Nazareth and the Beginnings of Christianity

 
9781590260647: Nazareth and the Beginnings of Christianity
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The village of Nazareth was located three days journey from Jerusalem. It is not mentioned in the Hebrew scriptures or in Josephus, nor was it certified authentic in later Jewish literature; however, Jesus is called "the Nazarene" in the Talmud. Practically nothing is known of the town's early history, except that Epiphanius said it was home to only Jewish residents until the time of Constantine when a few Christians settled there. It traditionally sat in a basin among the south ridges of Lebanon (on the slope of a hill) fifteen miles from the Sea of Galilee, twenty miles from the Mediterranean, 1,300 feet above sea level. This valley was very fruitful and included cornfields alternated with vineyards and fig trees. The meaning of its name is uncertain, although Jerome thought it referred to a type of flower. "Nazareth" may be a word play on the Hebrew term "sufferings," a theme certainly present in the gospels. The nearest important city was Sepphoris, where a prominent synagogue is known to have existed.

The village was best known as being the place of Jesus' youth. According to Matthew, he was to be called a "Nazarene," but from what prophetic source did this passage originate? This is the question taken up by C. Burrage. He is confident that the tradition was included in the Gospel according to the Hebrews, a thought he later expands in detail. The passage only later found its way into the canonical account. The writer suggests that Jesus may also have been a Nazirite. Having completed his unconventional, controversial, yet valuable arguments, Burrage provides additional notes in a series of appendices. He deals with the meaning of the terms "Christ" and "Christian," especially as they relate to Jesus being a Nazarene. He discusses the meaning of "Nazareth" the birthplace of Jesus, and the differences between the two canonical birth narratives. Burrage analyzes at length the works of Epiphanius for a solution to the problem. Assuming some familiarity with the subject matter, this volume is intended for the serious student.

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Burrage, Champlin
ISBN 10: 1590260643 ISBN 13: 9781590260647
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