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Christian Hero No 1. 1955-1960 Excavations conducted by Father Bellarmino Bagatti (Professor, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum at Flagellation, Jerusalem). Beneath his own church and adjoining land, Bagatti discovered numerous caves and hollows. Some of these caves have obviously had a great deal of use, over many centuries. Most are tombs, many from the Bronze Age. Others have been adapted for use as water cisterns, as vats for oil or as 'silos' for grain. Apparently, there were indications that Nazareth had been 'refounded' in Hasmonean times after a long period when the area had been deserted. Yet overwhelmingly, archaeological evidence from before the second century is funerary. Obliged to admit a dearth of suitable evidence of habitation, none the less, Bagatti was able conclude that 1st century AD Nazareth had been 'a small agricultural village settled by a few dozen families.'
With a great leap of faith the partisan diggers declared what they had found was 'the village of Jesus, Mary & Joseph' – though they had not found a village at all, and certainly no evidence of particular individuals. The finds were consistent, in fact, with isolated horticultural activity, close to a necropolis of long-usage.
Rather conveniently for the Catholic Church, questionable graffiti also indicated that the shrine was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, no less!
Yet one point is inescapable: the Jewish disposition towards the 'uncleanliness' of the dead. The Jews, according to their customs, would not build a village in the immediate vicinity of tombs and vice versa. Tombs would have to be outside any village.
"The tombs, both those discovered by Bagatti and others known from earlier explorations, would have been placed outside the village and serve, in fact, to delimit its circumference for us. Looking at their locations on the plans drawn up by Bagatti (1.28) or Finegan (27), one realizes just how small the village actually was ..."
– J.D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus.
a reply to: windword
Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. [...] And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
originally posted by: TinfoilTP
I detect a lot of hate in posts repudiating they found the house Jesus suckled in as a baby.
According to the story they had to abandon their home and seek refuge in Egypt, the whole killing off every firstborn atrocity to try to eradicate him. Seems today something is still trying to eradicate that he existed.
originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
It is worth adding to that comment that Nazarene was a cult and not a place. Nazareth didn't exist at the time, it appears it was an error of translation from Greek.
Nazareth was nowhere near the "city" as the Bible describes, and certainly didn't have a temple, where Jesus supposedly read from expensive scrolls.
The compromised archaeology of Nazareth
The Myth of Nazareth shows that the village came into existence not earlier than 70 CE (the climax of the First Jewish War), and most likely in early II CE—the same era in which the canonical gospels were being edited. Furthermore, this study shows that there was a long hiatus in settlement in the Nazareth basin between the Late Iron Age (c. 700 BCE) and Middle Roman times (c. 100 CE). Finally, it is probable that the extensive remains in the Nazareth basin from the Bronze and Iron Ages are in fact to be identified with biblical Japhia. These conclusions are based on a unanimity of the material evidence from multiple excavations in the Nazareth basin. Whether we are speaking of “Herodian” oil lamps (which constitute the earliest Roman evidence), glass, metal, or stone objects, inscriptions, coins, “kokh” tombs with or without rolling stones, wall foundations, or agricultural installations—all of these point to a Jewish settlement beginning in early II CE and thriving in Late Roman and Byzantine times. Extra-archaeological data confirm this conclusion.
In an explosive revelation, The Myth of Nazareth shows that a number of Roman tombs (not mentioned in any guidebook) exist directly under the Church of the Annunciation, the most venerated site in Nazareth. This locus was part of a cemetery during later Roman times. It could not have been the domicile of the Virgin Mary—a proposition abhorrent in a Jewish context for, according to Torah, tombs were never located within the precincts of a Jewish village, nor near or under habitations. Both the traditional chronology and location are in error, for the cemetery at Nazareth came into existence several generations after the alleged time of the Virgin.
Most scholars summarily dismiss the “invention” of Nazareth on the grounds that the town is frequently mentioned in the Christian gospels. Unwittingly, archaeology is thus held hostage to literary considerations. The textual case for Nazareth in the gospels is much weaker, however, than is generally supposed. The settlement is named only once in the Gospel of Mark, at 1:9 (other instances in the Greek text read “Jesus the Nazarene”). The passage as it stands demonstrably conflicts with the remainder of the gospel, which locates Jesus’ home in Capernaum. Thus, it can be shown that the Gospel of Mark contains the later interpolation of a single word, “Nazaret” at 1:9.
Furthermore, the literary genesis of Nazareth occurs in one of the most problematic passages of Christian scripture, Mt 2:23: And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazaret, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazoraean.” No such prophetic utterance has been identified in the Jewish scriptures. For its part, the Gospel of Luke is equally problematic. The enigmatic scene in the Nazareth synagogue (Lk 4:16-30) has been shown to be an elaborate reworking of prior materials. Furthermore, the third evangelist demonstrates a strident anti-Capernaum stance, one which impels him to divorce Jesus as much as possible from Capernaum roots.
A flawed record
The archaeological record of Nazareth has been written principally by Franciscan excavators on site. Subsequent reviews of critical finds in journals and monographs, by Israeli archaeologists and others, often contradict the conclusions of the Church and form an important part of The Myth of Nazareth.
The Myth of Nazareth reveals an embarrassing history of unscientific fieldwork, tendentious publication, and suppressed evidence reaching back many generations. It is a searing indictment of one school of biblical archaeology.
originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
Search for the TRUTH.
As Director of the Nazareth Archaeological Project, the editors of this journal have invited me to offer an independent archaeological view of René Salm’s criticisms of the Nazareth Village Farm report. This response, like my review of his book below, in fairness to the fact that Mr Salm is an amateur, will not criticize his use of archaeological terminology, but instead focus on the substantive points that he raises.
Salm is correct is noting the importance of Pfann’s et al.’s work at ‘Nazareth Village Farm’ and that it achieved its stated aims. I agree that Nazareth Village Farm was the most important archaeological work by a non-Israeli team in Nazareth in the 1990s, although I would also give more credit than does Salm to work by the Israel Antiquities Authority in and around Nazareth during that decade, such as the excavation at the present St. Mary’s Well in 1997–1998 Y. Alexandre 2006 ‘Excavations at Mary’s Well, Nazareth’ (www.israntique.... org.il/eng/zafon/marys_well.html) as retrieved on 30th May 2006).
In my review of his newly published book (pp. 140–146), I have discussed Salm’s contention that: ‘The Jewish village (of later Roman and early Byzantine times) surely existed on the relatively flat valley floor, between tombs to the east and the west’, which is based on a serious topographical misunderstanding of Nazareth. Salm’s claim that Nazareth has, at St. Mary’s Well, only one important water source is undermined when he admits that evidence at Nazareth Village Farm could imply a ‘spring house’, because this admits the possibility of other, as yetundiscovered,springs–perhapslonginactive–inthepresenturbanarea.Salm also ignores recent evidence for domestic structures terraced into hill-slopes at other Second Temple period settlements in the Galilee, refuting his argument that ‘[t]he steepness of the NVF (the average slope is 20%) and the discovery of a tomb reveal that this area also was not the site of ancient habitations’ (see Richardson 2004: 77 and 103, plate 12).
Salm compares Haiman’s survey and the later, more wide-ranging, survey at the site, as if to imply that the former casts doubt upon the latter. But, as archaeologists know very well, many studies around the world have demonstrated that surveying the same area twice can produce different, but equally valid, results (each representing a partial view of what is present), and there is a lengthy methodological debate in archaeology concerning ‘representivity’ in fieldwork data. This is one of the reasons why re-survey – if properly conducted – is a valid archaeological activity. Salm is on firmer ground when criticizing the pottery report. He is correct that the pottery illustrations are occasionally reproduced too small for further study (as on page 40) and has noted a few apparent contradictions. These may be reporting errors, but they do not require re-dating of the site.
Salm betrays a lack of understanding of the conventional process of archaeological publication when he remarks, in relation to an interim report on St. Mary’s Well, ‘[c]ertainly, it is difficult to believe that such significant evidence as coins from the Hellenistic, Hasmonaean, and Early Roman periods … was subsequently divulged to the authors of the NVFR, but escaped the official IAA report’. One would not usually expect an interim report, such as this, to contain information about all the artefacts found. This is especially true of finds from ‘residual’ contexts or that were unstratified. So the ‘discrepancy’ noted between Pfann et al.’s report of the coins and the interim report seen by Salm only implies that Pfann et al. asked the site director (Yardenna Alexandre) for information about the coins from her site, which she provided and allowed to be included ahead of her own publication. There is no evidence here of an irregularity, only of Ms. Alexandre’s academic generosity.
In conclusion: it may be that the ceramic evidence for Second Temple period activity at the site of Nazareth Village Farm is, as published, ambiguous. However, field systems are notoriously hard to date using archaeological evidence and this does not make Salm’s argument for a post-Second Temple date for the settlement at Nazareth any more credible. The available archaeological evidence from the centre of contemporary Nazareth, by contrast, suggests that the settlement of Nazareth existed in the Second Temple period and included the area around the existing Church of the Annunciation. The terraces at Nazareth Village Farm might well have been farmed by people from, or having some relationship with, that settlement.
Thats funny, because it wasn't all that long ago you were making the claim that Jesus didn't exist because Nazareth was nothing more than a glorified graveyard in the 1st century. You maintained this claim even after I showed you archaeological evidence to the contrary.
Show me where the bible claims Nazareth was a city, please.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
28And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. 30But passing through their midst, He went His way.
Also, Jesus was preaching and reading from scrolls in the temple in Jerusalem as a child, not Nazareth. However, Nazareth did have a local synagogue, which has also been excavated.
originally posted by: Kantzveldt
a reply to: arpgme
Yes it shouldn't be surprising that the house was remembered and celebrated as his birth place, in the early centuries the locals would have surely been well aware of which house he'd lived in, no writings discovered in the house though, Churches were built over the site to protect the houses though.
Yeah such a historic thing would be abandoned and burried. Ha, Ha, If there was history and tradition throughout time. It would have been treated like the temple mount ect.. They think, not proof. Wishful thinking. Like wishing he wasn't just like David koeresh.
Jesus childhood home discovered
a reply to: roth1
No not really there was the recorded tradition, like i said if a very famous person comes from a village everyone is going to remember which house he lived in for centuries, so i think it quite likely the early church identified the correct location, it's not just a random house that's been excavated but the traditional site.
originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
Clearly reading a bible written by men, translated many times and bits removed and added has influenced you.
originally posted by: windword
a reply to: Anaana
Regardless of the critics of Rene Salm, there is NO archaeological evidence to support that Nazareth was any more than a very small settlement of a few farms and a huge funerary. The biblical record of Nazareth is either incorrect, or the Christians identified and settled the wrong site in error.
originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
a reply to: Anaana
As I said I posted the quote due to summarised content rather than author. There are, as I said plenty of sources saying the same. in fact it appears that is where the quoted author got his information.