So, You Want To Visit Ancient Jerusalem


Good luck!


You can’t get there from here----no matter where you are!


As I watched TV, a Christian teacher of Jewish ancestry came on and proclaimed that he was standing in the upper room where Jesus and the Apostles ate the last supper.


You may want to go to the upper room.


But, you can’t!


The upper room no longer exists!


You cannot go to ancient Jerusalem for the same reason.


It no longer exists!


After the revolt of Shimon Bar Kokba, the Roman Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the city and established it as a pagan shrine called Aelia Capitolina. Hadrian forbade Jews to live on the site.  It would be almost 200 years before Jews could return to the city. During that period, once every year Jews were allowed to come to the Mount of Olives and look at the place where the Temple had been, but they could not enter the city!


In 70 AD, the Romans tore down the Temple and a few surrounding buildings.  But, in 135 AD, they tore down the entire city except for one retaining wall on the Temple Mount.  At that time (135 AD), the entire city was rebuilt according to Roman design. They renamed the city Aelia Capitolina. Not one building in the current old city area remains from the ancient city of Jerusalem. 

Not one!


The city has been rebuilt many times since the days when Roman did it in the second century, but it has always been rebuilt on the Roman model and layout.  The original, or Jewish, layout of the city is no longer visible.


So, why won’t today’s tour guides tell you about Aelia Capitolina? 


They are either ignorant, or they want your dollars!  Maybe both! 


There is no money in taking you to Aelia Capitolina.  The big bucks are in tours of a non-existent ancient Jerusalem.


Israel lives on tourist dollars.  In case you are wondering, I have been to Israel.  My passport is stamped. I do not have, as many do, a separate piece of paper inserted in my passport showing the Israeli stamp.


Jerusalem is a tourist trap complete with young Arab boys that are saved on an hourly basis, depending on the Christian tourist trade that happens to come by.


If you want to visit the Wailing Wall, by all means go.  But, before you go, please understand that it is the only remaining part of ancient Jerusalem still standing! Caiphas’ home was torn down!  The “upper room” was destroyed!  The Via Dolorosa was completely restructured by the Romans! Jesus never saw, never walked on the streets now reported to be the Via Dolorosa.  He never went to the place now reported to be the “upper room.”


Be aware that the name of the city, which now stands was changed from Aelia Capitolina to Jerusalem.  Jesus never walked the streets of Aelia Capitolina.  The city you will see is of Roman design.  King David never saw Aelia Capitolina or today’s Jerusalem.


Go to your local library and look in a good encyclopedia, or go online and search for “Aelia Capitolina,” and you will find that the information I have written here is readily available to the general public.


You may be better off going to that Holy Land theme park in Florida. As least they will tell you that it is not the real thing.


So you still want to go to Jerusalem.  Your only hope is in Christ and the New Jerusalem! No charge!  The price has been paid!