Why The Garden?

While the official policy of the Garden Tomb (Jerusalem) Association makes no claims that this site is the tomb in which Jesus was buried, many people over the years have come to believe that it may indeed be. These beliefs are based on a variety of considerations: 

Textual Considerations

Many have come to believe that this could be the site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus because it so clearly fits the description provided by the writers of the New Testament:

Site of the Crucifixion:
    Skull Rock
  • Outside the city walls of Jerusalem
  • Near a gate of the city
  • Along a busy thoroughfare
  • At a place of public execution
  • At the place of the skull - Golgoatha
  • A garden nearby

Site of the Tomb:
    Skull Rock
  • Located in a garden
  • Belonged to a rich man (Joseph of Arimathea)
  • Hewn out of the rock
  • Sealed with a rolling stone
  • Entered through a low doorway
  • Burial chamber situated to the right of the entrance

Historical, Political, Archaeological Considerations

When protestants began coming in greater numbers to the "Holy Land" in the mid-19th century they were often disappointed at the lack of protestant sites and began looking for places of their own. This combined with the advent of "Biblical Archaeology" led many to begin questioning the traditional holy sites held by Christians. This willingness to reconsider location decisions made centuries earlier led to the discovery of many new sites, the confirmation of some long-accepted sites, and the excavation of some "alternate" possible locations for Biblical narratives.

It was largely through the influence of the writings of the charismatic movement and heroic General Charles Gordon that many began to seriously look at the site of the Garden Tomb as a possible location for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. His claims supported in part by the writings of Conrad Schick brought later archaeologists to examine the site. Though the archaeology of the Garden Tomb has always been a point of academic debate, there have been noted archaeologists (i.e. Kathleen Kenyon) who have described the tomb as a good example of a Second Temple Period burial site, thus opening a door for it possibly being that notable tomb of Gospel fame - the tomb discovered empty one Sunday morning long ago.