Church of Zion, Jerusalem

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The Church of Zion, Jerusalem, also known as the Church of the Apostles on Mount Zion, is a presumed Jewish-Christian congregation continuing at Mount Zion in Jerusalem in the 2nd-5th Century, when it was the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina, distinct from the main Gentile congregation which had its home at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[1] The reference to such a congregation is from the Bordeaux Pilgrim (c.333), Cyril of Jerusalem (348) and Eucherius of Lyon (440), but in academic terms the theory originates with Bellarmino Bagatti (1976), who considered that such a church, or Judéo-Christian synagogue continued it what was presumed as the old "Essene Quarter."[2]

Connected with this is the 1951 discovery by archaeologist Jacob Pinkerfield of the remains of a synagogue on Mount Zion which he concluded had later been used as a Jewish-Christian church.[3] The support of Emmanuel Testa for Bagatti's views has led to the view being described as "the Bagatti-Testa school", with the thesis that a surviving Jewish-Christian existed in Jerusalem, and that many Jewish-Christians returned to Jerusalem after the wars and established themselves on Mount Zion.[4] Bagatti's theory is supported by Bargil Pixner (May 1990 Biblical Archaeology Review[5]) who argues that a 6th Century map shows two churches - the Hagia Maria Sion Abbey and the "Church of the Apostles," the putative Jewish-Christian synagogue of Mount Zion.[6] Against this a problem with the thesis of Bagatti, Testa, Pinkerfeld and Pixner is that the layers indicate a Crusader structure built on top of Roman layers.[7]

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  1. ^ Günter Stemberger Jews and Christians in the Holy Land: Palestine in the fourth century Page 79 - 2000 "A further attempt to locate Jewish Christians in Jerusalem is connected with the Church of Zion. The arguments that have been advanced to date for the idea that in Jerusalem a Gentile Christian congregation, the majority, had its home at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, while a Jewish Christian congregation centred on Mount Zion,."
  2. ^ Studia Hierosolymitana in onore del P. Bellarmino Bagatti: Volume 1 Bellarmino Bagatti, Emmanuele Testa, Ignazio Mancini - 1976 However, not the biblical Mount Zion, but rather the "Christian" Mount Zion will be explored in this study. ... B. Bagatti and others think that the "synagogue" referred to must have been a Judéo-Christian one, which again must have:
  3. ^ Elizabeth McNamer, Bargil Pixner Jesus and First-Century Christianity in Jerusalem p68 2008 "In 1951, archaeologist [Joseph sic] Pinkerfield found on Mount Zion the remains of a synagogue and concluded that the building had ... Pinkerfield also found pieces of plaster with graffiti scratched on them that came from the synagogue wall. "
  4. ^ Joan E. Taylor Christians and the holy places: the myth of Jewish-Christian origins 1993 p1 "According to the Bagatti-Testa school, the Jewish-Christian church was centred in Jerusalem and headed first by Peter ... Many Jewish-Christians then returned to Jerusalem after the war ended and established themselves on Mount Zion."
  5. ^ Pixner BAR article, May 1990
  6. ^ James R. Davila The Dead Sea scrolls as background to postbiblical Judaism and ...2003 p66 "Channels of Communication: Essenes in Jerusalem? In a long series of publications since 1976 the Dominican archaeologist Bargil Pixner has been arguing the case for an Essene quarter in Jerusalem located on the southern part of the ..."
  7. ^ Edwin K. Broadhead Jewish Ways of Following Jesus: Redrawing the Religious Map of ... 2010 p320 "Finally, Pixner claims that the Madaba map (6th century) indicates that the Byzantine Hagia Sion was built alongside the Church of the Apostles, not over it. A key problem in the theory of Bagatti, Testa, Pinkerfeld, and Pixner is the sequence of layers. If the walls identified by Pinkerfeld are Roman era, one is left with a Crusader structure built directly on top of Roman walls."