After these things there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, withered"' John 5:1-3. Archeology has uncovered the ruins of a colonnade area that probably was the ancient pool. It was in the form of a trapezium-a four-sided area with no two sides exactly parallel.
I said when I began these studies of Matthew 16 that, although this is one of the richest and most important chapters in the gospel, it is also one that seems to be a source of countless problems. Almost every sentence seems to have produced diverse interpretations among commentators. How is Peter the rock? What are the gates of Hades? What is the...