Construction workers in Jerusalem have uncovered an inscription that recalls the era when Jerusalem could be described as a Christian city. This is the story of how Jerusalem changed into a Christian city for a brief period in its history
How did it happen?
We usually think of Jerusalem as a Jewish city, but following the first Roman war against the Jews and the destruction of the city in 70 CE, Jerusalem lay in ruins, as described by Josephus:
"Jerusalem ... was so thoroughly razed to the ground by those that demolished it to its foundations, that nothing was left that could ever persuade visitors that it had once been a place of habitation."
Then came the second Jewish revolt, led by Bar Kokhba in the years 132-136 CE, and the very savage Roman reprisals against the rebellious Jews.
Archaeological evidence of both the siege and the later Roman reconstruction has been found. Here's one account of some of the evidence that has been found.
The Jews rebelled again, the second Jewish revolt, led by Bar Kokhba in the years 132-136 CE, followed by very savage Roman reprisals against the rebellious Jews. Jews were forbidden to enter the new city (except for one day a year). If they did they could be executed. Temples for the worship of Roman Gods were built.
This how the 4th century Christian historian described that time:
"The whole nation (of the Jews) was prohibited from this time on by a decree, and by the commands of Adrian, from ever going up to the country about Jerusalem. For the emperor gave orders that they should not even see from a distance the land of their fathers. Such is the account of Aristo of Pella. And thus, when the city had been emptied of the Jewish nation and had suffered a total destruction of its ancient inhabitants, it was colonized by a different race, and the Roman city which subsequently arose was called Aelia, in honour of the emperor Aelius Adrian." - – Eusebius, History of the Church, 39.6.3.
This map is believed to show the city (in an illustrated way) around
the early 6th century.
The Madaba Map depiction of 6th-century Jerusalem has the Cardo Maximus, the town’s main street, beginning at the northern gate, today's Damascus Gate, and traversing the city in a straight line from north to south to "Nea Church"
Where once the Jews had worshipped YHWH, but with Jews now banned from the new city
(except for one day a year). If they did they could be executed. Roman and Greek colonists worshipped pagan gods in temples built by the Romans.
That was the end of the association between the city and the Jews of that period, Jerusalem had become a Roman city.
So how did JESUS get into the act?