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Gibson's father says Holocaust mostly fiction

Discussion in 'The OT' started by John Hodgson, Feb 20, 2004.

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  1. Strong

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    No, just the few (mostly Christians) that feel they have the right to force their religion down my throat. I've never had a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Animist, etc try to hand me a tract, knock on my door, or call me on the phone asking for donations or any other attempt to convert me to their religion.

    My neighborhood is now up in arms because someone (presumbaly Christian) thought it was a good idea to put up a "Jesus Saves' billboard directly across the street from a synagogue. I've never seen any other religion perform such a condesending and contemptuous act.

    I don't care if their bible tells them to spread their religion, I'm not interested. I don't want to hear about it from them. If they want to practice it that is their right. I interpret the 1st Ammendent to also mean freedom from religion.
     
  2. jonstad

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    :cheers2: :cheers2: You're right, I think I feel the spirit moving me right now. The trick of course is to avoid genuflecting before the porcelain throne. :barf:
     
  3. jonstad

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    I probably chose a bad example, a can of worms so to speak. Some of it relating to my previously mentioned "Biblical scholars" roaming the Holy Land "with a shovel in one hand and a Bible in the other". It's a little bit subtle, but can you understand the predicament of the historian/archeologist who investigates Nazareth(for instance) in a place where the expectation is they will find Nazareth? If they "discover evidence" for what is expected, an ancient settlement of Nazareth, they've "made their bones". They're set for life and can probably spend the rest of their career, well financed by patrons, using a dental pick to sift through the rubble and pot shards, or retire to a professorship and publish endless boring papers on their discovery. And make no mistake, this is exactly the goal of many "Biblical archeologists" and there is plenty of funding for anyone who DOES, or at least seems to, find evidence of the Bible's accuracy.

    OTOH, consider the plight of scholars who find nothing, or worse yet, evidence contrary to the Bible. Their careers will probably be equal to their findings, nothing! There are compelling incentives to "finding" evidence confirming the accounts of the Bible. And there are equally compelling DISincentives to "finding" a lack of evidence, or as I've said, contrary evidence. To be fair, I should add at this point that this paradigm is not necessarily as blatantly corrupt as it may sound. Until recently, almost all history and archeology, particularly in the Holy Land, was undertaken with the clear understanding that a main part of the effort WAS to prove the historical accuracy of the Bible and researchers generally believed they were fairly and impartially evaluating the evidence. But interpreting evidence to lead you to a preconceived conclusion(the Bible) instead of drawing your conclusions from the evidence is the worst kind of junk science.

    I should also note that a Palestinian pitch for Nazareth is hardly impartial(BTW, I cannot find the exact reference you quote or an attribution on your link). Because of the Jesus connotation with Nazareth, it would hardly be a good sales pitch to potential pilgrims(I assume a rare economic boom to an impoverished people) to begin the sales pitch with a statement that Nazareth was not settled until long after Jesus' death. It's just bad retail.:rolleyes: Given a choice between competing claims, the smart choice is to take the one that benefits you the most. It hardly benefits the Palestinians to maintain that Nazareth was non-existent at the time of Jesus. And their choice is probably based more on pragmatism then objective science.

    I'm sure everybody can tell I am passionate about these matters(so I'll prattle on for awhile;)). And the reason is that unless you are an atheist, you don't realize how pervasive Christian(all religions actually) thought and influence really are. It's literally everywhere. From Janet's breast(atheists are almost certainly less outraged, it's only a breast!) to 9/11(the last thought before plunging into the WTC and Pentagon was "God is Great!"), to gay marriage(how can this possibily adversely effect your own marriage OR your religion?), religion permeates our culture and civilization(several days ago a warlord in Uganda who wants to rule "according to the Ten Commandmants" slaughtered 200 people in a refugee camp). It's just hard to notice when for the most part it's just reenforcing your own dearly held beliefs. And naturally, if you're a believer, even when you do notice, you conclude it must be a good thing. "Any religion is better then no religion" and when religions act badly, "it's a perversion of religion" or "they really don't understand religion". "The 9/11 hijackers couldn't represent Islam because Islam is a religion and religion is good". (Besides, there's a couple billion of 'em out there and we'd better not piss 'em off! At least they're not godless atheists.):nono2:

    And then we return to the general subject of this thead, Mel Gibson's movie. Many Christians will interpret this as a documentary. At best, it will be viewed as a realistic dramatization of a verifiable historical event.(And incidentally, this is how the media is portraying it.) It is neither. It is an interpretation(and quite brutal interpretation as I understand) of legends from the chosen scriptures of a particular religion. Scriptures I might add that are filled with supernatural and superstitious happenings that if one claimed they occured today, one would be placed under psychiatric observation.

    Now, as to my source about Nazareth.:D Let's start with your "Bible", the Bible.;)
    Now, how about the oft-cited Josephus?
    Back to my comments about Palestinian tourism interests.
    OK, now the link. You're not going to like it, but try to keep an open mind. The source material is listed at the top of the page.(unlike religious proponents who can rant away without question, anti-religious or atheist websites are obligated to meticulously cite their sources or be dismissed out of hand) I actually wish they had chosen a different address. This is too confrontational. However, it is an interesting site with much provocative information.
    http://jesusneverexisted.com
    Nazareth specific:
    http://jesusneverexisted.com/nazareth.html
     
  4. jonstad

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    OK, "I wish to propose for the reader's favourable consideration", and show that I can learn deep lessons from Christians, what I gleened from an interview and lecture I watched tonight on FSTV from Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking".(BTW, fstv is having their fund drive. I contributed, have you? 1-866-FSTV-YES)

    It relates to the anti-semitism Mel's movie is accused of, although without specific reference to the movie(old interview). She mused on why such a seemingly mellow fellow(my words, not hers:D) would be so brutally persecuted, tortured and murdered? Her very interesting conclusion was that He was done in because he defied authority. He broke taboos. He associated and took sides with criminals, lepers, prostitutes and adulterers(gays maybe:shrug: ), basically the "unclean". He proposed we love our enemies rather then hate them. All this flew in the face of the conventional wisdom of the time, especially religious and especially Jewish religious conventional wisdom. And in doing so he threatened the establishment of not only the Jews, but the Romans too. Dangerous thoughts and dangerous acts.

    My take on this is that the Jews didn't kill Jesus. Authority of the time, the establishment, the Jews in concert with the Romans killed Him. They almost had to kill Him. He was a threat, a serious threat, to their power.

    But Christians cannot lay the blame on authority, the establishment, now. Because Christianity IS the establishment now, and has been for a long time. Convenient deflection of blame to the Jews is a way to avoid culpability and retain authority. Christian anti-semitism has no basis in reality(assuming of course there IS reality to the Jesus stories;)). It is a way for the establishment to avoid reponsibility for their own actions and shunt it to another.

    I hope this is coherent and makes a little sense. I took Strong's advise and have imbibed in some "spirits". Hey! Even Monks are famous for their beer, wine and brandy.:cheers2::goodjob:;)
     
  5. HappyGoLucky

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    I'm particularly fond of some icy chilled green Chartreuse. I just wish it wasn't so expensive.
     
  6. Tusk

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    Isn't interpreting evidence to lead you to a preconceived conclusion (Bible is wrong and no God) the same thing. Can you honestly say that you started from the standpoint that all things are possible and rationally determined your current stance? Or did you decide there is no God and felt better about that conclusion when all of your interpretation of the evidence appears to "reinforce" that belief. I chose God after my journey of discovery. I think you and I do the same things with the evidence but with different conclusions that we both believe are plausible.


    I don't believe that any religion is better than no religion. Religion for the purpose of accomplishing its on worldly desires can be dangerous and destructive (i.e. the crusades, 9/11). I believe in true faith and spirituality. That belief requires me to disagree with non-Christians and many who claim to be Christians. That doesn't mean I'm filled with hatred and loathing of others. It just means that I disagree. If I can't defend my beliefs or if I believe that everyone is right, my beliefs don't amount to a hill of beans. :)


    I have a hard time finding media coverage that portrays the film as a realistic dramatization of a verifiable event. Diana Sawyer's interview with Mel Gibson allowed him to tell his side of the story, but she looked at him after every question as if he was a wacko who could screw up at any moment. And Dateline's special had experts from both sides of the issue, but carried the overall tone that the movie was about Jesus and that was about as true as it got. I used two examples, but go read reviews at rotten tomatoes for yourself.


    Just because it wasn't mentioned in the Old Testament or the writings or Josephus doesn't mean it didn't exist. I had not read about or heard of Papillion, Nebraska, until I met Bogy, but that doesn't mean it was founded when he joined the forum. There are many towns in America that most Americans have never heard of or read about, and we live in the most televised, documented, information overflowing society that ever existed. Sure I can find a town on mapquest, but we probably have better access to information in this day and age.

    "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."


    I'll look at your site if you'll look at mine :D

    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/menu.htm

    My purpose is not necessarily to change your point of view, Jon. I just wanted to give another point of view to the board.
     
  7. Tusk

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    I agree entirely with this statement. It amazes me that some "Christians", and I use that term loosely to describe them, have attacked Jews in the past over the death of Jesus. Jesus was born to die, and I for one am thankful for His death. The Jews and Romans were merely the tools used to carry out God's plan on Earth, all mankind is ultimately responsible for why He died.
     
  8. Strong

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    I take no responsiblity for his death. You can have my share if you like.
     
  9. Bogy

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    This is all a pretty standard theological position. One I have preached many times. He was sentenced and condemned to death for the crime of insurrection. The charge was that he claimed to be a king, "threatening" the position of Ceasar. Thus the proclamation above his head on the cross, "King of the Jews."
     
  10. Bogy

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    Here's another point of view. Seems strange to me that the Gospel writers, writing books that are generally recognized as being put on paper or skin between 50 to 150 CE, would record Jesus' home town as a place that didn't exist.
     
  11. Danny R

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    Seems strange to me that the Gospel writers, writing books that are generally recognized as being put on paper or skin between 50 to 150 CE, would record Jesus' home town as a place that didn't exist.

    Why is this strange?

    A certain New York Times reporter detailed many strange things about Jessica Lynch's home town. That happened just days after the event... not decades. Simple fact... the reporter never visited the place, and wanted to portray Lynch in a better light.

    I posted in another thread how a certain review of "The Passion" was mysteriously transposed to be from a much better known celebrity.

    If all these things can happen today and still be widely disseminated and believed, how much more likely are they to have happened over the years. Its quite doubtful that more than a fraction of what the bible says is literally true.

    Myth making is human nature. How else do you explain the existence of Islam, Mormonism, and all the other offshoots of Judaism that have happened over the years?

    Did the gospel writers visit Nazareth? Its doubtful. Or did the writers just know that Jesus was a Nazarene and either mistakenly or purposely confuse the issue by linking it with a town. It sounds like just as plausible a theory as any.
     
  12. jonstad

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    I still start from the premise that "all things are possible". I was born into and raised as a Lutheran in one of its stricter, fundamentalist sects, the Wisconsin synod. In my twenties I chose to consider myself agnostic because after years of indoctrination, I still couldn't bring myself to reject the notion of the supernatural, despite all my interpretation that UN-reenforced it. And I still think the idea of god(s) is pretty appealing in theory. Unfortunately it's a theory that has little to back up the hypothesis, and no real practical applications. I have never stated there are no gods, nor even that there couldn't be, nor that I have privilaged information leading me to believe there are not. I simply conclude that despite how appealing the idea may be, it's just not very likely, the God of Abraham(Jews, Christians, Muslims) even less likely. But that's only because It is the "God" I am most familiar with.

    You say you "chose God after my journey of discovery." Might I ask if anytime during that journey you DIDN'T "chose God"? Were you ever an atheist, agnostic or member of some non-Abrahamic faith? Possibly so. But it is more likely your journey consisted of perhaps some doubting of Christianity. Maybe you didn't attend church as regularly as before? You "fell away from the church"? And now have "fallen back in"? If this was the extent of your "journey", it was a pretty short trip.

    I visited your link. I didn't indulge in every internal link, but I did a cursory reading of each major section, tour, preview, claims, etc. You can find virtually identical stuff on thousands of sites, as well as any Christian book store or established church or tent revival. And of course, because it is repeated so often, by so many, in so many places, there is a built in confidence factor. "Yeah, I've seen, heard and read that before. Must be true.". I could find very little statement with anything besides the gospels to back them up. Repeating the verse in question doesn't make it less questionable.

    Here's some of what I found- http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/preview.htm
    Wow! Sounds impressive. But how many even Christian theologians agree on the meaning of all 300 prophecies? How many even agree on the number of 300? How many Hebrew scholars consider that Jesus is the object of even one of these prophecies? And after all, the Old Testament IS their thing.

    Prophecies are almost by nature vague and ambiguous. I'll wager the average Christian, with no foreknowledge or explanation, would have trouble recognizing most of these prophecies as being "fulfilled through Jesus' life". I bet most would not even recognize the majority as even being "prophecies".

    Then check what they claim as "fulfillment" of various prophecies. Essentially the reasoning is that if someone said something in the OT, and then someone in the NT references it and claims Jesus fulfilled it, that's a "fulfilled prophecy". :icon_stup :hair: It's prophecy after the fact. Hell, I can do that! Take a statement from nearly any book, claim that it's a prophecy of some later person or event, voila, prophecy fulfilled! I'm actually surprised they've only managed to cobble together 300.

    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/claims.htm
    Again, WHAT evidence? These guys talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. It's easy to say there's lots of evidence. What's hard is producing it. Although "producing" might be a bad choice of verb. Much "evidence" has been "produced" over the last two thousand years to "support his existence". But, how much can stand up to critical scrutiny is the question. We must return again to the two fisted Holy Land scholars and researchers, you know, one fist for the shovel, one for the Bible. Exactly how impartial and objective can one be when one is raised a Christian, ecucated at a Christian University, select Christian history and/or archelogy as major, enlist in field expeditions sponsored by Christian organizations or even denominations themselves, and then publish findings in Christian journals and publications funded by Christian foundations? We know from quantum physics that measurements and findings may be changed by the simple process of observing phenomena and it is likely many of these guys were engaged in much more then simple observation.

    I have to confess to never watching Diane Sawyer nor Dateline even if they're discussing something I care about. And Mel Gibson's movie or opinion doesn't even rise to that level. From my observation of what I have seen however, the hook here for the media is the "to anti-semitism, or NOT to anti-semitism" angle. In every interview, or soundbite from ones I have so far seen, the interviewer is trying to get Mel to admit he is anti-semitic and the questions continually dance around this subject. That's the "scoop" and whoever gets the admission, gets the scoop.

    Only slightly before its release has any attention to the "other" content of the film been examined or discussed. And much of that discussion revolves around how "accurate" the depictions are. And the media can be subtle, even without knowing they're being subtle.(The media can be pretty dumb sometimes.) The accuracy debate is couched in terms like "Biblical accuracy" or "being faithful to the gospels". But, most Americans, and most of the discussion participants, have been raised from birth not to doubt the gospels ARE the truth, an accurate narrative of Jesus' life and death(and subsequent life I guess). Putting two and two together(and despite the sorry state of education in this country, most can do the math;)), if the gospels are the truth, and Gibson's film is faithful to the gospels, ergo Gibson's film must be historically accurate.

    OK, it's your turn to take potshots at my link.:D
     
  13. Bogy

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    I remember one of the campaign seasons a few years back. An east coast reporter (don't remember who) wrote a story about stepping out of his Sioux Falls motel room and seeing Mt. Rushmoore in the distance. Must have had really good eyesight and a very clear day, since they are on opposite ends of a very long state. Makes you wonder where he was writing his story from.

    But take the Luke story about Jesus going back to Nazareth and preaching in the Synagogue. He makes the hometown folk so mad that they grab him and take him to the cliffs outside of town to throw him over. This is either a person has been to Nazareth or has received good information. Nazareth is virtually built into the cliffs. But the thing is, so what. The problem with this arguement is that I don't care if we don't know specifically where Jesus was born. I have not seen Gibson's movie yet, but the biggest problem I see with it is that ONLY the suffering and sacrifice, not the teachings and the resurrection are a part of the film. That is a theological perspective where I differ from Mel.
     
  14. Danny R

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    is either a person has been to Nazareth or has received good information. Nazareth is virtually built into the cliffs.

    Just curious, but have you been to Nazareth? I haven't, but a website holding pictures of the place doesn't make it look very cliffy.

    http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/3021/naz1.html
     
  15. jonstad

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    Exactly, you'd have to search long and hard at Nazareth for a cliff steep enough to throw somebody off of and cause much harm beyond stubbing a toe. Maybe they didn't complete their mission because they got tired of searching for a suitable cliff, or they ran out of daylight.:lol:

    The Old AND New Testaments are filled with this sort of "artistic license". And it's time this license be revoked!:mad:;) In nearly every case, if NOT every case, the Bible stories obviously were not written by eye witnesses and often written by those unfamiliar with the geography, event and culture they purport to describe. What they were doing was not history in any acedemic sense of the word. They were manufacturing a poetic narrative that would be convincing and inspiring to people who for the most part were too uneducated to know the difference. Whatever known meagar facts that could be incorporated were used to portray events and characters in the best, or worst, light, whatever suited their purpose. In and of itself, this is no crime. Even today, two authors using the same essential facts might write books about a certain personality, one elevating them to sainthood, the other making them the antichrist. But this is precisely why we must maintain and use healthy doses of skepticism when reading and evaluating them. Especially when the subject is supposedly the lord, master and creator of the Universe. "What really happened?" "What was the author's motivation?" "Under closer scrutiny, does the story even make sense?"

    One last nagging question about Nazareth and the cliff story. The main apologetic Christian scholars and theologians use to explain the seemingly sudden appearance of Nazareth when it became Jesus's home town is to explain that Nazareth was overlooked in every history of the time because it was an undistinguished small village or hamlet with perhaps only a dozen or so families. In ancient times, any community so small would certainly have been composed of inter-related families, at least families that knew each other VERY well. Hell, I live on an island with 6-7000 people. Nearly everyone here is related by blood and/or marriage to almost everyone else if they've lived here more then a generation or two. And even without the "generation" qualification, Molokai people instantly recognize other Molokai people off-island. So essentially, Jesus was going to be thrown off a cliff by his cousins, uncles and people who had known Him all His life. And who had all heard His opinions before, probably ad nauseum! "Oh no, there goes Jesus, again.":rolleyes: What in the world did Jesus say or do this particular time to provoke them into a rage so much so they wanted to throw Him off a cliff? And with the apparently paucity of cliffs around, we can assume this was not a normal Nazarene tradition, at least not an often invoked tradition.:nono:

    It's all just so silly. But if you repeat it often enough, people WILL believe it.
     
  16. Tusk

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    jon,

    It's interesting that the website you use to prove that Nazareth of today does not fit the Bible,

    http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/3021/

    is a website created to prove that what the Bible says is possible archaeologically and scientifically. :scratch: The article you referenced is trying to find the true site of Nazareth (not to prove that Nazareth did not exist at the time of Jesus, but where it was at the time of Jesus).

    You might want to read a few of the other articles from the site you used to make your case:

    "Measuring Time from the Big Bang"
    http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/3021/ponikvar1.html

    "When Sea Level Rapidly Rose"
    http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/3021/peleg.html

    "Where God Parted the Red Sea"
    http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/3021/redsea.html

    All of these articles deal with issues you noted earlier in this thread as fiction of the Bible without any proof. Not to say that this is proof, but it is interesting reading.

    Anyway, I'm sure all of these people are probably just biased wackos with no professional skepticism or ability to perform scientific research. :icon_stup
     
  17. HappyGoLucky

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    Once again, Betty Bowers provides a compelling review of a current hot issue, namely the Mel Gibson feature, "The Passion of the Christ". My favorite line is, "...I'm proud that I live in a country where witnessing two hours of bloody, barbarous torture in gloating detail is considered indicia of religious piety, whereas a mere second gazing upon a woman's breast is cause for outraged apoplexy."

    The whole review can be read here.
     
  18. jonstad

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    Actually, it was provided by Danny R and inadvertantly repeated in my quote of him. I assume he referenced it to show that even those who believe the Bible is inerrant recognize the incongruities of the story. And as is typical, since the Bible cannot be in error, they shift the blame onto the science. "Must be another Nazareth that doesn't appear in the Old Testament or other contemporanious histories!":lol::rotfl:

    I got to go to work and will peruse your other links later. But I can assure you there is no scientific basis for these other claims either. It's all psuedo-science. Radio-carbon and other scientific dating methods work just fine and have been repeatedly proven to work. Do sea levels change? Sure. But they've never changed enough to inundate mountains. You CAN find sea shells on Mt. Everest, but they're fossils from when Mt. Everest lay at the bottom of the sea.

    You might as well contact an astrologer for the age of the Earth as these charlatans. You'll probably get an answer that's just as accurate, and just as lacking in scientific credibility.
     
  19. Bogy

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    Limestone hills. Gee, you don't think something that soft might have changed slightly in 2 millenia, do you?

    Be that as it may, my own feeling is that having read a lot of works like that I have cited here over the years, while the average Christian/tourist may just take for granted that there was a Nazareth and where the tour guide says it was, the scholar and/archeologist doesn't take anything like this for granted. Archeologists, like experts in any field (Dish vs. DirecTV, who's the best?) can argue their own pet points of view endlessly, will keep searching until they find the proof to finally put a question to rest. The attitude of the agnostics/atheists on the other hand, folks who claim to have minds unfettered by preconceived notions, find a problem with a certain location, or to their standards, questions or doubts, say, "There's a problem here, so its all a lie, and its time to stop looking and learning." Atheists/Agnostics claim that the minds of believers are closed, simply depending upon religion, but I think many Christians have minds that continue to seek and search for answers more than do the A/A's, who so quickly give up.
     
  20. jonstad

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    Well limestone can be anything from chalk to marble. The white cliffs of Dover(chalk) seem to be holding up pretty well. And great chunks of the Parthenon(marble) still stand despite being assembled in a much more precipitous fashion then most cliffs, IN AN ACTIVE EARTHQUAKE ZONE! Besides, during most of that 2 millenia, I think we can assume people with a shovel in one hand and a Bible in the other;) have been desperately searching for Nazareth and its cliffs. If they'd run across any rubble where cliffs might have one time stood, I'd assume we'd of heard this excuse already. Try this one on for size. "The cliff crumbled, burying the ancient town,"(and here's the supernatural part) "simultaneously wiping all record of it from historical accounts." Pretty neat, eh? See, I can make this stuff up too.

    Sorry to be so sarcastic. But if my above narrative were in the gospels, you'd be trying to figure out how to defend it. And the same would be true if the narrative were Jack and the Bean Stalk, Cinderella or Finding Nemo.

    I don't really care if there was a little crossroads called Nazareth where Jesus could have been raised. It has little significance to whether He actually existed or was the Son of God or the rest of the story. It's like trying to figure out where the George Washington and the cherry tree thing got started. I've already offered a seemingly plausable explanation for the "Nazarene" confusion. It works for me and it's an explanation that doesn't impinge on anyone's faith in His existence or the God connection. But you're married to the idea of Nazareth as a place, it's become a Christian tradition. And to doubt it would be admitting that you and parts of the gospels might be in error. It's heresy.

    Maybe there was such a place and despite there being very little reason to think there was, I can admit that it's possible. But you cannot admit the converse, that some where along the way in the telling and retelling of the story, there might have been a semantic(or would that be "semitic":D) misunderstanding or an Aramaic typo and somehow the description of Jesus as "Nazarene" got transformed into a place called Nazareth.
     
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