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the cave

the cave

סיור בכנסיית המולד, בית לחם עם מדריך התיירים צחי שקד

2y ago
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Zahi Shaked A tour guide in Israel and his camera zahigo25@walla.com 9726905522 tel סיור עם מורה הדרך ומדריך הטיולים צחי שקד 0546905522 בית לחם כנסיית המולד של ישוע The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is a major Zahi Shaked A tour guide in Israel and his camera zahigo25@walla.com 9726905522 tel סיור עם מורה הדרך ומדריך הטיולים צחי שקד 0546905522 tour guide in מורה דרך מדריך תיירים IsraelChristian holy site, as it marks the traditional place of Christ's birth. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches. The birth of Jesus is narrated in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Both accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. According to Luke 2:7 (in the traditional translation), Mary "laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn." But the Greek can also be rendered, "she laid him in a manger because they had no space in the room" — we should perhaps imagine Jesus being born in a quiet back room of an overflowing one-room house. The gospel accounts don't mention a cave, but less than a century later, both Justin Martyr and the Protoevangelium of James say Jesus was born in a cave. This is reasonable, as many houses in the area are still built in front of a cave. The cave part would have been used for stabling and storage - thus the manger. The first evidence of a cave in Bethlehem being venerated as Christ's birthplace is in the writings of Justin Martyr around 160 AD. The tradition is also attested by Origen and Eusebius in the 3rd century. In 326, Constantine and his mother St. Helena commisioned a church to be built over the cave. This first church, dedicated on May 31, 339, had an octagonal floor plan and was placed directly above the cave. In the center, a 4-meter-wide hole surrounded by a railing provided a view of the cave. Portions of the floor mosaic survive from this period. St. Jerome lived and worked in Bethlehem from 384 AD, and he was buried in a cave beneath the Church of the Nativity. The Constantinian church was destroyed by Justinian in 530 AD, who built the much larger church that remains today. The Persians spared it during their invasion in 614 AD because, according to legend, they were impressed by a representation of the Magi — fellow Persians — that decorated the building. This was quoted at a 9th-century synod in Jerusalem to show the utility of religious images. The wide nave survives intact from Justinian's time, although the roof is 15th-century with 19th-century restorations. Thirty of the nave's 44 columns carry Crusader paintings of saints and the Virgin and Child, although age and lighting conditions make them hard to see. The columns are made of pink, polished limestone, most of them dating from the original 4th-century Constantinian basilica. Fragments of high-quality wall mosaics dating from the 1160s decorate both sides of the nave. Each side once had three registers, of which we know the details because of a description made in 1628. The lowest depicted the ancestors of Jesus; the middle contained the decrees of provincial and ecumenical councils; and the top has a series of angels between the windows. The name of the artist, Basilius Pictor, appears at the foot of the third angel from the right on the north wall. Trap doors in the present floor reveal sections of floor mosaics surviving from the original basilica. The mosaics feature complex geometric designs with birds, flowers and vine patterns, making a rich and elaborate carpet for Constantine's church. Similar doors in the north transept protect another 4th-century mosaic that shows the Constantinian apse was octagonal; these are sometimes opened on request The Grotto of the Nativity, a rectangular cavern beneath the church, is the Church of the Nativity's focal point. Entered by a flight of steps by the church altar, this is the cave that has been honored as the site of Christ's birth since at least the 2nd century. A silver star in the floor marks the ...