Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
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27-06-2013, 11:29 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(27-06-2013 11:21 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Dammit, Rev, your needle's slipping into the Ralph Zone. Tongue

Oww that hurts Cantor, and at least I have amended my position in light of new evidence. Tongue I will admit I have a bias against the biblical tradition but mainly because 9 times out of 10 it is wrong.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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27-06-2013, 11:40 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(27-06-2013 11:25 AM)maklelan Wrote:  
(27-06-2013 11:13 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  I said it was an argument from not an appeal to Authority.

I don't see a difference.

(27-06-2013 11:13 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  You are stating the accepted mainstream view, that is an argument from authority it's not a fallacy and I wasn't accusing you of anything. You are also correct on the time period for the "Spade in one hand Bible in the other"

I stated the mainstream view because I was asked about the mainstream view.

(27-06-2013 11:13 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  You are actually winning this argument, I was mistaken in my original assumption that Nazareth totally did not exist in the early 1st century. I was merely explaining why Mark and I, amongst others, wanted a little more direct evidence as there is a perceived bias towards confirmation of biblical events. If we are mistaken about that , and it is entirely possible we are I am not nor have ever been an archaeologist working in the near east so I don't have first hand experience, it comes from dealing with apologists and others that slant the findings to that end.

What is boils down to is I am ceeding the point on the existence of Nazareth in the first century CE, you are more correct and closer to the facts than was my stated opinion and from here out I won't be using that in any debates. Thank you for dealing with us prickly heathens I know we can be a handful but I really do appreciate the fact that you have been willing to have this discussion.

I appreciate the honesty. Sorry if I got a little defensive.

It's all good in da hood, brah. We can be a bit much for anyone at times and I know when you have multiple people staring you down it can be a bit uncomfortable but I'm trying as best I can to learn the truth as accurately as possible. If I refuse to do so based on dogma how am I any better than a fundie troll like Ray Comfort or PleaseJesus?

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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27-06-2013, 11:45 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(27-06-2013 11:29 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(27-06-2013 11:21 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Dammit, Rev, your needle's slipping into the Ralph Zone. Tongue

Oww that hurts Cantor...

Not as much as a needle slipping into the Nether Zone. Tongue

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27-06-2013, 11:51 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(27-06-2013 11:16 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Actually the "spade in one hand, and the Bible in the other" very much characterized early 20th Century biblical archeology,
and a case could be made for even 1/2 of the 20th C.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_F._Albright
It certainly was not confined to the 19th Century.

I wouldn't sat "very much," I would say there were still proponents of the early approach approach, but Albright represents a transitional period toward a more scientific approach to archaeology that did it for its own sake.

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27-06-2013, 09:48 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
Daniel, is there any envidence that today's Nazareth was called Nazareth in the first century?

The gospels talk of a Nazareth, but many commentators say the name is not recorded anywhere in the first century other than in the gospels.

Ma and pa Kettle may have had a farm on the site, some Jews may have been buried there, there may have been a first century house there, but what makes the site "Nazareth" in the first century?

What's to say the site didn't "become" Nazareth in the second century?
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28-06-2013, 05:53 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(27-06-2013 09:48 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Daniel, is there any envidence that today's Nazareth was called Nazareth in the first century?

The gospels talk of a Nazareth, but many commentators say the name is not recorded anywhere in the first century other than in the gospels.

Ma and pa Kettle may have had a farm on the site, some Jews may have been buried there, there may have been a first century house there, but what makes the site "Nazareth" in the first century?

What's to say the site didn't "become" Nazareth in the second century?

It makes little sense for a town known to be run by Jews up until the third century CE to change its name just to align it with the Jesus tradition, and there's no indication anywhere that such is the case. The onus of proof would certainly lie with the person suggesting there was a toponymic change.

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28-06-2013, 07:25 PM (This post was last modified: 28-06-2013 07:31 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(28-06-2013 05:53 AM)maklelan Wrote:  
(27-06-2013 09:48 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Daniel, is there any envidence that today's Nazareth was called Nazareth in the first century?

The gospels talk of a Nazareth, but many commentators say the name is not recorded anywhere in the first century other than in the gospels.

Ma and pa Kettle may have had a farm on the site, some Jews may have been buried there, there may have been a first century house there, but what makes the site "Nazareth" in the first century?

What's to say the site didn't "become" Nazareth in the second century?

It makes little sense for a town known to be run by Jews up until the third century CE to change its name just to align it with the Jesus tradition, and there's no indication anywhere that such is the case. The onus of proof would certainly lie with the person suggesting there was a toponymic change.

Daniel, with respect to your good self, I think the jury is still out as to whether a place called Nazareth existed in the early first century.

The fact remains that Nazareth is not mentioned in any ancient Jewish literature, not even in the Talmud. Nor in the writings of St Paul, Philo or Josephus. Some websites claim that Origin, in the early third century, knew of the place Nazareth but didn't really know where it was! Surely he would have looked it up and commented on its location if he genuinely thought it existed.

I've gone through your links. All we have are some graves, some first or 2nd century Roman pottery, some evidence of farming, but no good evidence of a community of people living in residences. This is despite a lot of archaeological work over the centuries.

I don't think there's any really good evidence that there was a town or a village there in the first century. Is there was, the pro Christian lobby would be shouting the facts from the rooftops, and they're not.

The only resource I have to make these conclusions is the Internet. Unlike yourself, I have no way of telling who is a respected archaeologist and who isn't, but I would have thought that if there was good evidence it would be available on the Internet.

Unlike yourself, I have no problem imagining that the present location of the town of Nazareth was created in the late second, third or fourth century as a direct consequence of what was written in the Gospels. The early church fathers and Christians were heavily into "pious fraud." For them it was just par for the course. Truth could be sacrificed in the quest to gain converts.

You imply that you don't believe there is a connection between the term Nazarene and the place Nazareth. Would you care to give your opinion as to whether there was a sect of Jews known as the Nazarenes? Do you believe Jesus, if he even existed, was a member of this sect? If so, do you accept that they were fundamentalist Jews, and not Christians?

I'm not asking you these questions to give you a hard time, I'm genuinely interested in your opinions. I find it fascinating that you are a scholar of Jewish and early Christian history, and particularly that you are also a Mormon, so I will be intrigued by your opinions on these topics. I hope you have the enthusiasm to reply, I'm sure other members of this forum will be interested to hear your opinions too. Regards, Mark.
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28-06-2013, 07:57 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Daniel, with respect to your good self, I think the jury is still out as to whether a place called Nazareth existed in the early first century.

No, the evidence unilaterally indicates it existed. If you want to convene a jury at all you have to provide some kind of evidence that it didn't exist, and you have nothing of the sort. The archaeology shows the town has been continuously inhabited from the first century BCE until the present. The onus of proof is on you to show there is a gap in the early first century CE.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The fact remains that Nazareth is not mentioned in any ancient Jewish literature, not even in the Talmud. Nor in the writings of St Paul, Philo or Josephus. Some websites claim that Origin, in the early third century, knew of the Nazareth but didn't really know where it was!


That's all fine and good, but this is an argument from silence. Its obscurity was part of the rhetorical point.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I've gone through your links. All we have are some graves, some first or 2nd century Roman pottery, some evidence of farming, but no good evidence of a community of people living in residences. This is despite a lot of archaeological work over the centuries.

And that's a lot more than we have for many other archaeological campaigns that have been going on for longer.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I don't think there's any really good evidence that there was a town or a village there in the first century.

You just shared definitive evidence above. At most you can say it just wasn't anything more than a little hamlet.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Is there was, the pro Christian lobby would be shouting the facts from the rooftops, and they're not.

I disagree. Like I've said numerous times, this is a fringe notion that attracts very little attention from anyone other than some apologists.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The only resource I have to make these conclusions is the Internet. Unlike yourself, I have no way of telling who is a respected archaeologist and who isn't, but I would have thought that if there was good evidence it would be available on the Internet.

Most technical archaeological data is not available on the internet, as it's published in specialized journals and publications. Most of the stuff on the internet is either in the public domain because it's so old or has been put there by people not publishing it professionally.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Unlike yourself, I have no problem imagining that the present location of the town of Nazareth was created in the late second, third or fourth century as a direct consequence of what was written in the Gospels.

The evidence securely precludes that scenario, which raises the question of what the authors of the gospels were expecting the Galilean readers of the gospels to think about Jesus coming from a local town that they'd never heard of.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The early church fathers and Christians were heavily into "pious fraud." For them it was just par for the course. Truth could be sacrificed in the quest to gain converts.

I think that's pushing it a bit.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  You imply that you don't believe there is a connection between the term Nazarene and the place Nazareth. Would you care to give your opinion as to whether there was a sect of Jews known as the Nazarenes?

I don't see any real evidence of that. That idea comes from a fourth century CE Christian writer named Epiphanius, and he was trying to find some external origin for the sect since he considered them heretics. What better target than the Jews?

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Do you believe Jesus, if he even existed, was a member of this sect? If so, do you accept that they were fundamentalist Jews, and not Christians?

The only Nazarene sect evidenced in any contemporary texts is Christianity, called "Nazarene" by some because of its veneration of the dude from Nazareth.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I'm not asking you these questions to give you a hard time, I'm genuinely interested in your opinions. I find it fascinating that you are a scholar of Jewish and early Christian history, and particularly that you are also a Mormon, so I'm fascinated by your opinions on these topics. I hope you have the enthusiasm to reply, I'm sure other members of this forum will be interested to hear your opinions too. Regards, Mark.

I'm happy that you're interested, and I don't mind answering questions at all.

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28-06-2013, 08:58 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(28-06-2013 07:57 PM)maklelan Wrote:  Most technical archaeological data is not available on the internet, as it's published in specialized journals and publications. Most of the stuff on the internet is either in the public domain because it's so old or has been put there by people not publishing it professionally.

Not available to the general public, perhaps, but surely even archaeological journals have online archives these days? Such as would be accessible from a university or even public library?

(insert joke about archaeologists being stuck in the past here)
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28-06-2013, 09:04 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(28-06-2013 07:57 PM)maklelan Wrote:  
(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Daniel, with respect to your good self, I think the jury is still out as to whether a place called Nazareth existed in the early first century.

No, the evidence unilaterally indicates it existed. If you want to convene a jury at all you have to provide some kind of evidence that it didn't exist, and you have nothing of the sort. The archaeology shows the town has been continuously inhabited from the first century BCE until the present. The onus of proof is on you to show there is a gap in the early first century CE.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The fact remains that Nazareth is not mentioned in any ancient Jewish literature, not even in the Talmud. Nor in the writings of St Paul, Philo or Josephus. Some websites claim that Origin, in the early third century, knew of the Nazareth but didn't really know where it was!


That's all fine and good, but this is an argument from silence. Its obscurity was part of the rhetorical point.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I've gone through your links. All we have are some graves, some first or 2nd century Roman pottery, some evidence of farming, but no good evidence of a community of people living in residences. This is despite a lot of archaeological work over the centuries.

And that's a lot more than we have for many other archaeological campaigns that have been going on for longer.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I don't think there's any really good evidence that there was a town or a village there in the first century.

You just shared definitive evidence above. At most you can say it just wasn't anything more than a little hamlet.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Is there was, the pro Christian lobby would be shouting the facts from the rooftops, and they're not.

I disagree. Like I've said numerous times, this is a fringe notion that attracts very little attention from anyone other than some apologists.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The only resource I have to make these conclusions is the Internet. Unlike yourself, I have no way of telling who is a respected archaeologist and who isn't, but I would have thought that if there was good evidence it would be available on the Internet.

Most technical archaeological data is not available on the internet, as it's published in specialized journals and publications. Most of the stuff on the internet is either in the public domain because it's so old or has been put there by people not publishing it professionally.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Unlike yourself, I have no problem imagining that the present location of the town of Nazareth was created in the late second, third or fourth century as a direct consequence of what was written in the Gospels.

The evidence securely precludes that scenario, which raises the question of what the authors of the gospels were expecting the Galilean readers of the gospels to think about Jesus coming from a local town that they'd never heard of.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The early church fathers and Christians were heavily into "pious fraud." For them it was just par for the course. Truth could be sacrificed in the quest to gain converts.

I think that's pushing it a bit.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  You imply that you don't believe there is a connection between the term Nazarene and the place Nazareth. Would you care to give your opinion as to whether there was a sect of Jews known as the Nazarenes?

I don't see any real evidence of that. That idea comes from a fourth century CE Christian writer named Epiphanius, and he was trying to find some external origin for the sect since he considered them heretics. What better target than the Jews?

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Do you believe Jesus, if he even existed, was a member of this sect? If so, do you accept that they were fundamentalist Jews, and not Christians?

The only Nazarene sect evidenced in any contemporary texts is Christianity, called "Nazarene" by some because of its veneration of the dude from Nazareth.

(28-06-2013 07:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I'm not asking you these questions to give you a hard time, I'm genuinely interested in your opinions. I find it fascinating that you are a scholar of Jewish and early Christian history, and particularly that you are also a Mormon, so I'm fascinated by your opinions on these topics. I hope you have the enthusiasm to reply, I'm sure other members of this forum will be interested to hear your opinions too. Regards, Mark.

I'm happy that you're interested, and I don't mind answering questions at all.

I guess it's okay that we can agree to disagree about the Nazareth village/hamlet, so I suggest we just leave it at this.

I must admit I'm extremely perplexed by your comments about the Nazarenes being a Christian sect, and that they were called such because Jesus allegedly came from Nazareth.

You obviously know a lot about old Testament Scripture. I hope you're not offended when I ask have you ever actually researched the origins of Christianity from an historical perspective? And by that I mean read anything more than just what is written in the Bible?

Please have another look at posts number 11 and 13 in this thread. Please press on the links provided, and have a look about the authors of the texts that I have referenced. Please also google "Nazarenes", and have a read of any of the historical discussions about this group. There is some confusion in the literature about them, I think some of this is deliberate, as the church fathers wrote about them, often knew not much about them, and even tried to distort their legacy. Yet there is no doubt that they were Jewish, and I think fundamentally opposed to the Gentile world which created Christianity. They are sometimes referred to as "Jewish Christians," which is a misnomer as they were never Christians.

Hugh Schonfield and James Tabor are two of the authors that I'm very familiar with who wrote about them. They are very well respected. Douglas Lockhart is not so well-known, but writes extensively about them. There are hundreds of other respected authors who talk about the Nazarenes.

I carry on about the Nazarenes a fair bit, because their existence challenges the very heart, the very legitimacy, of Christianity. I think their true story should be told.
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