Roman seal on Christ's tomb

Page 1 of 2 (39 items) 1 2 Next >
This post has 38 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 376
Dan Sheppard | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Apr 13 2011 2:40 PM

Does anybody know of a great Logos resource for finding out specifically about the Roman seal on the tomb?

I had specific questions in my Matthew Bible Study about how the seal would be able to keep anybody out and how it would prove anything.

I imagine it was like a lead fishing weight, in which it gets crimped onto a wire or something, going through a hole in the stone and the cave.

Yes?  No?  The dictionaries and commentaries I have consulted do not go into much detail.

Thanks.

 

Posts 10035
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 2:57 PM

Most of my commentaries point back to Dan 6 and the lions' den sealing. Expositor's Greek Testament: 'The participial clause—σφραγίσαντες τὸν λίθον—is a parenthesis pointing to an additional precaution, sealing the stone, with a thread over it and sealed to the tomb at either end.'


Posts 10482
Forum MVP
Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 3:37 PM

Dan Sheppard:
how the seal would be able to keep anybody out

Not the physical seal, but the fact that it represented the authority of the Roman Governor.

Posts 26116
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 3:41 PM

Wait - I think this evening's news had a segment on the recent archeological find. They found a tomb with a broken seal. The seal may date to the 1st century. The tomb might be near Jerusalem. The tomb must be the one Jesus borrowed. They even found the scroll with the 3 day rental agreement.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 15805
Forum MVP
Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 3:43 PM

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 726
Theolobias | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 3:49 PM

MJ. Smith:
Wait - I think this evening's news had a segment on the recent archeological find. They found a tomb with a broken seal. The seal may date to the 1st century. The tomb might be near Jerusalem. The tomb must be the one Jesus borrowed. They even found the scroll with the 3 day rental agreement.

Talkin' about the archaeologist who stepped into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in order to get some cooling?

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T5250 @ 1.5GHz, 2.0GB RAM, ATI Radeon XPress 1250 | theolobias.de

Posts 97
Carey G. Pearson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 4:30 PM

At this point, the tomb is officially sealed with the Roman seal. The sealing of the tomb was done in several steps. First, a strong rope was placed around the stone at the door of the tomb. Secondly, the two ends were drawn to the side of the door on the outer wall of the tomb. Thirdly, a wax or clay seal was placed on the rope where it crossed itself in front of the stone and where the rope touched the two sides of the tomb. It would be impossible to move the stone without breaking the seal. To break the Roman seal was punishable by death. This occurred on Saturday. Jesus was laid in the tomb on Friday and, on Saturday; the Roman guard was placed to make sure that the body would not be stolen out of the tomb.

The Messianic Bible Study Collection

if we meet and you forget me,

you have lost nothing.

But if you meet Jesus and forget Him,

you have lost everything.

Posts 26116
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 4:41 PM

Fascinating - thanks for posting this.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2372
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 6:23 PM

Carey Pearson:

At this point, the tomb is officially sealed with the Roman seal. (...)  the Roman guard was placed to make sure that the body would not be stolen out of the tomb.

Matthew 27:65-66

65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard10 of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.    ESV

     10 Or Take a guard

Mark, Luke, and John - no mention of a guard

 Was it Roman Soldiers or Jewish Temple guards?  Under what rules did the Temple guards operate when outside the Temple?  Did they need Pilate’s permission to operate outside of the temple?  [for example - to go  to the tomb?]  [Thursday night they went out under the cover of darkness hoping that the Romans did not notice]

 “You have a guard” – as in [maybe] use your own soldiers!

 “Make it as secure as you can” – AS YOU CAN – Pilate did not say I WILL SECURE IT FOR YOU

 [Yes, I have read ALL of the commentaries in my platinum Logos 4 package on this subject.  But from the Bible and the Bible alone I am not convinced.  Can anyone trace the history of the theory of it being Roman Soldiers?]

 

Posts 9946
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 8:05 PM

MJ. Smith:

Wait - I think this evening's news had a segment on the recent archeological find. They found a tomb with a broken seal. The seal may date to the 1st century. The tomb might be near Jerusalem. The tomb must be the one Jesus borrowed. They even found the scroll with the 3 day rental agreement.

Big Smile Big Smile Big Smile

That's 3 guffaws

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 297
Schezic | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 10:11 PM

George Somsel:
That's 3 guffaws
I'll raise you 2 snickers and a chortle.Smile

Posts 1145
William | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 13 2011 10:22 PM

David Ames:

“You have a guard10 of soldiers.      10 Or Take a guard

that "take a guard" translation to me implies a Roman Soldier. 

Posts 418
Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 14 2011 4:14 AM

JNN (Jerusalem News Network) interviewed Joseph of Arimathea after the Resurrection and asked him why he used his own tomb to bury Jesus.

"Well, ya know..." Joseph replied, "... He only needed it for the weekend."

Posts 286
Dr. Charles A. Wootten | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 14 2011 5:56 AM

David Ames:

Carey Pearson:

Matthew 27:65-66

You have a guard

I found an interesting item relating to this discussion:

Matthew (27:65) alone records a request for Roman guards to watch the tomb (it is not clear whether he envisages those who were placed as Roman or Jewish). Thus there remain many problems concerning the precise roles of the Romans and the Jews during the trial and execution of Jesus. It is likely that apologetic, theological and other factors have helped shape the narratives.

Green, J. B., McKnight, S., & Marshall, I. H. (1992). Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (714). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

Perhaps those more astute than I can use the following idea to do further research (I don't have a copy of W.L. Craig's study):

κουστωδία, ας, ἡ   koustōdia   guard*
This Latin loanword (custodia) appears in Matt 27:65 (ἔχω κουστωδίαν, “have a guard”), 66; 28:11 in reference to the guards at the tomb of Jesus. W. L. Craig, “The Guard at the Tomb,” NTS 30 (1984) 273–81.

Balz, H. R., & Schneider, G. (1990-). Vol. 2: Exegetical dictionary of the New Testament (313). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

It seem that the question boils down to is whether Pilate is authorizing his own guards to go with them or he is granting permission to use the temple guards or some other "police" force. Who knows?

{charley}

 

running Logos Bible Software 6.0a: Collector's Edition on HP e9220y (AMD Phenom II X4 2.60GHz 8.00GB 64-bit Win 7 Pro SP1) & iPad (mini) apps.

Posts 2372
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 14 2011 6:35 AM

Dr. Charles A. Wootten:

Who knows?

Thanks for the feed back - "Who knows" is the answer that I hold [after a full day spent on the subject using ALL references found] - I do not see the answer to this as a salvation issue so we do not have to worry about it too often.

But by looking into items like this sharpens my investigations into more important topics where it is important that I know that my leaders are leading me in the correct direction rather then astray.

The Guard at the Tomb  Dr. William Lane Craig

Can be found at  http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/guard.html   (as of 4/14/2011)

 

Posts 10482
Forum MVP
Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 14 2011 6:48 PM

Dr. Charles A. Wootten:
It seem that the question boils down to is whether Pilate is authorizing his own guards to go with them or he is granting permission to use the temple guards or some other "police" force. Who knows?

Seems to me that Matthew 28:13–14 would have a bearing on this question. If they were Jewish Temple Guards, would they have to worry about the Roman Governor hearing news of their sleeping on duty?

Posts 2372
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 14 2011 8:00 PM

Jack Caviness:

Dr. Charles A. Wootten:
It seem that the question boils down to is whether Pilate is authorizing his own guards to go with them or he is granting permission to use the temple guards or some other "police" force. Who knows?

Seems to me that Matthew 28:13–14 would have a bearing on this question. If they were Jewish Temple Guards, would they have to worry about the Roman Governor hearing news of their sleeping on duty?

Might depend on the relationship between the Romans and the Jews dealing with the rules that the Temple Guards [people trained to use long sharp things] were to operate under - were they to meet the same requirements as the Romans?  And there is one BIG word in all English versions of Mat 28:14 'IF'.  If the guards were Roman then it would be 'WHEN' not 'IF'   [but like I said before - I do not see this as a salvation issue]

 

Posts 586
Bill Shewmaker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2011 9:00 AM

Jack Caviness:

Dr. Charles A. Wootten:
It seem that the question boils down to is whether Pilate is authorizing his own guards to go with them or he is granting permission to use the temple guards or some other "police" force. Who knows?

Seems to me that Matthew 28:13–14 would have a bearing on this question. If they were Jewish Temple Guards, would they have to worry about the Roman Governor hearing news of their sleeping on duty?

I'm wondering why the "Roman soldiers" would have gone to the priests in the first place...surely they wouldn't admit to their superior officers that they were sleeping on the job (most likely punished by execution). Or were they (as Romans) sympathetic to the Jewish rulers? My assumption (and that's all that it is right now) would be that these were temple guards that could be "bought and paid for" by the Jewish priests to lie to the people and not Roman soldiers who would die rather than tell a lie (admitting that they were sleeping on the job).

 

Posts 10482
Forum MVP
Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2011 1:14 PM

David Ames:

Jack Caviness:

Seems to me that Matthew 28:13–14 would have a bearing on this question. If they were Jewish Temple Guards, would they have to worry about the Roman Governor hearing news of their sleeping on duty?

And there is one BIG word in all English versions of Mat 28:14 'IF'.  If the guards were Roman then it would be 'WHEN' not 'IF' 

The "If" has to do with their telling the falsehood of sleeping on guard duty. If they told that story to the general populace, it may or may not reach the ears of the Governor.

David Ames:
[but like I said before - I do not see this as a salvation issue]

I agree. It is just an interesting puzzle.

 

Bill Shewmaker:
I'm wondering why the "Roman soldiers" would have gone to the priests in the first place...surely they wouldn't admit to their superior officers that they were sleeping on the job (most likely punished by execution). Or were they (as Romans) sympathetic to the Jewish rulers? My assumption (and that's all that it is right now) would be that these were temple guards that could be "bought and paid for" by the Jewish priests to lie to the people and not Roman soldiers who would die rather than tell a lie (admitting that they were sleeping on the job).

Very good points, Bill. This entire discussion has given me a few things to ponder, but none of them are earth-shattering. Whether the guards were Jewish or Roman does not change the fact of the Resurrection.

 

Posts 10482
Forum MVP
Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2011 1:18 PM

This has all been a very interesting and pleasant exchange. If all hermeneutical and theological discussions could be handled in this manner, we would not need Guidelines. My thanks to all who participated.

Page 1 of 2 (39 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS