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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Upper Room and Tomb of David: The History, Art and Archaeology of the Cenacle on Mount Zion
Clausen, David Christian

Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2016 pp. xiv + 268. $39.95


Description: It has been a church, a mosque and a synagogue. Jesus is said to have dined there. James, his brother, is believed to have been interred there. King David may be buried beneath its floor. The subject of intense speculation by both scholars and the faithful, the Cenacle on Mount Zion—also known as the Upper Room of the New Testament gospels and as the Tomb of David—has remained a mystery for centuries. Claimed by Jews, Christians and Muslims, the sacred structure continues to evoke passionate controversy. Does it date back to the time of Christ? Was the Last Supper celebrated there? Is this the place where the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles on the first Pentecost following Easter Sunday? Did King David’s remains ever lie there? These and many other questions are explored in this first-ever study, offering a readable, fully researched narrative account of the Cenacle’s history, archaeology and imagery. Artistic, architectural and photographic illustrations document the Cenacle and its surroundings over the past 1,500 years.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Greco-Roman Period, Early Church Origins, Archaeology

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Review by Joshua Schwartz
Published 12/5/2019
Citation: Joshua Schwartz, review of David Christian Clausen, The Upper Room and Tomb of David: The History, Art and Archaeology of the Cenacle on Mount Zion, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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