Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
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26-06-2013, 08:50 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
PS, by the way, my original position as in the quotes that I first put up from my book here, was that Nazareth didn't exist in Jesus' day. I've now, because I respect your opinion, have changed my position to that I'm not sure whether Nazareth existed in Jesus' day. So I'm quite willing to change my mind.

Please fire away and give me some more evidence to prove Nazareth's first century existence.
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26-06-2013, 08:57 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(26-06-2013 08:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  PS, by the way, my original position as in the quotes that I first put up from my book here, was that Nazareth didn't exist in Jesus' day. I've now, because I respect your opinion, have changed my position to that I'm not sure whether Nazareth existed in Jesus' day. So I'm quite willing to change my mind.

Please fire away and give me some more evidence to prove Nazareth's first century existence.

Sounds like you're more or less where I am on that then. This particular query was just for curiosities sake, as whether or not Nazareth existed does nothing to prove or disprove the existence of the God-Man and everything else about his story falls apart. I still hold with the Nazarene Essene since it fits with what we know are the true facts. Apocalyptic preacher, Anti-Roman, Religious Fanatic with Political ambitions none of that changes if this tiny farming village was around when he was alive or not.

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26-06-2013, 09:05 PM (This post was last modified: 26-06-2013 09:08 PM by maklelan.)
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Daniel, I'm not necessarily saying that you're wrong. I'm only trying to assess the evidence and piece it all together. It makes little difference to the central themes of my book whether Nazareth existed or not in the first century.

I hear it that the age of the pottery is a fairly secure way of determining the period involved. Why is not more made of this?

It's a methodological foundation of modern Near Eastern archaeology. There's no reason to reiterate what everyone is presumed to already know.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The whole Nazareth farm report doesn't bring all the facts together to a conclusion. It just talks vaguely about bits of pottery found and lots of terracing.

That's what archaeological reports do. They just report on what was found. They're not there to present any kind of unified argument, they're just reporting on the results of the excavation.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Why doesn't the press article mentioned the fact that first century Roman pottery has definitely been found in Nazareth?

Because that's already well-known.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Why do Israeli authorities directly negate this very finding....ie
"no settlement remains have been discovered that are attributed to this period" Are not bits of pottery "settlement remains?"

No. Pottery can indicate just about any kind of presence, sedentary or otherwise.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Can you appreciate that for a non-expert like myself I would like the evidence presented succinctly and definitively and for the authorities to not contradict each other?

What authorities are contradicting each other? The problem with wanting the evidence presented with a specific rhetorical point in mind is that that's not what scholars do, and particularly in excavation reports. Scholars produce scholarship primarily to dialogue with each other and document their positions for other scholars. Popular publications for public consumption are less frequent and aren't usually going to deal with questions like this that are already well established in the academy.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Show me the money! Show me the facts!

You are being shown the facts. The excavation report presents the facts, but you appear to be asking for interpretation, which is not "the facts," but an opinion on what the facts mean.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Can you appreciate that when reputable (I believe) people write books about the very topic and find no evidence of first century occupation we become skeptical?

I can appreciate that from your point of view such publications appear reputable, but they're not. When a non-specialist who holds vociferously and vehemently to a particular dogmatic worldview wages an extended war of publications on a particular conclusion current among actual scholars, focusing primarily on ad hominem argumentation, it strains credulity to find their positions reputable.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  What do you think they meant by the term "apparently camouflaged?" It sounds like all they found was a hole in the ground.

They could have found other material remains blocking the entrance, or perhaps boards or textiles or other things obscuring it from view.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If it was a hiding place, what's to say that it wasn't dug during the Second revolt in 130CE?

The Bar Kokhba revolt occurred in Jerusalem and Judea, not in Galilee. Jews actually immigrated to Galilee after the Bar Kokhba revolt because they were left alone there.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  My understanding is that it was more likely that underground tunnels were dug at this time rather than during the first revolt.

Not in that area.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Also...why would it be preserved as "camouflaged?" The Jews lost both wars. The hole in the ground served its purpose. Did Mr and Mrs Jew say..."Mmmm...let's preserve this camouflaged hole as a memory of how badly we failed?" Surely the hole would be used for something else : ? a wine cellar maybe.

Actually, the Romans never attacked Nazareth, as it held little strategic value. The hideout was built, but was probably never used.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think if there was good archaeological evidence for Nazareth's existence in Jesus' time it would be out there on the Internet, not buried away in obscure archaeological journals or hinted at in press releases.

You would be surprised what is buried away in obscure archaeological journals, but this data is quite widely proliferated online. It's just a question of the value of the websites hosting it. Like I said, this particular argument is confined primarily to fringe apologists and skeptics.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Tourism is a major business in Israel and the government would be pumping it for all their worth.

You'd be surprised how much can go on in other countries without you being notified.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Maybe I am biased. So what? At the end of the day we're looking at the facts. I'm happy to be wrong. I would just like to know the truth. Convince me.

What more can I add? We have a residence, burials, and potsherds that are widely agreed to date to the early first century CE. I don't see what else is needed.

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26-06-2013, 10:26 PM (This post was last modified: 26-06-2013 10:37 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(26-06-2013 09:05 PM)maklelan Wrote:  
(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Daniel, I'm not necessarily saying that you're wrong. I'm only trying to assess the evidence and piece it all together. It makes little difference to the central themes of my book whether Nazareth existed or not in the first century.

I hear it that the age of the pottery is a fairly secure way of determining the period involved. Why is not more made of this?

It's a methodological foundation of modern Near Eastern archaeology. There's no reason to reiterate what everyone is presumed to already know.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The whole Nazareth farm report doesn't bring all the facts together to a conclusion. It just talks vaguely about bits of pottery found and lots of terracing.

That's what archaeological reports do. They just report on what was found. They're not there to present any kind of unified argument, they're just reporting on the results of the excavation.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Why doesn't the press article mentioned the fact that first century Roman pottery has definitely been found in Nazareth?

Because that's already well-known.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Why do Israeli authorities directly negate this very finding....ie
"no settlement remains have been discovered that are attributed to this period" Are not bits of pottery "settlement remains?"

No. Pottery can indicate just about any kind of presence, sedentary or otherwise.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Can you appreciate that for a non-expert like myself I would like the evidence presented succinctly and definitively and for the authorities to not contradict each other?

What authorities are contradicting each other? The problem with wanting the evidence presented with a specific rhetorical point in mind is that that's not what scholars do, and particularly in excavation reports. Scholars produce scholarship primarily to dialogue with each other and document their positions for other scholars. Popular publications for public consumption are less frequent and aren't usually going to deal with questions like this that are already well established in the academy.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Show me the money! Show me the facts!

You are being shown the facts. The excavation report presents the facts, but you appear to be asking for interpretation, which is not "the facts," but an opinion on what the facts mean.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Can you appreciate that when reputable (I believe) people write books about the very topic and find no evidence of first century occupation we become skeptical?

I can appreciate that from your point of view such publications appear reputable, but they're not. When a non-specialist who holds vociferously and vehemently to a particular dogmatic worldview wages an extended war of publications on a particular conclusion current among actual scholars, focusing primarily on ad hominem argumentation, it strains credulity to find their positions reputable.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  What do you think they meant by the term "apparently camouflaged?" It sounds like all they found was a hole in the ground.

They could have found other material remains blocking the entrance, or perhaps boards or textiles or other things obscuring it from view.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If it was a hiding place, what's to say that it wasn't dug during the Second revolt in 130CE?

The Bar Kokhba revolt occurred in Jerusalem and Judea, not in Galilee. Jews actually immigrated to Galilee after the Bar Kokhba revolt because they were left alone there.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  My understanding is that it was more likely that underground tunnels were dug at this time rather than during the first revolt.

Not in that area.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Also...why would it be preserved as "camouflaged?" The Jews lost both wars. The hole in the ground served its purpose. Did Mr and Mrs Jew say..."Mmmm...let's preserve this camouflaged hole as a memory of how badly we failed?" Surely the hole would be used for something else : ? a wine cellar maybe.

Actually, the Romans never attacked Nazareth, as it held little strategic value. The hideout was built, but was probably never used.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think if there was good archaeological evidence for Nazareth's existence in Jesus' time it would be out there on the Internet, not buried away in obscure archaeological journals or hinted at in press releases.

You would be surprised what is buried away in obscure archaeological journals, but this data is quite widely proliferated online. It's just a question of the value of the websites hosting it. Like I said, this particular argument is confined primarily to fringe apologists and skeptics.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Tourism is a major business in Israel and the government would be pumping it for all their worth.

You'd be surprised how much can go on in other countries without you being notified.

(26-06-2013 08:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Maybe I am biased. So what? At the end of the day we're looking at the facts. I'm happy to be wrong. I would just like to know the truth. Convince me.

What more can I add? We have a residence, burials, and potsherds that are widely agreed to date to the early first century CE. I don't see what else is needed.

RE
"It's a methodological foundation of modern Near Eastern archaeology. There's no reason to reiterate what everyone is presumed to already know."

I think you misunderstood me. I was referring to the ACTUAL POTTERY. Please show me a good article that discusses this first century pottery. You say it is "well known"

RE

"No. Pottery can indicate just about any kind of presence, sedentary or otherwise."
Ok.

RE
"What authorities are contradicting each other?"

I found this...


"Prominent American and Israeli archaeologists raise doubt about the alleged Jesus-era house in Nazareth

An American archaeologist rails against Yardenna Alexandre’s announcement:

...What I find most notable is that to date the excavators have yet to report even one shred of evidence that places this structure in the first century CE as opposed to the second century. People can “trust” all they wish, but it is precisely this type of trust that leads the gullible to pay no heed to the requirements of evidence. Instead, they buy into the spurious idea that the traces of farms, Roman bath houses, garrison works, vineyards, caravanseries, synagogues, etc., have been discovered from a turn of the era Nazareth. These edifices do not exist in the factual record, but they widely populate apologists’ fiction.
The same archaeologist writes:

…After reading the MFA [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs] press release, which states that the ceramics found at the site were perhaps second century CE, I contacted a friend of mine who is a director at the Albright. He confirmed for me that the typology is first-second century CE, and presently the ceramic finds are so sparse and disjointed that it is still too early to rule out stratigraphic intrusion. So, judging from the finds themselves, the “Jesus era” is apparently first-second century CE or perhaps even later. Obviously, this dig adds little if anything to our previous body of knowledge at this time, as we already have scarce first-second century ceramic remains at Nazareth and an evidentiary profile that confirms occupation of the site in the second century CE.

It really looks like our Israeli and Franciscan friends are merely up to their old tricks. I find it highly revealing that an IAA [Israel Antiquities Authority] representative would state that we have a “few written sources that [let us] know” that “Nazareth was a small, Jewish village” in the “first century CE.” Anyone care to venture a guess as to what these written sources might be? Nazareth is a cash/political cow and professional/confessional bulwark that they will never allow to crumble, no matter what the evidence might be."

RE
"They could have found other material remains blocking the entrance, or perhaps boards or textiles or other things obscuring it from view."

OK. But you are guessing, right? And you haven't explained why it would have been preserved as "camouflaged"

RE
"When a non-specialist who holds vociferously and vehemently to a particular dogmatic worldview wages an extended war of publications on a particular conclusion current among actual scholars, focusing primarily on ad hominem argumentation, it strains credulity to find their positions reputable."

So...please show me the "actual scholars" opinions. I've spent an hour on google over this, without much result.

RE
"The Bar Kokhba revolt occurred in Jerusalem and Judea, not in Galilee. Jews actually immigrated to Galilee after the Bar Kokhba revolt because they were left alone there."

Ok, I didn't know that.

RE
"You would be surprised what is buried away in obscure archaeological journals, but this data is quite widely proliferated online. It's just a question of the value of the websites hosting it. Like I said, this particular argument is confined primarily to fringe apologists and skeptics. "

Ok. I believe you. Can you provide some more links?


RE
"What more can I add? We have a residence, burials, and potsherds that are widely agreed to date to the early first century CE. I don't see what else is needed."

I'm still suspicious. The village of Nazareth is not mentioned in the Jewish virtual library.

I found a dude claiming that a first century synagogue has been found in Nazareth. Do you know anything about this? The link he provided to back up this didn't work.

Then we have people like Dr Joseph Holden, PHD, who thinks that Nazareth existed, making statements like this
"Current archaeology has not yet revealed the exact place of first-century Nazareth. This is hardly proof that Nazareth did not exist! " (http://www.normgeisler.com/articles/Bibl...Myth.htm).


This is what Richard carrier, who I do respect, says
"Josephus says there were hundreds of cities in Galilee. He names only a fraction. The last argument is therefore a non sequitur (typical of Nazareth ahistoricity nonsense circulating on the web, don't fall for this stuff). The first argument is refuted by an inscription of the 3rd or 4th century A.D. establishing the existence of Nazareth as a haven for refugee priests after the Jewish War (and that can only mean the first war, since the temple was then destroyed and unmanned, not later). This inscription was erected by Jews (not Christians) decades before Helena, and certainly reflects data from the 1st century (I can't imagine where else it would have come from).

Your middle claim could be true (some peer reviewed discussions of late seem to concede the possibility that there is no definite evidence of an early 1st-century Nazareth), though there is a difference between not having evidence and the town not being there. Personally, I find it hard to believe the town would suddenly appear and get that name just in time to take in priests after the first Jewish War (entailing a narrow window between 36 and 66 A.D. for its founding or renaming, but if it could happen then, why not earlier?).I know Salm has arguments against all this, but they don't seem that strong to me (in his book, in fact, all he has are mere possibilities, and some quotations of Schürer, a long-dead historian whose assertions were often vague and speculative and whose work has been rendered largely obsolete by more recent scholarship on the 1st century and Judaism). I leave it to the experts to debate the matter. Until there is a consensus against an early 1st century Nazareth, we should be skeptical of claims to the contrary."

He is obviously sitting on the fence, although leaning more towards your position.
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26-06-2013, 10:29 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(26-06-2013 10:26 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(26-06-2013 09:05 PM)maklelan Wrote:  It's a methodological foundation of modern Near Eastern archaeology. There's no reason to reiterate what everyone is presumed to already know.


That's what archaeological reports do. They just report on what was found. They're not there to present any kind of unified argument, they're just reporting on the results of the excavation.


Because that's already well-known.


No. Pottery can indicate just about any kind of presence, sedentary or otherwise.


What authorities are contradicting each other? The problem with wanting the evidence presented with a specific rhetorical point in mind is that that's not what scholars do, and particularly in excavation reports. Scholars produce scholarship primarily to dialogue with each other and document their positions for other scholars. Popular publications for public consumption are less frequent and aren't usually going to deal with questions like this that are already well established in the academy.


You are being shown the facts. The excavation report presents the facts, but you appear to be asking for interpretation, which is not "the facts," but an opinion on what the facts mean.


I can appreciate that from your point of view such publications appear reputable, but they're not. When a non-specialist who holds vociferously and vehemently to a particular dogmatic worldview wages an extended war of publications on a particular conclusion current among actual scholars, focusing primarily on ad hominem argumentation, it strains credulity to find their positions reputable.


They could have found other material remains blocking the entrance, or perhaps boards or textiles or other things obscuring it from view.


The Bar Kokhba revolt occurred in Jerusalem and Judea, not in Galilee. Jews actually immigrated to Galilee after the Bar Kokhba revolt because they were left alone there.


Not in that area.


Actually, the Romans never attacked Nazareth, as it held little strategic value. The hideout was built, but was probably never used.


You would be surprised what is buried away in obscure archaeological journals, but this data is quite widely proliferated online. It's just a question of the value of the websites hosting it. Like I said, this particular argument is confined primarily to fringe apologists and skeptics.


You'd be surprised how much can go on in other countries without you being notified.


What more can I add? We have a residence, burials, and potsherds that are widely agreed to date to the early first century CE. I don't see what else is needed.

RE
"It's a methodological foundation of modern Near Eastern archaeology. There's no reason to reiterate what everyone is presumed to already know."

I think you misunderstood me. I was referring to the ACTUAL POTTERY. Please show me a good article that discusses this first century pottery. You say it is "well known"

RE

"No. Pottery can indicate just about any kind of presence, sedentary or otherwise."
Ok.

RE
"What authorities are contradicting each other?"

I found this...


"Prominent American and Israeli archaeologists raise doubt about the alleged Jesus-era house in Nazareth

An American archaeologist rails against Yardenna Alexandre’s announcement:

...What I find most notable is that to date the excavators have yet to report even one shred of evidence that places this structure in the first century CE as opposed to the second century. People can “trust” all they wish, but it is precisely this type of trust that leads the gullible to pay no heed to the requirements of evidence. Instead, they buy into the spurious idea that the traces of farms, Roman bath houses, garrison works, vineyards, caravanseries, synagogues, etc., have been discovered from a turn of the era Nazareth. These edifices do not exist in the factual record, but they widely populate apologists’ fiction.
The same archaeologist writes:

…After reading the MFA [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs] press release, which states that the ceramics found at the site were perhaps second century CE, I contacted a friend of mine who is a director at the Albright. He confirmed for me that the typology is first-second century CE, and presently the ceramic finds are so sparse and disjointed that it is still too early to rule out stratigraphic intrusion. So, judging from the finds themselves, the “Jesus era” is apparently first-second century CE or perhaps even later. Obviously, this dig adds little if anything to our previous body of knowledge at this time, as we already have scarce first-second century ceramic remains at Nazareth and an evidentiary profile that confirms occupation of the site in the second century CE.

It really looks like our Israeli and Franciscan friends are merely up to their old tricks. I find it highly revealing that an IAA [Israel Antiquities Authority] representative would state that we have a “few written sources that [let us] know” that “Nazareth was a small, Jewish village” in the “first century CE.” Anyone care to venture a guess as to what these written sources might be? Nazareth is a cash/political cow and professional/confessional bulwark that they will never allow to crumble, no matter what the evidence might be."

RE
"They could have found other material remains blocking the entrance, or perhaps boards or textiles or other things obscuring it from view."

OK. But you are guessing, right? And you haven't explained why it would have been preserved as "camouflaged"

RE
"When a non-specialist who holds vociferously and vehemently to a particular dogmatic worldview wages an extended war of publications on a particular conclusion current among actual scholars, focusing primarily on ad hominem argumentation, it strains credulity to find their positions reputable."

So...please show me the "actual scholars" opinions. I've spent an hour on google over this, without much result.

RE
"The Bar Kokhba revolt occurred in Jerusalem and Judea, not in Galilee. Jews actually immigrated to Galilee after the Bar Kokhba revolt because they were left alone there."

Ok, I didn't know that.

RE
"You would be surprised what is buried away in obscure archaeological journals, but this data is quite widely proliferated online. It's just a question of the value of the websites hosting it. Like I said, this particular argument is confined primarily to fringe apologists and skeptics. "

Ok. I believe you. Can you provide some more links?


RE
"What more can I add? We have a residence, burials, and potsherds that are widely agreed to date to the early first century CE. I don't see what else is needed."

I'm still suspicious. The village of Nazareth is not mentioned in the Jewish virtual library.

I found a dude claiming that at first century synagogue has been found in Nazareth. Do you know anything about this? The link he provided to back up this didn't work.

Then we have people like Dr Joseph Holden, PHD, who thinks that Nazareth existed, making statements like this
"Current archaeology has not yet revealed the exact place of first-century Nazareth. This is hardly proof that Nazareth did not exist! " (http://www.normgeisler.com/articles/Bibl...Myth.htm).


This is what Richard carrier, who I do respect, says
"Josephus says there were hundreds of cities in Galilee. He names only a fraction. The last argument is therefore a non sequitur (typical of Nazareth ahistoricity nonsense circulating on the web, don't fall for this stuff). The first argument is refuted by an inscription of the 3rd or 4th century A.D. establishing the existence of Nazareth as a haven for refugee priests after the Jewish War (and that can only mean the first war, since the temple was then destroyed and unmanned, not later). This inscription was erected by Jews (not Christians) decades before Helena, and certainly reflects data from the 1st century (I can't imagine where else it would have come from).

Your middle claim could be true (some peer reviewed discussions of late seem to concede the possibility that there is no definite evidence of an early 1st-century Nazareth), though there is a difference between not having evidence and the town not being there. Personally, I find it hard to believe the town would suddenly appear and get that name just in time to take in priests after the first Jewish War (entailing a narrow window between 36 and 66 A.D. for its founding or renaming, but if it could happen then, why not earlier?).I know Salm has arguments against all this, but they don't seem that strong to me (in his book, in fact, all he has are mere possibilities, and some quotations of Schürer, a long-dead historian whose assertions were often vague and speculative and whose work has been rendered largely obsolete by more recent scholarship on the 1st century and Judaism). I leave it to the experts to debate the matter. Until there is a consensus against an early 1st century Nazareth, we should be skeptical of claims to the contrary."

He is obviously sitting on the fence.

RE
"You'd be surprised how much can go on in other countries without you being notified."
Not funny. Obviously I was referring to the lack of information on the Internet.
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27-06-2013, 04:39 AM (This post was last modified: 27-06-2013 06:16 AM by maklelan.)
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think you misunderstood me. I was referring to the ACTUAL POTTERY. Please show me a good article that discusses this first century pottery. You say it is "well known"

The stratigraphic use of pottery and the conclusions about Nazareth are well known. The actual photos and diagrams of the potsherds themselves are usually not that well known unless there's something particularly significant about one of them, such as an early inscription or something like that. In this case, the assemblage isn't available in any online location, but James Strange has an article in the Oxford Encyclopedia on Archaeology in the Near East that discusses it in much more detail.

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I found this...

"Prominent American and Israeli archaeologists raise doubt about the alleged Jesus-era house in Nazareth

An American archaeologist rails against Yardenna Alexandre’s announcement:

...What I find most notable is that to date the excavators have yet to report even one shred of evidence that places this structure in the first century CE as opposed to the second century. People can “trust” all they wish, but it is precisely this type of trust that leads the gullible to pay no heed to the requirements of evidence. Instead, they buy into the spurious idea that the traces of farms, Roman bath houses, garrison works, vineyards, caravanseries, synagogues, etc., have been discovered from a turn of the era Nazareth. These edifices do not exist in the factual record, but they widely populate apologists’ fiction.

The same archaeologist writes:

…After reading the MFA [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs] press release, which states that the ceramics found at the site were perhaps second century CE, I contacted a friend of mine who is a director at the Albright. He confirmed for me that the typology is first-second century CE, and presently the ceramic finds are so sparse and disjointed that it is still too early to rule out stratigraphic intrusion. So, judging from the finds themselves, the “Jesus era” is apparently first-second century CE or perhaps even later. Obviously, this dig adds little if anything to our previous body of knowledge at this time, as we already have scarce first-second century ceramic remains at Nazareth and an evidentiary profile that confirms occupation of the site in the second century CE.

It really looks like our Israeli and Franciscan friends are merely up to their old tricks. I find it highly revealing that an IAA [Israel Antiquities Authority] representative would state that we have a “few written sources that [let us] know” that “Nazareth was a small, Jewish village” in the “first century CE.” Anyone care to venture a guess as to what these written sources might be? Nazareth is a cash/political cow and professional/confessional bulwark that they will never allow to crumble, no matter what the evidence might be."

An anonymous announcement that appears nowhere online but on Salm's website and discussion boards quoting Salm's website?

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  OK. But you are guessing, right?

I'm making an educated guess. Of course I don't know exactly what they found, but I know the field well enough to know they don't just arbitrarily call something "camouflaged."

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  And you haven't explained why it would have been preserved as "camouflaged"

Yes, I did. The hideout never would have been used.

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  So...please show me the "actual scholars" opinions. I've spent an hour on google over this, without much result.

You have the paper to which I linked you. There is also the entry on Nazareth in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, written by an archaeologist now at Harvard:

Quote:Beneath the convent of the Dames de Nazareth about 100 m W of the Church of the Annunciation are
remains of houses, a tomb of the Herodian period, and other underground working spaces typical of those
found beneath the other churches. It appears that the inhabitants of Nazareth took advantage of the soft
limestone to build cisterns, basements, storage bins, and other underground installations, primarily for
agricultural use.

The general archaeological picture is of a small village, devoted wholly to agriculture, that came into
being in the course of the 3d century B.C. Although there are traces of earlier Bronze Age or Iron Age
occupation, none of these suggests a continuity of more than a generation at a time. It is the late
Hellenistic period that gives life to Nazareth, as it does with many other sites which have been surveyed
or excavated in the Galilee. People have continued to live in Nazareth from the 3d century B.C. to the
present day.

There are also numerous scattered publications that briefly address the first century CE habitation of Nazareth in the context of broader presentations (here, here, here, etc.).

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Ok. I believe you. Can you provide some more links?

To skeptic and apologist websites? No, that's easy enough to find on one's own.

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I'm still suspicious. The village of Nazareth is not mentioned in the Jewish virtual library.

So?

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I found a dude claiming that at first century synagogue has been found in Nazareth. Do you know anything about this? The link he provided to back up this didn't work.

There was a synagogue inscription dated by some to the first century CE, but it's since been dated to the second/third century CE.

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Then we have people like Dr Joseph Holden, PHD, who thinks that Nazareth existed, making statements like this
"Current archaeology has not yet revealed the exact place of first-century Nazareth. This is hardly proof that Nazareth did not exist! " (http://www.normgeisler.com/articles/Bibl...Myth.htm).

A disciple of Norman Geisler? I couldn't care less what he thinks.

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  This is what Richard carrier, who I do respect, says "Josephus says there were hundreds of cities in Galilee. He names only a fraction. The last argument is therefore a non sequitur (typical of Nazareth ahistoricity nonsense circulating on the web, don't fall for this stuff). The first argument is refuted by an inscription of the 3rd or 4th century A.D. establishing the existence of Nazareth as a haven for refugee priests after the Jewish War (and that can only mean the first war, since the temple was then destroyed and unmanned, not later). This inscription was erected by Jews (not Christians) decades before Helena, and certainly reflects data from the 1st century (I can't imagine where else it would have come from).

Your middle claim could be true (some peer reviewed discussions of late seem to concede the possibility that there is no definite evidence of an early 1st-century Nazareth), though there is a difference between not having evidence and the town not being there. Personally, I find it hard to believe the town would suddenly appear and get that name just in time to take in priests after the first Jewish War (entailing a narrow window between 36 and 66 A.D. for its founding or renaming, but if it could happen then, why not earlier?).I know Salm has arguments against all this, but they don't seem that strong to me (in his book, in fact, all he has are mere possibilities, and some quotations of Schürer, a long-dead historian whose assertions were often vague and speculative and whose work has been rendered largely obsolete by more recent scholarship on the 1st century and Judaism). I leave it to the experts to debate the matter. Until there is a consensus against an early 1st century Nazareth, we should be skeptical of claims to the contrary."

He is obviously sitting on the fence.

Well, he is a mythicist, but I don't know what peer reviewed articles he's talking about. And is this something he posted on a message board or his blog?

(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Not funny. Obviously I was referring to the lack of information on the Internet.

I apologize. It was meant to be just good-natured ribbing. The point remains that many things that go on in foreign countries are not broadcast outside the country, even on the internet. On the other hand, I just had to google "IAA Nazareth visitor's center" to get to this website, which says the Mary of Nazareth International Centre hosts "the remains of an ancient house that archaeologists believe is from the Jewish village of Nazareth at the time of Jesus and Mary." Obviously the discovery is known and publicized.

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27-06-2013, 08:20 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(26-06-2013 10:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"You'd be surprised how much can go on in other countries without you being notified."
Not funny.

Why yes. Yes, it was. Big Grin

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27-06-2013, 08:35 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
I often wonder what the people who actually live throughout the Middle East, must feel about their native land being considered either a war zone by some whilst, a tourist attraction by others. I have to assume the mainstream populace must be slightly bewildered, since neither extreme activity has anything to do with the reality of their existence. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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27-06-2013, 08:50 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(27-06-2013 08:35 AM)kim Wrote:  I often wonder what the people who actually live throughout the Middle East, must feel about their native land being considered either a war zone by some whilst, a tourist attraction by others. I have to assume the mainstream populace must be slightly bewildered, since neither extreme activity has anything to do with the reality of their existence. Drinking Beverage

It's been a tourist site since - well, almost since the events in question did or did not occur. Pilgrimage was huge business, and even little things like the crusades hardly dented it. The Ottomans didn't like it much, and recent prospects have been at times dim, but...

The smart locals are the ones selling cheap knockoff relics as souvenirs.
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27-06-2013, 08:53 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(27-06-2013 08:35 AM)kim Wrote:  I often wonder what the people who actually live throughout the Middle East, must feel about their native land being considered either a war zone by some whilst, a tourist attraction by others. I have to assume the mainstream populace must be slightly bewildered, since neither extreme activity has anything to do with the reality of their existence. Drinking Beverage

On the contrary, many people living in the Middle East do their best to take economic advantage of the tourism. That's the case with locals from many tourist destinations. As far as war zones go, it's all too real and prominent for many living in and around places like Jerusalem and the west bank.

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