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Re: Nazareth

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... No, I meant habitation in its earlieat development. In the bronze to iron age and before what some interpreters classify as its refounding as a village
    Message 1 of 63 , May 8, 1999
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      rene joseph salm wrote:
      >
      > Jack, you really should bring yourself up to speed regarding Nazareth
      > if you want to contribute to this discussion.
      >
      > We've already gone through the Pfann and Voss material you presented to
      > Tom, not once, but several times, dating back to Nov. 1998. Tom and I
      > have pointed out that this website contains unpublished claims,
      > a highly devotional perspective, and floridly speculative (even fanciful)
      > conclusions. You don't address these reservations but merely restate
      > some of the familiar Pfann material. My comments, if you're interested,
      > are in a post of 8 Apr at 2:12.
      >
      > On Wed, 5 May you wrote:
      >
      > > I think the archaeological evidence is clear that there was a village
      > > on this site dating at least to the early Roman period and habitation as
      > > far back as the Bronze age.
      >
      > What "clear" archaeological evidence?
      >
      > So far, we have one sherd about the size of your thumbnail, very dubiously
      > labelled 'Hellenistic' by Bagatti.
      >
      > On 6 May 13:45 you wrote [to S. Goranson]:
      >
      > > I will review the archaeological evidence again, including the new dig
      > > in Nazareth to assess your position. Nazareth is not a sacred cow with
      > > me.
      >
      > Then you should not be able to look at a hill with an available water
      > supply in a fertile area and suppose there was a village there
      > (specifically in I BCE/Hellenistic times):
      >
      > > Strictly from the standpoint that Nazareth sits on a hill with an
      > > available water supply in a fertile area makes it hard for me to believe
      > > it was not a habitation.
      >
      > By "habitation" I assume you mean "village," or your argument has no
      > force. Also, I assume you mean I BCE, or your argument again has no force
      > (this is required for Jesus to have come from Nazareth). Hence my
      > statement above.

      No, I meant habitation in its earlieat development. In the
      bronze to iron age and before what some interpreters classify
      as its "refounding" as a village in the 2nd century BCE
      (Meyers and Strange), it was an agricultural site. It would
      not be unusual for a "village" to have arose...uh..arisen....
      hmmmm (gotta have my morning coffee yet)...from a "habitation"
      by one agricultural family. But in the above statement, I was
      not referring to the variously interpreted archaeological
      evidence. I was looking at this region of the Galilee as
      prime agricultural real estate since the iron age. I see
      an elevated area between the basin on the north and the
      extensive fertile fields to the south and an available
      water supply. The idea that this ridge would have been
      unclaimed and unoccupied until sometime in the first
      or second century CE is not credible to me strictly from
      a demographic standpoint. The proximity of Sepphoris
      and its continued occupation since at least Iron II makes
      an unoccupied, unutilized Nazareth by the 1st century
      even more incredible to me.

      >
      > BTW, late Roman Nazareth is not at the summit of the hills (which
      > reach above 450 m), but below 350 m in the valley between summits.

      Its not unusual for occupation sites in elevated locations like the
      ridge of the Beth Netofa Basin to literally "float" about over
      extended periods.

      >
      > Jack [5/9]:
      > > We have to rely on the archaeological evidence alone
      >
      > I see no reason at all to exclude literary, historical (events of the
      > time, etc), religious (Jewish prohibition against tombs within village
      > bounds) or any other evidence that might be brought to bear.

      OK, so the twenty odd tombs found on a perimeter of 250-750 yards
      from the Church of the Annunciation gives some ides of the placement
      of the village. This leaves the dating of the tombs as the key.
      As you correctly state, Kokim tombs were a feature between 2 bce and 2
      CE
      and cannot prove a pre-Jesus model. On the other hand, it cannot
      prove a post-Jesus model. I would suggest, however, that the four
      "rolling stone" tombs places that dating earlier rather than
      later.

      >
      > > since the lack of any mention of Nazareth in Jesus' time or prior
      > > in no way suggests the village was not there...
      >
      > In fact it does to me, though it doesn't prove it. At the least, this is
      > an item of evidence to be placed in the composite picture.

      Are you forgetting the gospels? Jesus is multiply attested in all
      four gospels and in Acts as having been born in Nazareth. Now I
      realize all the possibilities here...Matthew and Luke drawing on
      Mark..the dating of the gospels...but I would contend that this comes
      from the earliest source material used by the gospelers. Surely Luke
      would have corrected it if it were not true and, if he is the Luke
      of Paul, he was a contemporary.

      >
      > > only that it was not important.
      >
      > You've sold the farm with this statement... First you have to prove
      > the existence of a village.

      I am not willing to dismiss Bagatti, Pfann and Voss from my armchair
      position as easily as you. I find their reports to be persuasive
      and they are the ones with the shovels. I also have more
      confidence in the ceramic datings.

      >
      > What I mean is, how can "the lack of any mention of Nazareth in Jesus'
      > time or prior" suggest to you *the existence* of a village "that was not
      > important" (or of any other kind)? Your statement merely demonstrates a
      > priori acceptance of such village... This, then, effectively excludes you
      > from the possibility of scientific debate.

      Just the opposite. As a scientist I am full aware that the absence of
      epigraphic evidence proves nothing, pro or con. The absence of that
      form of evidence does not suggest to me "the existence of a village"
      You have constructed a straw man here.
      >
      > > The agricultural terraces, walls, towers,
      > > etc now being excavated by Pfann and Voss date to the early Roman
      > > period...
      >
      > Correction: Pfann writes "beginning with the early to late Roman periods."
      > As I remarked in the Apr 8 post, does this equivocal statement mean the
      > earliest potsherds are "early" or "late" Roman? (Or is he intentionally
      > vague?)

      "Early to late" is not vague to me. I repoorts a ceramic range and
      again, Pfann is the one with the shovel. Are you suggesting he is not
      qualified? He is unfamiliar with ceramic dating? It seems as if all
      of the guys with the shovels are reporting a pre-Jesus Nazareth and
      all the opponents in their armchairs are disputing it. It sounds
      as if the a priori is in the armchair camp.

      >
      > > some to the Hellenistic period
      >
      > This is a bald unsubstantiated claim. What "Hellenistic" evidence?
      >
      > The closest to anything definite that I found on his website is another
      > equivocal (and very broad) statement: "Pottery was found from the second
      > century BC to the fourth century CE." On the face of it, one would suppose
      > this means Pfann claims II BCE and I BCE finds. But he doesn't say what
      > these finds are, give examples, characteristics or particulars, say who
      > dated them, to when within this broad period (4 centuries), etc. He
      > merely makes a passing claim, on the internet. Oh well, that sort of
      > information is not much use to me. People do make claims all the time...

      You are claiming that Pfann, Voss, Rapuano, Karnis, etal are not
      qualified to identify 2nd century BCE ceramics from the terraces
      of the site? You think these claims would be made by professional
      archaeologists without cataloging the shards? Tell ya what..I'll ask
      em.

      >
      > > and this is certainly prior to Jesus' time.
      >
      > Nothing from Pfann's website is certain.

      This season they will be investigating the watchtowers.
      Let's see what they find.

      >
      > > The complex of burial caves that form
      > > a perimeter around the ancient village site (in the region of
      > > the Church of the Annunciation) has yielded BRONZE AGE pottery.
      >
      > Forget about your "perimeter." Of the burial caves, only three (Bagatti
      > Nos.1, 7, and 80, p.258), all in the area of the present Church of the
      > Annunciation, have yielded Bronze age remains. No Bronze Age remains have
      > been found in Richmond's find to the south, nor any in Feig's finds to the
      > east.

      Uh....three tombs in the area of the CA, which is considered to be
      the locus of the ancient site, has produced bronze age remains.
      This doesn't tell you anything? Am I missing something here?

      >
      > And what of it? I sense your point is perhaps that Bronze Age finds
      > implies "continuous habitation" thereafter... If so, I suggest you think
      > again. As mentioned above, there are no artifacts at the site from the
      > Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic, or Hasmonaean periods at all.

      Not according to the archaeologists on site.

      >
      > > Grain silos of the same type found at Tel Abu Matar (Chalcolithic)
      > > contained IRON II pottery (Solomon period). Eighteen of the tombs
      > > surrounding the ancient village area are of the kokim type.
      >
      > (The comment for the Bronze period holds also for Iron period evidence.)
      >
      > As for the kokhim tombs, that type has been dated as current from anywhere
      > between II BCE and II CE (K. Galling, Palaestina Jahrbuch 1936, p.76;
      > etc.) In other words, the mere existence of Kokhim alone is in no way
      > evidence for BCE use as opposed to CE use, as you seem to imply.

      Well, I covered this above.

      >
      > A closer look at arcosolia and other characteristics of these tombs
      > suggests construction of many of them in later rather than earlier
      > kokhim times. This is confirmed by Feig's evidence: all of her 5 tombs
      > are dated to *post-Jesus* CE times.
      >
      > Then, Feig's tombs have much similarity with those across the valley
      > studied by Bagatti...

      Actually, I am not concerned with "across the valley."

      >
      > Then again, none of the contents of any Nazareth tomb is certain
      > before II CE. Not even a shard...

      But there are ceramics dating to II BCE.


      > Bob Schacht writes:
      >
      > > Horsley agrees that there was a substantial settlement at Nazareth
      > > during the first century.
      >
      > I doubt Horsley has gone through the evidence item-by-item as I have.
      > If he did, I doubt he would hold that view. For example, do you think he
      > knows that not one of the oil lamps found at Nazareth can be clearly dated
      > before II CE?

      I take it then that you disagree with the dating range of Herodian style
      lamps?

      >
      > > We have discussed this before.
      >
      > Indeed.
      >
      > > There is other evidence than lamps.
      >
      > We're not just talking oil lamps here, Bob. For the record, once again:
      > there are no artifacts or structures at the Nazareth site dated to the
      > Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic, or Hasmonaean periods. None. We're
      > talking:
      >
      > -- no habitations
      > -- no pottery
      > -- no oil lamps
      > -- no inscriptions
      > -- no coins

      Let's give Pfann another season and we'll see.

      Jack

      --
      ______________________________________________

      taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

      Jack Kilmon
      jkilmon@...

      http://www.historian.net
    • Ian Hutchesson
      ... This is ... Hmmm, I d love to know how one would know that there was only one puzzle, or how many pieces it (or they) had. Nevertheless, as it s your
      Message 63 of 63 , May 11, 1999
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        At 15.55 10/05/99 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:
        >
        >Ian Hutchesson wrote:
        >>
        >> At 22.19 09/05/99 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:
        >> >> >I just remembered Dom Crossan speaking about Miryam's parents
        >> >> >living in Sepphoris (I don't know where he gets that tradition).
        >> >> >Wouldn't it be interesting if they were the owners? (Hey! Allow
        >> >> >me a little latitude here) <grin>
        >> >>
        >> >> You know as they say, Jack, "give an inch and they'll take a mile."
        This is
        >> >> especially true with wild hysterical jesusers: let them have a whiff of
        >> >> apple scented hair shampoo and they've reconstructed a whole orchard.
        >> >
        >> >Never as bad as the palaeoanthropologists. They find one million
        >> >year old tooth and they'll tell ya what the guy had for breakfast
        >> >(mammothburger). :)
        >>
        >> Would that the hjers had even an old tooth!
        >
        >Well, I kinda look at it thisaway. We have about 100,000 pieces of
        >a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Knowing which pieces are the real pieces
        >is where the game lies.

        Hmmm, I'd love to know how one would know that there was only one puzzle,
        or how many pieces it (or they) had.

        Nevertheless, as it's your opinion that "the male members of Jesus
        family... were active participants in his ministry all along...and the female
        members... were supportive", you seem to have some method you haven't
        explained for knowing which are real pieces. It would be worthwhile to
        understand your objective selection mechanism at least -- for I thought
        that the criteria I have seen in circulation here are all so subjective.

        That old tooth does look pretty darn good to me in comparison: you have
        something conclusive from the era, so the beast exists; you might even have
        the ability to know both the age and something of the diet of the creature
        as well -- all pretty much solid factual sorts of things, unlike the
        hypotheses that arise out of our puzzle.


        Ian
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