Jesus Christ may be one of the most famous people to have walked the Earth but very little is known about his life outside of the Bible. There is virtually no archaeological record of Jesus’ life beyond scripture but new discoveries are slowly piecing together what Jesus’ life may have been like 2,000 years ago. Researchers in Nazareth, the town where Jesus is said to have grown up, claim to have made some fascinating insights into the Bible’s accounts of this era.
According to Ken Dark, director of the Nazareth Archaeological Project, the archaeological record of Nazareth paints a picture of the political and cultural setting Jesus Grew up in.
Research shows Nazareth may have been a much bigger settlement than previously thought, with its residents living very conservative and anti-Roman lives.
The findings suggest the residents of Nazareth had different attitudes towards certain rituals and practices to the people of the neighbouring town of Sepphoris.
These religious and political differences may have even contrasted with the teachings of Jesus.
- Archaeologist uncovers ancient temple of Goddess Nemesis in Greece
In his book Roman-Period and Byzantine Nazareth and its Hinterland, Dr Dark wrote: “Our new investigation has transformed archaeological knowledge of Roman Nazareth.
“For the first time ever, we are now gaining a reasonable understanding of the sort of place Nazareth was in Roman times.”
Dr Dark also told The Independent: “By examining in detail the archaeological evidence, gained from recent landscape-survey work and from a detailed re-analysis of previous excavations, we are beginning to learn about the cultural and economic environment in which Jesus grew up.”
According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was rejected by the people of Nazareth upon entering a synagogue on the Sabbath.
We are now gaining a reasonable understanding of the sort of place Nazareth was
Dr Ken Dark, Nazareth Archaeological Project
In the Gospel of Matthew, similarly, the people questioned Jesus’ miracles and described him as the “son of a carpenter”.
Dr Dark’s research suggests Jesus’ teachings and values may have clashed with the conservative people of Nazareth.
He said: “The all-encompassing message of salvation being presented by Jesus might also have been controversial to local people who may have sought to create a cultural barrier between themselves and the Romans.”
The anti-Roman sentiments were likely strong enough that the town revolted against the occupiers in the year 70 AD.
Are we living in the Biblical end times? [ANALYSIS]
Ancient Egyptian artefact could prove the Bible was right [INSIGHT]
End of the world: Have the Seven Seals been broken? [ANALYSIS]
- Archaeology news: Latest Dead Sea Scrolls find adds mystery
Dr Dark’s research also suggests there was a difference between Jesus’ teachings on purity and the widely held beliefs of the Nazarenes.
The archaeologist said the teachings contrasted “with their own perception of what was pure and impure”.
In Mark 7:14, for instance, Jesus said: “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.
“Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them.
“Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”
But the Nazarenes may have been much more strict about definitions of impurity, possibly explaining the distrust shown towards Jesus in the gospels.
Dr Dark has also found evidence to suggest Nazareth was a much bigger town, with “evidence of agriculture, quarrying and rock-cut tombs”.
People in Nazareth appear to have been buried in so-called kokhim tombs – graves cut into rock that were blocked off with a rolling stone.
Jesus is said to have been buried in the same type of tomb after his crucifixion.
Although the discoveries are not direct proof the Bible’s accounts are factually accurate, Dr Dark believes they can help historians explain some of the stories contained within.
Source: Read Full Article