House of Caiaphas

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Places of Interest

House of Caiaphas

 

Location

 

1. The House of Caiaphas, also known as the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu (cock's crow in Latin) is located on the eastern slope of Mount Zion, just outside the Old City of Jerusalem.

 

2. It can be accessed by Malki Tsedek Street

 

3. It is administered by the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Historical Background

 

1. The church consists of four levels: (1) the upper church (2) the middle church (3) the guardroom, and (4) the cistern (dungeon).

 

2. According to tradition, the church is the believed site of the House of Caiaphas.

3. A Byzantine church was built on this site in 457 AD. 

 

4. It was later destroyed by Muslims in 1010.

 

5. It was rebuilt by the Crusaders in 1102 and given its present name. 

 

6. It was destroyed in 1219 by the Turks. 

 

7. Later, a chapel was built in 1300.

 

8. The church fell in ruins again by 1320.

 

9. The church that exists today was rebuilt in 1931.

Places of Interest

 

1. In the Courtyard of the church is a statue that recalls the events of Peter’s denial of Jesus. It shows Peter, the rooster that crowed, a maid, a servant, and a Roman soldier.

 

2. On the roof of the church is a rooster on a black cross, a symbol of Peter’s denial of Christ before the cock crowed.

 

3. The main sanctuary, located on the first floor, contains large multi-colored mosaics portraying figures from the New Testament.

 

4. On the second floor is a chapel that utilizes stone from ancient grottos as its walls. It also has mosaics from a 5th-century Byzantine church that previously existed at this site.

 

5. Above the cistern is the Guard Room. It overlooks the cistern (dungeon).

 

6. On the lower floor is a cistern (dungeon) where it’s believed Christ was placed the night after He was tried and condemned by Caiaphas. 

 

7. Ruins and excavations outside the church at ground level.

8. A walkway with steps that run beside the church that was used for ascending and descending from Mount Zion to the Kidron Valley. 

 

  • They were most likely used by Jesus and His disciples as they went from the Upper Room, where they celebrated the Passover meal on Mount Zion, to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

  • Later, Christ would use these same steps as He was brought from Gethsemane, which led through the Kidron Valley, to the House of Caiaphas.

 

9. Upper viewing area where many sites can be seen. One of them is the Akeldama Monastery, which marks the place called the Field of Blood. The religious leaders purchased this property with the money Judas through at their feet just before he went and hanged himself. 

 

10. Upper Room

 

11. Mount Zion

 

12. Kidron Valley

 

13. Garden of Gethsemane

 

House of Caiaphas in the Bible

 

1. Christ foretells that Peter will deny Him 3 times.
Mark 14:27–31: And Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." 29 Peter said to him, "Even though they all fall away, I will not." 30 And Jesus said to him, "Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." 31 But he said emphatically, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you." And they all said the same.

 

2. Jesus appeared before Caiaphas, the High Priest, just after being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:57–68: Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'" 62 And the high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death." 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?"

 

Luke 22:63–65: Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?" 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

 

3. Peter denies Christ. 
Matthew 26:69–75: Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, "You also were with Jesus the Galilean." 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you mean." 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." 72 And again he denied it with an oath: "I do not know the man." 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you." 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

4. It’s believed Jesus spent the night in a cistern (dungeon) at the House of Caiaphas before being taken to Pilate the next morning.
Matthew 27:1–2: When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.
 

Faith Lesson from the House of Caiaphas

 

1. Peter had walked with Christ for 3 ½ years. He had heard numerous times that Christ would die and rise again.

 

2. Just hours before Peter’s denial of Christ, he said he would suffer and die with Christ if need be. But when reality set in, he denied Christ 3 times and abandoned Him.

 

3. He later wept bitterly and thought his relationship with Christ and ministry was over. However, Christ restored Peter to fellowship and ministry at the Sea of Galilee.

 

4. How we can deny Christ in our own lives?

 

  • Do we deny His word, the truths in His word, or the clarity of the gospel in any way?

  • Do we deny we know Him by remaining silent when Christ or the Bible are attacked, slandered or diminished?

  • Do we deny Him by not sharing the gospel with others?

  • Do we deny Christ by not spending time with Him in prayer, daily devotions, and Bible reading?

  • Do we deny Christ when it cost us to be identified with Him or persecuted for our faith in Him?

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House of Caiaphas: Peter's Denial of Christ

 

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