Dome of the Rock – The Praetorium:
A holy place for Christians & Muslims
Josephus then said that Fort Antonia itself was built around a notable “Rock” that was viewed as the centerpiece feature of the interior of the Fort (which was also known as the Praetorium).
This well-recognized “Rock” in the Praetorium around which Fort Antonia was built was called the lithostrotos in the Gospel of John (19:13) and Christ stood on it when judged by Pilate.
O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion
The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word,
which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him.
(Dome of the Rock inscription)
The citadel – Fort Antonia – functioned as a Roman armycamp for hundred of years.
After the christianizing of Emperor Constantine the Romans constructed two Roman Catholic churches on the mount.
In 325, Constantine built at least three octagonal churches. The church of Nativity in Bethlehem. The location of “Mary’s rock” near Bethlehem and the other on the temple mount where the octagonal Dome of the Rock presently is.
The army camp became a holy place for christians. Reason: Jesus was sentenced to death on the mount by Pontius Pilatus in a place that’s called Praetorium’ in the bible-stories of John, Matthew and Luke.
Jesus before Pilate
(John 18-28; Matthew 27:11-14; Luke 23:1-6)
— John 18-28: – Then they led Jesus away from Caiaphas into the Praetorium. By now it was early morning, and the Jews did not enter the Praetorium to avoid being defiled and unable to eat the Passover.
— Matthew 27:1 – When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people conspired against Jesus to put Him to death.
— Matthew 27:2 – They bound Him, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate the governor.
— Matthew 27:27 – Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company around Him.
Ernest L. Martin, 12 december 2000: “Fort Antonia was also called the Roman Praetorium and it was the place where Pilate sentenced Jesus to crucifixion. That central rock outcropping was a significant spot in the fortress, as Josephus stated, and even the apostle John singled it out for comment regarding the judgment of Jesus.
John called it the lithostrothon [a rock, on which people could stand and be judged,]. This “Rock” had a Hebrew name: “Gabbatha.”
Joh 19:13: “So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called ‘The Stone Pavement’, and in Aramaic ‘Gabbatha’…”
Moral of the New Testament:
In an evil world they don’t protect the truth-tellers
“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king.
To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”
“Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” John 18:38