Dating the gospels


The first neighbourhoods outside the Old City walls, built from the 1860s onward, were scattered chiefly along the main roads from the west and northwest leading into the city.These early Jewish suburbs were paralleled by non-Jewish expansion prompted by Christian religious or nationalistic motivation.Yet outside the walls Jerusalem is in every sense a modern city, with its network of streets and transportation, high-rise buildings, supermarkets, businesses, schools, restaurants, and coffeehouses.The persistent mingling of Hebrew, Arabic, English, and other languages in the streets brings to mind the multicultural and political complexities of life in this revered city.The following year Israel declared the city its capital.



In the spring, masses of wildflowers proliferate on slopes and wastelands.The municipal boundaries, extended by Israel in June 1967 and again in 1993, stretch from the closed Atarot Airport in the north to a point almost reaching the West Bank town of Bethlehem in the south and from the ridge of Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives in the east to Mount Herzl, ʿEn Kerem, and the Hadassah Medical Centre of the Hebrew University in the west.The Old City, which is believed to have been continuously inhabited for almost 5,000 years, forms a walled quadrilateral about 3,000 feet (900 metres) long on each side.Despite a rapidly changing demography, Jerusalem has retained a diverse and cosmopolitan character, particularly in the walled Old City with its Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim quarters: Arabs in traditional and modern attire; Christians, Western and Oriental, in their infinite variety of secular garb and monastic vestments; Jews in casual and Orthodox dress; and hosts of tourists combine in colourful, kaleidoscopic patterns.

Synagogues, churches, mosques, and dwellings in various styles make up the city’s unique architectural mosaic.

However, goldfinches and linnets, formerly numerous, now rarely appear.