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Joseph And Mary Came From Nazareth.

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Posted by John Morgan Powell on February 9, 2001 18:04:49 UTC

Luke says Joseph and Mary were in Nazareth before they went to Bethlehem. Matthew makes it sound like they lived somewhere else, but ended up in Nazareth after returning from Egypt.

The whole Nazareth part of the story appears to be a misinterpretation of an Old Testament scripture that the Messiah should be a nazarite or nazarene or some such thing. The Gospel writers assumed this meant he was supposed to live in a city called Nazareth. Unfortunately for them, Nazareth didn't exist.

Archaeological studies of the present city of Nazareth indicate that the area did not exist as a community until after the destruction of Jerusalem about 70 A.D. It evidently didn't have the name "Nazareth" until 100 or so years later. Before the area became inhabited it had been a burial grounds for about 1000 years. (see Frank R. Zindler, in his article "Where Jesus Never Walked" at
www.americanatheist.org/win96-7/T2/ozjesus.html)

Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament or the Koran. It is not mentioned by Josephus, although he was well acquainted with the area and mentioned other nearby cities. Early Christians living in the area didn't know where Nazareth was. They assumed it was a mythical place.

By the way, the whole "Go to your home town to be counted and taxed" is a ridiculous claim. If the Romans had ordered such a thing it would have caused the destruction of the Empire. Imagine how Americans today would respond to an order by the Census and IRS to do such a thing. During ancient times it was much harder to travel.

The evidence suggests that the Gospels are fiction.

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