far from their homelands, journeys that took them through dangerous terrain, over mountains and seas, from the highest heights to the lowest depths of the earth we have tested ourselves both physically and spiritually, seeking out new horizons with hunger and enthusiasm. Why? A hundred different people would give a hundred different answers, I suspect. But I think that this desire to actively seek out life changing experiences is born out of a natural human urge to reach out with both arms and try to touch the face of God the places where Heaven and earth come closest and give us some sense of what life is really all about.

Pilgrimage is a concept rooted in this urge and going back many thousands of years even before the birth of Jesus Christ. The Hebrews would make annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to celebrate passover: The feast which commemorates the freeing of the Israelites from slavery, and God’s sparing of the Hebrews’ first born on the night of the tenth plague. In fact, we know from the Bible that the young Jesus and His parents would have made this pilgrimage every year as recorded in the gospel of Luke, “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover, and when he was twelve they went up as usual for the festival.”
Pilgrimages tend to be made to sights of particular religious significance, churches, cathedrals, and the locations of great Biblical stories, particularly those of Jesus. But they don’t have to be. Anywhere that someone feels drawn to, for whatever reason, can become the destination of a great journey. In a pilgrimage, they are more concerned with personal spiritual discoveries along the way than the final destination itself. If a person cannot travel very far, then a trip to their nearest church or some other place of particular emotional or spiritual significance for them can be enough to refresh their faith and nourish their soul. The key to pilgrimage is intent. If your intentions are good, you will find

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 11

what you seek, no matter where or how far you travel.
Traditionally, many think of a pilgrimage as answering a call from God to come and meet with Him and experience His good- ness. Again and again the Bible compares our lives to a great journey a path that we must all walk and this is reflected in the idea of pilgrimage. Thus Jesus gathered His disciples with the words “follow me” and people did.
In this sense, perhaps, we are all pilgrims of the earth, destined to make our own journeys and pilgrimages without even knowing it.

Another reason for pilgrimage is remembrance. The Bible tells us of the importance of remembering good deeds, particularly those of God. Genesis says that Jacob marked the place with a stone where he encountered God so that it might be remembered. Joshua ordered that the children of Israel build a monument on the stone so that it might stand as “a memorial forever” for people to remember the good deeds of God. In fact, God himself is said to approve of such behavior. He instituted the feast of passover and the warnings of His prophets that those who forget the Lord their Maker shall be judged harshly. It is less of a warning, I think, than a reminder of where we come from, where we are and where we may be going. A life without meaning is no life at all, and God simply reminds us to look to Him when we find ourselves wondering in the darkness, and He will remind us who and why we are.

Finding one’s self is perhaps the number one reason that people embark on a pilgrimage. Though such pilgrimages have also benefitted us as a society, almost incidentally. Communities sprung up around sites of great spiritual interest, such as Canterbury Cathedral, founded by Saint Augustine in 602 AD. People came together to form towns and cities, roads were built, maps were drawn and livings made, none of which would have happened if not for the spiritual draw of the places around which people congregated. International communication was established in many cases by early pilgrims, laying the groundwork

12 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

for trade and diplomacy, and the coming together of civilizations in pursuit of common goals.
These things are not often mentioned in conversations when people are quick to blame religion for war and strife, but we owe much to these individuals who helped build our world through the power of their faith. Jerusalem is the destination for many pilgrims seeking to get in touch with Jesus in the very place where He lived, died and was resurrected.

Again, this is not simply tourism, though it may appear as such in modern Jerusalem with her many gift shops and tour guides. but rather it is a desire to find out more about one’s self through immersion in the experience of Jesus Christ, and perhaps to nourish one’s soul by walking in the very places where the footsteps of God have fallen upon the earth.

I encourage you to speak to people who have made such journeys themselves and I am sure they will tell you what they saw and heard on their travels. But they will have a more difficult task explaining how they felt when they visited such places. As with many aspects of faith, pilgrimage is a very personal and spiritual experience and not one that is easily shared. Through technology today though, we may be able to share our journey with others so they too can experience it to some degree who cannot otherwise go themselves.

I meet people all the time who tell me that they don’t believe in the stories of the Bible, but who will also happily admit that they haven’t really read the stories in question, or done any searching for the answers to the questions in their minds. In the eyes of so many, the Bible today is merely a myth a series of stories with good messages but stories none the less.
Without making pilgrimages of their own, it saddens me that the message of our Lord is being lost amidst the clutter of modern life, almost as though people don’t have time for their faith anymore. No, perhaps that is unfair. Life has many burdens and can be extremely difficult, not to mention confusing. It may not

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 13

be our fault that we have become distanced from the Word of God, but that is no reason for us not to try to fix it. “Seek and you shall find,” the motto to which we keep returning, has no expiry.
It is never too late to open your eyes, to start asking questions. It is important to remember that we are not alone in seeking answers through great journeys. In fact, the largest pilgrimage of modern times happened when some four million people travelled to the Vatican City to see the body of John Paul II. They packed the streets along with three million existing residents of the city, not even in many cases for the purpose of seeing the body itself, but simply to be there, in that place, at that time and to experience the intangible. A person without faith would find such behavior hard to explain from a logical point of view, but those millions of people felt a calling. This is the essence of pilgrimage, a great journey made by people, for people, based on faith and self-discovery.

Such events though are rare these days. By and large, people appear uninterested in visiting sites of great Biblical significance and witnessing the proof of God’s work with their own eyes. The most stunning example of this, for me, is the tomb of Jesus Christ. The resurrection was the most significant of all God’s works before man when He demonstrated His power over death itself by raising His only Son from the grave.

Not only are we not sure, some two thousand years later, exactly where the tomb of Jesus is, but furthermore, we seem to collectively not care that much. Perhaps it is true that the location of the event is less important than the acknowledgment of the event itself, but even this is subject to considerable apathy.

The earliest spoken-of pilgrimages to the tomb of Jesus are usually those of Bishop Alexander in the third century, and then the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, a converted Christian emperor of Rome and the man responsible for rebuilding the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Thereafter, a steady stream of pilgrims braved many hardships to have the chance
of standing in such a holy place. The infamous crusades were

14 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

essentially an armed pilgrimage of men who felt the pull of God so strongly to Jerusalem that they were prepared to die for it. How many of us, I wonder, will ever experience such love in our lifetimes. Apparently, however, it does not seem strange to most people that there are few recorded instances of Christians traveling to the tomb of Jesus between the time of the resurrection and some two hundred and fifty years later. As we will find out on our journey, this may be because the knowledge of the location of the genuine tomb was lost over time. But not completely gone, because answers will always come to those who seek the truth, as Jesus himself told his disciples.

I believe passionately that we need to know where we come from, that we need collectively start believing again in the truths that are right in front of our eyes, else we are lost. This is why I formed the Real Discoveries team with the intention to take our cameras to the sites of the great Biblical stories, and to share our pilgrimages with as many people as possible. If people cannot or will not make the journey themselves, we will make it for them and hopefully be able to bring some of that sense of intimacy, of being in the presence of God, home to those who cannot experience it firsthand for whatever reason. We will attempt to enter the times and places of the people whose stories are told in the Bible, and experience the events from their point of view. We will dig deep in search of the proof of these events not only for ourselves, but to sway the doubters and satisfy the curious. We will stand, I believe, in the very place where our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead some two thousand years ago, and challenge people to deny that this is a place where the touch of God is more present and more powerful than anywhere else on this earth. We do this for ourselves, but we also do it for you, for all of you, so that you might see what we see, touch what we touch and experience what we experience. Let me tell you, it is an incredible feeling. I believe strongly that there is a dearth of spirituality, a waning of faith in our society, and that cannot be allowed to continue. There has never been a more important time to be good at what we do, and I am overjoyed that you have chosen to join us on our jour- ney by picking up this book. I hope that within its pages, you will

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 15

find the answers that you seek, or at least find the courage to look inside yourself for those answers.
We are all pilgrims now!

Note to reader: This book is comprised of many articles I have written over the past several years so you may find things are repeated at times, but that is because you are joining me on my own journey of discovery and chronologically documented.

16 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

Garden Tomb

Is the Garden Tomb, the Tomb of Jesus?

Lets start by reading Matthew 27:57-61 the account of the burial of Jesus:
57When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: 58He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 59And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. 61And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

In Jerusalem there is a garden called “The Garden Tomb,” which was believed to be owned by Joseph of Arimathaea. He was a wealthy man and owned a garden with a tomb cut out of the rock. Also contained in the garden was a wine press and one of the largest water wells in Jerusalem.
Next to this rich man’s garden imbedded in the cliff is a feature of a skull. It’s located just outside the old city of Jerusalem near a popular entrance into the city called the “Damascus Gate.”
Now you may ask, “So what?” Well, this is what amazed me. The garden, the tomb, the wine press and the water well, which must have belonged to a rich man, were all next to the feature of the skull. They were all written down in the four gospels nearly 2000 years ago.

Matthew 27:33 tells us when they led Jesus away to crucify him. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull.

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 17

There is also a seal just outside the tomb, confirming with Matthew 27:65-66 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. Take a guard.”
In the photo gallery (in the center of this book) you can see a man-made valley for a large rolling stone to seal the tomb just as told in Matthew 27:59-60: 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

I personally searched through the maps of ancient Jerusalem hoping to get a clue on the location of Jesus’ tomb. I was excited to find various ancient paintings (ancient paintings that originated from the place where we know Jesus’ closest followers journeyed, following His ascension) pinpointing the location of Jesus tomb. These ancient paintings were made hundreds of years before the Garden Tomb was ever discovered 1. All of the evidence is stacking up.

Then I took the maps of ancient Jerusalem to the Garden Tomb to show Ken Trestrailthe Garden Tomb guide. Ken confirmed he had never seen these maps before and that he was overwhelmed to see them and how accurate they were.

One particular painting annotated in French and therefore also presumably drawn in France identifies a place near the site of the crucifixion as “Jeremiah’s Grotto.”3
Jeremiah’s Grotto is thought to be the place where the Prophet Jeremiah retired to write the Book of Lamentations a book of the Old Testament which chronicles the destruction of Jerusalem in 589 BC.
The Real Discoveries’ team went looking for Jeremiah’s Grotto in the area described by this map and found a cavern fitting its description right near the site of the Garden Tomb currently being used as a banana warehouse. The owner was happy to talk

18 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

to us and confirmed that the local residents indeed believed this to be Jeremiah’s Grotto.
I took my ancient paintings of the old city of Jerusalem to the Jewish National and University Library in Israel where they came from. Rubin Aylettconfirmed that the ancient paintings were drawn hundreds of years before the Garden Tomb was discovered, showing the Garden Tomb as the crucifixion site to be in the exact place as “Skull Hill” and “The Garden Tomb.”
I contacted 10 Shroud scholars asking them what the height of the man on the Turin shroud was. All stated that the person on the Shroud of Turin was about 5’11”. Barrie Schwartz5—the greatest expert on the Shroud stated “This was certainly coincidental.” (You can pick up my book called “The Shroud of Turin Speaks for Itself” on to read more) But suffice to say, Barry Schwartz photographer of the Shroud of Turin admits that he has not done a true study of the garden tomb, but the shroud’s image is the same height as the tomb cut-out 5’ 11”. He then realized that the Garden Tomb and the Shroud were linked!

Some Interesting Finds

On top of Golgotha—a stone’s throw from the tomb in the garden, according to topographical maps of the area—is one of the highest points of Mount Moriah standing an impressive 777 meters above sea level. The number 777 is said to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

In this same region I found this strange shape, very old tree which I believe could be in this area Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac near and above the place of the skull.

And in the same region at the edge of the cliff slightly lower than the Place of the Skull there were no grave stones, just large rocks protruding from the earth. A fence lined the edge of the cliff and I stood wondering why? Climbing onto the fence, I looked downward over the edge and what I saw amazed me. Be low to the right was the area of the Garden Tomb, but directly be-

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 19

low where I was standing was a large square shaped hole. I knew at once what this excavation was. It was the site that Ron Wyattdug his hole looking for the Arc of the Covenant. There are some old tunnels which Ron Wyatt dug out at the Garden Tomb. I still find this to be very interesting because above this hole it is 777 meters above sea level!
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has in- deed been raised from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:14-20)

Jesus’ Last Days

Many of you will be intimately familiar with the story of the last days of Jesus Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection, some of you may not be. I will retell it here with a focus on some of the details that will become important in our search for the truth about the tomb of Jesus. It was during the feast of Passover that Jesus came with His disciples to Jerusalem where He was greeted by a large and joyous crowd who welcomed Him shouting, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!”

Jesus went to Herod’s Temple a vast and grandiose building raised up on a huge stone platform on the site of the original Temple Mount on Mount Moriah where God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his own son. Jews (including Jesus) also believe that this was where God gathered the dust from which to form Adam the first man and thus the site of the origin of all human life. It was, and to many still is, the most significant spiritual place on Earth. Jesus considered the use of this holy site by money changers and other shady dealers to be a mockery of all that he held dear and so He overturned the tables of the money changers, scolding them and the corrupt priests for turning this holy place into a “Den of robbers.” It is probable that Jesus already knew at this time what His fate was to be and challenging the establishment in such a fashion was guaranteed to stir

20 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

up trouble.

Later in the week Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples in a meal that came to be known as the Last Supper, where He broke bread and poured wine for them, instructing them to eat and drink in remembrance of Him. For it was at the Last Supper that Jesus predicted one of His disciples would betray Him and He would be executed.

After the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went to pray in the “Garden of Gethsemane” where he was arrested on the orders of the high priest. They arrested Jesus at night in order to avoid a riot as Jesus was quite popular among the people though not popular enough as we shall see.
This contradiction plays an interesting role in determining the real location of His tomb. Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ apostles, betrayed Him to the guards with a kiss, while another apostle, Simon Peter, attacked the guards with a sword, reputedly cutting off one of their ears which Jesus miraculously healed on the spot. He then spoke directly to Peter saying, “All that take the sword shall perish by the sword.”

From what we know the rest of Jesus apostles went into hiding following Jesus’ arrest; fearing for their own lives. At Jesus’ trial He was asked by the priests, “Are you the Son of God?”
To which Jesus replied, “You are right in saying I am.” He was condemned for blasphemy and was handed over to the Roman soldiers lead by Pontius Pilate who asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” To which Jesus replied, “It is as you say.”

Pilate was reputedly a rash and rather bloodthirsty young man, though in this case he did not feel like Jesus had committed any particular crime, not at least against his Roman masters. The turning over of the moneychangers tables had ruffled a few feathers, but it was hardly a crime worthy of death.
There was a custom at the time for one prisoner to be par- doned at Passover time, and Pilate offered the assembled crowd a choice between sparing the life of Jesus of Nazareth, or that of

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a thuggish insurrectionist named Barabbas. The crowd chose to spare Barabbas, to Pilate’s surprise. In the Gospel of Matthew he writes that the procurator washed his hands to indicate that he was not guilty of the injustice of the decision. This inference that Jesus while popular among a certain section of Jewish society he was not unanimously renowned as a hero of the people may go some way to explaining why there is little record of people paying respects at His tomb in the years following His death.

Jesus was crucified according to the gospels—at a place known as Golgotha, which in aramaic means, “The place of the skull.” No more specific details are given. It has traditionally said that Golgotha refers to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where it was believed that the skull of Adam, the first man, was buried. Though this explanation is somewhat lacking, there has not been much in the way of challenge to these long-held assumptions until fairly recently. Jesus died shortly before late afternoon and His body was given to a wealthy man named Joseph of Arimathea a quiet follower of Jesus who begged for His body from the Romans to prepare Him for burial. This was not the normal action taken concerning crucifixion as many crucified men were left to hang on their crosses until their bodies decayed away.

The gospels report that the sky darkened when Jesus died and remained dark for several hours. Matthew also makes reference to an earthquake, which is another interesting detail to which
we shall return. At this point we will pause to consider an oft- overlooked figure in these events, the most important events remember in the entire history of Christianity and that is the story of Joseph of Arimathea.

We know that he was a rich man and possibly a member of the Sanhedrin council of priests that so disapproved of Jesus’ “blasphemy” and the disturbance that He caused in the temple. Joseph, it seems, did not make public his support for Jesus until this unexpected outpouring of grief after His death in which he requested Jesus’ body for burial.

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It is written that he and Nicodemus took the body, wrapped it in a new linen sheet and buried Jesus in Joseph of Arimathea’s own unused tomb.

This is another crucial detail in our investigation. The body was laid there in the presence of Jesus’ mother Mary, and Mary Magdelene and then a large circular stone was rolled across the entrance to the tomb. We know that the Romans were afraid that Jesus’ disciples may try to take His body away and claim that He had risen from the dead (having heard Jesus’ own prophecy) and so they were ordered to seal the tomb as best they could and set a guard.

What became of Joseph of Arimathea following the resurrection of Jesus is not well documented though a number of historians, including Tertullian, Eusebius and Rabanus Maurus, suggest that Joseph along with other disciples of Jesus, including Lazarus (raised by Jesus from the dead) and Mary Magdelene, traveled across Europe spreading the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. They passed through France and eventually ending up in England where, it is claimed, they founded Glastonbury Abbey7. There are also legends connecting Joseph of Arimathea to the artifact known as the Holy Grail, but we will not concern ourselves with those in this book.

Jesus was buried in the fresh tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, which was said to be in a garden near Golgotha (the site of the crucifixion) and a large rolling stone sealed across the entrance. It’s important to note that the tomb was located near the site of the crucifixion. This makes perfect sense because the following day was the Sabbath and Jesus would need to be buried before sunset on the Sabbath day. The new linen sheet, which we are told was wrapped around Jesus before burying Him is believed by many to be the famous “Shroud of Turin.” We will cover the Shroud of Turin in more detail later as it’s a hugely significant part of the puzzle in determining the truth about the tomb of Jesus.

According to the gospel of John, when Mary Magdelene and

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another woman named Mary came to anoint the body of Jesus
on the third day after His death, they found that the huge rolling stone covering the entrance had been moved aside. Mary looked into the tomb and saw two angels sitting where Jesus’ body once laid. One was sitting at the head and the other at the bottom where His feet would have been. They asked her why she was crying and when she turned around she saw Jesus standing before her. She didn’t recognize Him until He spoke her name. Thereafter, Jesus is said to have appeared to a number of people including his apostles telling them to go and spread the good news of the glory of God.

The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled old Jewish prophecies about a messiah who would come. The prophecies are generally agreed to have been only half-fulfilled and many Christians anticipate the second coming of Jesus when He will judge us all particularly with regard to how we treat the vulnerable and the needy before establishing His Kingdom on Earth.

To Recap

The most important points from our point of view are:
  • Jesus’ fate was sealed by the people who chose to spare another man’s life instead of His.
  • He was crucified at a place known as Golgotha, which means the place of the skull and the gospel of Matthew refers to an earthquake that happened around the time of Jesus death.
  • His body was claimed by a rich follower of Jesus named Joseph of Arimathea and wrapped in a clean linen sheet (possibly the Shroud of Turin) and buried nearby in a fresh, unused tomb, in the garden of Joseph and in the presence of Jesus’ mother Mary and Mary Magdelene.
  • The tomb was sealed with a large stone rolled across the entrance, which would have been fixed secure by the Romans.
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Each of these details will play a key role in our investigation as we leave no stone unturned in our search for the authentic tomb of Jesus.

Jerusalem Then and Now
Jerusalem was at once the most wonderful and most terrible city on the face of the planet. The site of the greatest miracle of all has been bathed in violence and bitter struggle both religious and secular for several years. As I write, Israel is in the midst of what some call the “Second Intifada,” a bloody conflict between Israeli and Palestinian factions, which has seen over six-thousand people lose their lives in the last eight years.

As a consequence, exploring in the Holy Land is as dangerous now as it has ever been. The first part of my quest to find the tomb of Jesus had to take place without my wife Emma who was understandably nervous about the situation. She wasn’t the only one. Upon my arrival at Stansted airport I was apparently mistaken for a terrorist. This happens tiresomely frequently to me, due to my obvious Middle Eastern heritage. After simply making an enquiry at the check-in queue, I was followed around the terminal by suspicious security guards. Eventually they took me aside for questioning and during my half-hour interrogation, I wondered what might have happened if I hadn’t been a United Kingdom (UK) citizen?

Eventually they seemed to get bored and let me continue through the terminal. My humiliation was not yet complete, how- ever, as the baggage check involved my possessions being strewn across the counter as if I had just been arrested for burglary and they were checking for evidence. Then two Israeli gentle- men searched, scanned and scowled at me while examining my passport in great detail before I was finally allowed to board the aircraft. The whole experience was so impersonal and devoid of human interaction that I felt rather like a piece of baggage myself by the time it was over.

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Groping for a silver lining, as I finally took my seat, I reflected that if even half the people on the flight had gotten the same treatment as me it was unlikely that there was a bomb on board.
Fortunately, this lack of courtesy did not extent to Jerusalem itself. I was received warmly at my hotel, which had an outstanding view of the old city that really put me back in the mood to explore a bit.
But first, a little history about Jerusalem:
The city of Jerusalem has probably the most intriguing and often violent history of any other in the world, and yet for all of her stories, there are many blanks in the history of this place where Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected. In order to help us construct a better idea of the events that took place around that glorious event, it will be helpful to examine the history of Jerusalem with particular reference to the geography of the area and some of the legends that surround her most famous historical landmarks such as Mount Moriah and the Temple of Solomon.

At the time of Jesus, Jerusalem was ruled by a highly controversial man named Herod the Great. Herod was half Jewish and little trusted by many of his subjects, but he ruled the city with an iron fist largely thanks to his skill at winning favor among the rich and powerful. Herod did deals with the Roman leaders Mark Antony and Caesar Augustus and kept the ruling classes of Jerusalem, including the influential priests, satisfied with their material lot in life. Some scholars have suggested that there were no poor people in first century Jerusalem, but there is plenty of evidence that in fact the society was very much two tiered with a large wealthy class and equally large impoverished population.
This latter interpretation is backed up somewhat by the notes of material injustice present in many of Jesus’ sermons. Herod built vast monuments to himself and other wealthy notables whom he wished to flatter, of which the most famous is the great Temple built on the site of Solomon’s temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians almost six centuries previously. Since the

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law forbade the temple to be built larger than the original, Herod had an an enormous platform constructed for the temple to sit on, some 35 acres in total with thirty feet high walls. This platform came to be known as Temple Mount and Jesus famously predicted its downfall when He visited the city for the last time. The temple was raised to the ground by the Romans just a few decades later.
Herod’s temple signified what the Jerusalem of the time was all about. Religion was the city’s primary economic driver and the animal sacrifices around which many rituals were based kept farmers pockets lined. Visitors from far away would generally sell their own animals locally before they set off on their journey and then buy fresh animals from within or nearby the city. The reason for this was that religious law required the animals to be unblemished and people didn’t want to take that risk with their animals on such a long journey.

Coins bearing the images of men (such as Roman coins did) were forbidden for such purposes and so people would change their Roman money for faceless shekels at a money changer. It is these money changers against whom Jesus railed on the temple platform just a few days before His crucifixion. At the time of a great festival such as Passover, as many as 250,000 visitors might descend upon Jerusalem. The hills around Jerusalem would have been filled with great camps of people celebrating life and eating well.

The Roman garrison where Pontius Pilate was stationed stood on high ground to the north west of the great temple. It was named Antonia, one of Herod’s clever tributes to his Roman masters. The garrison was a source of conflict within the community. People were already confused by the transformation of their faith into something so brazenly wealthy and the submissiveness of their leaders to Rome made many purists angry. In one particular flashpoint, a group of Jewish students attempted to remove a Roman eagle from the temple’s decoration and as a result of the riots that followed 2000 men were crucified.

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The environment harboured a swelling undercurrent of resentment, which helps to explain the attitude of the priests towards Jesus when He showed up during passover and challenged their authority so vocally on the platform of the temple itself. They were worried that He would ignite the spark that sent the whole city into uproar. The priests were happy with the status quo which amongst other things had made them all very wealthy.

Crucifixions took place, by tradition, outside the city walls.
In the same way that Spartacus’ soldiers were hung along the Appian Way in Rome, the condemned men of Jerusalem would have been executed along the main roads outside the city so as to be seen by as many passers-by as possible. Maps of first century Jerusalem differ, though they indicate that the Via Delorosa the path marked today as the one which Jesus’ would have walked on the way to His place of crucifixion—is almost certainly inaccurate and based more on 14th century geography rather than the main roads of the period. This also casts substantial doubt
on the final destination of the Via Delorosa the Church of the Holy Sepulcher traditionally considered to stand on “Golgotha” (the place of the skull) and thought by many to be the site of the tomb in which Jesus was buried. Some maps of the time would have put this spot outside the city walls and archeological studies of the area indicate that this may be right, that would make it an unlikely candidate to be the spot for any execution.

Today’s Jerusalem is quite different to the Jerusalem of 2,000 years ago. Many of the famous landmarks, including the Temple of Herod, have been destroyed (and many rebuilt) as a result
of centuries of turmoil and war. The narrow, winding streets of some districts, like the market streets in the lower city, can evoke a similar atmosphere to that which they would have back then. But the area around the temple itself particularly at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher has changed so much that it is virtually impossible to imagine the events that are supposed to have taken place there. Tourism has replaced religion as the primary business of the city, though that has suffered in recent years with the continuing violence. You will be hard-pushed to take a walk

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around without someone trying to sell you a souvenir statue of the Virgin Mary or something like that.
When I came to Jerusalem at the start of our search for the tomb of Jesus, I starting talking to a man in a cafe about where we might begin. He offered to take me to the tomb but instead led me into a series of local gift shops and other such places. Fifteen minutes into this I began to fear that I was in the hands of footpads and brigands a suspicion that was undiminished as we arrived in a tourist “emporium.” With my cash reserves depleted (partly because I still hoped that these men could actually help me and partly out of a desire not to stir up trouble) I was eventually able to persuade our guide to show us to an actual site of historical interest. It turned out to be the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land has been a very popular activity over the years, but never so blatantly commercial as it is now, not even in the days of Herod’s extravagance.

Outside the main tourist areas though, it is still possible to get a feel for the landscape as it would have been in Jesus’ time. I cannot describe the feeling of being in this ancient Holy city. It was as if God Himself was walking right beside me. The variety of dress and religions in this one small corner of the world gave me food for much thought. It was strange to see so many young Israeli soldiers of both sexes walking the city, heavily armed with automatic weapons. A reminder of the significance this land holds some two-thousand years later, that these young people are prepared to fight and die for it. One wonders what Jesus would think of it all. Perhaps someday we will find out.
To the north of the city, and outside the old city walls, stands the highest peak on the mountain range known as Mount Mo- riah. Some 777 meters high, and just as imposing as it would have been millennia ago. Some scholars believe this, rather than Temple Mount, to be the actual location where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Topographical maps of the area show that the area of Mount Moriah known as Temple Mount

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forms a clear image of the Hebrew letter “Yod,” the first letter of God’s name. This tallies with the Old Testament’s account of God telling His people to make sacrifices “Where I shall place my name.” And we believe that the highest point of Mount Moriah may have been the site of the most famous sacrifice of all etched in the sheer rock, distinct and imposing the image of a skull.

The Many Tombs of Jesus

Up to this point I had barely scratched the surface of Jerusa- lem. But I had seen enough that I decided to return home and convince my wife Emma and some professional friends to come back with me. Our party ended up being eight-strong, including Einar Arnasson, our cameraman.
Emma was still somewhat skeptical because she had not seen the things that I had seen in person, so the first thing we did upon landing was take a stroll down memory lane and visit the city
of Gomorrah (for more about this, watch our Real Discoveries documentary, ‘Our Search for Sodom and Gomorrah’). We hired a mini-bus and drove alongside the beautiful, ethereal Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, to one of the Bible’s most notorious locations.

Walking among the shapes and shadows which are all that remains of the ruined city, I recounted to the team the story of finding incredible chunks of brimstone the last time we were here, the discovery that really fired my imagination and reinforced my desire to prove that these Biblical stories really happened. That time, I had found the stuff everywhere, as though it had only just fallen from the sky before I arrived. But today, we couldn’t find anything no matter how hard we searched. Emma, ever an inspiration to me when I’m feeling down or despondent, said that she couldn’t believe God would bring her all this way for nothing and suggested that we pray. We did. And soon we were finding great chunks of brimstone everywhere we turned.

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These are the things I cannot explain, for I know that words are not enough to convince of such things, but I swear that this is exactly the way it happened. I can still see Emma’s face the first time she held a chunk of brimstone in her hand there amid the broken remains of Gomorrah. From then on her mind changed and she was a believer.

As we have discovered there is little substantive evidence on the surface of things as to the physical location of the tomb of Jesus. Or for that matter, the place where He was crucified. The accounts of the gospel writers are rather vague and although tradition seems to have established “accepted” locations for these events, even their strongest advocates would have to admit that these are based on best guesses and the mere fact that they have not yet been sufficiently “disproved.”
Because of this uncertainty many myths and stories have sprung up. Some are more fanciful than others, but we will examine the most popular in an attempt to weigh up the merits of each and hopefully separate some fact from fiction.

If you have been following the saga of the tomb of Jesus in recent years, you will almost certainly have heard about the Tal- poit Tomb, discovered in the East Talpiot region of Jerusalem’s Old City in 1980 by construction workers who were laying the foundations for a residential apartment building. The workers uncovered the entrance to a tomb and reported their findings to the Israel Department of Antiquities who sent someone along to investigate immediately. The man they sent Amos Kloner drew a series of rough sketches of the site and was suitably intrigued by what he saw that he requested a salvage dig to uncover the whole area. His request was granted, but for some reason, perhaps because of financial pressures caused by the holding up of building work, the team was only given a few days to see what they could find.

The construction of the apartment buildings at Talpiot was completed two years later. The tomb itself was left untouched. Then one day the children of a local resident, Tova Bracha, found

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their way inside the entrance to the tomb and found some old discarded religious writings. The authorities were notified. But again, no further investigations were carried out.
Fast forward to 2005. An investigative journalist by the name of Simcha Jacob ivici opened up the tomb on a hunch in order to conduct a more thorough investigation. He took with him a film crew under the supervision of the famous Hollywood director James Cameron. Jacob ivici and Cameron, however, had not sought the permission of the authorities before beginning their investigations, which is an odd approach to take for two respected professionals who would certainly have known that such steps were expected. We can only assume that they thought permission would have been denied for whatever reason, but what that reason may have been is open to speculation.

Inside of the Talpiot tomb the film crew found ten ossuaries made of limestone, six of which bore epigraphs of some description. These were removed and shipped off to the Rocker feller Museum in the hopes of obtaining some expert analysis. However, one of the ossuaries mysteriously disappeared while supposedly being kept in storage at the museum. This fueled rumors of some sort of high level cover-up. Such speculation should be treated with a high degree of suspicion, since after all, the director Cameron had a film to sell. What we do know for sure about the limestone ossuaries however, is that they all contained human remains which were described as being in an advanced state of deterioration. The cursory observations of those who saw them suggested that the bodies may have been buried as many as seven generations apart, perhaps indicating a family tomb. Other bones and a handful of skulls were also found below the tomb, the origins of which are unexplained. All of the human remains were handed over to the religious authorities for proper burial, though no records were kept about them at all, another very strange choice to make.

Some of the Talpiot Tomb walls have crude carvings on them, including one over the entrance of a triangle with a circle inside of it. This symbol, sometimes called a “purity eye,” is said to

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represent ascension which has been taken by some commentators to indicate a possible link with Jesus though this is rather tenuous.

Other than this evidence and its location in the general region of Jerusalem where Jesus may have been crucified there is not much linking the Talpiot Tomb with Him or indeed any of the details from the gospel accounts of the resurrection. In fact, there is a substantial list of respected scholars and scientists who have written to express their objection to the way in which Cameron and Jacobovici portrayed the tomb as a possible tomb of Christ and misled the media and the public into believing that they (the filmmakers) had any substantial scientific backing. I think we can safely say that the Talpiot Tomb is not a real contender for being the legitimate tomb of Jesus, but it is a pretty good story nonetheless, and it will be interesting to see if the questions about the lack of record keeping and the mysterious disappearance of one of the ossuaries in New York are ever properly accounted for.

In Kashmir, India, in the Khanya district of Srinagar, is a shrine that the locals call Roza Bal. It’s considered a site of religious significance by local Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus alike and, according to some, the place where Jesus fled after His resurrection. Some respected historians have postulated that the subcontinent may have been Jesus’ final resting place and of course we have little record of what happened to the man other than He was seen ascending to heaven bathed in light. It is reasonable to suggest that in fact, Jesus may have traveled far away from Jerusalem and lived out his life in relative obscurity. In those days, remember, news would have propagated much more slowly than it does today, and there’s no particular reason why people hundreds of miles away would have recognized Jesus at all. Though I must stress that apart from these local myths, there is little recorded evidence that this is the case.

Roza Bal is a modest building raised up on a platform with low ceilings and archway shaped entrances. There is a carving on stone inside the shrine which shows a pair of feet with what are clearly crucifixion wounds and supporters of the idea that Roza

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Bal was Jesus’ final resting place say that they match the location of the wounds shown on the famous Shroud of Turin. Though this has never been proven or really investigated.

A similar story to that of Roza Bal can be heard in the Japanese village of Shingō, in the northern city of Aomori. The legend of Shingō states that contrary to all other accounts, Jesus was not in fact crucified at all, but rather that he had a brother who took his place on the cross while Jesus fled across Alaska, finally settling down in Japan. The story goes on today that He became a rice farmer, married a nice girl and raised a family before dying at a ripe old age. The only evidence proffered in support of this rather bizarre claim is a handful of ancient Hebrew documents that were claimed to have been discovered nearby, and that told the story of Jesus’ escape from Jerusalem and journey to Japan. Apparently these documents were seized by the Japanese authorities some time before the second world war and have not been seen since. This story, while amusing perhaps, is almost certainly just an elaborate hoax cooked up by the Shingō locals in order to drum up some extra tourism. If this was the intention, it has certainly been successful.

Now we come to the really serious contenders, in my opinion, of which there are two. The first is the famous Church of the Holy Sepulcher, sometimes known as the Church of the Resur- rection which is built on the spot where legend has it the skull of Adam, the first human, is buried. Supporters of the sepulchre claim that this must be the Golgotha (place of the skull) mentioned in the Bible and therefore the site of Jesus crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

Records of pilgrimages being carried out to this location seem to begin around the fourth century with Saint Helena mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine both of whom were staunch Christians. The story goes that the original sepulcher was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD and the site covered with earth and forgotten about until Helena visited the location on the orders of her son and uncovered it. In the process, they unearthed fragments of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.

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Constantine ordered the church re-built in splendor and since then it has been virtually unchallenged as the official site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. It has also been destroyed and re-built several times as a result of the often violent struggle for control of the city. Currently there exists an uneasy truce around the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, with various religious factions controlling different parts of the building. This has led to bizarre situations such as a small riot breaking out over a guard moving his chair ten feet to the right in order to sit in the shade, or a ladder which has remained on a window ledge over the en- trance since before 1852 simply because nobody can decide who has the authority to move it from that location. This rather petty squabbling has also, unfortunately, led to the deterioration of the building since nobody can decide what needs repairing and who will be responsible for it.

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher stands the “Stone of Anointing,” reportedly the stone upon which Joseph of Arimathea would have prepared Jesus’ body for burial. Archaeological analysis of this stone, which is pink marble, indicate that it is not native to the area and in all likelihood was imported from Europe, maybe by Constantine himself. To the west of that is the Edicule itself that has two rooms. In the first room is a fragment of stone known as the “Angel’s Stone.” It’s said to be the rolling stone described in the gospels which sealed Jesus’ tomb after His burial. In the second room the tomb itself all of the different religious factions are allowed to hold ceremonies such as Mass  and they do so on a daily basis. To the rear of the building is a ragged chapel thought to belong to the tomb’s original owner Joseph of Arimethea. If there is any significant evidence to support this assumption, I was unable to find it.

A stairway winds up from the church to what most accept to be the place referred to in the gospels as Golgotha and the altar there has a glass case containing a rock called the Rock of Cal- vary. Apparently underneath the rock is the hole in which Jesus’ cross was raised. Nearby is the Chapel of Adam, built to commemorate the supposed burial of Adam’s skull on this site.

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“Golgotha” means “place of the skull” and is virtually unanimously accepted that wherever the true Golgotha is, there also was the place where Jesus Christ was crucified. One commonly held explanation is that it was called the “place of the skull” because there lay many skeletons from previous crucifixions. But this raises a clear red flag for anyone familiar with Jewish custom in which the disposal of bodies was conducted most carefully. Others point to the alleged burial of the skull of Adam on this site but this story only seems to have sprung up some time after Constantine identified the sepulchre itself and began building his own memorial.

In fact, there are various other commemorate spots in and around the sepulcher with similar grand sounding titles, but the only real evidence as to the validity of these titles is in the writings of two historians Socrates Scholasticus and Eusebius. But they only said that what was underneath Hadrian’s Temple was a site of visible and reputed wonder.

There is also a split amongst archaeologists as to whether the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and “Golgotha” above it, would have actually been outside the city walls in Jesus’ day. By law, Jesus would have to have been crucified at least one hundred paces from the city wall and there seems to be as much archaeological evidence that the city wall in the time of Herod encapsulated the site that is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, rather than making two sharp turns in order to exclude it. It would seem that the case for this site actually being the Golgotha of scripture is weak at best, and disingenuous at worst.

There is also the question of Jesus’ tomb having been in a garden. The gospel of John says, “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus...” John also makes clear that Mary Magdalene thinks she is speaking to a gardener when she returns to the tomb on Easter morning saying, “Tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”
The site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has never, by

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any reasonable estimation, been a garden. Tests of the soil on this site have shown that it has never contained arable soil of the quality needed to cultivate a garden of any means. Advocates of the church’s authenticity cover this glaring incompatibility by claiming that the stone quarry which almost certainly marked the site at the time would have been covered with weeds and it is to which the word “garden” refers. Does this seem likely to you?

A prominent Jewish archaeologist and scholar Dan Bahat suggests that the Holy Sepulcher may indeed be the location of Jesus’ tomb. This is largely due to the absence of any substantial evidence against it and lack of any significant evidence in its favour.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher certainly has the feel of an important religious site and one cannot fail to be moved by the sight of people kneeling in prayer before the Anointing Stone within. But that is exactly part of the problem. The Church is such a draw for tourists. The area around it, as well as the build- ing itself, have changed so much over the years that it is just impossible to get a feeling what what the place would have been like in Jesus’ time. Visiting the church is a moving experience. The feeling you’re left with afterwards is that the present day sepulcher is so dramatically different from how it would have been at the time of Jesus’ burial that it hardly matters whether this is the right place or not.

In contrast, our final contender for the legitimate tomb of Jesus is one of the most serene places you’re ever likely to visit. The Garden Tomb popularly proposed by the British Major General Charles George Gordon in 1883 as being a possible site of Jesus’ tomb is located north of the Holy Sepulcher, outside the city walls near the Damascus Gate. Gordon identified the site partly because he believed that the sepulcher would have been inside the city walls two thousand years ago and therefore an unlikely location for a crucifixion. But mainly his attention was drawn by the shape etched in the rock of the towering cliff nearby the tallest cliff in the city the shape of a skull Golgotha.

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Further down the Garden Path

“Now in the place where he was crucified there was a gar- den; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.” (John 19:41)
Near the Damascus Gate of northern Jerusalem a popular site for crucifixions in the time of Jesus and in the shadow if the tallest peak of Mount Moriah with its skull face sunk into the rock there is a garden. Visitors to the garden today will find it to be both beautiful and serene, considering the noise and bustle that engulfs the rest of the city. We know that this spot would also have been a garden in Jesus’ time thanks to the excavation of both a superb winepress and a huge water cistern one of the biggest in Jerusalem even now holding a quarter of a million gallons of rainwater. This indicates two things; firstly that the garden two thousand years ago was almost certainly a vineyard as well as a beautiful garden; and secondly that it would have belonged to a very wealthy man. We know from the gospel’s description of Joseph of Arimathea that he was indeed a wealthy man and that it was his own tomb in his own garden which he gave for Jesus to be buried in a new tomb, never before used.

The Garden Tomb is often thought to have been “discovered” as it were by the British General Charles Gordon, also known affectionately as Chinese Gordon by the British public thanks to his heroic fighting in China. He also played a substantial role in smashing up the North African slave trade. This was a man by all accounts with a good heart and a finely tuned sense of morality. Gordon stood before the great cliff with the skull sunken into it and immediately declared that nearby must be the location of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. His certainty about this,
we understand, was bolstered partly by his military knowledge which told him that this would have been far and away the most visible place to crucify a man and send a signal to everyone for miles around. His belief that the traditional site of Jesus’ tomb, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, would have been outside the city walls in Jesus’ time and therefore unlikely to have staged any executions. This assertion splits archaeologists even today.

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Some very old maps show that Gordon may well have been right about this. We will return to the maps later, but for now we know that General Gordon returned to England and raised money to purchase the site so that it might be preserved for future generations. For this, we owe him a deal of gratitude. The Garden Tomb today is still owned by the Garden Tomb Association a British charitable trust. This British connection is actually very interesting and again we shall return to it in time.

I mention that Gordon popularized (to some extent) the legitimacy of this Golgotha and therefore by extension also the Garden Tomb, but there had actually been pilgrims before him
to whom the sight of this great skull in the rock indicated clearly that this must be Calvary. In 1842, some forty years before Gordon, a German scholar by the name of Otto Thenius observed as such. His certainty was matched by a British Major, Claude Condor, and the scholar Fisher Howe in 1871. Mostly these claims appear to have fallen on deaf ears and it is still the case today that the Garden Tomb seems to resist acceptance by the establishment and those who have not experienced the place for themselves. It’s almost as if acceptance of the Garden Tomb is meant to demand a measure of faith.

Skeptics have claimed that the skull features of the cliff are caused by quarrying activity. While it is true that there are stone quarries at the foot of the cliff, it is highly unlikely that these extend vertically, and as you can see in the photographs, this would be, if it were true, probably the world’s riskiest quarry ever. There is no evidence that the skull feature of the cliff that I believe to be Golgotha are man-made. Photographs dating back to the late 1800s show that the skull was even more pronounced back then indicating that it has gradually weathered away over time. It is very likely that the features were much bolder and more striking in the time of Jesus and that if there were a place in Jerusalem known back then as “the place of the skull,” this must almost surely be it.
Interestingly, the naming of such a geographical feature in such a way fits entirely with Jewish practice of the time. Other

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examples include Gamia, a Jewish city on the Golan which is built upon a hill like a camel’s hump. “Gamia” means “the camel.” Also “Susita” is Aramaic for “the horse.”
The cliff face with the skull etched into it—according to topo- graphical maps of the area—is the highest point of Mount Mo- riah, standing an impressive 777 meters high. Biblical scholars have described 777 as “God’s number,” as opposed to 666— the number of the Devil. This is partly due to the fact that God cre- ated the Earth in seven days and partly due to the book of Rev- elation which describes seven churches having seven stars, which are the seven angels. The number 777 is said to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

One of the most exciting memories of our pilgrimage is of Einar, Peter and myself attempting to gain access to the cemetery atop this highest point. “Gordon’s Calvary” as it is sometimes known—is believed to be the place where Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac. The graveyard is very ancient. It is a miracle in itself that it has managed to survive thousands of years worth of wars right here in the middle of Jerusalem. Personally, I see God’s hand directly shielding it from harm to ensure that the memory of Abraham’s sacrifice—and later of his own son Jesus Christ— would never be lost.
Standing atop the place of the skull it is clear as day that if there was one spot that could have been seen from anywhere in the city during Jesus’ time, this was it. Around the back of the hill we found the entrance to the cemetery and was about to enter it when a young man sitting on the steps leading up to the entrance asked us where we were going. We explained that we meant no harm and only wanted to look around. But the man replied simply, “It is forbidden.” This was somewhat strange because while we stood there, others were allowed to pass and enter the place and it became apparent that we were unwelcome because of our cameras. I cannot express the sheer disappointment of not being allowed to stand atop Golgotha myself and record the site for all of you to see for yourselves how breathtaking that place was. I admit to being completely crushed, with moist eyes, and I

40 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

remembered Genesis 22:14 - “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh: as it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”
I was desperate to see some mark or stone where Abraham sacrificed the lamb; I was sure in my heart that it was there. But words could not move the guardian of the graveyard and so we were forced to re-trace our steps.

After a short distance, however, something gave me pause. I really felt that this place was much too important to our quest to simply walk away. So quietly I suggested to two of the team the possibility of bribing the gatekeeper.

We returned to the gate and found the man somewhat less surly when the subject of money was hinted at. However, he was too worried about losing his employment to let us through. Evidently there were forces in control of this area who were very strict indeed about exploration and precious in guarding their secrets. My feet did not want to move and eventually I heard my own voice saying, “I’ll give you 100 shekels to let us in.” To this he finally agreed after swearing us to secrecy. I called to Einar and Peter and we followed the keeper through the gate.

We walked slowly through the old graveyard until we stood at the edge of the cliff. We were now on top of the Skull—the place where we believe Jesus was crucified—and had unob- structed views across the old city. As we started to film the area I felt that the money I had given the keeper of the gate was well spent. Alas, very shortly he was back and insisting that we leave. I badly wanted to examine the ancient stones for any mention of Abraham, but even those I could see were so weathered as to be illegible. We headed back toward the entrance with much reluctance and were met by another man who was apparently our keeper’s boss. Oh dear!

A conversation ensued in a tongue none of us understood, whilst I stood on this incredible historic site feeling nothing but frustration. In the end I offered the boss 100 shekels also and

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he asked me what I wanted to see. This is probably the kind of extortion that Jesus would have frowned upon. I asked him if he knew of any stones or tombs bearing the name Abraham. Neither man understood my English and I was reduced to sign language, miming cutting a throat with my hand as it was all that I could think of. After further discussion between the two, he took our money and guided us toward the farthest point of the cemetery.

We arrived at the cliff edge, slightly lower than the Place of the Skull, where there were no grave stones, just large rocks protruding from the earth. A fence lined the edge of the cliff and I stood wondering why they had brought us to this particular spot. Climbing onto the fence, I looked downward over the edge and what I saw amazed me. Below was the area of the Garden Tomb, and half way up was a large square shaped hole. I knew at once what this excavation was. The possible site of the Arc of the Covenant.

Ron Wyatt was an American archaeologist whose work I had admired for years. In 1978, with his two sons, he travelled to the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba for a spot of scuba div- ing. Wyatt believed that Moses crossed the Red Sea in this area and they were searching for horse skeletons, chariot parts and any other evidence on the sea bottom. Later he visited this area around the Damascus gate and in the company of an authority on Roman Antiquities, walked over the ancient stone crossing known as the Calvary Escarpment. On his arrival at this spot he claims to have had a supernatural experience where his hand just pointed to the area of this hole that we could now see plain as day. Quite involuntarily he told his companion that Jeremiah’s Grotto and the Arc of the Covenant lay beneath.

The antiquities man appeared quite unfazed and assured him there would be no problem with permits if he would excavate the site. Wyatt himself did not understand the experience he had just undergone and wondered if God himself was speaking to him. He had been most successful with his quests to date—having found what many believe to be Noah’s Ark in Turkey and chariot parts together with what could be the bones of the Pharaoh’s army

42 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

on the bed of the Red Sea—however, he had never had such an experience as this before. It had struck him like a thunderbolt and he was now certain that this ground contained the Ark, which was hidden by Jeremiah at the siege of Nebuchadnezzar when he sacked Jerusalem.

In 1979—together with his sons—Ron began a dig here which was to last for three and a half years. He claims to have found not only the Ark, but also evidence that this was the exact site of the crucifixion. This was to include dried blood that had trickled down a 20 ft deep crack in the rock, coming to rest on top of the Ark of the Covenant! On examination, the blood was found to contain 24 Y chromosomes and only a single X chromosome instead of the usual 24: he believed it to be the blood of Christ. He also claimed to have discovered three cross holes and the rolling stone which covered the garden Tomb entrance. He then fitted a trap door at the site and covered the whole lot with rocks and earth.

As I stood wondering why the two keepers led us right to this very spot I had the overwhelming feeling that this view—and not the graveyard itself—is what they were protecting. Standing here knowing what I knew and now seeing with my own eyes the experience recounted by Ron Wyatt, became very real to me. It may very well be that The Ark is still buried under that place protected by authorities who keep such secrets from their own people. Doubtless in time we will know the truth.
We returned to the cemetery office with the two men and chat- ted a while. They told us that in the past some Americans were researching the same area until they were asked to leave by the local police. Powerful authorities indeed were at work in con- cealing the secrets of the skull rock. But I knew then where our next destination was to be. We had seen it from atop Golgotha.
A stone’s throw from this most likely site of the crucifixion—an ancient garden containing a two-thousand year old “new tomb.”
The tomb in the garden has been dated by archaeologists as being from around the first century which obviously puts it

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smack-dab in the right period to have been Jesus’ burial place. The outside has a small entrance and a rolling channel where a large rolling stone would have been used to cover the entrance. As an interesting side note, locals report that this stone rolling channel has been more recently used as a manger to feed ani- mals. This similarity between the place of Jesus’ birth and that of his burial is quite striking.

We also know from the book of Matthew that Joseph of Ari- mathea wrapped Jesus’ body in a clean linen cloth—possibly the famous Shroud of Turin—and rolled a heavy stone across the entrance of the tomb in order to seal it. Matthew also tells us that Pilate ordered his man to make the tomb as secure as possible, because the Romans were afraid that Jesus’ followers would steal his body and claim that he had risen from the dead and they knew what trouble this would stir up in the city.
We have no specific details of how they secured the tomb, but one would imagine that an iron chain would have been used to cover the rolling stone and prevent it from being moved. To the left of the entrance to the Garden Tomb, in the rock, is a hole such as might have been made by an iron peg being driven into the wall. Skeptics once claimed that the hole was simply caused by gunfire during the 20th century, but forensic tests on the metallic residue inside the hole indicate that it does actually date back to around the first century. Unfortunately the wall on the other side of the tomb entrance—where a second hole might have confirmed this theory—has collapsed over time and had to be restored. We will never know for sure.

Additionally, archaeologists have found signs of what they believe may have been a crude church built onto the front of
the tomb, perhaps not long after the time of Jesus.’ There is an anchor symbol carved into the rock which scholars believe is a reference to Hebrews 6:19-20, 
“Jesus is the anchor to our soul.”

If these observations are correct it would mean evidence of worship at this site long before we have evidence of worship at the site of the Holy Sepulcher. It wasn’t recorded as being recog-

44 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

nized as Jesus burial place until around the third century. There is also a large crack in the stone outside the tomb. It would be typi- cal damage caused by an earthquake such as the one the gospels record as having taken place at the moment of Jesus’ death.

Inside the tomb the first thing you notice is its size. This was obviously the tomb of a rich man with its large weeping chamber and rather smoothly hewn-out features. There is a loculus (the place where the body would have laid) diagonally opposite the tomb’s entrance which seems to have been extended in a hurry because it appears the chiseling of this section of the tomb is much rougher than the rest. An adjacent loculus remains unfin- ished. If this was the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea, one could reasonably assume that the first loculus would have been for him and the unfinished second for his wife. The length of the first loculus—without the roughly extended section—would have accommodated a man of around 5’7-8” in height. The extension makes it comfortable for a man approaching 5’11 or so. For now, I would just like you to keep that figure of 5’11 in your mind,
it will be important. There is old graffiti inside the tomb where someone has painted red crosses as well as greek symbols repre- senting alpha and omega—the beginning and the end—a phrase used by Christ to describe himself: 
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

The gospels state that when Mary came to anoint the body of Jesus on the third day after His crucifixion she looked into the tomb and saw two angels. The layout of the Garden Tomb fits this description as the place where Jesus would have laid. There is plenty of room for two angels to have sat on the raised stone areas near where His head and feet would have been. There is also a small window in the tomb which would have let light fall right upon the spot where Jesus’ body would have lain. These kinds of holes were sometimes incorporated into tombs to allow the soul to escape, which Jews believed happens on the third day following a person’s death.

This, incidentally, is probably the reason why Jesus raised Lazarus after four days because if he had done so sooner, people

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might have said that Lazarus wasn’t truly dead as his soul had not yet left his body.
And on the subject of bodies, New Testament scholar Chris Hutson recalls further evidence in favour of the Garden Tomb in his, “Great Preaching on the Resurrection”:
“I read this week about the excavation that took place nearly two hundred years ago in Jerusalem, when Gen- eral Gordon uncovered the tomb of Christ. When General Gordon uncovered the tomb now called Gordon’s Tomb, scientists scraped up dirt from the tomb and submitted it to chemical analysis. After a thorough chemical analysis of the dirt, they concluded, “no human body ever decayed in that tomb.” Intrigued by these findings, I went in search of maps of ancient Jerusalem which may indicate the location of Jesus’ tomb. One particular map, annotated in French and therefore also presumably drawn in France, identifies a place near the site of the crucifixion as “Jeremiah’s Grotto”. Jeremiah’s Grotto is thought to be the place where the Prophet Jeremiah retired to write the Book of Lamentations, a book of the Old Testament which chronicles the destruction of Jerusalem in 589BC. The Real Discoveries team went looking for Jeremiah’s Grotto in the area described by this map, and found a cavern fitting its description right near the site of the Garden Tomb, which is currently being used as a banana warehouse. The owner was happy to talk to us, and confirmed that the locals indeed believed this to be Jeremiah’s Grotto.

Furthermore, the book of Jeremiah (2:13) mentions, “Broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Near to the warehouse—along the foot of Gordon’s Calvary—is a broken cistern that has been cleaved clean in two. Cisterns of this kind certainly pre-date Jer- emiah, though it is impossible to tell at what point this particular one was broken. I therefore mention it merely as a curiosity.

According to our map—this being Jeremiah’s Grotto as the

46 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

locals believe—would place the Garden Tomb at exactly the right spot to be the legitimate tomb of Jesus.

The question is, can we trust this map?
I showed the map to some experts, who confidently concluded that it must have been drawn in France around the 16th century. On the surface, it would appear unlikely that a map of this origin and date would be more accurate than one drawn in Jerusalem itself, but remember when we traced the story of Joseph of Arimethea? Various historical accounts suggest that Joseph of Arimethea along with several other followers of Jesus includ- ing Lazarus and Mary Magdelene left Jerusalem after Jesus’ ascension and headed across Europe to France and then England and may have established Glastonbury Abbey; however that is not certain.

It would make perfect sense that the very people who knew exactly where Jesus had been buried would tell the story to ev- eryone they met along the way. It is also entirely possible—even probable that some of them had descendants who grew up in France and England. I don’t believe it is a coincidence this map whose accuracy we verified ourselves by visiting Jeremiah’s Grotto originated from the place where we know Jesus’ follow- ers journeyed to after His death. It may also be no coincidence that the movement to secure the Garden Tomb as the legitimate site of Jesus’ burial originated in England with General Gordon. Knowledge of such events is passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth, as well as in written accounts, and I strongly believe this to be the case here.

If further corroboration of this map were necessary, we would be able to line up our French map of Jerusalem exactly with another map from a different time period, which placed the site of the crucifixion exactly where the Garden Tomb is today. The same map also placed Jesus’ tomb near that of Saint Stephen,
an early Christian Martyr who preached the teachings of Jesus and handed out aid to the poor, and who was put on trial and executed for it. We did not have to search long for the tomb of

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Saint Stephen, as there is a church dedicated to him exactly on the spot marked by our ancient maps in exactly the same posi- tion relative to the crucifixion site on the maps as the Garden Tomb today. Another very early map of Jerusalem shows what appears to be a chapel near the Damascus Gate, again in the same spot as the Garden Tomb. This would confirm the archaeological findings around the tomb itself which indicated that a chapel-like structure may have been built onto the front of the tomb. If this is true, it is further evidence of Christian worship at the site of the Garden tomb centuries before similar references to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Damascus Gate itself is interesting because there is evi- dence that at least from the fifth century A.D. onwards it was also referred to as “St. Stephen’s Gate.” This would indicate that near- by (the top of the skull hill) was the site where St. Stephen was stoned to death. Jewish custom was that once ground had been made unclean by acts such as execution, then the same ground would be used for further such acts, so as not to desecrate other, clean land. It is likely that if our Golgotha—near the Damascus Gate was the place where St. Stephen was executed—it would most likely be the place where Jesus was crucified.

The sheer volume of evidence pointing to the Garden Tomb
as being the authentic site of the resurrection of Jesus Christ left us reeling. At the same time in our hearts we were not surprised. Visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is an experience to
be sure, but we didn’t get any strong feeling from it, it was quite impossible to imagine the place as it might have been in Jesus’ time. Walking in the gardens of the Garden tomb, however, we were unanimous in feeling like our footsteps fell on Holy ground. The tranquility of the place—especially in the context of a busy city like Jerusalem—is simply amazing. Before we even under- took our investigations into the historical and scientific evidence for the Garden Tomb being the real tomb of Jesus, I think we knew for ourselves that it was. We had faith. And the mountain of evidence that we found simply confirmed that faith. Will this settle the debate as to where the real site of the resurrection lies?

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Probably not. I expect that there is far too much at stake for those factions involved with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. But for us, we feel that we have sought, and found. Just as Jesus said we would.

The Turin Shroud

The Gospels tell us that after Joseph of Arimathea claimed Jesus’ body from the Romans he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and placed it in his own new tomb nearby.

For centuries legends have persisted about this cloth in which Jesus’ was buried. A 10th century painting of a man named Abgar of Edessa, ruler of the kingdom of Osroene (in what is now Tur- key) holding a white cloth with the image of Jesus Christ on it. At the turn of the 13th century a crusader knight by the name of Robert de Clari claims to have seen Christ’s burial shroud, bear- ing his image, in Constantinople, where it was said to be raised every Friday.

The cloth that we know today as the Shroud of Turin origi- nates with the descendent of another Templar Knight, Geoffroi de Charny, who displayed it in a Paris museum. Controversy surrounded the artifact back then just as it does today and it was removed from display by the authorities, changing hands several times before falling into the ownership of a Louis of Savoy, an Italian duke who allowed it to travel from city to city. He kept in a lavish case lined with red silk, decorated with silver and locked with a golden key.

In the 16th century there was a fire in the chapel in which the shroud was being stored that caused a drop of molten silver to burn through the folded cloth. Attempts were made to repair the damage, which can still be seen clearly.

The Shroud of Turin shows the image of a man, front and back as would be expected if it were wrapped around a body for burial purposes. The outline of the man is clearly visible, though very subtle with no definite lines or angles, but you can see the

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man’s face, crossed hands, shoulders, legs and feet distinctly. The shroud is marked by blood stains which match precisely the wounds that a man crucified by the Romans would have suffered—scourge wounds from the flagram or whip, puncture marks around the head where Jesus was said to have worn a crown of thorns and the darkest blood stain of all near where the man’s heart. This would have been caused by the spear that pierced him while he hung. There are blood stains also on the wrists of the man of the shroud which would have been where the Romans drove nails through when they crucified him not through the hands where many contemporary paintings show these wounds to be. The images of the man’s cheek bones appear swollen as if he had been beaten, which we know Jesus was. All in all, the wounds of the man of the shroud correspond exactly to the biblical description of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

How the image on the Shroud of Turin was formed remains a mystery even to today’s scientists. In 1978 a team of Ameri- can scientists and researchers known as “the Shroud of Turin Research Project,” were allowed to conduct a series of scientific experiments in order to try to determine the origins of the shroud. Their conclusions are regarded today as the most comprehensive set of scientific data about the shroud anywhere in the world. Some of the team continue to seek answers to questions regard- ing its authenticity.

STURP issued its final report in 1981, which states as follows:
“No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry on the fi- brils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a meth- od for creating the image. Ultra Violet and infrared evalu- ation confirm these studies. Computer image enhancement and analysis by a device known as a VP-8 image analyzer show that the image has unique, three-dimensional infor- mation encoded in it. Microchemical evaluation has indi- cated no evidence of any spices, oils, or any biochemicals known to be produced by the body in life or in death. It is clear that there has been a direct contact of the Shroud with

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a body, which explains certain features such as scourge marks, as well as the blood. However, while this type of contact might explain some of the features of the torso,
it is totally incapable of explaining the image of the face with the high resolution that has been amply demonstrated by photography. The basic problem from a scientific point of view is that some explanations which might be tenable from a chemical point of view, are precluded by physics. Contrariwise, certain physical explanations which may be attractive are completely precluded by the chemistry. For an adequate explanation for the image of the Shroud, one must have an explanation which is scientifically sound, from 
a physical, chemical, biological and medical viewpoint.

At the present, this type of solution does not appear to be obtainable by the best efforts of the members of the Shroud Team. Furthermore, experiments in physics and chemistry with old linen have failed to reproduce adequately the phe- nomenon presented by the Shroud of Turin. The scientific concensus is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself. Such changes can be duplicated in the laboratory by certain chemical and physical processes. A similar type of change in linen can be obtained by sulfuric acid or heat. However, there are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately.

Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was pro- duced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, a mystery.

We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of
a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or per-

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haps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.”
Various attempts have been made over the years to undermine the legitimacy of the Shroud of Turin, probably the most notori- ous of which being radiocarbon dating carried out by three lead- ing research laboratories in 1988. The radiocarbon dating appears to place the date of the shroud around the mid 14th century and the media immediately picked up on this to dismiss the shroud
as a fake. Members of the STURP team, however, had serious doubts about these tests and the way in which they were carried out. Then in 2005 one of the original team members, Ray Rog- ers, published a chemical analysis paper in a leading scientific journal proving that the sample of cloth tested by the radiocarbon dating was in fact taken from part of the shroud which had been repaired in. You guessed it—mid 14th century France.

Another controversial challenge to the Shroud of Turin came in the form of a South African art history professor named Nicholas Allen. He created a copy of the shroud using a specially prepared emulsion and his own body in an attempt to show that the whole thing could easily have been an elaborate medieval hoax. Again the media took his side without apparently actu-
ally looking at Allen’s image alongside the real Shroud of Turin. The two cloths are completely different. For one, the Shroud of Turin has a three-dimensional property with parts of the man’s image which would have been further from the cloth appearing fainter. Allen’s image has no such subtlety. In fact, Allen’s “shroud” more closely resembled a photographic image, unlike the Shroud of Turin which—while it shares some qualities with those of a photographic negative—is far removed from an actual photograph-like image.

Some skeptics claim that the Shroud of Turin is a painting due to microscopic particles of paint being found on the cloth. This conclusion is quite patently absurd since the particles in question is microscopic and do not make up the actual image itself. Fur- thermore, it’s entirely logical that one would expect to find such particles on the cloth anyway, given that it was freely displayed

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in a great number of places where there would have been paint- ings hanging nearby and probably stored with them as well at some point. Other people have even had the audacity to suggest that the shroud was made by the genius artist Leonardo Da Vinci and while I agree that if any human being could pull off such a hoax it would have to have been Da Vinci. However, the Shroud of Turin dates back to at least a hundred years before he was even born.

So why is the Shroud of Turin important to us? Well, after our visit to the Garden Tomb—having seen the hurriedly extended loculus which indicates that the tomb had to be quickly adapted to fit a taller man than that for whom it was originally intend- ed—I sent a bunch of emails on a whim to various experts asking them to estimate the height of Jesus Christ—if such a thing were possible. The Garden Tomb’s original owner (we assume Joseph of Arimathea) would have been around 5’7” according to the original length of the loculus, but with the extension it now com- fortably fits a person around 5’11” in height.

I was blown away when I received an email back immediately from Barrie Schwortz, one of the original members of the Shroud of Turin Research Project, who indicated that his work on the shroud would suggest that the man of the shroud, very possibly Jesus, was around 5’11 tall. Mr. Schwortz qualifies this by ex- plaining that the dimensions of the shroud can of course change within certain limits, being made of cloth and having suffered a certain amount of wear and tear over the centuries, but that 5’11 was his firm feeling on the matter, given all the evidence he had seen.

We earlier discussed the ancient maps of Jerusalem that marked the tomb of Jesus which originated in France. We postu- lated that this actually made perfect sense since many of Jesus’ disciples—including Mary Magdelene and Joseph of Arimethea —were reported to have traveled across Europe to France and then England following Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. Is it a coin- cidence that the Turin Shroud also turned up in France around the same time? I do not believe so.

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For me, this is the final piece of the puzzle, and confirmation that the Garden Tomb is indeed the real site of Jesus’ resurrection.

The Believers

I wrote earlier in this book that the Garden Tomb seemed to demand a measure of faith from those believing in its legiti- macy. Primarily this is because the much-vaunted (though in my opinion far less credible) Church of the Holy Sepulchre enjoys unquestioned status with many of the different Christian denomi- nations, some of whom have a personal stake in regard of its ownership and continued dominance. Neither science nor history can prove definitely one way or the other and perhaps they never will. This being so, faith will be the deciding factor when evi- dence is weighed up.

I was not the first person, nor will I be the last, to walk in the garden and experience the love and certainty that fills the very air. In fact, there is a long history of pilgrims undergoing a simi- lar experience to mine. They decided that in their best judgment the Garden Tomb was most likely the place where Jesus rose from the grave. These people had no financial, political or any other kind of stake in declaring such, only the desire for truth and to spread the Word.

In 1872 Captain Claude Conder was appointed to “The Survey of Western Palestine.” This was a project to map accurately for the first time the whole southern Levant west of the Jordan River. A fluent Arabic speaker and student of geography (history and archaeology), Conder and his team turned out pioneering reports about the ancient remains in the Holy Land.

In 1878 Captain Conder writing a report about his current explorations of Palestine made clear his feeling that the real Calvary was the rocky outlook just outside the northern wall of Jerusalem, near the cave known as Jeremiah’s Grotto. He wrote, “It would be bold to hazard the suggestion that the single Jewish sepulchre thus found is indeed the tomb in the garden, nigh unto the place called Golgotha; yet its appearance so near the old

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place of execution and so far from other tombs in the old cemeteries of the city is extremely remarkable.”
Conder, as thorough an expert as there was at the time on the archaeology of Jerusalem, noted as Gordon later did that the hill atop the skull rock would have been the ideal place for public executions in Jesus’ time because it was visible for miles around. He pointed to other notable historical features, the proximity of the Garden Tomb, referencing the uniqueness of the tomb itself was a very likely candidate indeed to be the tomb of Jesus.

William Denison McCrackan—a Christian Journalist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and author of many authoritative travel journals describes the support for the Garden Tomb in his, “The New Palestine,” published in 1922 that says:
“Among those who hold the validity of the site of Gordon’s Calvary may be mentioned Mr. Rider Haggard, who has written at some length on the subject in his, “A Winter Pil- grimage in Palestine, Italy and Cyprus”; Dr. Selah Merrill, at one time U.S. Consul in Jerusalem, Sir Charles Wilson, Major Conder, Dr. C. Schick, Lawrence Oliphant, and even Renan in his “Vie de Jesus.” The evidence for the tomb may be less conclusive to some explorers, but it was never- theless very convincing to me.”
The Renan he mentions is Ernest Renan a hugely respected French philosopher and theologian whose strictly scientific approach to retracing the steps of Jesus Christ earned him the wrath of the Catholic Church. Mr. Rider Haggard, a renowned author with an eye for Biblical archaeology whose fictional protagonist Allan Quatermain, would later influence the character Indiana Jones put forth the case thus:
“Standing in that quiet garden with the rock-hewn sepul- chre before me, it was easy to imagine that here and not elsewhere these dread mysteries were enacted.” “How strange if here, neglected in this old garden, unvisited by

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the mass of pilgrims, undecked by any pompous shrine or monument, should be the true scene of the Resurrection, and not yonder beneath the dome on the gorgeous battle ground of the warring sects.”
Ron West an RAF pilot during the Second World War and later posted to Iraq recounts visiting Jerusalem during an official leave. Mr. West, by his own admission (not a convinced Christian by any means), was first directed to the Holy Sepulchre and reported saying:
“I was put off by the fact that they frequently said “If you would like to pay a dollar, you can put your hand in this hole in the wall and feel the shackle to which Christ was chained.” Things like that all the time, money making things.

So I wondered up to this other tomb, where to my surprise there was an English Chaplin and he said “this is the place called Calvary, where Christ was crucified.” I said “Well that’s peculiar, I’ve just been to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and they told me that was the place”. He said “well they would, but if you read the Bible it will tell you that Jesus was taken outside the city walls and crucified at a place called Golgotha” which is Hebrew for skull, and he said “and if you look up to this rock formation you see, it looks just like a skull”, there were holes for the eyes and the mouth, etc.

So I went back to the Holy Sepulchre Church, I said “I’ve just been to another place and they told me that is the place where Jesus was buried, outside the city walls”, “oh well, you must remember the city has grown since then” and so on and so on. So I go back to the church of the English man, the Garden Tomb place, told him that and he said “well, you may not be an archaeologist, but if you’d like to go back to the Damascus Gate you’ll find they are excavating there and you will see that the present walls of the city are built on the foundations of the old walls. This was in

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Herod’s time, and Herod’s masonry is easily recognized because the edges of the stone are all fluted, and if you go down there and you’ll have a look you’ll see that this is the same.

So I went down, got down into the hole they’d been excavat- ing and saw quite clearly that the present walls of the city of Jerusalem are built on the old walls, and the fluted masonry of Herod’s time is quite evident. So in my mind I’m quite clear and sure that this garden tomb is the place, it’s Calvary.” Mr. West’s view particularly of the distasteful commercial undertones of the Holy Sepulchre are echoed by Roy E. Skinner a United Nations worker in Jerusalem writing to his friend Max Robertson an Australian Army officer in 1967:
“It seems to me the atmosphere of some holy places is spoiled by the presence of many monks of different orders offering candles and assistance (and of course hoping for substantial donations).
I write this in the ground of the Garden Tomb in East Jerusalem. Sometimes referred to as Gordon’s Tomb (because General Gordon, later of Khartoum, claimed he had identified the true place of Golgotha, the place of Christ’s tomb). Whether it is or not, I have found it to be a very quiet, private place. I come here when I can (on warm days), to sit among the trees and flowers.”
And similar sentiments written by A. R. Millard in his, “Dis- coveries from Bible Times”:
“Going into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre can feel uncomfortable. The lamps and candles, the gaudy colours, and the black robed priests are alien to our ways of worship. In it’s simplicity, this tomb (the Garden Tomb), with its well tended garden, has an immediate appeal; the visitor can imagine the events of the first Easter Sunday morning without difficulty.”

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New Testament Scholar and author, Chris Hutson, describes an experience startlingly, somewhat like my own, upon his visit to the Garden Tomb:
“I am well aware that one cannot build a case on intuition. And yet it is the testimony of scores and scores of Bible students that as they have come into the knowledge of this garden tomb and as they themselves have visited the place, their own hearts have been strangely moved by what could be an affirmation of the Holy Spirit regarding the authen- ticity of this site. Actually, why could not this be? It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to take of the things of Christ and make them real to us. He has come for the express purpose of exalting the dear Son of God, particularly with reference to his death, burial and resurrection.

Did the tomb fit our heart picture? Were there any seri- ous objections to the acceptability of this spot? We looked around. We prayed, and we meditated further. And God seemed to confirm with an assurance that has never worn off. “Truly, this is the place,” is our profound belief.”
You may well be wondering even after all of the evidence that I have presented here why there is any dispute at all as to the location of Christ’s tomb. Surely in this age of technological wizardry we ought to be able to simply do a few tests, find the truth and that will be that. It is a fact that some factions have a vested view in obscuring the truth in order to make money, but this is really only a small part of the reason why the legitimacy of the Garden Tomb is not common knowledge.
Do not ask me the whys and wherefores, for I cannot begin to explain them, but Jesus’ words, “seek and ye shall find” ring truer to me every day. We cannot sit back and expect the truth
to come to us, that is not the way that God wants it to be. We have to actively look, enquire, explore. We have to see with our own eyes and feel in our own hearts the truth of Jesus Christ, not merely be told about it. The other people in this chapter did just

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that and they were rewarded with a gift that I now understand because I have felt it for myself. I call them The Believers.

Where to Next?

There is no doubt in my mind that the Golgotha spoken about in the gospels is the highest point of Mount Moriah the 777 meter high cliff with the skull image sunk into its weathered rock face. I also believe that the Garden Tomb, in the shadow of this Golgotha, is the legitimate site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The details of the tomb exactly match those described in the gospels:
  • It is nearby the place of Jesus’ crucifixion
  • A wealthy man’s tomb hurriedly extended to accommodate a taller body.
  • The large rolling stone, secure with iron pegs, the graffiti on the walls referencing the Alpha and Omega
  • Jesus being the anchor of our souls.
  • The chemical analysis of the soil proving that no body decayed there.
  • The archaeological evidence of a chapel having stood there
  • The various maps that we found pinpointing this as the location of Jesus’ tomb (maps that originated from the place where we know Jesus’ closest followers journeyed to following his ascension.)
    All of the evidence stacks up.
    When I asked Barrie Schwortz, the original Shroud of Turin photographer, about whether or not he truly believed the artifact to be authentic, he answered philosophically that maybe it did not really matter. Perhaps the memory of the event that it relates to is more important than the object itself, and in the end, we
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would find the answers not by looking around ourselves for more proof, but by looking within ourselves for the answers in our own hearts.

When I visited the Garden Tomb I felt in my heart that I was standing in the presence of God—a place where something miraculous had happened. Even if we had uncovered no evidence at all I was thoroughly convinced that it is the real tomb of Jesus. I have presented to you here everything that we found out about the tomb of Jesus, honestly, and in full, and I leave it up to you to look into your heart and decide what you truly believe. In the end, maybe it doesn’t matter. But as thousands of pilgrims have found through the ages sometimes finding an authentic piece of God’s kingdom here on Earth is meaningful, worthwhile and lifechanging.

Myself and the Real Discoveries team will continue to make our pilgrimages to the places where we believe God’s hand has touched our world, and we hope you will continue to journey with us. Who knows where our next adventure will end up at?

An Exclusive interview with Barrie Schwortz

Barrie Schwortz was the official documenting photographer for the original team who investigated the Shroud of Turin in 1978. He gives lectures around the world and has appeared on the History Channel and National Geographic channel as a shroud expert, as well as in Time Magazine, Newsweek, Life Magazine and National Geographic and many national and international news programs. Barrie also maintains the most authoritative site on the internet about the Shroud of Turinwhich has been going for over twelve years now.

Mr. Schwortz gave an exclusive interview to me in 2007, in which he talks about the history of the Shroud of Turin as well as its possible link to the Garden Tomb. This interview is transcribed in full here:
Simon: How did you get involved with the Shroud of Turin?

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Barrie Schwortz: That’s the question people always ask me, “How did you get involved with the shroud, after all, you’re Jewish!” And of course I always say pretty much the same thing, that’s exactly what I said when they asked me! I had finished a scientific project for Los Alamos scientific laboratories through a company in Santa Barbara where my studio was. At the end of that project the gentleman called me and he said, “Barrie, what do you know about the Shroud of Turin?” And I said, “But Don, I’m Jewish!” And he said, “So am I, remember?” Because of course he too was one of the Jewish team members. At any rate, I didn’t feel very comfortable at the beginning with this and I continued to be a member of the team for about two months and I was still feeling very uncomfortable about my involvement. I came to the conclusion that perhaps I shouldn’t be a member of the team. And what I said to Don Lynn from the jet propulsion laboratories who was one of the real imaging experts on our team was, “Gee Don, what’s a nice Jewish boy like me doing involved in such a Christian project?” And he looked at me, and he said, “Apparently Barrie you’ve forgotten that the man in question is a Jew.” And of course I said, “No I know that.”
And he said, “So you don’t think God would want one of His chosen people on our team?” And I laughed and I said, “Well no, of course I didn’t think that.” And he said, “Well look Barrie, lemme give you some advice. Go over to Turin, do the best job you can and one day you’ll know why. Because God doesn’t tell you in advance what the plan is.” Well that seemed like pretty good advice to me, and I stayed on the team and I’ve now been involved directly in the examination, the study and the research on the Shroud of Turin for thirty years. In addition to that I founded twelve years ago in 1996. That website has grown to become the largest, and the oldest, and probably the most relevant website on the Shroud of Turin on the whole internet. And the reason for that simply is that I have no bias from a Christian of non Christian point of view. I can stick to the science. I can stick to the facts. So I guess I serve a bigger role in the world of the shroud today as someone who brings this information to a broader audience. And interestingly, the photo-

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graphs I made in 1978 are probably far less important than the contribution I’ve now made over the past ten years.

Simon: So what exactly can we see on the Shroud of Turin?
Barrie Schwortz: Obviously the most important thing on the Shroud of Turin is the image of a man, front and back, ventral and dorsal, that appears along the full length of the cloth with the ventral and dorsal images head to head with an appropriate space between them for the cloth to have been wrapped the way it was. Of course, the most important thing that we see if we look at the ventral image, the front image is the man himself. As he stands there you can see his arms crossed before him, you can see his shoulders, although they were damaged in the fire of 1532 and there are holes and patches there now. You can then look down the body, see the crossed hands, you can then see the legs, the knees, the thighs, the calves and even the feet on the ventral image. Now when you look at the shroud a little closer you’ll also see a number of stains the most important of which if you look directly near his heart is the darkest bloodstain which we call the “spear wound” blood stain, that appears on the shroud. And interestingly enough, although you can’t see it with the naked eye, when you photograph this area with UV fluorescent photography you can see a large serum stain invisible to normal lighting but visible there on the shroud with UV fluorescence photography.

Now as you come down the shroud and look again at the hands you’ll see blood stains near the wrists of the man of the shroud. Now this would be the crucifixion wound from where the hands were nailed to the cross. And unlike all medieval and renaissance art, which always depicts the nailing of the hands through the palms themselves, this shows an exit wound further up the wrist, and would have been the correct exit wound for the nailing through the wrists because the Romans did this all the time and they knew very well where to nail the hands so they wouldn’t come loose. The middle of the palm is not the place to do that but closer to the wrist. So unlike all all medieval and renaissance art, the shroud shows it forensically accurate in the wrist. Now if you come down and look at the feet you’ll also see

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at the feet, blood stains. Now there’s some argument as to whether both feet were individually nailed, or whether one foot was nailed over the other. We cannot tell this from the blood stains on the shroud, so it is impossible for us to draw that conclusion from the Shroud of Turin.
Now when you look at the back side of the ma the dorsal side of the man there you see something really amazing. There are a lot of markings along the back and if you look closely you’ll find these extend all the way down past the buttocks to the back of the legs. The front or ventral view you’ll find many of these because these are dumb-bell shaped markings, scourge wounds from a Roman flagrum. And a Roman flag ram had three “thongs,” leather usually. At the end of each a dumb-bell shaped lead or bone weight. These are the marks that we see on the Shroud of Turin. We see dumbbell shaped bruises, many of which drew blood by breaking the skin. And these that cover the man’s body, not just the back where they’re predominant, but also many came around the front because as the scourger moved a little closer, his whip would then wrap around the front of the body and leave markings on the front of the body as well.

Now if we look at the face of the man of the shroud, we see blood stains on the forehead. And if we go further we see blood stains in the hair. And if you look at the dorsal or back view of the head that shows the back of the head you see many blood stains there as well. We have stains on the shroud, on the head, as if from a cap, or “crown” of thorns. So once again, everything about the Shroud of Turin, all the blood stains, all of these mark- ings, are accurate to the gospel account of what was done to Jesus when he was scourged beaten. If you look at the man’s face (once again I should mention), you can see the bruised cheek bones with one more swollen than the other but both rather swollen. So this man had been beaten in the face, he had been scourged, he had been then crucified and then he was speared in the side. And what we have here is an accurate description, forensically accurate, of a crucified man, exactly as the gospel accounts of Jesus.

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Simon: Have you ever compared the dimensions of the Shroud of Turin to those of the Tomb in the Garden?
Barrie Schwartz: Well, the question about the garden tomb is an interesting one. The first thing I have to honestly admit is that I have not ever really done a study of the Garden Tomb myself, only the shroud, but understanding that the height of the man in the carved garden tomb is 5’11” is certainly coincidental with what I have always believed to be the average height of the man in the shroud, which I’ve always put at about 5’11. Now let me emphasize that a little by saying that, remember first of all, the Shroud of Turin is not a stable substrate. In other words, it can be stretched, it can be moved, and as a matter of fact, through the centuries the Shroud of Turin has actually been displayed, hung from balconies at one end with weights on the other end to keep it from flapping in the wind! So obviously a certain amount of stretching is inevitable with the Shroud of Turin, particularly on the long dimension because that’s the way it was often displayed.

Now, the other thing one has to consider is that this is a finely woven linen cloth and can change its length by as much as a centimeter or more based solely on the humidity in which the shroud itself is kept. So there many variables and there’s great debate about exactly how tall the man on the shroud is. Some people have said 6’, some people have said 6’1. But again, remembering the stretching capability and of course the recent 2002 restoration where they smoothed out all the wrinkles and re-sewed the cloth onto a different backing cloth, the shroud grew by another eight centimeters. That would have impacted the dimensions of the man on the shroud if they were to be measured. So the best studies and the average of all the arguments if you will as to how tall the man on the shroud is averages out to about 5’11. So to answer your question, “How tall is the man on the shroud? 5’11”.
Remember, I came to that conclusion long before I knew about the Garden Tomb. So is this a coincidence? Well, if the Garden Tomb is the authentic tomb in which Jesus was buried and if the Shroud of Turin is the authentic cloth that wrapped his

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body, then one could easily conclude then that it makes sense that they would both be the same height. As I said, I’ve never made a study of the Garden Tomb, although I might not want to put it aside, I might want to go and do a little more research now myself just because I find that this is a fascinating coincidence! Remember again that the man on the shroud is on a piece of cloth, so we can never be absolutely certain as to his height, or for that matter his skin colour, there are some things we’ll never learn from the shroud: colour of hair, colour of eyes, skin colour and the height will pretty much always be debated. But there are some good papers including one that I have published on my website that does deal with the anthropometric measurements of the shroud, comparing the arms, the legs, the torso of the man of the shroud to other known human body types, and to deter- mine (in this particular paper) where this man might have come from.

Interestingly, that one paper did determine that the body type and size was mid-eastern Jewish, which would certainly coincide to what we believe to be the Shroud of Turin.
Simon: Tell us about some of the scientific tests that have been carried out to prove the Shroud of Turin’s legitimacy?

Barrie Schwartz: Probably the most important scientific test that was performed on the Shroud of Turin after our examination of the cloth in 1978 was the carbon 14 or radiocarbon dating that was performed on the shroud in 1988 ten years later. Interestingly enough, a protocol meeting had been put together by the seven laboratories that were initially to be involved in the dating of the shroud. During this protocol meeting they determined that only a single sample would be taken, which seemed to be a very questionable procedure considering that the known information about radiocarbon dating indicated that multiple samples would be required due to the chance of anomalous samples, repairs, contamination etc. found in linen cloth. Unfortunately, the seven laboratories, when it actually came time for taking the sample for carbon dating, had already been reduced to three laboratories. Part of the original protocol had been that each lab would

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receive a sample and perform a chemical analysis on that sample. They would burn it, which was necessary for the testing, but it would also destroy the radiocarbon dating process. So interestingly enough, there was a two hour debate as they stood over the shroud as to where to take this single sample from. And ultimately it was decided to take it from a corner of the shroud, far away from the image and the other other blood stains and things on the shroud, but not far from a water stain and a scorch, but down in this corner right next to an existing seam so it would appear that this was authentic Shroud of Turin. Although in our photographs of 1978, even the regular white light photographs, there was a different color in that area. But we weren’t really that concerned about that part of the shroud, since we weren’t thinking about radiocarbon dating in 1978, so we didn’t pay that much attention to that corner. In 1988, that’s the corner they sampled from, they took a piece and cut it into thirds, and each was distributed to the three laboratories that remained involved in the testing. They went away, none of them performed the chemical analysis that was called for by their own protocol, and when they were asked why the response was, “Well, we know which sample the shroud was, so we didn’t need to do the chemical analysis.”
Interestingly enough, had they done the chemical analysis, they may have found something that was extraordinarily different about this corner. Yet that didn’t happen for another 20 years. So they took their sample, they did their testing, they came out with their results which was a medieval date, 1260-1390 I believe, and they with much fanfare went up on the television, and the media, and the world headlines were, “The Shroud is a fake!” Now remember that there were hundreds of tests taken
in 1978 that indicated the shroud was not a painting, was not a photograph, it was not the kind of thing that one would expect to be a manufactured relic. And yet that was the public outcry and headlines around the world saying, “The Shroud is a fake!” Those of us who were directly involved who were aware of all this other data that indicated the shroud was not a fake were left out in the cold. It brought all shroud research basically to a screeching halt for almost twenty years. So the carbon dating was

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the primary scientific evidence that disputed the authenticity of the shroud. A wealth of other evidence gathered by our team and others indicated that shroud was not a fake nor was it a medieval painting, forgery, hoax, photograph, rubbing, etching, or dust painting. These are all the things that had been basically used to describe the shroud and what it might have been. So, at the end of this period of 1999 when the results were announced, those of us who were involved with the study of the shroud from a truly scientific point of view were left scratching our heads and wondering, “How could this be?”
So the radiocarbon dating of the shroud in 1988 was a ma-
jor setback for those of us who had studied the shroud all these years and for those of us who had come to believe that the shroud could possibly be authentic. In fact, it wasn’t until 2004 when Ray Rogers a chemist from Los Alamos National Laborato- ries and a member of our team (as a matter of fact he headed the chemistry) and the man who had initially believed that the image on the shroud was dehydrated cellulose (that was his initial conclusion) re-addressed the shroud. He was ill. His life was coming to a close but he knew that he hadn’t really completed what he had begun. So Ray decided that he would revisit this issue of the shroud one last time. And one of the first things that prompted him to do so was a paper that was published in 2000 by Joe Marino and Sue Benford, claiming that the corner from which the radiocarbon sample had been taken was in fact a rewoven, patched, or repaired corner.

When Ray Rogers heard this being a good friend of mine we discussed it because I published the paper on my website ( Rogers saw their paper and called me up and said, “Look, I’m gonna prove these people wrong and it’s only gonna take me five minutes.” And I said, “Fine Ray, you do what you have to do.” I mean he was a scientist and wasn’t asking my per- mission anyway. Ray told me afterwards that he spent one hour examining samples he had from that corner where the radiocarbon dating sample had been removed, and he said after one hour he found that Benford and Marino were correct, and that he was

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wrong, and there was evidence that this corner was anomalous.
Now remembering that Ray Rogers is a chemist, Ray took his sample and he performed a chemical analysis and a microscopic analysis. What the microscopic analysis revealed was a gummy substance on the surface of the fibers on this corner. The other thing that he found that was very unique was cotton interwoven with the linen itself. That there was no cotton found anywhere else interwoven with the fibers of the shroud linen so this made it unique. Now when he did the chemical analysis of the “gummy” substance he found that it was gum arabic. Then when he looked at the gum arabic under the microscope he found little particles of a dye that came from from the Madder Root plant. And so this dye had apparently been put in a gum arabic base and applied to the surface of the rewoven area of the shroud to match it to the rest of the shroud in colour.

Remember I said earlier that what we see in my white light photographs of the shroud is different discoloration in this corner. The dye they used may have matched it perfectly to the shroud when the work was done probably in medieval times but after five or six hundred years, even that was now no longer matching the actual color of the rest of the shroud. Well the chemical analysis found this Madder root dye, it was obviously applied from the surface because when we separated the fibers of the sample he examined, behind it there was no dye or gum arabic.

It had been literally re-woven first and this had been applied to the surface, dobbed on if you will, to match the colour of the rest of the shroud. Well this changed everything! Consequently Ray found an end-to-end splice which is not found in the rest of the shroud. One can look at the transmitted light photographs I made (light passing through the shroud) and in many places you could see where at the end of a piece of yarn they had to attach a new hank of yarn. They just laid them literally one on top of the other and slammed down the loom device and kept on weaving. There were no splices found elsewhere on the shroud, though there is a splice in this corner.

Now to be certain that he was correct, because Ray was a re-

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ally empirical scientist, Ray Rogers obtained a reserve piece of the actual sample cut for radiocarbon dating back in 1988 from the Turin authorities. He obtained this sample and he performed the same chemical analysis on this and found exactly the same thing. We now know that the sample of the corner of the shroud is anomalous and is not the same as the rest of the shroud. This is extremely important, obviously, from a radiocarbon dating point of view because if there was a rewoven section done sometime in medieval times, then by all means that would yield a different radiocarbon date than some of the shroud that was not manipulated elsewhere on the cloth. Had more than one sample been taken perhaps we would have had some indication right away that there was a discrepancy between this corner and the rest of the cloth. But because that was the only sample taken everybody drew their conclusions virtually from a single sample. And although three different labs tested it they all tested the same sample, so it was really only one test done three times, not three different tests. They all used the same AM/FM radio radiocarbon dating technique.

Perhaps the greatest irony of this whole process is that had the three laboratories performed the chemical analysis that was part of their original protocol back in 1988; had they performed that chemical analysis; had they looked at these samples under a microscope and then chemically as Ray Rogers did; perhaps they too would have found this anomaly in this area and then gone back and said, “Look, we do have to get some samples from else- where on the shroud.” But that’s not what happened. What happened was they were satisfied with the single sample. They didn’t perform the chemical analysis. And considering that this was claimed to be a “blind study,” meaning they weren’t supposed to know which samples were which, yet by their own admission they didn’t do the chemical analysis because they knew which samples were the shroud. So somehow there’s a discrepancy that I won’t go into now.

So when when we think about it, all that Rogers really did was finish what they had started by getting a reserve portion of the

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same sample that had been cut, by performing both the microscopic and chemical analysis, Rogers was able to determine that this area of the Shroud of Turin was different from the rest of the cloth. Now that’s significant because in essence what was tested was an area that had been repaired, re-woven, patched, whatever word you want to use. But that brings me to the subject of the visible detection of this because some of the authorities in Turin continued to insist that Ray Rogers was wrong and this was impossible because they don’t see a repair.

Well, that is a very valid point because usually when something’s re-woven, if you look on the back side you’ll see threads sticking out. In other words, we only in modern day re-weaving repair the side that is to be viewed, the outside of your trousers when you burn a hole in them and you get them rewoven, the outside looks perfect and you can’t find it but on the inside you can see where the repair was made. Well interestingly enough,

in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds the French had perfected something that they called “invisible reweaving.” When this was first mentioned by Benford and Marino most people just sort of waved their hands and said, “Please, if this was there we would have seen it by now!” Benford and Marino quoted from a reference one of their references was a book written by one of the curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a textile expert in his own right, and he devoted two entire chapters to French invisible reweaving saying it was perfected in the French court at the same time the shroud was documented to be in France. And secondly, according to this expert, this type of re-weaving was so perfect, and they had perfected it on both sides of the re woven cloth, that the only way anyone could detect this would be with a microscope and to know exactly what to look for and where to look for it, otherwise it would remain invisible. It’s that good.

Well, it’s very hard for skeptics to believe that such a technique could be even in existence, particularly in medieval times. And yet, there is absolute scientific evidence to the fact that
this technique was performed and that the shroud was in fact in France at this very same time. So there seems to be a correlation

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that obviously if there is a repair, and the shroud was in France, what better object than the Shroud of Turin would the King of France or the French court choose to use this spectacular technique on than this cloth, reported to be a relic of Jesus?

So what conclusion can we draw from all of this? Well there is no doubt that the work of Ray Rogers, which by the way isn’t just published in a TV documentary or a website or a magazine or some commercial book, Ray Rogers submitted his research on this anomalous sample to one of the finest chemistry journals in all of the world, a journal named “Thermochimica Acta.” They spent seven months reviewing his work, making him make changes, going back and making him re-do certain parts of his experimentation furthering his documentation of what he’d found. After seven months his paper was published in January of 2005.

We now have the first piece of peer reviewed scientific evidence that appeared in a refereed scientific journal, proving that the sample used in 1988 for the radiocarbon dating of the shroud was in fact anomalous and did not represent the main body of the shroud cloth. Consequently, the Shroud of Turin itself was not dated but only this repaired corner was dated, which was obviously a synthesis of both old and new threads yielding the medieval date that was concluded by the 1988 radiocarbon dating. So that test, if we just look purely at the science, forget about all the other commercial aspects and the bloggers and the pundits, looking solely at the science this is the first conclusive evidence that indicates that the Shroud of Turin itself was not dated, but a repair was.
Now there are many people who disagree with this, and they’ll continue to disagree, and my answer to that is simply this: If someone finds something wrong in what Ray did, Ray Rogers himself would have been the first to say publish it, get it into the literature, and I will change my mind, as he had done on more than one occasion in the world of the shroud. As new evidence came in Rogers was flexible, and was willing to accept that his original opinions and conclusions might have been wrong, and

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was willing to change as the evidence showed otherwise. That’s what I call real science. I’ve been privileged to be a part of that, and that’s why I firmly believe that the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988 did not in fact date the actual shroud, but dated this repaired corner.
Well, one of the things that the skeptics continue to harp on about the Shroud of Turin is one of its image properties. The shroud has its lights and darks reversed, as though it were a photographic negative. And so we’re used to seeing light highlights and dark shadows, but on a photographic negative you have just the opposite of that. Well there have been some people who have actually come to the conclusion that the Shroud of Turin was actually a photograph, and was actually a photograph made by a camera obscura in medieval times, made by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci. Well, the first time I heard that I laughed my head off because the shroud is documented in the historical record a full one-hundred years before Da Vinci was even born. He was a good artist but he wasn’t that good. So I’ve always laughed at that. Then a gentleman in South Africa art history professor actually took a statue, used a camera obscura, created a light-sensitive emulsion using amongst other things silver salts and his own urine and created an image on this linen cloth using a camera obscura.

Well he bantered this about and the world immediately jumped on this and said, “Oh look! The shroud after all is really just a photograph!” Well first of all, silver, which is considered a heavy metal by scientists, the salts in the silver that would have embedded themselves into this cloth as it would have been a liquid emulsion and soaked in, those silver salts would have been detected by some of the spectral analysis performed by our team in 1978. I mean we could detect a few particles in a billion of the plastic bag in which the cloth had been stored, so to detect a heavy metal like silver would have been very simple. There was none on the shroud.
Immediately the scientific evidence does not bear out this theory that the shroud was made by a photographic emulsion

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onto linen cloth. That’s just not born out by the facts.
Nicholas Allen was very convincing in his presentation. One thing that I noted that Nicholas Allen never did, was that he never took a shroud photograph, even one of mine, put it side by side with his result, and compared them. So a few years back, because I had been asked questions about Allen’s work so many different times, I decided I would do a study, write a paper and present it at one of the shroud conferences of which I did back in the year 2000 in Italy. The paper is called, “Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval photograph? A critical look at the subject.” And that is available on the website at

Now one of the things that the side by side comparison imme- diately demonstrates is there’s a dramatic difference between the photographic image made by Nicholas Allen and the image on the shroud which was not made by photographic means. And one of the the things that we all know about taking a photo, that if you’re at the correct distance and your camera is set correctly, the image will be in focus. Well, the image on the Shroud of Turin has a unique property, since its light or darkness was directly proportionate to how close it was to the body at the time the image was formed. As the distance increased, the image on the shroud becomes more faint.

Well, what does that mean? What it means is that in essence, what’s encoded in the shroud is a topographical map based on the distance the shroud was from the body. As the distance increased around the edges of the body, for example around the side of the head, as that distance between the cloth and the body increased the image just fades away. There are no distinct sharp edges anywhere on the shroud’s image. Yet Nicholas Allen’s photo- graph was beautiful, sharp around the edges, as we would expect a photographic image to be. The shroud image was not made that way, and consequently we can say that the image on the Shroud of Turin, though it has properties like a photographic negative, is not by itself a photograph.

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We know that the radiocarbon dating is certainly in question. We need to think about what should be done in the future to continue our knowledge of the shroud and perhaps put aside this one radiocarbon date in favour of doing a more proper, professional radiocarbon date where chemical analysis is performed.

I think it’s critical that multiple samples are taken for the future research on the Shroud of Turin, because as long as the age of the shroud remains in doubt and it will remain in doubt even though there’s now evidence showing that the radiocarbon dating was not in fact definitive and definitely had questions that were left unanswered we still have to consider what else could be done with the shroud.

Now thinking back to what our team did in 1978 remember that the technology we brought with us was the best that was available circa 1978 is practically thirty years later as I speak these words we now have so much of an advance in technology. The spectral capabilities are so much more sensitive, The infrared imaging that we did on the shroud was not that successful in 1978 because the infrared sensors themselves were not very sensitive compared to what we would need for something as subtle as the image on the shroud. As you’ve seen, the shroud’s image is not a really bright, distinct image that pops out at you, it’s certainly nothing like any painting or photograph.
And an interesting little story: When my son saw it with me in 1998 he was eighteen at the time we stood before the actual shroud in the Turin cathedral. And being a tall kid he leaned down and whispered in my ear, “That’s not a painting.” Well I didn’t want to disrespect those who were there in the cathedral so I waited until we exited the cathedral and I turned to him and I said, “David, what prompted you to say that? How do you reach that conclusion that it’s not a painting just from looking at it?” And he says, “Look, artists spend their whole lives trying to perfect their art, their craft, so that when they paint something it’s clear, it’s understandable, it’s obvious. The shroud is so subtle that at the distance that we were standing we could see the image distinctly. But as you get closer, for example within arms length

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of the Shroud of Turin, you have to keep stepping away from it again and asking well what exactly am I looking at? Because it’s so subtle, and the closer you get the harder it is to see.”
I think that when you look at the shroud itself, and you realize the subtlety of what’s there, why would an artist even conceive of doing something like this when we have literally scores of replicas made of the Shroud of Turin by artists, professional artists, who are allowed to view the shroud itself and then paint their replica, and no-one has even come close. They’re cartoon-like
in comparison to the subtleties and the detail in the image of the man on the shroud. And ya know it’s funny how sometimes the skeptics will say, “Well ya know the shroud is too perfect, therefore it must be a fake!” There’s absolutely no way apparently to please the skeptics who will forever look at the Shroud of Turin and say it’s a fake, it’s a medieval hoax.

Yet it’s a painting made without any paint, there is no paint or pigment on the shroud other than a few microscopic particles that were found and lifted off the surface of the cloth during our work. One of these samples was given to a man named Walter McCrone. He found a particle of paint on the shroud and so he claimed, “Well that’s it, the shroud’s a painting because I found a particle of paint on one sticky tape sample removed from the shroud’s surface.”
Well the analogy I like to use for how significant that is, is that I know if I were to take a sticky tape sample from the carpet- ing around my desk we would probably find some Oreo cookie crumbs on that tape sample. But that doesn’t mean my carpet is made of Oreo cookies. So because we find a few microscopic particles of paint on the shroud, does it mean the Shroud of Turin a painting? No. There isn’t enough paint or pigment on the shroud to create the image we see.
And so in the end, I think maybe the most important thing about the shroud is, it’s an enigma that continues to baffle us in certain areas. You get the chemistry right and the physics aren't right, you get the physics right and the chemistry seems wrong.

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It seems as if it defies us. And perhaps it’s meant to do so. Perhaps the real value of the shroud is in making us think about it. Is it real? And if it is, what does it mean? And so in the end, I think each one of us has to search in our own hearts, to look at the shroud, and study it, and study its image, and then we have to decide in our own hearts, “What does this really mean?”
I don’t think it’s something that can be done externally, I think it’s something that each of us must do in our own hearts. And I think that may be the only place we’ll ever find the answer to the Shroud of Turin.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).

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Quick Facts

The Garden Tomb

I wanted to start by sharing some quick facts about the tomb. I will get into more details as we go, but wanted to highlight some interesting points here.
  • The soldiers took charge of Jesus and made him carry His own cross. He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). John 19:16 New International Version (©1984)
  • In 1883 British Major-General Charles George Gordon identified a site that he believed to be the tomb in which Jesus had been laid after noticing a skull face sunk into the rock opposite the old city walls. Charles George believed it to be the Golgotha as told in the four gospels.
  • There were also European scholars named Otto Thenius, Col. Churchill, and Fisher Howe 1871 who believed the hill to the east of the Garden Tomb fits the famous biblical Golgotha.
  • Just outside the old city walls, near the Damascus Gate of northern Jerusalem, there is a popular site that was known for crucifixions in the time of Jesus.
  • At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. NIV (©1984)
  • British Major General Charles George Gordon also discovered that near to the place of the Skull was a tomb, which he believed it to be the site of Jesus’ tomb, now called the Garden Tomb
  • This region of “Gordon’s Calvary”, Skull Hill is the northernmost part of the mount called Moriah and confirms with the practices in Leviticus 1:11 He is to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides, NIV.
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  • This is the same region that Abraham brought his son Isaac to sacrifice him as told in Genesis 22 “Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” NIV
  • This is the same region that God was foreshadowing and serving as symbolic of an event, of something to follow, which was God’s own son Jesus Christ.
  • This region and tomb is also outside the city gates which confirm with Hebrews 13:12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
  • This same region is the highest points of Mount Moriah, standing an impressive 777 meters above sea level. The number 777 is said to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
  • There are ancient paintings pinpointing this same region as the location of Jesus tomb, paintings that were made before the tomb was discovered.
  • Ken Trestrail, the Garden Tomb guide, confirmed he had never seen these maps before and that he was overwhelmed to see how accurate they were.
  • Rubin Aylett at the Jewish National and university library in Israel confirmed that the ancient paintings were drawn hundreds of years before the Garden Tomb was discovered.
  • The ancient paintings also identify a place near the site of
    the crucifixion as “Jeremiah’s Grotto”. Also there is such a place by the place of the skull believed by the locals to be the place where the Prophet Jeremiah retired to write the Book of Lamentations, a book of the Old Testament which chronicles the destruction of Jerusalem in 589 BC.
  • In this region there is a cliff with the skull image sunk into its weathered rock face confirming with Matthew 27:33. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). NIV.
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Evidence of a Wealthy Man’s Tomb
  • The tomb was carved out of rock
  • There is a garden at the tomb
  • In this garden there is a wine press and one of the largest water wells in Jerusalem, which must have been owned by a wealthy man, as told in Matthew 27:57. As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
  • There is also a seal just outside the tomb, confirming with Matthew 27:65-66 65“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go,make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
  • The chemical analysis of the soil proved that there was no evidence that a body had decayed there, agreeing with the resurrection of Jesus. Matthew 28:1 There is graffiti on the walls referencing the Alpha and Omega, and Jesus being the anchor of our souls.
  • There is also archaeological evidence of a chapel having stood outside of the tomb, this is evidence of veneration.
  • The naming of The Place of the Skull, such a geographical feature in such a way fits entirely with Jewish practice of the time. Other examples include Gamia, a Jewish city on the Golan which is built upon a hill like a camel’s hump. ‘Gamia’ means ‘the camel’. Also ‘Susita’, Aramaic for ‘the horse.
  • There is evidence that the tomb was hurriedly extended to accommodate a taller body being about 5’11” (confirming with Matthew 28) because the Sabbath was approaching.
  • Ten Turin Shroud scholars all stated that the person on the Shroud of Turin was about 5’ 11” about the same measurements as the grave in the tomb.
  • Barrie Schwartz the greatest expert on the Shroud of Turin stated that the height of the man on the Shroud and the grave being the same height was CERTAINLY COINCIDENTAL.
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These facts are just some of the details of the Garden Tomb, exactly matching those described in the gospels.
There is one very important piece to this puzzle missing. So important that it would prove without a doubt the true whereabouts of the tomb of Jesus. And that is the tomb itself as owned by Joseph of Arimathea.
Read on as I will keep the best piece of evidence until the last. This Great Stone is the missing link and the missing piece which is identical to the description in Mark 16:4 that fits only one tomb in the world. You will discover that this completes the puzzle dear friends. But first let’s look at the facts in more detail.
Did you know that samples of this Great Stone and samples of the Garden tomb were tested by a scientist in the UK and found to be one and the same rock.

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The Garden tomb. The Tomb of Jesus.

The Tomb of Jesus Sign outside the Garden Tomb which was believed to be owned by Joseph of Arimathaea. He was a wealthy man and owned a garden with a tomb cut out of the rock. 
Sign outside the Garden Tomb which was believed to be owned by Joseph of Arimathaea. He was a wealthy man and owned a garden with a tomb cut out of the rock

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Simon pointing at chisel marks inside the Garden Tomb
                                          Simon pointing at chisel marks inside the Garden Tomb
Inside the tomb were cut out two seculars where the dead where laid. It is believed Joseph had it made for himself and his wife.
Inside the tomb were cut out two seculars where the dead were laid. It is believed Joseph had it made for himself and his wife.

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Wine press and one of the largest water wells in Jerusalem
                                      Wine press and one of the largest water wells in Jerusalem. Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull)
Matthew 27:33 tells us when they led Jesus away to crucify him. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).
Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull)

Next to this rich man's garden, imbedded in the cliff, is a feature of a skull, just outside the old city of Jerusalem near a popular entrance into the city called the Damascus Gate.

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There is also a seal just outside the tomb, confirming Matthew 27:65- 66: “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Simon pointing at the seal in the wall of the garden tomb
Simon pointing at the seal in the wall of the garden tomb

Ancient steel outside the Garden Tomb
Ancient steel outside the Garden Tomb 84 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus
Photo of Garden Tomb showing a man made valley for a large rolling stone to seal the tomb, just as told in Matthew 27:59-60
Photo of Garden Tomb showing a man made valley for a large rolling stone to seal the tomb, just as told in Matthew 27:59-60 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Photo of ancient paintings of the old city of Jerusalem showing the garden tomb where it is today.
Photo of ancient paintings of the old city of Jerusalem showing the garden tomb where it is today.
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Jeremiah’s Grotto

Jeremiah’s Grotto
Read more at: grotto.html
Simon and Rubin Aylett

Simon and Rubin Aylett

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Below is a close up of the sepulchre of Jesus showing the grave area to be cut out for Jesus body as Jesus was taller than Joseph of Arimathea.
Sepulchre of Jesus

Sepulchre of Jesus

Photo below of Peter from Simons team measuring the grave of Jesus in the Garden Tomb, which conforms exactly, to the HEIGHT OF THE MAN ON THE SHROUD WHICH IS ABOUT 5’11”
Peter from Simons team measuring the grave of Jesus in the Garden Tomb, which conforms exactly, to the HEIGHT OF THE MAN ON THE SHROUD WHICH IS ABOUT 5’11”

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Barrie Schwartz, Official photographer of the Shroud of Turin
                                     Barrie Schwartz, Official photographer of the Shroud of Turin

Superimposed Picture of the Shroud and Tomb. Perfect fit!
Superimposed Picture of the Shroud and Tomb. Perfect fit!

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Very Old Odd Shaped Tree
This is the highest point of Mount Moriah, Simon Brown found this strange shape very old tree, he believes its around this area Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac above the place of the skull
Read more: moriah.html#ixzz2SwqsE9My

Old tunnels which Ron Wyatt dug out at the Garden Tomb
Old tunnels which Ron Wyatt dug out at the Garden Tomb

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Peter Bob and Simon measuring the channel outside the tomb.

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Simon taking measurements of the width from the rolling stone. Measuring 15” wide.
Simon and Christine taking measurements of the stone Diameter being 9’8”
Simon and Christine taking measurements of the stone Diameter being 9’8”

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Looking down on the channel you can see clearly where the stone was 15” wide.
Looking down on the channel you can see clearly where the stone was 15” wide. You can also see between the two white lines where the stone rolled as the channel is marked with a lighter color
The great stone has some damage
The great stone has some damage.

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Byzantine crosses adorn the interior of the tomb and two of the most elaborate of these,

Byzantine crosses adorn the interior of the tomb and two of the most elaborate of these, having been painted on the wall, have faded since the tomb's discovery. Others-both painted and carved remain, as does a large embossed plaster cross in the larger cistern.
This is a carved cross.
This is a carved cross.
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View from Mount Nebo right across to Jerusalem
View from Mount Nebo right across to Jerusalem
Roads were cut wider to make way for the wagons carrying large stones
Roads were cut wider to make way for the wagons carrying large stones

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This is where the Great Stone rolled down the channel to cover the tomb entranceThis is where the Great Stone rolled down the channel to cover the tomb entrance
Simon and Christine taking measurements of the seal. 
Here you can see where the stone starts and stops and fits central. The stone stops a few inches before the collapsed wall ends.
Here you can see where the stone starts and stops and fits central. The stone stops a few inches before the collapsed wall ends.

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Here is where the stone stops from the seal on the left side of the garden tomb being 9’8” diameter

Here is where the stone stops from the seal on the left side of the garden tomb being 9’8” diameter

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Close up of the Rolling Stone (Read more at http://www.realdiscover- stone.html)

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Simon picking up a piece of rock found on the floor of the garden tomb which he took back to the UK for testing

This is a piece of that rock the Simon had tested

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This picture is a typical sample of a tomb in the Holy Land. Read more: php?itemid=264#ixzz2Sv5RfYWG

The Rolling Stone has the same surface as the garden tomb

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Serpent on the Cross
The Great Rolling Stone sitting there unknown for hundreds of years!

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The true tomb of Jesus. Superimposed stone in front to display the magnitude of the size of this Great Stone

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Original Garden Tomb Picture
Original Garden Tomb Picture

The Garden Tomb Appeal

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Highest point of Mount Moriah, believed by Simon Brown, to be the area Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac, above the place of the skill; and the same place Jesus was crucified.

Highest point of Mount Moriah, believed by Simon Brown, to be the area Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac, above the place of the skill; and the same place Jesus was crucified.

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IN Search for the great stone with Simon and Emma Brown

The Great Stone also known as THE ROLLING STONE “The Abu Badd rolling stone once used as a fortified door as told to us in four gospels (Matthew 27:60; Mark 16:4; Luke 24:2; John 20). Just in case you’re not familiar with the story, the gospels tell us that after Joseph of Arimathaea claimed the body of Jesus from Pontius Pilate, he laid the body of Jesus in the new tomb and rolled a large stone over the entrance. The gospel of Matthew tells us that three days later the two Mary’s went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. When they arrived at the tomb they saw an angel sitting on the great stone.
Matthew 28:1-4 In the end of the sabbath, as it began
to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.

I want to start out with these questions: Where is the large rolling stone? Why is it not in the garden tomb? Who took it and why?

Now for the first time in nearly 2000 years, I will prove to you I have discovered the missing rolling stone. But will you believe? At least I ask you to please hear my story and and then make up your own mind. I believe you will not be disappointed if you approach it with a open mind.
At the beginning of 2011 I decided to update my website with videos. As I began working on it, I came across a video of Chris- tians pushing a great stone. As soon as I saw this I nearly fainted. I instantly believed it was the famous missing rolling stone to the garden tomb told to us in the gospels. I couldn’t stop staring at the photo. The more I stared at it the more I was convinced it was

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it. It looked like the right size and it looked like the same type of rock. However, the thickness was impossible to tell by looking at a photo. I knew that the channel in the garden tomb where the stone would roll down was just over 1 foot wide because I had measured it in my second documentary in 2007. If this rolling stone in the photo I saw was thicker than the channel it could not be the one, so it was time to do some research.

I sent an email to the monastery asking them if they knew where the stone came from and if they knew how old it was and why it was there? Two days later I received an email from them saying it was found in a old village and was used as a fortified door for a monastery. But here was the exciting part. They did not know how it got there or why it was made in the first place.
Just what I wanted to hear! This made sense to me. The evidence started to pile up and point toward it being the missing rolling stone. I then searched for many hours for any history of the stone, as there must be some. Surprise! There was no history to the stone before it was found in the old monastery. That was it! I knew I had to go and see it for myself and take some measurements. I told some people at Revelation TV about my discoveries (I worked there doing some camera work) and asked if any of them believed me. I showed them a photo I had of the stone. Most of them said it looks just like it. I think they were just being polite.

I was so confident that this was the stone to the tomb that I sent emails to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem for the attention of the new manager Richard Merion. As you would expect
I received no reply. I called the garden tomb staff by phone and asked would they please ask Richard to call me in the UK. To my surprise he called me. I told him who I was and that I was very familiar with the history of the garden tomb, as I had in the past done much research and made a film of it. I decided to pop the big question which I didn’t think he would believe. “Richard,
if I told you I have discovered the missing rolling stone to the garden tomb would you believe me?” He told me at this stage

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he couldn’t say, but would be willing to hear my case. So he asked me to email him with the updates and perhaps meet him in London to present the evidence. I was very pleased with his cooperation and told him I would gather all the facts together and then call him.

After some weeks I emailed Richard again telling him that I am going to make a trip to take measurements of both the stone and the garden tomb. Getting no reply to my emails I spoke to Richard for the second time. He seemed reluctant to cooperate and told me he had sent me an email, which I never received. I asked him to resend it, but it still did not come. I then received an email from Mr. Victor Jack at the Garden Tomb Association in London. He said he was not really bothered about whether the stone is found or not, and that similar claims had been made by Ron Wyatt, which proved to them not to be true. However, he said that Richard Merion would hear my case. I heard no more from them and realized that I was on my own.

I continued with my investigations...
It was time to see if I was mad as many believed or if this was God’s will. I told my friend Christine about it and she believed me. She has watched many of my videos and wanted to be a part of this amazing discovery. She asked me if she could come with me and I was pleased to say, “Yes.” Three weeks later we were standing in the Holy Land.

I knew the thickness of the stone had to be just over a foot. If it was much more my trip would have been a waste of time and many would think I was a clown. I had told people at Revelation TV that if they didn’t see me again it was because it was not the great stone I believed it to be. We arrived to the location of the stone that had a little sign next to it saying, “The Abu Badd - Rolling stone once used as a fortified door.”
I looked at it with amazement and began thanking God. On applying my tape measure, it was just over a foot wide. The

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width seemed to be just right and after taking some footage and more measurements, the next day we went to the garden tomb. I didn’t want to get too excited until I had taken measurements of the channel where the stone rolled across the garden tomb.

When we got to the tomb it was crowded with people and I had to be patient for over an hour. After sitting opposite the tomb and staring at it, I couldn’t wait any longer. I grabbed my tape measure and went straight to the channel to take my measurements.

My eyes nearly popped out of my head. The width of the channel was around 15’’ wide and the rolling stone was also around 15” wide, give or take a few centimeters each way.
The stone has some damage and the width of the rolling chan- nel in the garden tomb varies slightly. However, this you would expect being nearly 2000 years ago and with the many battles Israel has had. The rolling stone still remains in one piece. We only have to look at how many times the city of Jerusalem was destroyed and re- built to believe that the stone and the tomb still remaining is a miracle for which God has a purpose. Perhaps this is the very reason I am here writing this article.

Questions Arise

The more we try to understand the facts the more questions arise. If this is the great stone that Joseph had cut out of the rock of his tomb then how did it end up around 25 miles away from the tomb? Also, why would this great stone be taken from its original place?
A word comes to my mind Byzantium.

There are many ancient paintings of crosses at the Garden Tomb which indicate just after the time of Jesus it was a place of worship at this site.
Archaeologists believe the crosses inside and outside were made by the Byzantines which were carved on the outside wall

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of the tomb (as seen on this photo with John Lingham the Tomb guide, a cross originally an anchor).
It is believed the anchor and the fish, are symbols of the anchor of our souls as told in Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which enters into that within the veil. So it is clear to me at least the Byzantines built a church which once stood before the tomb entrance because they believed this was the Tomb of Jesus Christ made by Joseph of Arimathaea.

The Link

We know that this great rolling stone was found at a Byzantine Monastery in the old village of Faysaliyah seven kilometers west of Madaba, Mount Nebo. As Fr. Carmelo Pappalardo stated to me it was found in a old village and was used as a fortified door for a monastery. If you’re not familiar with mount Nebo, it is the very famous mountain the Lord led Moses to just before he died to see the Promised Land. On a clear day you can see right across to Jerusalem. Now what is also interesting here is that my good friend Bob Mitchell told me there is a Bible prophecy and it’s this: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,
so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him” 
(John 3:14). Interesting, but for the time being lets put this on the back burner. As I said before, the Byzantines built monasteries over the holy sites as it is clear at
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the tomb in the garden and at a Monastery in the old village of Faysaliyah seven kilometers away.

Why Move the Great Stone?

There could be a number of reasons. The Catholics own Mount Nebo and the “Great Stone” of Mark 16:4, which is also at Mt. Nebo. The Catholics believe and support that the Holy Sepulchre is the tomb of Jesus NOT the Garden Tomb. But evidence shows they are incorrect, because the Great Stone only fits the Garden Tomb. Because the Catholics believe and support the Holy Sepulchre as being the tomb of Jesus, they may not want to be proven wrong, so they may have kept it out of sight and hidden out of the way in Jordan to keep people from finding the truth!

Based on my research and findings, the Holy Sepulchre is NOT the true tomb of Jesus because the “Great Stone” only fits one tomb in the whole world, “The Garden Tomb.” But sadly they are both in the hands and owned by Catholics, as is the Shroud.

It makes perfect sense to me that the Byzantines shipped the Great Rolling Stone from the tomb in the garden to the old village of Faysaliyah, also known as Khirbet al Mukhayat, (named after Sheikh Faisal bin Jazi). Its roughly between Madaba and Mount Nebo on a side road, seven kilometers west of Madaba, Mount Nebo. As yet I’m not sure whether the Byzantine Monastery there today was already constructed or whether they built the monastery when they arrived with the great stone. What

I do know is the Great Rolling Stone from the tomb was found there and was used as a fortified door for this monastery. It was probably built as a memorial church in honor of Moses. We do know that there was originally an old village near the Byzantine monastery. As I have already said, there is no known history of the stone before its appearance at the monastery. Well, not until now. I believe God is revealing the truth about these amazing discoveries.

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Religious Relics

As always, questions arise. Why would they make so much effort to move a stone that weighed tons to the old village of Fay- saliyah near Mount Nebo? Let me tell you what I believe.

Rachel Bellerby states: “Any Religious relics or items from holy sites were the crowd pullers of the medieval age. Any church or monastery that could lay claim to a relic would be assured of a steady stream of visitors. A relic was an item which was believed to be an authentic physical part of a religious figure, such as a saint, the Virgin Mary, or even Jesus. Relics. like his crown of thorns or parts of his cross and nails. Found is believed to be the True Cross it is the name for physical remnants which, by a Christian tradition, are believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified, even his robe that the Romans played a game over for. And most remembered was the Holy Grail with people still looking for it today. Ludicrous still to the modern mind, such as a drop of the breast milk of the Virgin Mary, a phial of Christ’s blood or one of Jesus’ baby teeth. Some relics could be visited at the place they were housed, such as the milk of the Virgin Mary at England’s Walsingham Abbey,

Why were relics so Important? Many people believed that relics were invested with heavenly powers and that to be close to a relic, or even better, to touch one, would provide a person with spiritual blessings, divine protection and even a cure from illness. So for theses reasons anything to do with holy people and holy sites we’re priceless. So we now have a perfect reason why the Byzantines moved this great rolling stone nearly 25 miles away from its original location. They must have believed it to be something very important. Yes, they knew it was the Rolling stone that Joseph of Arimathaea, had cut out of his new tomb. they knew it was the most important stone ever made. They knew there was nothing like it and that Joseph had rolled it over the tomb of Jesus, then setting a seal over the stone. They know it was the famous great stone the 2 Mary’s came to and asked each

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 111

other who would move the stone for it was so large. Yes they know it was the great stone the Angel rolled open and sat on. That is why they were willing to carry a heavy piece of rock weighing many tons so far up a mountain.”


How would they get it there?
We believe wagons that match the size of the stones were built for transportation of the huge blocks that were transported to Jerusalem for the building. Each wagon, with its stone, was drawn by up to forty oxen. They cut into the hills for a very great distance and made them passable for the wagons as they came along the road. Now I have explained to you good logical reasons why I believe it disappeared from the tomb and how. Hold on I haven’t finished yet. Let us now look at the facts of the stone and the garden tomb more closer.

A Closer Look at the GREAT Stone

When I measured the large stone it was around 15’’ wide give or take a few centimeters. I say this because the stone has wear and tear and damage on it so the size varies depending where you put the tape. However I believe 15’’ is a good guide. Now what
is the size of the channel at the garden tomb where the stone sits in and rolls down to the door? It starts at 15’’ also and extends
up to about 18.” Coincidence? No just a perfect fit. (Pictures are displayed in the picture section of this book.)

Now what about the diameter of the stone. It measures 9’ 8’’ across. I found this amazing also. If you measure from the stud in the wall outside the tomb which I believe was a seal ordered by Pilate it comes to within a few inches before the collapsed wall ends. What does this mean? Well that’s why we can’t see a seal on the righthand side of the tomb.

The seal was in the collapsed wall that was cleared away when the tomb was re discovered in 1881. Whoever cleared away all

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the rubble from the collapsed wall of the tomb, cleared away the second seal as well. Now history was lost forever.

I also noticed the stone would be nearly central to the door. In other words when the stone covered the door it seemed to sit in the middle. Something else I needed to check on my next visit. Another coincidence?

Now let’s look at the texture of the rock and the surface. If you look closely (pictures displayed in center of this book) you can see they are virtually identical. Same marks, same colour and same rock. You will notice that the color of the stone is the same color as the tomb but looks slightly more orange because I did not adjust my white balance on my camera. This GREAT stone was cut out of the same rock and was made to fit perfectly in the channel of the garden tomb. I also took samples of the rolling stone and the garden tomb and found a geological scientist in the UK who was willing to look at my samples for free. Praise God for this. As theses test can cost £1000’s.

I had to ask, “Why has it not been discovered after all this time?” I believe I can tell you this. Many people, probably thousands, have stared right at this stone. Many have even taken photos of themselves standing next to it, yet have no clue that they were touching the Great Stone from the tomb of Jesus. The Great Stone the angel rolled open and sat on.

Why were people so blind to this amazing stone until now? Even when I shared a photo of the stone, they still couldn’t “see” that this stone WAS the Great Stone of Jesus’ tomb. When I was at the garden tomb taking my measurements I shared my findings with one of the staff there. She instantly said its far too big. It is a fact that people are teaching that the stone should be much smaller than it really is. I said the Bible tells us it was a Great Stone. There was no point in standing there arguing to I went about my business.

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All we need to do is look at Mark 16:4.
And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto
the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

Here the Bible tells us it wasn’t a normal size but very great. The Greek language tells us: FOR IT WAS GREAT VEHE- MENT TREMENDOUSLY.

If we do not live righteously, we may be blinded from certain truth.
Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If
ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free 
(John 8:31-32).

Do You Obey the Lord’s Teachings?

We must never take off the Armor of God. It is our defence against Satan. If we do we will be deceived no matter who we are.

What is The Armor of God? It is Jesus Christ. Paul states:
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

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What is the Meaning of this Story9

Could this be the reason God has now revealed this great Stone? That He chose to show us something so big and so amazing? It is staring us right in the face yet we don’t see it with our eyes. Nor do we understand it with our hearts because the power of sin has the ability to blind us.
The story of the rolling stone brings a clear message from God to walk upright. It proves there is only one tomb in the world with this description. It proves the reliability and the accuracy of the gospels.
What are the odds of this being the Great Stone?

Where, on this planet, or any other planet, is there a rolling stone? A stone that is nearly 10 foot in diameter? A stone that is 15 inches thick? A stone that is Great and identical to the description outlined in the Gospels? That is the same colour and has the same marks? A stone that fits the Garden Tomb like a glove? There is no other stone in the world like this anywhere and the odds of this being the right stone is quite confirmed.

Even with all this proof, many still won’t see it to be truth. The Bible warns us about scoffers in the last days following their own evil desires. (2 Peter 3:3)

Yet, God has revealed this amazing discovery and proof for us to see with our own eyes. There is only one place in the whole world that is the actual garden tomb of Jesus.

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The Great Stone Facts

Most tombs have a stone that is rolled across the entrance to seal the tomb. However, the tomb in this garden has no stone, but there is still there to this day clearly a channel that is 15’ wide, that still has the marks of a rolling stone that had once been rolled down the channel to the tomb, which proves that there was once a stone there, as the channel also has a stopper at the end to stop the stone from rolling away after sealing the tomb.

Where is This Stone Today?

This original stone has never been found or been seen for 1000’s of years. If we could find this stone it can only prove one thing, that this is the true tomb that was owned by Joseph of Arimathea.
Why you may ask? The answer is because the gospels tell us that the stone that was at this tomb was GREAT. It was not a normal size stone as the ones we so often see in the Holy Land which only just covered the entrance door to the tomb. This stone must have been, and was, and is unique. It was so large that when the two Mary’s went back to the tomb, to anoint Jesus’ body, as the scriptures say, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” Mark 16:2.NIV

Here the gospel of Mark makes this point very clearly because the stone was so large the two Mary’s were obviously concerned how they would push and roll such a great stone clear away.
This conversation proves the stone at the TRUE tomb was most certainly unique.

Questions Answered:
How large was the stone? 
The gospels do not give us the pre
cise measurements. but the Greek language states the stone was 116 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus
‘Vehement Tremendously.”

Is there a stone on this planet that fits this description?
A stone that is so large, a stone that is so different, a stone that has to be precisely the same thickness as the channel outside the tomb being 15’’ wide and 9’8’ in diameter.

Is there a stone that stops at the perfect height?
Is there a stone that does not cover up or overlap the small window on the right of the tomb believed to be the nephesh, a Hebrew word meaning soul hole to let out the soul.

If there was surely it would be one in a million!! If there was then surely wouldn’t you agree this would be the GREAT missing piece to this puzzle?

If there was such a stone would you believe it? Well, let me tell you there is a stone that fits in the channel at the Garden Tomb and it fits as snug as a glove.
The Facts:
  1. This Rolling Stone is in one piece as stated in the Bible. The Angel rolled the stone open.
  2. This Rolling Stone is the perfect thickness.
  3. This Rolling Stone is the perfect diameter.
  4. This Rolling Stone is the same rock as the Garden Tomb.
  5. This Rolling Stone has the same surface as the Garden Tomb.
  6. This Rolling Stone has the same marks as the Garden Tomb.
  7. This Rolling Stone is the same colour as the Garden Tomb.
  8. This Rolling Stone fits the Garden Tomb like a glove.

    Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 117
  1. This Garden Tomb had a Byzantine church.
  2. This rolling stone was found at a Byzantine Monastery
  3. There is no great stone in the world like it.
  4. This great stone only fits one tomb in the world - the Garden Tomb.
  5. Mark 16:4 states it is a very great stone. And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

  6. The Greek language states the stone was VEHEMENT TREMENDOUSLY
    The Byzantines moved it from the garden tomb to mount Nebo because they knew its importance.
  7. The Byzantines knew that if they could lay claim to the famous stone made by Joseph OF Arimathaea, that covered the body of Jesus and was sat on by an angel, it would be assured of a steady stream of visitors to their Monastery at Mount Nebo.
    The Byzantines also believed that many people believed that any holy relic was invested with heavenly powers.
  8. There is also a prophecy John 3:14 made by Jesus which connects mount Nebo where the stone remains to the place where Jesus was resurrected from. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. Photo left: Serpent on Cross
  9. We know large trolleys were made to carry large stones around the holy land and they were pulled by up to 40 oxen.
  10. There is no recorded history as to who made the Rolling Stone; how it got to where it is, or why it was made. Now for the first time, we can fill in the missing history of the Rolling Stone.
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UPDATE ON March 18, 2011
I sent samples of this Great Stone and samples of the Garden tomb to a scientist in the UK for testing. The scientist called me on Thursday, March 10, 2011 to inform me that both samples I sent to him which he tested under a microscope are the same type of rock. Be not deceived, this is the Great Stone as told in Mark 16:4. Case Closed!

UPDATE on the GREAT STONE November 23, 2012

At the end of 2011, my wife Emma Brown and I presented evidence of my research: showing the Great Stone at Mount Nebo is the great stone told about in Mark 16:4 and Matthew 27:60 as having been rolled to seal the tomb of Jesus.

As most of us are aware, this great stone was cut, made and used by Joseph of Arimathea; he rolled the stone so that it sealed the tomb of Jesus.
Now this great stone has never been seen or discovered since it disappeared from the true tomb.
Just as Jim and Penny, of the Split Rock Research Foundation, discovered the missing link (the Split Rock of Exodus 17:6) which was needed to identify the true Mount Sinai of Moses, so I have discovered this missing link (the great stone of Mark 16:4). This stone is the only one of its kind in the world and thus identifies the TRUE tomb of Jesus.
After becoming fascinated by this subject, I made a film in 2007 called Our Search For The Tomb of Jesus. (You can watch the trailer of Garden Tomb of Jesus and Sodom and Gomorrah at

This was, and still is, played on Christian Sky TV, making us feel honoured and blessed by God.

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 119

In this film, my team took many measurements of the exterior of the channel at the Tomb in the Garden; this was to help us work out the size of the stone needed to seal the tomb. I believed that if we could discover this stone, it would then reveal the true tomb of Jesus.

Both Mark and Matthew make it very clear in their gospels that this stone, at the true tomb of Jesus, was not a normal size stone: It was a “great” stone.
Four years have now passed since we completed this work, and we had no idea of what was to come. The last thing on my mind was finding the great stone which would fit the channel and identify the true tomb of Jesus. Was God rewarding us for my previous efforts? I don’t know. But what we do know is that when I first saw a great stone, in a Christian video, I nearly fainted.
You may say, “So what?” It’s important to understand why this discovery was not an accident. Be sure to watch our video on this topic.

After I studied the stone in this Christian video, I believed
it was God’s will for me to go to The Garden Tomb and Mount Nebo, to take measurements and samples of both. Could God be revealing something so amazing? If so, who would believe it? I did not doubt it was God revealing this Himself.

At this point, the The Garden Tomb Association, although reluctant, were willing to listen to me and allowed me and my team to gather up the evidence and then present it to them.They told me that they would meet me in their London office and discuss my research and findings. I told them I would travel to both Mount Nebo and The Garden Tomb to take measurements and samples.

120 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

What did Simon’s research discover?

The Great Stone at Mount Nebo is the same color as the tomb; the same type of rock; the perfect thickness; the perfect height; and has the identical chisel marks. For nearly 2000 years this Great Stone had no reason for existing and no importance. No one knew its age. No one had any idea of why it was kept and guarded by Christians, even today. The Christians themselves knew nothing about it, not even why they were still protecting and guarding it like a treasure.
I finally presented all this information to The Garden Tomb Association, and told them at the very beginning that I would.

I was not welcomed but rather seemed to have offended them. They told me they were not interested as to whether this was the missing Great Stone or not. (You can read the correspondence on our site at

Sadly, the Garden Tomb staff refuse to believe that this is the great stone from the tomb of Jesus. Steve, one of the staff, told me that the stone at Mount Nebo is far too large to be the missing stone from The Garden Tomb. He said that the true diameter of the stone is between four and five feet.
He, and probably most of their staff, appear to be ignoring what is written in the two gospels. The gospels make it very clear that the stone at the true tomb of Jesus was not a stone of normal size, it says in Mark 16:4, “For it was very great.”
In Matthew 27 it says: And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
The stone at Mount Nebo is very ‘great’ and fits only one tomb in the world: The Garden Tomb. (See picture on page 100). The Garden Tomb Association still teach their visitors it is like a normal sized stone.

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 121

What does the Bible say?

In the Greek text it states the stone was ‘large extremely’. Do you believe a stone with a diameter of between four and five feet would be described like this?
Sadly, but clearly, it can be seen that what The Garden Tomb Association staff teach contradicts the Biblical text. Regardless of all the research and the great amount of evidence that has been presented, Steve still maintained that, ‘There is no evidence that proves this Great Stone at Mount Nebo is from The Garden Tomb.

St Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
On the website for the International Symposium of Heritage Interpretation there is an interesting article about the Great Stone at Mount Nebo. It says that at the Mount Nebo site several large and interesting archaeological artefacts have been discovered such as Roman milestones and a large circular tomb door.” It says that these have been saved from loss in their original locations off site and placed in the grounds of the memorial for Moses.

Just what they are, where they came from and why they are there is not, in every case, immediately clear to the visitor. Yet how interesting is that they say it is a “tomb door,” but they don’t know what tomb it comes from. And they don’t realize that the stone can only fit one tomb in the world The Garden Tomb.

It is clear that not everyone agrees with the staff of The Garden Tomb who believe there is no evidence to support my conclusions. One comment left on my YouTube channel was, “Potentially explosive evidence!”
Author Perry Stone states in his book Secrets from Beyond The Grave, “It is a MASSIVE rolling STONE.” Bob Mitchell, prophetic preacher of Shofar Ministries, believes that this stone has, perhaps, been preserved by the Byzantine believers and

122 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

placed on Mount Nebo, as a memorial to the Resurrection, to save the stone from damage or loss. Yet, Steve states that there is no evidence and the original stone was only four feet and six inches! The Bible is most certainly reliable. Acts 13:41 says, Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.’
It seems this verse applies to certain Christians as well, ‘which would never believe, even if someone told them.”

UPDATE on GREAT DISCOVERY January 22, 2013

There is most certainly a conspiracy and personal agenda involved with this Great Stone, made and owned by Joseph of Arimathaea.

The Catholics own Mount Nebo and the “Great Stone” of Mark 16:4, which is also at Mt. Nebo, the Catholics believe and support that the Holy Sepulchre is the tomb of Jesus, NOT the Garden Tomb. But evidence shows they are incorrect, because the Great Stone only fits the Garden Tomb. Because the Catholics believe and support the Holy Sepulchre as being the tomb of Jesus.

Maybe this could be why this GREAT stone is kept out of sight and hidden out of the way in Jordan to keep people from finding the truth! They also ignore all my emails.

Based on my research and findings, the Holy Sepulchre is NOT the true tomb of Jesus because the “Great Stone” proves and fits only one tomb in the whole world, “The Garden Tomb.”

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 123

Further Evidence of the Great Stone at Mount Nebo

I would like to present before you my further last and final findings which were never understood, known or seen before. I hope, nay I am sure, they will strengthen your faith and encourage you to know more about them, as they have done to me.

The chief of these is, of course, the Great Stone, that has been standing alone and proud for some unknown and seemingly mysterious reason, for nearly 2000 years.

Yet again God has intervened, to destroy the skeptics and prove his word, by revealing the great stone which would reveal the true tomb of Jesus.

The true tomb was carved, dug, and designed by Joseph of Arimathaea for himself and his wife. It became the most famous place in the world later on, where Joseph was not to lay himself; he was to lay Jesus Christ, God Himself.

124 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

Well, here is another secret never before understood. If we look at the stone after it was rolled down the channel, sealing the entrance to the tomb of Jesus, by Joseph of Arimathaea, We see that the large stop- per on the right is nowhere near the stone.

This is for not stopping the stone from rolling past the entrance to the tomb as many have believed No we can clearly see that this large stopper does not stop the stone at the right place. Yet, the large stopper is clearly marked.

Large stopper at the Garden Tomb

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 125

Here are some old photos of the garden tomb taken between 1898 and 1946, just after the tomb was discovered.

126 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

If we look at the photos, we can find something quite interesting. There appears to be an additional stone in the channel acting as a stop- per. And you can also see that the stopper is at an angle. This would suggest that the stopper in this channel, in these old photos, was indeed used to stop the stone from rolling forward.
And we can see that the stone is much closer than the larger stone to the right. This original stopper reveals some new evidence. By its posi- tion, we can establish the diameter of the stone that was there in this tomb.
This is a picture of the Great Stone from Mount Nebo superimposed on a photo of the Garden Tomb. The stone fits perfectly. And the stone proves that this stopper has been at its original place since it was laid there by Joseph of Arimathaea. The stone fits perfectly. The stone in the diagram below is 9’ 8’’ not 9’ 10.”

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 127

The stopper has been in its original place since it was laid there by Joseph of Armathaea
Now we have, in these old photos, more evidence which proves that this is indeed the Great Stone told about in Mark 16:4:
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very GREAT.The GREATstone fits perfectly.


128 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

Below are the email correspondence regarding my discovery of “The Great Stone.”
I sent some questions to the Director of the Institute on Mount Nebo. My questions were: DO YOU KNOW WHERE THIS STONE CAME FROM? and DO YOU KNOW HOW OLD IT IS AND WHY IS IT THERE?
Two days later I received an email from him saying it was found in an old village and was used as a fortified door for a monastery. But here was the exciting part. They did not know how it got there or why it was made in the first place. Here was their email:
Sent: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 9:44 am
Subject: Re: Mount Nebo - Large Rolling Stone

Dear Sir,
The stone was a rolling door (!) found near the Mount Nebo and put there to protect and show it.
Fr. Carmelo Pappalardo
Francisca Archaeological Institute on Mount Nebo

I was so confident this was the stone to the tomb that I sent emails to the Garden tomb in Jerusalem for the attention of the new manager Richard Merion. As you would expect I received no reply. I called the Garden Tomb staff by phone and asked Richard to call me in the UK. To my surprise he called me. I told him who I was and that I was very familiar with the history of the Garden Tomb as I had in the past done much research and made a film of it. I decided to pop the big question, “Richard, if I told you I have discovered the missing rolling stone to the Garden Tomb would you believe me?” He said at this stage he wouldn’t say, but he would be willing to hear my case and would
I email him with the updates? Perhaps I could meet him in London to present the evidence. I was very pleased with his cooperation and told him I would gather all the facts together and then call him. After some weeks I emailed Richard again telling him that I was going

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 129

to take a trip to take measurements of both the stone and the Garden Tomb. Getting no reply to my emails I spoke to Richard for the second time. He seemed reluctant to cooperate and told me he had sent me an email, which I never received. I asked him to resend it, but It still did not come. I then received an email from Mr. Victor Jack at the Garden Tomb Association in London. He said he was not really bothered about whether the stone is found or not and that similar claims had been made by Ron Wyatt, which proved to them not to be true. However, he did say that Richard Merion would hear my case.
Below you can read all the emails to and from Mr. Richard Merion, Director and Victor Jack Chairman of the Garden Tomb (Jerusalem) Association.
Sent: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 10:42 am
Subject: Re: Subject: URGENT For the attention of Mr TV Jack.

Dear Mr Brown,
Thank you for your email. I have been involved with the Garden Tomb for over 20 years and during that time we have had a number of claims by other individuals to have found the Rolling Stone and even the ark of the Covenant under Skull Hill. None of these have been found to be true.
At the moment I will leave our very efficient Director, Richard Meryon, to correspond with you, as he has asked for further evidence to substantiate your claim. I couldn’t ask our Garden Tomb Council to meet with you until further confirmation of your claim is received.
We have always taken the view that the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus is our prime focus and the reason for the existence of our ministry in Jerusalem. Skull Hill, the empty tomb, the cistern and the wine press are all powerful visual aids that enhance that ministry but we have never claimed that our site is definitely the place where Jesus died and rose again, even though some think it is.
Richard will keep me informed.
Yours sincerley, in our risen Lord, Victor Jack.

130 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

From: Simon Brown [] Sent: Friday, February 25, 2011 12:43 PM
Subject: For the attention of Mr Richard Merion

The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb
Dear Mr Richard Merion with reference to my previous emails and my telephone conversations with you.
As I agreed with you. I have kept my promises and presented the evidence of my case regarding this being the Great missing stone from the garden tomb.
However you have never once had the decency to acknowledge any of my many emails.
Regardless to you stating to me you would communicate by email. Mr. TV Jack also stated to me you would hear my case. Is this how you normally treat your brothers in Christ?
I pray you will receive this wonderful news the lord has now re- vealed to the world with joyful hearts.
In the name of Jesus. Simon Brown
From: Richard Meryon
Sent: 26 February 2011 12:22 To: Cc: 2 Victor JACK(GTA) Subject: Your rolling stone

I am rather hurt by the tone of your e-mail as I have not received anything from you by e-mail. I have just done another search and cannot find any trace of receiving your thesis.
I await the evidence and will give it a good read. Please send it to me; I will acknowledge its receipt, and will then let you know of the ministry’s response.
Yours faithfully Richard Meryon

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 131

From: Simon Brown [] Sent: 26 February 2011 16:50
Subject: The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb.

Dear Richard:
I didn’t mean to hurt you in any way. However, I did what I said I would do which is to send you all the very hard work I have done. By presenting my case. And when I hear nothing I get hurt also.
Lets continue to be brothers in Christ and move on.
All I ask now is you hear my case so I can then go forward. Here is the link which has much of the facts. php?itemid=264&com_mode=nest&com_order=0#comment21
I do have far more evidence which I would be willing to talk to you about at a later date.
In Jesus name Simon Brown
From: Richard Meryon (TT) <> To: ‘Simon Brown’ <>
Cc: 2 Victor JACK(GTA) <>
Sent: Sat, Feb 26, 2011 3:43 pm

Subject: RE: The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb. Dear Simon:
Thank you. Now that I have access to your hyper-link, I will spend some time studying it.
I will also raise the subject at our next trustees’ meeting and let you know if the trustees want to pursue your offer.
For the Glory of God Richard Meryon

132 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

From: Simon Brown [] Sent: 01 March 2011 17:17

Subject: Re: The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb.
Dear Richard:
I have now made a 40 minute film presenting all the evidence of the Great Stone.
Would you like me to send you and Jack a copy?
Simon Brown
From: Richard Meryon (TT) <> To: ‘Simon Brown’ <>
CC: victor.jack <>
Sent: Tue, 1 Mar 2011 16:10

Subject: RE: The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb.
Dear Simon:
Please feel free to do so: The Garden Tomb
PO Box 19462 Jerusalem 91193

Victor and I will view it next time he is here.
Most sincerely, Richard Meryon

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 133

From: Simon Brown <>
Sent: Thu, Mar 10, 2011 12:57 pm
Subject: Re: The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb.

The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb. Dear Richard I hope you are doing well.
Richard, do you have any dispute with my claim regarding the evi- dence I have sent you so far please?
Simon Brown ===============================================
From: Simon Brown []
Sent: 15 March 2011 12:07
Subject: Fwd: The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb. just incase you haven’t received this

Dear Richard:
I am resending you this email (below) as I have not received a reply. So just in case you haven’t received it, here it is again
Blessings in the Name of Jesus Christ, Simon Brown
=============================================== From: Richard Meryon
Sent: 16 March 2011 21:19
To: Simon Brown

Cc: 2 Victor JACK(GTA)
Subject: RE: The Missing Rolling Stone For The Garden Tomb. just incase you haven’t received this

1. I have replied every time – have you checked your spam filter?
2. Please do not continue to saturate me. I have told you that you will hear from the GT Chairman when he has canvassed the trust- ees’ opinions. And you will.
For God’s Glory,
Richard Meryon (

134 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

From Simon Brown:
Simon Brown
Last and final email from Victor Jack, Chairman of the Garden Tomb (Jerusalem) Association.
Dear Simon,
A Possible Stone

While you have in the main been corresponding with our Director in Jerusalem, both he and you have kept me fully advised of your enquiry of your research and of your offer. Thank you.
Many people approach the Garden Tomb (Jerusalem) Association with a broad variety of requests and suggestions. Everyone is well- meaning, often genuinely sincere, but not all are in harmony with our own ministry’s purpose. I have been closely involved with the Garden for over 20 years so I am well-versed with all these con- tacts.

As Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the GT(J)A I presented both your report and the video clip to the whole Board at our trustees’ meeting in London, on Tuesday 15th March 2011. I regret to inform you that the Board did not believe that what you have offered enhances the ministry of the Garden. Furthermore, if you raised all the funds and the necessary permissions to re-locate the stone from Mount Nebo to East Jerusalem, the Board will still not accept your offer.
Our Trustees have also asked me to tell you that we are deeply concerned that you have broken two longstanding rules of the Garden Tomb, which is a private Garden, in that you not only took video
in the Garden without our permission, you also took away material (the rock that you are seen to pick up from outside the tomb) without our permission.

The Board is also very concerned by your reference, without our being able to verify what you say, to communication with staff of the GT(J)A in your publicity. I therefore ask you to remove all reference to any communication with the GT(J) A, either positively or negatively, in any publicity.

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 135

To avoid any future disagreements that might embarrass either or both parties, let us agree that the GT(J)A neither confirms or denies its position with regard to the Mount Nebo stone. We also ask you not to allow any of your filmed footage in the Garden Tomb to appear in the public domain.
Our response may disappoint you, but we have a responsibility to uphold the ministry with which we have been entrusted.
Yours sincerely,
Victor Jack
Chairman of the Garden Tomb (Jerusalem) Assoication PO Box 19462
Jerusalem, 91193

Simon Brown to victor.jack, richard, bstreather - 18 Mar 2011 Dear Victor Jack: Thank you for your kind email.
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. Luke 12:2-3

May the Lord God Bless you in the Name of Jesus Simon Brown,

136 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus


I believe this whole evidence and the overwhelming proof I have researched and presented in this book is a message from God. A clear warning for all to walk uprightly. If you do, you will see and know the truth that will make you free!
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)

No matter who we are, teacher or preacher, scientist or archaeologist, doctor or someone like me with no letters after my name. If we commit sin, it has the ability to blind us from the truth. No matter how much evidence we see that proves the stories told in the Bible, we will not see it, believe it or perceive it in our hearts and the evidence will mean nothing.

But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and contin- ues in it, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:25)
So lets not be just hearers only but doers of the Word. This will prove to God your true desires and he will reward and bless you. Receive the truth with knowledge in abundance and never doubt God’s love for you again.

Don’t give the evil one the permission to snatch the truth away. It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. (Matthew 13:11-13)
The Great Stone at Mount Nebo, overlooking the Promised

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 137

Land, is a testimony by God Almighty reminding all mankind that he sent from heaven an angel to roll away the stone. This signified that the debt was fully paid and Yeshua is now legally discharged and so are those who believe in Him.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

138 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

Dear Father,


I believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son.
I believe that He came down to Earth in the flesh and died on the cross to take away all of my sins and the sin’s of this world. I believe that Jesus Christ then rose from the dead on the third day to give all of us eternal life.

Dear Jesus, I now confess to You all of the wrong and sinful things that I have ever done in my life. I ask that You please forgive me and wash away all of my sins by the blood that You have personally shed for me on the cross. I am now ready to ''FOLLOW'' you and accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I now ask that You come into my life and live with me for all of eternity.

Father, I receive Your gift of salvation by faith and believe I am truly saved and born again by giving Jesus my life by completely surrendering to Him and taking up my cross and following Jesus as He has asked us to do.

Thank You Father, in the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

If you have just prayed that prayer, we are rejoicing with you. 

Revelation 12:11 “We overcome him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of OUR (Your) testimo- ny.”
By sharing your testimony with us and others, you are already defeating the enemy in your life.
For more information on understanding Salvation go to: php?itemid=276#ixzz2NRSutONh

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 139


Simon Brown, a born again believer and the author of the Real Discoveries web, com. and info, has produced five feature documentaries which are aired on Sky TV. He is mostly known for his first film, “Our Search for Sodom and Gomorrah” which is probably the most watched film on YouTube in its category.
He believes God has also led him to some important archeological discoveries. His main discovery was in 2011 when he believed God revealed to him the Great Stone as told in Mark 16:4 which proved to be the missing link to the true tomb of Jesus.
Simon produced his second film, “Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus,” revealing a great deal of evidence in support of the Garden Tomb. His find on the Great Stone at Mount Nebo proved his previous research on the tomb of Jesus to be accurate and reliable.
His third film is called, “Our Search for Real Discoveries Around the Dead Sea.” Simon then produced his fourth film,” The Evidence and The True Face of The Shroud,” which aired on Sky TV.
Simon and his wife, Emma, have a passion to prove that the Bible is true, reliable, and accurate.
Simon has a desire to share what knowledge and understanding he has been granted. Through his websites and the information offered, he hopes to open the eyes of those who do not fully realize the importance of the Bible and its teachings.
Emma, his wife, plays a large part in all this by working with Simon.
Recently, many discoveries have been made especially in the Holy Land which support the Bible’s account of history.
That is precisely what “Real Discoveries” is all about.

140 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus


“The Shroud of Turin Speaks for Itself”
Pocket book! See how incredible our God is who has gone to great lengths to preserve this incredible evidence of His Son’s life, death and resurrection. The crown of thorns, the blood stained cloth and the true burial tomb of Jesus. When picking up this book you will also receive a FREE DVD film called, “Evidence of the True Face of the Shroud.”

“Our Search for Sodom and Gomorrah”
Retired businessman, Simon Brown, went searching for the biblical cities of Sodom & Gomorrah. Read about these amazing discoveries and the compelling evidence that he found. To read this book for free go to: http://www. php?itemid=178

“Our Search for Real Discoveries”
In this book Simon’s team returns to Sodom and Gomorrah for a closer look. They also searched for Admah and Zoar, the surrounding towns. To read this book for free go to http:// php?itemid=245

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 141

for more exciting discoveries and research

For more on the Tomb go to: Go to: modules/articles/item.php?itemid=242

142 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus


1 - You can watch the Video at:
2 - Ken Trestrail search-for-the-tomb-of-jesus.html
3 - Jeremiah’s Grotto grotto.html
4 - Rubin Aylett
5 - Barry Schwartz shroud-of-turin/
6 - Ron Wyatt
7 - Glastonbury Abbey (page 19)
8 - 9 -
Read more: php?itemid=264#ixzz2Sv6vNLwe

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144 Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus

Contact Us

Real Discoveries
Simon Brown

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus 145

Our Search for the Tomb of Jesus by Simon Brown Part 1.
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12 End.

Videos below show Simon's discovery and research on the GREAT STONE, Discovered at Mount Nebo.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8 End.

Look out for Simon's new research in 2020, when Simon hopes to be returning to Mount Nebo to see if he can recover the GREAT STONE back into Jerusalem, and as close as possible to the Garden Tomb, by the love, help and grace of GOD. 

As Jesus said, all things are possible with GOD Almighty, Amen.

Videos below are by Simon Brown filming Barrie Schwartz presentation of the Shroud of Turin at the Muslim event.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16
Part 17
Part 18
Part 19 End.

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