The Topography Of Jerusalem -- By: Samuel Wolcott

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 024:93 (Jan 1867)
Article: The Topography Of Jerusalem
Author: Samuel Wolcott


The Topography Of Jerusalem

Rev. Samuel Wolcott

In a former Article (Vol. xxiii. pp. 684-695) we reviewed the theory of the Topography of Jerusalem propounded by James Fergusson, P.R.S., an eminent British architect, and published in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, and gave some reasons for dissenting from it. After the Article had been printed, we met for the first time with a pamphlet of seventy pages, published by Mr. Fergusson subsequent to his Article in the Dictionary, entitled, “Notes on the Site of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, in answer to the Edinburgh Review.” In our previous Article, written with a desire to compress the argument, in reply to the points brought forward in the Dictionary, into a brief compass, with as little of a controversial aspect as possible, we find that we passed over some points which did not seem to us essential to a

correct judgment of the question, but on which Mr. Fergus-son lays special stress, and which in the pamphlet before us he reiterates and presses into the foreground as conclusive and unanswerable. Without going over ground already traversed, believing that our former argument offers a sure foundation for the convictions of those who accept it, we feel constrained to resume the discussion, and take up every point not already disposed of, and not belonging to his profession as an architect, which Mr. Fergusson deems important. This service we attempt the more readily, because in the judgment of so respectable an authority as Mr. Grove of Sydenham — one of the few biblical scholars who seem to treat his speculations with favor, —“his arguments have never been answered, or even fairly discussed” (Smith’s Bib. Die. Vol. 2. p. 696). There were two references in our previous Article which first demand a brief explanation.

After quoting the point taken by the Edinburgh Review, that Mr. Pergusson failed “to account for the building reared by Abd el-Melek,” we remarked, “It may be added that he equally fails to account for the present Church of the Sepulchre” (p. 694). To the issue raised by the reviewer, he replies that he finds the Khalif s building in the Mosque el-Aksa; and had the fact been in our mind, we should have stated it or omitted the reference. The issue which we raised in the above sentence we shall present again.

Next to the Bible, our most important witness on the Zion question is Josephus. Our citations from this author in our former paper, relative to the successive sieges of Jerusalem, were given without explanation, our object being to show that the royal palace and original citadel were in the upper city, and on the western hill, and this appears on the face of the narrative. The Asmonean dynasty, about ...

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