Q&A: Where Did Jesus Ascension Take Place?

Where Did Jesus Ascension Take Place?

Question

From the Bible it appears Jesus ascended from a room (Mark 16:19), at Bethany (Luke 24:50-51), or at the Mount of Olives (Matt. 28:16-20; Acts 1:12).

Answer

Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

Luke 24:50-51 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.

Acts 1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city.

Actually, Matthew does not mention the ascension, but the words of Matthew 28:18-20 were spoken at the "mountain where Jesus had told them to go" (probably Mount Tabor, the probable site of the Transfiguration). Regarding the verses in the Gospel of Mark, the earliest manuscripts do not contain Mark 16:9-20. But the words in Mark do give a very abbreviated account of what actually transpired (compare Mark 16:12-19 to Luke 24:13-52). Besides, Mark uses the term "after" (GK meta) but this does not give us an exact time or place. Luke's expanded account is consistent with the ascension at the Mount of Olives. Bethany is a village on the Mount of Olives about two miles east of Jerusalem (John 11:18). So Luke, who is also the author of Acts, is consistent as well when he states "the vicinity of Bethany," which included the Mount of Olives. This is consistent with Bible Prophecy (Zech.14:3-9). So, there are no discrepancies in these different accounts.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).