Jerusalem in the New Testament Period

Michael Avi-Yonah, model of  Jerusalem, 1966. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Photograph by Todd Bolen.

Now on display in the outdoor sculpture garden of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is a 1:50 (1 m = 50 m) scale model of Jerusalem and the second temple as it might have looked in the year 66 C.E. The huge topographic model opened to the public in 1966 and covers over 21,000 square feet. Michael Avi-Yonah, professor of archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, designed the model based on historical sources, including the writings of Flavius Josephus, a first-century C.E. Roman Jewish scholar and historian. The year 66 C.E. marked the beginning of the First Jewish Revolt, which culminated with the utter destruction of the city and the temple in 70 C.E.  

Model of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple period (circa 66 CE), showing Herod’s renovations to the temple mount (top right). The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

A collection of first-century Jewish and early Christian writings that, along with the Old Testament, makes up the Christian Bible.

The revolt of the Jews against the Roman Empire between 66 and 73 C.E., the result of which was the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

A Jewish historian from the first century C.E. His works document the Jewish rebellions against Rome, giving background for early Jewish and Christian practices.

The structure built in Jerusalem in 516 B.C.E. on the site of the Temple of Solomon, destroyed by the Babylonians seventy years prior. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. by the Romans responding to Jewish rebellion.

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