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Old 04-24-2001, 03:24 PM   #1
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Post Was there a Nazareth in Jesus' time?

I've seen the existence of Nazareth questioned now on more than one thread.

Can someone provide some scholars or evidence that they believe shows that Nazareth did not exist during Jesus' time?

Thanks,
Ish
 
Old 04-24-2001, 03:41 PM   #2
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Hi Ish

Yes, Nazareth did exist.

From my in my Common Scpetic (sic) Myths thread.

1. Myth: Nazareth is an invention of the Gospels, and never actually existed until Constantine had the town built in the 4th Century AD.

Truth: I donít know where this one got started, but it is a remarkably persistent myth. Archeological discovers have already debunked it.

"Despite Nazareth's obscurity (which had led some critics to suggest that it was a relatively recent foundation), archeology indicates that the village has been occupied since the 7th century B.C., although it may have experienced a 'refounding' in the 2d century b.c. "
( John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew--Rethinking the Historical Jesus, (vol 1), p.300-301...cites Meyers and Strange, Archeology, the Rabbis, and Early Christianity, Abingdon:1981. pp.56-57)

"Despite the Hellenization of the general region and the probability that Greek was known to many people it seems likely that Nazareth remained a conservative Jewish village. After the Jewish war with the Romans from AD 66-70 it was necessary to re-settle Jewish priests and their families. Such groups would only settle in unmixed towns, that is towns without Gentile inhabitants. According to an inscription discovered in 1962 in Caesarea Maritima the priests of the order of Elkalir made their home in Nazareth. This, by the way, is the sole known reference to Nazareth in antiquity, apart from written Christian sources...
Some scholars had even believed that Nazareth was a fictitious invention of the early Christians; the inscription from Caesarea Maritima proves otherwise."
( Paul Barnett, Behind the Scenes of the New Testament, p.42)


Nomad
 
Old 04-24-2001, 04:38 PM   #3
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Smile

I honestly thought that Nazareth had something to do with being a "Nazerene" some sort of sect similar to the Essenes but more Hellenistic and involving more contact with the public.
 
Old 04-24-2001, 05:08 PM   #4
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Nomad, I've heard that the inscription dates from the 3rd century. Can you confirm a first-century date for the inscription?

Michael
 
Old 04-24-2001, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Nomad, I've heard that the inscription dates from the 3rd century. Can you confirm a first-century date for the inscription?

Michael
</font>
I have info on this subject buried somewhere in my books, but Iím too lazy to look for it. Iím not sure when the inscription is dated, but the reason we know Nazareth existed in the first century is because the inscription refers to ďpriests of the order of ElkalirĒ being from Nazareth. Priests were no longer needed after the templeís destruction in 70 C.E., although some speculate there was limited priestly activity up until the second revolt in 132-135 C.E. The implication of the inscription is clearly that the priests being referenced were temple priests. This means Nazareth existed prior to 70 C.E.

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 04-24-2001, 06:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polycarp:
I have info on this subject buried somewhere in my books, but Iím too lazy to look for it. Iím not sure when the inscription is dated, but the reason we know Nazareth existed in the first century is because the inscription refers to ďpriests of the order of ElkalirĒ being from Nazareth. Priests were no longer needed after the templeís destruction in 70 C.E., although some speculate there was limited priestly activity up until the second revolt in 132-135 C.E. The implication of the inscription is clearly that the priests being referenced were temple priests. This means Nazareth existed prior to 70 C.E.

Peace,

Polycarp
</font>
Thanks. I knew about the Elkalir, but did not understand the significance.

Michael
 
Old 04-24-2001, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
I've seen the existence of Nazareth questioned now on more than one thread.

Can someone provide some scholars or evidence that they believe shows that Nazareth did not exist during Jesus' time?

Thanks,
Ish
</font>
Hello Ish, it would serve the gospels best if there was no Nazereth-as-such because that would mean that Jesus was the [ex] Jew with no temple to serve and cater too.

In my theory Jesus was the reborn Joseph and, as you well know, Joseph as much as left the scene after the birth of Christ. The birth of Christ into the mind of Joseph created the new identity to be called Jesus of Nazareth who's ambition it was to destroy the human identity among which Jesus was divided. This temple (Joseph) was to be destroyed, yes and raised, but certainly not to be served by or catered to during this purgation period. The human nature of Jesus was crucified to finally release the Christ idenitity that was born on the darkest day in the life of Joseph the carpenter.

Amos
 
Old 04-25-2001, 02:08 AM   #8
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Yes there were Nazareth's at the time of Jesus. Which one are you talking about? There were multiple names for several locations. Read Josephus.

Thanks, Offa
 
Old 04-25-2001, 01:33 PM   #9
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Turtonm, the Nazareth inscription is believed to be from the end of the 3rd century or beginning of the 4th century(The Archaeology of the New Testament, 1992, p. 43, Jack Finegan).

Since I haven't seen too many replies against the existence of Nazareth during Jesus' time, I guess most here think that it probably did exist. However, since it has popped up a few times, I'll provide some extra archaeological information on top of the information already presented here by others. All the following info comes from The archaeology of the New Testament, 1992, Jack Finegan.

"In Nazareth itself a complex of burial caves was found in the upper city in 1963, in which there was pottery of the first part of the Middle Bronze Age (2100-1500 B.C.)." (p.44)

"...the earliest pottery found in them [silos] here at Nazareth is of Iron II (900-600 B.C.)." (p.45)

"Twenty-three tombs have also been found.... Eigthteen of the tombs are of the kokim type, which was known in Palestine from about 200 B.C. .... Two of the tombs...still contained objects...probably from the first to the third or fourth centuries of the Christian Era. Four of the tombs were sealed with rolling stones, a type of closure typical of the late Jewish period upt to A.D. 70. From the tombs, therefore, it can be concluded that Nazareth was a strongly Jewish settlement in the Roman period." (p.46)

"In light of recent archaeological evidence that Nazareth was an old established site long before the Early Roman period and during it, Vardaman remarks that there is little reason to question the Gospel record that Jesus grew up there." (p.43)


Ish


[This message has been edited by Ish (edited April 25, 2001).]
 
Old 04-25-2001, 04:14 PM   #10
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A round stone closing a cave is a Jewish tradition?
I wonder, what kind of stone should you use? What
kind of stones were available?

Again, Josephus tells about the use of multiple names
for locations, so which Nazareth are we talking about?
Josephus tells about cliff-dwellers in caves and how
it was impossible to approach the caves from below
(they were robbers hiding in the caves) so his men
built devices that carried soldiers and were lowered
down to the caves from overhead. One of the robbers,
much to Herod's chagrin, forced his family to jump
to their deaths and this robber himself, jumped
to his death. Josephus describes this location as
"Galilee". A pesher(er) knows this location was the same
as the location of the discovery of the Dead Sea
Scrolls (vicinity). Can we find a similar geography
in your Galilee?

Also, read the gospel of John, chapter 4. Jesus goes
to Galilee, turns around and goes back to Samaria,
then the woman at Jacob's Well (In Samaria?) goes
into the city (what city?) and Jesus returns to
Galilee (his journey started in Judea). Makes your
head spin, unless, you are aware of pseudo locations
like Galilee, Egypt, mount Sinai etc.

thanks, offa

 
 

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