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Burial Practices

Learn about ancient Jewish burial practices that were common during the time of Jesus.

Find out about Jewish laws concerning the burial of the dead, including how many days a typical grieving period lasted for, as well as where the dead were buried in relation to the city in which they lived. Also check out special laws governing the burial of women and the burial of criminals.

Another component that was central to Jewish burial customs during the first century was the Jewish law of ritual purity. Learn about how this law affected how individuals of the Jewish faith handled the bodies of their deceased relatives, and how Jewish laws of ritual purity affected the burial of Jesusí own body.

In addition, it is important to note that the burial customs practiced by individuals during this time period was influenced by their socio-economic status. Learn about how the ossuaries and tombs of the elite differed from those housing the bones of individuals from a lower socio-economic strata, and how the relationship between wealth and burial influenced the tomb that Jesus was buried in, as provided by Joseph of Arimathea.

Discover how the genizah, the storage space or room found in synagogues to bury ancient texts considered defiled, is linked to the custom of burial in Judaism.

Learn about how the custom of burial among Jewish people in and around the city of Jerusalem changed to include the use of the ossuary, sometimes referred to as a bone box, during Jesusí lifetime and how this influenced the burial of Jesusí body after the crucifixion.


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