And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in the Jordan. (ASV)
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JW: What was Jesus' Hometown, Nazareth, Carpernaum or neither?
Let's look at evidence that subsequent Christianity couldn't find any evidence of Jesus in his supposed hometown because "Mark's" "Nazareth" was a literary invention (fiction):
1) "Mark's" story is primarily about the Impossible which Intellectually, must be Fiction. Can you imagine (rhetorical) a Detective or a Judge or Jury considering that the Impossible was possible? They'd be so embarrassed they'd have to move to Texas. Since "Mark" is Perfectly Willing to report the Supernatural it makes it more likely (exponentially so) that he would also report Possible items that were also Fiction.
2) Regarding Jesus' supposed hometown:
Two important themes of "Mark" are:
1) Jesus was the greatest Healer of all time (of all time).
2) Jesus was largely rejected in his native country.
From a common sense standpoint it would be difficult for "Mark" to plausibly reconcile these two themes. If the historical Jesus was the greatest healer that Israel ever knew it defies logic that he would have been largely rejected in his own country. Let's look at a clear story by "Mark" indicating that Jesus was largely rejected in his own country:
Mark 6: (KJV) 1 "And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching."
JW: Let's make a list of important assertions here by "Mark":
1) Many in the synagogue were offended that a member of their community had wisdom and healing ability.
2) Jesus says, "A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."
3) Jesus could not do mighty works in quantity "there".
4) Jesus was surprised at the level of unbelief "there".
The assertions in this story have a number of problems all by themselves without comparison to any other story by "Mark". That people in a community would be offended by the Hero being a member of their community is against human nature. Jesus tries to justify this by giving a quote that is apparently otherwise unknown. It's stated that Jesus was surprised by the level of unbelief but the story doesn't say "many" didn't believe, in fact it states that they recognized Jesus' powers. Now let's look at the Healing and Teaching stories that "Mark" gives early in his Gospel:
Mark 1: (KJV) 21 "And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. 28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee. 29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. 32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. 33 And all the city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. 35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. 36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. 37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. 38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. 39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. 40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. 43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter. 2: 1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 6 But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion."
JW: And now the contradictions between these individual healing stories and The Prophet Without Honor Story:
1) Jesus teaches in the Capernaum synagogue and people are astonished. Why would people be astonished again in Chapter 6 if they were already astonished in Chapter 1?
2) All present at the synagogue are amazed at Jesus' healing without any negative connotation and Jesus' fame is said to spread throughout his country of Galilee. Yet in Chapter 6 Jesus claims there is unbelief in his country.
3) It's said that the whole city gathers at a house in Capernaum and Jesus heals many without any complaints. In Chapter 6 the people of Capernaum are offended that a member of their city has healing powers.
4) Jesus was said to be so popular in Galilee that it was difficult for him to move around in the cities. In Chapter 6 Jesus states that a Prophet is without honor in his own country.
5) Jesus heals a paralytic in his own house and all appreciate the healing. In chapter 6 Jesus states that a Prophet is without honor in his own house.
In summary, the assertions of the early healing stories are so contradictory to The Prophet Without Honor story of Chapter 6 that it's hard to believe they were written by the same author. To come up with such a clear and significant contradiction regarding Jesus' supposed hometown is evidence that these related stories are based on Fiction as stories based on History are less likely to give this type of contradiction.
1) Regarding the phrase "Jesus of Nazareth" which Christianity takes as evidence of the hometown of Nazareth, the superior translation of the underlieing Greek is "Jesus the Nazarene" which most modern translations refuse to use or even mention as an issue. "Nazarene" was a well known term of Judaism at the time and "Nazarenes" was how Judaism referred to Christians after its start.
2) For a subsequent Christianity that needed to explain why no one in Galilee could tell them about a Jesus who lived in their town Jesus had to be placed in a fictional town where no one could visit and be told that there was never any such person there.
3) Josephus and other authors list a lot of towns in Israel in the first century but not Nazareth.
--JoeWallack 09:25, 11 Jun 2006 (CDT)
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