Photo: Ron Cantrell

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dome of the Rock - A Hijacked Church?

Muhammad’s hijacking of a Messiah from Jews and Christians seems not the only item hijacked by Islam.

Three years ago, I wrote the book, The Mahdi – Hijacked Messiah, to document Islam’s stealing of a Messiah concept by Muhammad.

Now, my participation on one of Israel’s most interesting archaeological excavations has revealed another major hostage taking by Islam.

Ramat Rachael’s archaeological area, where I’m working this August, takes in the ruins of an interesting church that sits right on the Road of the Patriarchs (now known as Hebron Road). The Kathisma Church is an octagonal structure, built in 456 A.D., which shape is unusual for a church as most are built in the shape of a cross. Sitting square in the center of the church’s octagonal perimeter is an outcropping of solid bedrock some 20 ft. square and several feet high.

The Kathisma Church is where tradition has it that on route to Bethlehem, Mary’s labor pains caused the couple to rest under the shade of a date palm. Joseph is unable to reach the ripe fruit so attractive to Mary, so the tree lowers its fruit to nourish the mother-to-be, and a spring issues forth from under the tree to save their lives in the desert.

Whether one believes the tradition about the church is immaterial. The fact that the tradition predates the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem is the point. The church has a mosaic floor commemorating the story with a date palm flanked by two smaller palms (either symbolizing Joseph and Mary, or the other two crosses on Calvary).

The hijacking of this church’s structure and symbolism is eye-opening. The Dome of the Rock which sits on the Temple Mount is built in the same architectural design, including the bedrock outcropping in the center and an identical date palm mosaic adorns the inside of the dome. As in the church, the date palm is flanked by two other palms. The date of the dome’s construction is 691 A.D., over 200 years later.

The early date of the church and the mosaic are confirmed by Israel’s Antiquities Authority after excavation in 1992. The widening of Hebron Road revealed the church and the dating of the structure brought new and puzzling comparisons to the Islamic structure on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Ron Cantrell


Anonymous said...

Hijacking has always been one
of Xslams hallmarks.
They hijack airplanes
and they hijack words and
concepts from Gods Word.
Xahummid was a bloody
warrior who hated Jesus.
He hijacked everything
he could of the religion that
was sweeping the world in
his time, which was 650
or so years after Jesus.
It's a cult.

Nice blog

Yours truly,

Anonymous said...

Hello: I desire to see a picture of Jerusalem with the whole jewish
temple in its rightful place. Without the dome of the rock or that other dome in view.

Would also love to see a modern map of Israel with the 12 strips of
promised land super imposed thereon.

I just don't know where to look for such wonderful things as above.

I'm just an old gentile that loves the Jewish people and Israel.

thanks, dan

Anonymous said...

Judging from the highly qualified comments on your blog, i am not even sure it is worth attempting to step into a dialogue with you. However, as someone who understands himself as interested in history, I thought you might care to think about the fact that the octagonal structure has a much longer history than one merely reaching back to this oh-so significant archaeological find you mention. It is the traditional shape of the Byzantine grave church. Since the beginning of art and architecture, styles have been borrowed and copied from one culture, and developed by another. I don't see where you get your ridiculous sense of righteousness from.

Anonymous said...

According to our understanding the Kathisma church was renovated in the 6thC and used as a mosque in the 8thC after which it was destroyed. A mihrab, or prayer niche facing Mecca was built into the southern wall of the outermost octagon. This means that the church was not destroyed during the Persian conquest and existed at the time of Abd el-Malik who commissioned the building of the Dome of the Rock, a martyrium in octagon shape over a rock – it may have been the inspiration for what has been called the earliest example of Islamic architecture. For the full article see