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The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? - Religion - Nairaland

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Who Really Was Jesus Of Nazareth? / Did Jesus Of Nazareth Exist? A Philosophical Perspective On An Unended Quest / Krayola State Your Case For The Historical Jesus. (1) (2) (3) (4)

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The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by tpaine: 11:07pm On Mar 14, 2008
It has been known for many years in [Biblical] archeological community that the town of Nazareth pre 0 CE was pretty much non-existent.  The historian Josephus gives very detail account of the major towns and citys in the area in the early 1st century but has no mention of Nazareth. Other historian studying the period verge on the notion that the town did not exist until later in the 1st or early 2nd century.

Frank Zindler, editor of American Atheist Magazine, has asserted that Nazareth did not exist in the first century.[52] His arguments include the following:

* No "ancient historians or geographers mention [Nazareth] before the beginning of the fourth century [AD]."[53]
* Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Talmud, nor in the Apocrypha and it does not appear in any early rabbinic literature.
* Nazareth was not included in the list of settlements of the tribes of Zebulun (Joshua 19:10-16) which mentions twelve towns and six villages
* Nazareth is not included among the 45 cities of Galilee that were mentioned by Josephus (37AD-100AD).
* Nazareth is also missing from the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud.

Zindler's view is historically possible if Nazareth came into existence at the same time that the New Testament gospels were being written and redacted. Most scholars place the writing of the gospels that do mention Nazareth between the two Jewish-Roman wars (70 AD-132 AD).


This new book by Rene Salm (The Myth of Nazareth) investigate the Nazareth issue is in more detail.  I have copied the editors review from Amazon and it's given below:

http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Nazareth-Invented-Town-Jesus/dp/1578840031/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205532303&sr=8-2

Review
I am amazed by your work and can't wait to see the pathetic attempts to reply! -- Robert M. Price, PhD, ThD, Author, The Pre-Nicene New Testament, Deconstructing Jesus, Jesus Is Dead, etc. Christianity cannot survive unless this book can be refuted. By proving scientifically that Nazareth was uninhabited at the time Jesus of Nazareth and his family were supposed to be living there, Salm strikes the Achilles' heel of a very popular god. We KNOW the Wizard of Oz is not real, since we know there never was a Land of Oz. Because of this exhaustive archaeological investigation, we now know that Jesus of Nazareth also is a literary fiction. Apologists and all other professional Christians are going to be out of work unless they can disprove this book -- or find a way to suppress it. -- Frank R. Zindler, Author, The Jesus the Jews Never Knew --Back cover


Product Description
The Myth Of Nazareth presents convincing archaeological evidence that the town of Nazareth was not settled until after the First Jewish War, around 70 CE. Exhaustive reconsideration of ALL artifacts from present-day Nazareth shows that the site was not inhabited at the time Jesus of Nazareth and his family are supposed to have been living there. In this book researcher René Salm proves that a core element of the Jesus story was an invention of the evangelists who wrote their gospels towards the end of the first century CE -- as it turns out, at the same time the village of Nazareth was coming into being. Requiring eight years of painstaking research, The Myth Of Nazareth surveys the archaeological record of the Nazareth basin from the Stone Age until modern times. It guides the reader through a stunning odyssey of discovery -- one which exposes not only the true history of the site but also a scandalous history of evidentiary suppression reaching back into Early Christian Times. The here-established fact that Nazareth is a literary invention puts Jesus of Nazareth in the same class as the Wizard of Oz and implies that Jesus too is a literary invention. Coming shortly after the claim of Israeli archaeologist Aviram Oshri that Bethlehem in Judea also was uninhabited at the time Jesus is supposed to have been born there, Salm's research seems to be delivering a one-two knockout punch to the character known as The Historical Jesus.

Also check out an interview Rene Salm gave The Infidel Guy at http://www.infidelguy.com/  or get the podcast at http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/ig-the-myth-of-nazareth/7147984/



There is certainly more to be said on this subject. I shall get a copy of the book and post my review in due course.

More Info
http://www.nazarethmyth.info/
http://cdn4.libsyn.com/dogmafreeamerica/four.mp3
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by tpaine: 11:49am On Mar 15, 2008
Frank Zindler, editor of American Atheist Magazine, has asserted that Nazareth did not exist in the first century.[52] His arguments include the following:

* No "ancient historians or geographers mention [Nazareth] before the beginning of the fourth century [AD]."[53]
* Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Talmud, nor in the Apocrypha and it does not appear in any early rabbinic literature.
* Nazareth was not included in the list of settlements of the tribes of Zebulun (Joshua 19:10-16) which mentions twelve towns and six villages
* Nazareth is not included among the 45 cities of Galilee that were mentioned by Josephus (37AD-100AD).
* Nazareth is also missing from the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud.

Zindler's view is historically possible if Nazareth came into existence at the same time that the New Testament gospels were being written and redacted. Most scholars place the writing of the gospels that do mention Nazareth between the two Jewish-Roman wars (70 AD-132 AD).
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by redsun(m): 3:58pm On Mar 16, 2008
It is all but illusion and at the same real,because we are all living the story,same thing all over,same principles,history repeating itself.The question is,where do you stand in your time?

Pass on from thousands of years of man's so-called civilization and quests to decipher what it is all about.Mirage.
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by Ovamboland(m): 12:31pm On Mar 15, 2010
Did i really miss this article? how can this be?
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by rabzy: 11:07am On Mar 26, 2010
There has to be a couple of assumptions for this to be taken seriously. Assumptions that are far-fetched and punches some holes in these summarized arguments.
The town of Nazareth might not have existed in the time of the old testament or it could be very obscure and/or insignificant enough to be mentioned.

Josephus
Many more towns/villages would have sprung up after the list at Joshua 19:10-16 has been compiled.
Was the list by Josephus exhaustive, are we sure he mentioned all the existing cities/towns and villages of Galilee.

Josephus mentioned 45 cities, the Talmud mentioned 63 towns. Could there be others unmentioned by anyone, maybe there were a thousand villages.


For a long time, many critics believed Pontius Pilate never existed because there was no secular mention of him, until some 150yrs or so ago when they found some.

Moreso another renowned archaelogist Dr. Ken Dark, who has worked in Nazareth for many years said in his review of this book in the 2008 issue of the Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society. I quote his final paragraph - "To conclude: despite initial appearances, this is not a well-informed study and ignores much evidence and important published work of direct relevance. The basic premise is faulty, and Salm's reasoning is often weak and shaped by his preconceptions. Overall, his central argument is archaeologically unsupportable."

"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. " ([MJ]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

Also an Archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre, has discovered the ruins of house that is dated to be about 2000yrs ago to the time of Jesus.


If i was going to create a fictitious person, i would do so but place him in an existing town, putting him in a non-existing place, would be two points of failure. And if we look at the way the gospel writers tried tremendously to place events with other historical occurences/political figures, it would be very odd for them to make such a cheap mistake.
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by noetic16(m): 4:42pm On Mar 26, 2010
believe anything as long as it discredits God.
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by toba: 4:54pm On Mar 26, 2010
noetic16:

believe anything as long as it discredits God.

U re right
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by jagunlabi(m): 5:12pm On Mar 26, 2010
God can not be discredited by anyone, even if he/she try extremely hard.Only manmade gods and the dubious yarns spun around them(religious doctrines) can be discredited.
noetic16:

believe anything as long as it discredits God.
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by jesus3: 6:06pm On Mar 26, 2010
come to Jerusalem to confirm if i truly existed or not
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by Krayola(m): 6:08pm On Mar 26, 2010
jesus.:

come to Jerusalem to confirm if i truly existed or not

Pass da dutchie pon da left hand side. . . .
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by noetic16(m): 6:12pm On Mar 26, 2010
jagunlabi:

God can not be discredited by anyone, even if he/she try extremely hard.Only manmade gods and the dubious yarns spun around them(religious doctrines) can be discredited.

an opinion not worth a penny.
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by jesus3: 6:14pm On Mar 26, 2010
Krayola:

Pass da dutchie pon da left hand side. . . .

Whats the meaning of these?
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by jagunlabi(m): 7:58pm On Mar 26, 2010
noetic16:

an opinion not worth a penny.
To you and your likes, maybe.And it is not dificult to know why.
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by petres007(m): 6:48pm On Mar 27, 2010
One thing I noticed when reading about the question of Nazareth's existence during the time of Jesus, which we will assume was around 4 BC - AD 40, was that much of the so-called "evidence" of Nazareth's non-existence comes from professed atheists, or rather anti-theists, who presumably have a vested interest in "disproving" the Bible.

Some other information to consider:

    * Nazareth, according to tradition, was a poor town, and one of less than great repute. The Bible states that people asked, "can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Perhaps Biblical Nazareth was a small gathering of homes, but not an officially-recognized town.

    * Lack of evidence is no evidence at all. We cannot assume that the lack of archaeological evidence for an ancient city or town called Nazareth proves that the city/town did not exist, only that its existence is not yet proven.


The name Naz′a�reth possibly means "Sprout-Town", which could indicate it's relative insignificance in comparison with other towns around it. Nazareth was located in the Lower Galilee, in a fairly well populated region, where Jesus was raised from about the age of three, and he lived most of his earthly life. (Lu 2:51,�52; Mt 13:54-56) Both Joseph and Mary were residents of Nazareth when Gabriel announced the approaching birth of Jesus. (Lu 1:26,�27; 2:4,�39) Later, after their return from Egypt, they took up residence in Nazareth again.�Mt 2:19-23; Lu 2:39.

Most scholars identify Nazareth with En Nasira (Nazerat) in Galilee. If this view is correct, Nazareth was situated in the low mountains just north of the Valley of Jezreel and approximately halfway between the south tip of the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Coast. It was in a mountain basin with hills rising 120 to 150 m (400 to 500 ft) above it. The area was well populated, with a number of cities and towns near Nazareth. Also, it is estimated that one could walk from Nazareth to Ptolemais on the Mediterranean Coast in seven hours, to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee in five hours, and to Jerusalem in three days.

It is difficult to say with certainty just how prominent Nazareth was in the first century. The most common view of commentators is that Nazareth was then a rather secluded, insignificant village. The principal Biblical statement used to support this view is what Nathanael said when he heard that Jesus was from there: �Can anything good come out of Nazareth?� (Joh 1:46) This has been taken by many to mean that Nazareth was looked down upon, even by people of Galilee. (Joh 21:2) Nazareth was near trade routes of the area but not directly on them. It was not mentioned by Josephus, though he referred to nearby Japhia as the largest fortified village of all Galilee, leading to the idea that Nazareth was eclipsed by its neighbor. Josephus did not mention many of the settlements in Galilee, so his not mentioning Nazareth might not be particularly significant.

Relating to archeology, time and again the Bible�s historical record has been substantiated by the uncovering of new information. The Assyrian king Sargon, for example, was for a long time known only from the Bible account at Isaiah 20:1. Critics for years claimed that Sargon never existed, and that the Bible was wrong. Then archaeological excavations produced the ruins of Sargon�s magnificent palace at Khorsabad, including many inscriptions regarding his rule. As a result, Sargon is now one of the best known of the Assyrian kings. Israeli historian Moshe Pearlman wrote: �Suddenly, sceptics who had doubted the authenticity even of the historical parts of the Old Testament began to revise their views.�

Another example of a discovery that confirms the historicalness of the Bible is given by Michael J.�Howard, who worked with the Caesarea expedition in Israel in 1979. �For 1,900�years,� he wrote, �Pilate existed only on the pages of the Gospels and in the vague recollections of Roman and Jewish historians. Next to nothing was known about his life. Some said he never even existed. But in 1961, an Italian archaeological expedition was working in the ruins of the ancient Roman theater in Caesarea. A workman overturned a stone that had been used for one of the stairways. On the reverse side was the following, partially-obscured inscription in Latin: �Caesariensibus Tiberium Pontius Pilatus Praefectus Iudaeae.� (To the people of Caesarea Tiberium Pontius Pilate Prefect of Judea.) It was a fatal blow to the doubts about Pilate�s existence. .�.�. "

These are only two examples of many in which the historical value of the Bible has been vindicated in the face of criticism. I am not personally aware of a lack of archelogical evidence in regard to the existence of Nazareth. A search of the subject only reveals critics asserting that there is no evidence. There does not appear to be such claims on the part of historians. But, even if there is such claims by those who are viewed as authorities on the subject, then we should keep in mind that every time such critism arises, it is always proven that the Bible was correct all along.



�Nazareth is not mentioned in ancient Jewish sources earlier than the third century AD. This likely reflects its lack of prominence both in Galilee and in Judaea,� writes American archaeologist James Strange.[4] Strange variously estimates Nazareth�s population at �roughly 1,600 to 2,000 people� in the time of Christ, and in another publication at �a maximum of about 480.� [5] However, some historians argue that the absence of textual references to Nazareth in the Old Testament and the Talmud, as well as the works of Josephus, suggest that a town called 'Nazareth' did not exist in Jesus' day.[6]



Nazareth was well known in Biblical times. In John's gospel, for example (John 1:45) , Philip, an apostle of Jesus, asks Nathaniel to come and see "Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Joseph". Nathaniel says to Philip "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" suggesting that Nazareth was already well known as a town of some ill repute. Sadly, the denial of atheists in even believing Nazareth exists let alone Jesus himself, is all too common. Clutching at straws like this is reminiscent of Apollo conspiracy theorists citing any 'evidence' that man never went to the moon.



Dr. Strange, mentioned above, also points out that when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD that the priests whose temple service was no longer required were dispersed. A list has been discovered by archaeologists which lists the places where the 24 families or courses of priests went to. This list, written in Aramaic records that one family went to Nazareth, which, though small, certainly existed then.

In addition to this, many archaeological digs have uncovered tombs from the first century near the city limits of Nazareth, thus establishing the boundary, as bodies were required to be buried outside the city. Thus, once again, evidence previously undiscovered has confirmed a Biblical detail.

Source: Interview with John Mcray PhD in 'The Case For Christ' by Lee Strobel pages 137-138

Thus it is totally incorrect to state: "Nazareth is not mentioned in ancient Jewish sources earlier than the third century AD." At the very least this comment is outdated by the discovery mentioned above, which must date from the late first or early second century.


--- Source: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_was_Jesus_called_%27Jesus_of_Nazareth%27_when_there_was_no_town_or_city_named_Nazareth_2000_years_ago
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by petres007(m): 6:55pm On Mar 27, 2010
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by petres007(m): 6:57pm On Mar 27, 2010
I'm sorry to spoil your little party. . . grin grin grin


Its okay. . . I know how hard you're trying. . . how much you wish he (Christ) didn't exist and that the bible isn't credible wink cheesy grin grin grin
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by petres007(m): 5:44pm On Mar 31, 2010
Why did the OP and everybody else daydreaming about the non-existence of Nazareth (and by extension, Jesus of Nazareth) run away??

Please come back!!! cheesy grin grin grin

I promise not to spoil your little party daydreaming for you again. . . I promise! grin grin grin
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by Zodiac61(m): 2:21pm On Apr 04, 2010
petres_007:

I'm sorry to spoil your little party.  .  .   grin grin grin


Its okay.  .  . I know how hard you're trying.  .  . how much you wish he (Christ) didn't exist and that the bible isn't credible  wink cheesy grin grin grin
Is the bible credible?
Read a book called "Biblical Nonsense: A Review of the Bible for Doubting Christians" by Dr. Jason Long. And then deal with the issues raised therein.
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by toba: 2:58pm On Apr 04, 2010
Zodiac61:

Is the bible credible?
Read a book called "Biblical Nonsense: A Review of the Bible for Doubting Christians" by Dr. Jason Long. And then deal with the issues raised therein.
Forget that.I have several ebooks justifying the bible&also criticizing it.Like wise hard copy books criticizing atheism from former atheist.Theres nothing new about having contrary view about issues.
Re: The Myth Of Nazareth: Did the historical Jesus Exist? by nollywood20: 7:03pm On Jan 19, 2013

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