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Nazareth ( ; , Natzrat or Natzeret, an-Nāṣira or an-Naseriyye) is the capital and largest city in the North District of Israelmarker. Known as "the Arab capital of Israelmarker," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. In the New Testament, the city is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical associations. The name of the city may be derived from the Hebrew verb na·tsar, נָצַר, "to watch," possibly a reference to a nearby hill with an outstanding view.

Etymology

See also: Nazarene
As Nazareth is never mentioned in any pre-Christian texts, and appears in many different Greek forms in the New Testament, there is much speculation as to the origins of the name.

Biblical references

"Nazareth" is related to several words (Nazarene, Nazorean, Nazara, Nazaret, Nazarat, Nazarath) found in versions of the Christian New Testament. Of the twelve appearances of the name in the New Testament, ten use the form Nazaret or Nazareth, and two use the form Nazara. Nazara is generally considered the earliest form of the name in Greek, and is found in Matthew 4:13 and Luke 4:16, as well as the putative Q document, which many scholars maintain preceded 70 CE and the formation of the canonical Christian gospels. The form Nazareth appears once in the Gospel of Matthew (21:11), four times in the birth chapters of the Gospel of Luke (1:26; 2:4, 39, 51), and once in the Acts of the Apostles (10:38). In the Gospel of Mark, the name appears only once in 1:9 in the form Nazaret.

Extrabiblical references

The form Nazara is also found in the earliest non-scriptural reference to the town, a citation by Sextus Julius Africanus dated about 200 CE. (See "Middle Roman to Byzantine Periods" below.) The Church Father Origen (c. 185 to 254 CE) knows the forms Nazara and Nazaret. Later, Eusebius in his Onomasticon (translated by St. Jerome) also refers to the settlement as Nazara.

The first non-Christian reference to Nazareth come from an inscription on a marble fragment for a synagogue found in Caesarea Maritimamarker in 1962. This fragment gives the town's name in Hebrew as nun·tsade·resh·tav. The inscription dates as early as c. 300 CE and chronicles the assignment of priests that took place at some time after the Bar Kokhba revolt, 132-35 CE. (See "Middle Roman to Byzantine Periods" below.) An 8th century CE Hebrew inscription, which was the earliest known Hebrew reference to Nazareth prior to the discovery of the inscription above, uses the same form.

Origin of name

One theory holds that "Nazareth" is derived from the Hebrew noun ne·tser, נֵ֫צֶר, meaning branch."The etymology of Nazara is neser" (" Nazareth", The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911.)
"NAZARETH, NAZARENE - Place name meaning, 'branch.'" (Holman's Bible Dictionary, 1994.)
"Generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew netser, a "shoot" or "sprout." ( Easton's Bible Dictionary, (1897)).

Ne·tser is not the common Hebrew word for "branch," but one understood as a messianic title based on a passage in the Book of Isaiah.Miller, Fred P., Isaiah's Use of the word "Branch" or Nazarene"
Isaiah 11:1

The negative references to Nazareth in the Gospel of John suggest that ancient Jews did not connect the town's name to prophecy.

Alternatively, the name may derive from the verb na·tsar, נָצַר, "to watch,""...if the word Nazareth is be derived from Hebrew at all, it must come from this root [i.e. נָצַר, natsar, to watch]" (Merrill, Selah, (1881) Galilee in the Time of Christ, p. 116.
Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, Charles A. Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1906/2003), p. 665. possibly a reference to a nearby hill with an outstanding view.


Another theory holds that the Greek form Nazara, used in Matthew and Luke, may derive from an earlier Aramaic form of the name, or from another Semitic language form. If there were a tsade in the original Semitic form, as in the later Hebrew forms, it would normally have been transcribed in Greek with a sigma instead of a zeta. This has led some scholars to question whether "Nazareth" and its cognates in the New Testament actually refer to the settlement we know traditionally as Nazareth in Lower Galilee. Such linguistic discrepancies may be explained, however, "by a peculiarity of the Palestinian Aramaic dialect wherein a sade (ṣ) between two voiced (sonant) consonants tended to be partially assimilated by taking on a zayin (z) sound."

The Arabic name for Nazareth is an-Nāṣira, and Jesus (known as عيسى‎ ‘Īsa in Arabic) is also called an-nāṣirî, reflecting the Arab tradition of according people a nisba, a name denoting from whence a person comes in either geographical or tribal terms. In the Koran, Christians are referred to as nasara, meaning "followers of the Nazarene," or "those from Nazareth."

Geography and population

Map showing the North District of Israel (in Red)


Two general locations of Nazareth are attested in the most ancient texts. The Galilean (Northern) location is familiar from the Christian gospels. However, a Southern (Judean) tradition is also attested in several early noncanonical texts.

Modern-day Nazareth is nestled in a natural bowl which reaches from 1,050 feet (320 m) above sea level to the crest of the hills about 1,600 feet (490 m). Nazareth is about from the Sea of Galileemarker (17 km as the crow flies) and about west from Mount Tabormarker. The Nazareth Range, in which the town lies, is the southernmost of several parallel east-west hill ranges that characterize the elevated tableau of Lower Galilee.

Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel. Until the beginning of the British Mandate in Palestine (1922-1948), the population was predominantly Arab Christian (majority Greek Orthodox), with an Arab Muslim minority. Nazareth today still has a significant Christian population, made up of Maronites, Greek Orthodox, Coptics, among others. The Muslim population has grown, for a number of historical factors, that include the city having served as administrative center under British rule, and the influx of internally displaced Palestinians absorbed into the city from neighbouring towns following the 1948 Palestine war. Its population remains almost exclusively Palestinian Arab and numbered 58,000 in 2001.

History

Earliest history

Archaeological research has revealed a funerary and cult center at Kfar HaHoresh, about two miles (3 km) from Nazareth, dating back roughly 9000 years (to what is known as the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B era). The remains of some 65 individuals were found, buried under huge horizontal headstone structures, some of which consisted of up to 3 tons of locally-produced white plaster. Decorated human skulls uncovered there have led archaeologists to believe that Kfar HaHoresh was a major cult centre in that remote era.

In 1620 the Catholic Church purchased an area in the Nazareth basin measuring approx. 100m x 150m. on the side of the hill known as the Nebi Sa'in. This "Venerated Area" underwent extensive excavation in 1955-65 by the Franciscan priest Belarmino Bagatti, "Director of Christian Archaeology." Fr. Bagatti has been the principal archaeologist at Nazareth. His book, "Excavations in Nazareth" (1969) is still the standard reference for the archaeology of the settlement, and is based on excavations at the Franciscan Venerated Area.

Fr. Bagatti uncovered pottery dating from the Middle Bronze Age (2200 to 1500 BC) and ceramics, silos and grinding mills from the Iron Age (1500 to 586 BC). Thus, a substantial settlement existed in the Nazareth basin during those eras. However, lack of archaeological evidence from Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic or Early Roman times, at least in the major excavations between 1955 and 1990, shows that the settlement apparently came to an abrupt end about 720 BC, when many towns in the area were destroyed by the Assyrians.

New Testament times and associations

According to the Gospel of Luke, Nazareth was the home of Joseph and Mary and the site of the Annunciation (when Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel that she would have Jesus as her son); in the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph and Mary resettle in Nazareth after fleeing to Egypt from their home in Bethlehemmarker. The differences and possible contradictions between these two accounts of the nativity of Jesus are part of the Synoptic Problem. Nazareth is also where Jesus allegedly grew up from some point in his childhood.

However, some modern scholars argue that Nazareth may be, in fact, where Jesus was born, while others argue that Nazareth didn't exist at all. The critical question now under scholarly and polemical (atheist and Christian) debate is when exactly and at what stage in the Roman period Nazareth came into existence, that is, whether settlement there began before or after 70 AD (the First Jewish War).

James Strange, an American archaeologist, notes: “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.” Strange - supposing the existence of a settlement - originally guessed Nazareth’s population at the time of Christ to be "roughly 1,600 to 2,000 people", but later, in a subsequent publication, at “a maximum of about 480.” Some have argued 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.

Many writers suppose that ancient Nazareth was built on the hillside, since this is the description given by the Gospel of Luke: [And they led Jesus] to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. However, the hill in question (the Nebi Sa'in) is far too steep for ancient dwellings and averages a 14% grade in the venerated area. Historic Nazareth was essentially constructed in the valley; the windy hilltops in the vicinity have only been occupied since the construction of Nazareth Illitmarker in 1957.
The Church of the Annunciation
Noteworthy is that all the post-Iron Age tombs in the Nazareth basin (approximately two dozen) are of the kokh (plural:kokhim) or later types; this type probably first appeared in Galilee in the middle of the first century AD. Kokh tombs in the Nazareth area have been excavated by B. Bagatti, N. Feig, Z. Yavor, and noted by Z. Gal.

Excavations conducted prior to 1931 in the Franciscan venerated area revealed "no trace of a Greek or Roman settlement" there, Fr. Bagatti, who acted as the principal archaeologist for the venerated sites in Nazareth, unearthed quantities of later Roman and Byzantine artifacts, attesting to unambiguous human presence there from the 2nd century AD onward. However, Bagatti also admitted that there was little evidence for first century habitation, at best the village being a small agricultural venture settled by about 20 families; John Dominic Crossan, a major figure in New Testament studies, remarked that Bagatti's archaeological drawings indicate just how small the village actually was, suggesting that it was little more than an insignificant hamlet .

Matthew 2:19-23 reads:
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."
So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.
Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.
So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."


In the Gospel of John, Nathaniel asks, Can anything good come out of Nazareth? The meaning of this cryptic question is debated. Some commentators and scholars suggest that it means Nazareth was very small and unimportant, but the question does not speak of Nazareth’s size but of its goodness. In fact, Nazareth was described negatively by the evangelists; the Gospel of Mark argues that Nazareth did not believe in Jesus and therefore he could do no mighty work there; in the Gospel of Luke, the Nazarenes are portrayed as attempting to kill Jesus by throwing him off a cliff; in the Gospel of Thomas, and in all four canonical gospels, we read the famous saying that a prophet is not without honor except in his own country,

Many scholars since W. Wrede (in 1901) have noted the so-called Messianic secret in the Gospel of Mark, whereby Jesus' true nature and/or mission is portrayed as unseen by many, including by his inner circle of disciples (compare the Gospel of John's references to those to whom only the Father reveals Jesus will be saved). Nazareth, being the home of those near and dear to Jesus, apparently suffered negatively in relation to this doctrine. Thus, Nathanael’s question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” is consistent with a negative view of Nazareth in the canonical gospels, and with the Johannine proclamation that even his brothers did not believe in him.

A tablet currently at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, dating to 50 AD, was sent from Nazareth to Parismarker in 1878. It contains an inscription known as the "Ordinance of Caesar" that outlines the penalty of death for those who violate tombs or graves. However, it is suspected that this inscription came to Nazareth from somewhere else (possibly Sepphoris). Bagatti writes: “we are not certain that it was found in Nazareth, even though it came from Nazareth to Paris. At Nazareth there lived various vendors of antiquities who got ancient material from several places.” C. Kopp is more definite: "It must be accepted with certainty that [the Ordinance of Caesar]… was brought to the Nazareth market by outside merchants." Princeton Universitymarker archaeologist Jack Finegan describes additional archaeological evidence related to settlement in the Nazareth basin during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and states that "Nazareth was a strongly Jewish settlement in the Roman period.".

The skeptical position

Frank Zindler, editor of American Atheist Magazine, has asserted that Nazareth did not exist in the first century. His arguments include the following:
  • No "ancient historians or geographers mention [Nazareth] before the beginning of the fourth century [AD]."
  • 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 about the same time—or at least not long before—the New Testament gospels were being written and redacted. For those gospel writers who do mention Nazareth, most scholars place their work between the two Jewish-Roman wars (70 AD-132 AD), which is also the earliest possible dating for the Roman (kokh-type) tombs in the Nazareth basin (see "Earliest history & archaeological evidence" above).

Some historians have called into question the traditional association of Nazareth with the life of the historical Jesus. Instead, they suggest that what was known of Jesus in his own time as a title, that is, (Nazarene, or even, perhaps, Nazarite'), was, in later times, corrupted into a cognomen of place; thereby, in effect—and apparently by design—assigning Nazareth to him as his hometown. For discussion of the cognate, see Nazarene .

Middle Roman to Byzantine Periods

In 1962, a Hebrew inscription found in Caesareamarker, dating to the late 3rd or early 4th century, mentions Nazareth as one of the places in which the priestly (kohanim) family of Hapizzez was residing after Bar Kokhba's revolt (132-135 AD). From the three fragments that have been found, it is possible to show that the inscription was a complete list of the twenty-four priestly courses (cf. 1 Chronicles 24:7-19; Nehemiah 11;12), with each course (or family) assigned its proper order and the name of each town or village in Galilee where it settled. An interesting aspect of this inscription is that the name for Nazareth is not spelled with the "z" sound (as one would expect from the Greek gospels) but with the Hebrew tsade (thus "Nasareth" or "Natsareth"). Eleazar Kalir (a Hebrew Galilean poet variously dated from the sixth to tenth century A.D.) also mentions a locality clearly in the Nazareth region bearing the name Nazareth נצרת (in this case vocalized "Nitzrat"), which was home to the descendants of the 18th Kohen clan or 'priestly course', Happitzetz הפצץ, for at least several centuries following the Bar Kochva revolt.

In the mid-1990s, shopkeeper Elias Shama discovered tunnels under his shop near Mary's Wellmarker in Nazareth. The tunnels were eventually recognized as a hypocaust (a space below the floor into which warm air was pumped) for a bathhouse. The surrounding site was excavated in 1997-98 by Y. Alexandre, and the archaeological remains exposed were ascertained to date from the Roman, Crusader, Mamlukmarker and Ottoman periods.

Epiphanius writes in the Panarion (c. 375 AD) of a certain elderly Count Joseph of Tiberias, a wealthy imperial Roman Jew who converted to Christianity in the time of Constantine. Count Joseph claimed that as a young man he built churches in Sepphoris and other towns that were inhabited only by Jews. Nazareth is mentioned, though the exact meaning is not clear. In any case, Joan Taylor writes: "It is now possible to conclude that there existed in Nazareth, from the first part of the fourth century, a small and unconventional church which encompassed a cave complex." The town was Jewish until the seventh century AD.

The inside of St Joseph's Church
Besides the absence of textual references to Nazareth in the Hebrew Bible and also in the later Talmud, the town is also noticeably absent in the writings of Flavius Josephus, who lived in first century Japhamarker, a village just one mile from the location of Nazareth, and which he writes about. Non-biblical textual references to Nazareth do not occur until around 200 AD, when Sextus Julius Africanus, cited by Eusebius (Church History 1.7.14), speaks of “Nazara” as a village in "Judea" and locates it near an as-yet unidentified “Cochaba.” This curious description does not fit the traditional location of Nazareth in Lower Galilee. In the same passage Africanus writes of desposunoi - relatives of Jesus - who he claims kept the records of their descent with great care. The 3rd century Christian apologist Origen, who lived in Caesareamarker - less than 30 miles away - mentions Nazareth several times but gives no indication of knowing where it is.

The early 4th century Pilgrim of Bordeaux (c. 333 AD) never mentions visiting Nazareth, despite describing his visit to locations that would be in its vicinity. Later texts referring to Nazareth include one from the tenth century that writes of a certain martyr named Conon who died in Pamphylia under Decius (249-251), and declared at his trial: "I belong to the city of Nazareth in Galilee, and am a relative of Christ whom I serve, as my forefathers have done." This Conon has been claimed by Joan Taylor to be "legendary".

In the 6th century, religious narrations from local Christians about the Virgin Mary began to spark interest in the site among pilgrims, who founded the Church of the Annunciationmarker at the site of a freshwater spring, today known as Mary's Wellmarker. In 570, the Anonymous of Piacenza reports travelling from Sepphoris to Nazareth and refers to the beauty of the Hebrew women there, who say that St. Mary was a relative of theirs, and records: "The house of St. Mary is a basilica."

Nazareth as depicted in a postcard by Fadil Saba
The Christian writer Jerome, writing in the 5th century, says Nazareth was a viculus or mere village. The Jewish town profited from the Christian pilgrim trade which began in the fourth century, but latent anti-Christian hostility broke out in 614 AD when the Persiansmarker invaded Palestine. At that time, according to C. Kopp writing in 1938, the Jewish residents of Nazareth helped the Persians slaughter the Christians in the land. When the Byzantine or Eastern Roman emperor Heraclius ejected the Persians from Palestine in 630 AD, he singled out Nazareth for special punishment and imposed forced exile upon the Jewish families. At this time the town ceased to be Jewish.

Islamic rule

Nazareth women as depicted in an old postcard.
The Muslim conquest of Palestine in 637 AD introduced Islam to the region. Over the next four centuries Islam was adopted by a significant portion of the population, though a significant Arab Christian minority remained. With outbreak of the First Crusade, an extended period of conflict began in which control shifted several times between the local Saracens and Europeans. Control over Galilee and Nazareth shifted frequently during this time, with corresponding impact on the religious makeup of the population.

In 1099 AD, the Crusader Tancred captured Galilee and established his capital in Nazareth. The ancient diocese of Scythopolismarker was also relocated under the Archbishop of Nazareth, one of the four archdioceses in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The town returned to Muslim controlin 1187 AD following the victory of Saladin in the Battle of Hattinmarker. Five Romanesque capitals carved by French artisans were probably buried at this time. They had never been in use and were unearthed in 1909 in excellent condition and placed in a small museum in the Church of the Annunciation.

Modern era

Nazareth was in the territory allotted to the Arab state under the 1947 UN Partition Plan. The town was not a field of battle during 1948 Arab-Israeli War before the first truce on 11 June, although some of the villagers had joined the loosely organized peasant military and paramilitary forces, and troops from the Arab Liberation Army had entered Nazareth. During the ten days of fighting which occurred between the first and second truce, Nazareth capitulated to Israeli troops during Operation Dekel on 16 June, after little more than token resistance. The surrender was formalized in a written agreement, where the town leaders agreed to cease hostilities in return for promises from the Israeli officers, including brigade commander Ben Dunkelman, (the leader of the operation), that no harm would come to the civilians of the town.

Preparations for the Pope's visit to Nazareth in 2000 triggered highly publicized tensions related to the Basilica of the Annunciationmarker. The 1997 permission for construction of a paved plaza to handle the expected thousands of Christian pilgrims caused Muslim protests and occupation of the proposed site, which is considered the grave of a nephew of Saladin. This site used to be the home of a school built during the Ottoman rule. The school was named al-Harbyeh (in Arabic means military), and many elderly people in Nazareth still remember it as the school site, nevertheless, the same site still contains,the Shihab-Eddin shrine, along with several shops owned by the waqf (Muslim community ownership). The school building continued to serve as a government school until it was demolished to allow for the plaza to be built.
Palestinian Arab children play on the streets of Nazareth
The initial argument between the different political factions in town (represented in the local council), was on where the borders of the shrine and shops starts and where it ends. The initial government approval of subsequent plans for a large mosque to be constructed at the site led to protests from Christian leaders worldwide, which continued after the papal visit. Finally, in 2002, a special government commission permanently halted construction of the mosque. In March 2006, public protests that followed the disruption of a Lenten prayer service by an Israeli Jew and his Christian wife and daughter, who detonated incendiary devices inside the church, succeeded in dismantling a temporary wall that had been erected around the public square that had been constructed but had yet to be unveiled, putting an end to the entire controversy.

On 19 July 2006 a rocket fired by Hezbollah as part of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict killed two children in Nazareth. No holy sites were damaged.

In 2007, a group of Christian businessmen declared plans to build the largest cross in the world (60 m high) in Nazareth as the childhood town of Jesus.

Demographics

According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Nazareth had a population of approximately 65,000 in 2005. The vast majority of its residents are Arab citizens of Israel, 31.3% of whom are Christians and 68.7% of whom are Muslims. Nazareth forms a metropolitan area with the Arab local councils of Yafa an-Naseriyyemarker to the south, Reinehmarker, Mashhadmarker and Kafr Kannamarker to the north, Iksal and the adjacent city of Nazareth Illitmarker to the east which has a population of 40,000 Jews and Ilutmarker to the west. Together, the Nazareth metropolis area has a population of approximately 185,000 of which over 125,000 are Israeli Arabs.

While the two communities of Muslims and Christians tend to get along, they also have come into sporadic conflict. Muslim activists outraged Christians when they built an unauthorized mosque next to the Basilica of the Annunciation, where Christians believe the Angel Gabriel foretold the birth of Jesus to Mary. Israel later tore down the mosque in 2003. Muslim activists also have periodically marched through the city in shows of strength meant to intimidate Christians.

Politics

Being an exclusively Arab town, local politics in Nazareth has historically been dominated by Arab parties, especially leftist ones. Long-term Mayor Tawfiq Ziad was a founding member of the current incarnation of Maki, the Communist Party of Israel, and current Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy is a protege of Ziad's. Coincidentally, within the Palestinian territoriesmarker, Bethlehemmarker is a stronghold of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, making both towns left-wing strongholds.

Religious shrines

Nazareth is home to at least 23 monasteries and churches. Many of the older churches are located in the city's Old Market, ( , Al-sūq al-qadīm).



There are also a number of mosques in Nazareth, the oldest of which is the White Mosquemarker.

Attractions



Sport

The city's main football club, Ahi Nazareth, currently plays in Liga Leumit. The club spent a single season in the top division in 2003-04. They are based at the Ilut Stadiummarker in nearby Ilutmarker.

Other local clubs Beitar al-Amal Nazareth, Hapoel Bnei Nazareth and Hapoel Nazareth all play in Liga Gimel.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Nazareth is twinned with:

See also



References

  1. Carruth et al., 1996, p. 415.
  2. "Q certainly contained reference to Nazara" (M. Goodacre). See J. M. Robinson et al, The Critical Edition of Q. Fortress Press, 2000, pp. 42-43. Cf also: M. Goodacre, The case against Q: studies in Markan priority and the synoptic problem, p.174; F. C. Burkitt, "The Syriac forms of New Testament names," in Proceedings of the British Academy, 1911-12, Oxford Univ. Press, p. 392; http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/q-contents.html (bottom of page).
  3. Comment. In Joan. Tomus X (Migne, Patrologia Graeca 80:308–309.
  4. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10725a.htm Nazareth. The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911.
  5. M. Avi-Yonah, "A List of Priestly Courses from Caesarea." Israel Exploration Journal 12 (1962):137-139.
  6. R. Horsley, Archaeology, History and Society in Galilee. Trinity Press International, 1996, p. 110.
  7. Bauckham, Jude, Jude, Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church, pp. 64-65. See and .
  8. "Some, however, think that the name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Palestine is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew notserah, i.e., one guarding or watching." ( Easton's Bible Dictionary, (1897)).
  9. Carruth, 1996, p. 417.
  10. T. Cheyne, "Nazareth," in Encyclopaedia Biblica, 1899, col. 3358 f. For a review of the question see H. Schaeder,Nazarenos, Nazoraios, in Kittel, "Theological Dictionary of the New Testament," IV:874 f.
  11. (a) The Protevangelium of James(c. 150 CE. See New Testament Apocrypha, ed. W. Schneemelcher, Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991, vol. 1, p. 421 ff.) was an immensely popular text in the early Christian centuries. In it, Jesus' family lives in Bethlehem of Judea (PrJ 8.3; 17:1) and all events take place in and around the southern town. PrJ does not once mention Galilee, nor "Nazareth." (b) The earliest reference to Nazareth outside the Christian gospels, by Sextus Julius Africanus (c. 200 CE), speaks of “Nazara” as a village in "Judea" and locates it near an as-yet unidentified “Cochaba.” (c) A fourth century work known as the History of Joseph the Carpenter knows a southern location for Nazareth. It locates "Nazareth," the home of Joseph, within walking distance of the Jerusalem Temple.
  12. Map Survey of Palestine, 1946. 1:5,000 OCLC: 17193107. Also, Fig. 11, 31.
  13. Goring-Morris, A.N. "The quick and the dead: the social context of Aceramic Neolithic mortuary practices as seen from Kfar HaHoresh." In: I. Kuijt (ed.), Social Configurations of the Near Eastern Neolithic: Community Identity, Hierarchical Organization, and Ritual (1997).
  14. John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus: The Roots of the Problem and the Person, Vol. 1, Doubleday 1991, page 216. Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, Oxford University Press, 1999, page 97. E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, Penguin 1993, page 85.
  15. Zindler, F. "Where Jesus Never Walked," American Atheist, Winter 1996-97, p. 35. [1]
  16. Article "Nazareth" in the Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
  17. E. Meyers & J. Strange, Archaeology, the Rabbis, & Early Christianity Nashville: Abingdon, 1981; Article “Nazareth” in the Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
  18. T. Cheyne, “Nazareth.” Encyclopedia Biblica. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1899, Col. 3360. R. Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus. New York: Penguin Books, 1997, p. 952. F. Zindler, The Jesus the Jews Never Knew New Jersey: American Atheist Press, 2003, pp. 1-2.
  19. B. Bagatti, Excavations in Nazareth, Plate XI, top right.
  20. H.P. Kuhnen, "Palaestina in Griechisch-Roemischer Zeit," (Muenchen, C. Beck, 1990, pp. 254-55).
  21. Gal, Z. Lower Galilee During the Iron Age (American Schools of Oriental Research, Eisenbrauns, 1992) p. 15; Yavor, Z. 1998 "Nazareth", ESI 18. Pp. 32 (English), 48; Feig, N. 1990 "Burial Caves at Nazareth", 'Atiqot 10 (Hebrew series). Pp. 67-79.
  22. R. Tonneau, Revue Biblique XL (1931), p. 556. Reaffirmed by C. Kopp (op. cit.,1938, p. 188).
  23. B. Bagatti, Excavations in Nazareth, vol. 1 (1969), pp. 272-310.
  24. B. Bagatti, Excavations in Nazareth, vol. 1 (1969)
  25. John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus : The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, chapter 1
  26. Gospel of Thomas, 31; ; ; ;
  27. W. Wrede, Das Messiasgeheimnis in der Evangelien(1901), English translation, The Messianic Secret, Cambridge: J. Clarke, 1971
  28. ; ;
  29. Bagatti, B. Excavations in Nazareth, vol. 1 (1969), p. 249.
  30. C. Kopp, “Beiträge zur Geschichte Nazareths.” Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society, vol. 18 (1938), p. 206, n.1.
  31. The Archaeology of the New Testament, Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1992: pages 44-46.
  32. Zindler, F. "Where Jesus Never Walked", American Atheist, Winter 1996-97, pp. 33-42.[2]
  33. Zindler, F. "Where Jesus Never Walked," American Atheist, Winter 1996-97, p. 34.[3]
  34. It is often supposed that the Hapizzes went to Nazareth after the First Jewish Revolt (70 AD), but R. Horsley has pointed out that "the date of resettlement may well be well into the second (or even the third) century [AD]." History and Society in Galilee, 1996, p. 110. It was in 131 AD that the Roman Emperor Hadrian forbade Jews to reside in Jerusalem (then Aelia Capitolina, held by pagan Romans), thus forcing them elsewhere.
  35. M. Avi-Yonah. "A List of Priestly Courses from Caesarea." Israel Exploration Journal 12 (1962):138.
  36. Alexandre, Y. “Archaeological Excavations at Mary’s Well, Nazareth,” Israel Antiquities Authority bulletin, May 1, 2006.
  37. Pan. I.136. Panarion in Greek. The text was translated into Latin with the title Adversus Haereses.
  38. Pan. 30.4.3; 30.7.1.
  39. Compare Pan.30.11.10 and 30.12.9. (Migne Patrologia Graeco-Latina vol. 41:426-427; Williams, F. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Book I. E. J. Brill 1987, pp. 128-29).
  40. Taylor, J. Christians and the Holy Places. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993, p. 265.
  41. Taylor 229, 266; Kopp 1938:215.
  42. Josephus, Life, 52
  43. "A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible." (Eusebius Pamphili, Church History, Book I, Chapter VII,§ 14)
  44. Several possible Cochabas have been identified: one fifteen kilometers north of Nazareth (on the other side of Sepphoris); one in the region of Bashan (to the East of the Jordan River); and two near Damascus. See J. Taylor, Christians and the Holy Places. Oxford: 1993, pp. 36-38 (with map).
  45. Zindler, F. "Where Jesus Never Walked", American Atheist, Winter 1996-97, p. 36.[4]
  46. Clemens Kopp, Die heiligen Stätten der Evangelien [The Holy Places of the Gospels]. Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet, 1959, p. 90.
  47. Joan Taylor, Christians and the Holy Places. Oxford: 1993, p. 243.
  48. P. Geyer, Itinera Hierosolymitana saeculi, Lipsiae: G. Freytag, 1898: page 161.
  49. C. Kopp, “Beiträge zur Geschichte Nazareths.” Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society, vol. 18 (1938), p. 215. Kopp is citing the Byzantine writer Eutychius (Eutychii Annales in Migne's Patrologia Graeca vol. 111 p. 1083).
  50. Christian Today Magazine
  51. http://www.cbs.gov.il/publications/local_authorities2005/pdf/207_7300.pdf
  52. [5]Israeli localities with populations 1000+

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