Historic Fact #3: A Stone was Rolled in Front of the Tomb  

A Stone was Rolled in Front of the Tomb


The stone rolled in front of a tomb was called the golel. Scholars say that the golel was typically put on an incline and rolled down a track to cover a tomb, then wedged in place with another smaller stone, the dopheg. The golel was massive. A parenthetical note in a fourth century manuscript within the text of Mark 16:4 indicated “And when he was laid there, he (Joseph) put against the tomb a stone which twenty men could not roll away.” (cited in Thorburn, T.J. The Resurrection Narratives and Modern Criticism. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1910)


Mark 16: 1-4

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. (NIV)


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