> childhood, youth or early manhood for JC because it was not
> necessary to their central drama of a dying/reborn sun-god. But
> as we know, the story grew with the telling, particularly as
> the decades passed and the promised redeemer and judge failed
> to reappear. The re-writer of the Gospel of Mark, revising his
> text sometime between 140 and 150 AD, introduces the name of
> the city only once in chapter one with these words:
> "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from
> Nazareth of Galilee ..." – Mark I, 9.
> From then on the name is almost forgotten. We may reasonably
> suspect that all four references in Mark are a later
Your belief, David that Nazareth is an interpolation is inaccurate and doesn't stand up to logical reason, a hole posters often fall into when they plagiarise and pass off their writing as their own. I say that because what you wrote above is not your own words but copied and pasted from "Yahoo! Answers":
It's a shame you didn't give a credit to the source for what you wrote because if had of written what you wrote, at least it would show you're thinking for yourself. Now, you're going to have to justify something someone else wrote, but if you would have thought more deeply about what they wrote, you wouldn't have used that page as a source.
Let's assume, for the sake of argument that the Gospel texts were written as late as 140 AD, I really do not believe that people of that time would have swallowed a fiction such as a "Jesus of Nazareth", and formed themselves into a movement such as Christians, as they would have been mocked because when they would have gone about telling others about Jesus of Nazareth, people would have said, "Nazareth? There was no such place as Nazareth!" People would have mocked anyone trying to be Christian because they would have said, "Where is Nazareth? There is no such place! Nazareth doesn't exist!" How on earth could people claiming to be Christian, around 140 AD, have referred to a man from Nazareth if only a 100 years previously, there were no records of such a town? There would have been people with relatives from local areas queuing up to testify that such a place never existed. Historians and commentators of that time would have commented on this new Christian sect being based on a lie drawing attention to the simple point that there was no town called Nazareth in recent history, but there significantly aren't any such controversies recorded. There are no commentaries or reports from the 2nd century that Nazareth never existed, let alone even from the 3rd or 4th centuries and beyond. The only controversy about Nazareth is the controversy that's in the imagination of critics today and in more relative, modern times!
In the last paragraph of what you plagiarised from the "Yahoo! Answers" page, the author writes:
"From then on the name is almost forgotten."
The author of the essay you plagiarised interestingly states that from the time of Mark, the town of Nazareth is "almost forgotten". The author makes a terrible slip because this confirms that indeed, Nazareth was such an important town that it was quite forgettable, therefore, Nazareth must have existed, and therefore, the author scores an own goal and by default admits that such a place did exist, thus strangely contradicting his overall assertion.
The text you copied and pasted, without a credit, continued (2 years ago):
> We can trace the subsequent elevation of Nazareth in the Gospel
> of Luke. Luke is the writer who emphasizes JC's ties to
> 'Nazareth.' Luke is the writer who goes out of his way to
> demonstrate an anti-Capernaum stance. Scholars have concluded
> Luke was not a Jew himself because of his 'glaring errors in
> things Jewish'. He also makes mistakes in his geography. He
> knows little about the place and in his mini-drama describes an
> impossible incident:
> " ... and brought him to the precipice of the mountain that
> their city was built upon." – Luke 4.29.
> Nazareth, in fact, is located in a depression, set within
> gentle hills. The whole region is characterized by plains and
> mild rises with no sharp peaks or steep cliffs. The terrain is
> correctly understood as a high basin, for in one direction is
> the much lower Plain of Esdraelon. But there is no disguising
> Nazareth is built in a valley and not on a mountain. Even the
> mediaeval town sat below the summit – protected from the wind.
> Beginning only in 1957, the Jewish suburb called 'Nazerat
> Illit' ('Upper Nazareth') was built to the top ...
It's at this point in your copied and pasted text that you flipped over to some of your own words and accompanied it with pictures from a tacky Web site called "JesusNevererEisted.com". However, I already addressed the issue of the gegography of Narareth with a prior post, in which I gave this credited post:
Nazareth was a small and insignificant village during the period of Jesus. While the site was settled during the period 600-900 BCE, it was too small to be included in the list of settlements of the tribe of Zebulon (Joshua 19:10-16), which mentions twelve towns and six villages. Nazareth is not included among the 45 cities of the Galilee that were mentioned by Josephus, and her name is missing from the 63 towns in Galilee mentioned in the Talmud.It seems that the words of Nathanel of Cana, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:47) characterized the site's seeming insignificance. It is needless to say that the people of Judea had never heard of Nazareth.
And from this we understand the reason that Pontius Pilate decorates the cross with the sign "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" (John 19:19) - meaning that the "King of the Jews" is from "nowhere." The early name "Nazarenes" given to the Christians might have been a derogatory nickname that the people of Judea gave to the followers of Jesus (Matthew 26:71, Acts 6:38). Jesus was known throughout the Galilee as "Jesus of Nazareth" (Matthew 21:11 , Mark 14:67) - but for those not from the Galilee, this name had no meaning for them. In order to explain where Nazareth was located, the Galileans had to explain that the village was near Gat-Hyefer (Jonah's hometown,Kings II 14:25), which could be seen from Nazareth. Archeological excavations conducted in Nazareth (by Bagati since 1955) show that Nazareth was a small agricultural village settled by a few dozen families.
The pottery remains testify to a continuous settlement during the period 600-900 BCE. After those years, there was a break in settlement until the year 200 BCE.
Since then, the site of Nazareth has been consistently inhabited. Most of the archeological finds consist of caves, cisterns and grain storage bins. The agricultural character of the site is made obvious with the discoveries of oil mills and mill stones. There were a large number of underground rooms because the soft chalk of Nazareth made it easy to hew caves.
Nazareth is located between the open space of the Jezreel valley and the mountainous regions of the Galilee. The valley and its history were well known to the Jews of Nazareth in the time of Jesus.During the first 20 years of his life that he spent in Nazareth, Jesus had many an opportunity to walk on the mountain ranges, to look over and think about the history of his people. The great battles that had taken place in the valley, together with the great hopes that were dashed with their losses, must have affected and shaped his view on life. The valley of Jezreel, as it is seen from Nazareth, is a natural battlefield. This fact must have influenced the idea of "...all the holders of swords shall fall by the sword," (Matthew 28:52). Another geographical area adjacent to Nazareth was the lower Galilee and the Beti Netofa valley.
In this region there were many small Jewish villages and towns settled by Hellenized Syrians. The largest of these towns was Tzippori, the capital of the Galilee until the year 18 BCE. Even though Tzippori is a 45- minute-walk from Nazareth, the town is not mentioned in the New Testament. The main events in Jesus's life, as described in the New Testament, are the annunciation of his birth (Luke 1:26-38),his childhood and early manhood (Luke 2:39-52, Matthew 2:19-23), and the clash with his fellow citizens (Matthew 13:54-58, Luke 4:17-30). From the very first events relating to the life of Jesus in Nazareth, we learn that the people of his village did not approve of his thinking and behavior. To them he was Jesus, one of the sons of Joseph the carpenter (the other brothers were James, Joseph, Simeon and Judah - Matthew 13:55). Luke describes with great drama how Jesus was rejected by the people of Nazareth. After his sermon in the synagogue aroused their anger, the people took him "and brought him to the precipice of the mountain that their city was built upon" (Luke 4). Some have pointed out that this sentence in Luke is not correct, as Nazareth is built in a valley and not on a mountain. But the valley of Nazareth is on a mountain overlooking the Jezreel valley - and the mountain of the precipice overlooks the valley of Nazaret and the valley of Jezreel.
So actually, David, it's you who are making a mountain out of molehill and not only that, you've dug yourself into a deeper hole in the process!