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Nazareth

Also known as En Nasira, Japhia, Mash-had, en-Nasirah, Nazerat, Nazareth of Galilee, Nazareth in Galilee, Yafti en Nasra

Aerial view from the north

Situated inside a bowl atop the Nazareth ridge north of the Jezreel valley, Nazareth was a relatively isolated village in the time of Jesus with a population less than two hundred.

Today Nazareth is home to more than 60,000 Israeli Arabs, and Upper Nazareth is home to thousands more Jewish residents.

View from the south

Very little is known about Nazareth from the ancient sources.  Outside of the New Testament, Nazareth is never mentioned until the Byzantine period (4th c. AD).  Archaeological excavations have confirmed that the city was only a small agricultural village during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Church of Annunciation

A Byzantine church was built over the place where it is believed that the angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary.  In 1966 the Roman Catholic Church began constructing a new basilica over these remains and today this church is the largest church building in the Middle East.  The Greek Orthodox Church nearby is built over the town’s water source.

Rejection of Jesus

Jesus spent his boyhood years in Nazareth before beginning his ministry when he was about 30.  After moving his home to Capernaum, Jesus returned to teach in the synagogue of Nazareth twice more, but was rejected both times.  On one occasion the townspeople were so outraged at Jesus that they tried to throw him off a cliff to his death.

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Related Websites

Nazareth (Custodia Terrae Sanctae) A nice eight-minute video tour and overview of Nazareth, concentrating particularly on the Franciscan basilica.

Nazareth (Israel MFA) The highlight here is a two-minute video giving a glimpse into life in Nazareth today. Refer also to this article regarding the 1st-century “residential building.”

Nazareth and the Basilica of the Annunciation (Tour the Holy Lands) A highly readable article concentrating on the history of the basilica.

Nazareth Cultural and Tourism Association (nazarethinfo.org) Billing itself as the primary website for Nazareth tourism, this site offers brief sketches of attractions, tours, hotels, restaurants, and more.

Nazareth (Into His Own) A brief, encyclopedia-type article with links to related words and topics for further study.

Welcome to Jesus’ home town (Nazareth Village) Nazareth Village is “a first-century village and farm recreated in Nazareth.” Extensive site promotes this attraction.

Nazareth (Crystalinks) Brief summarization of the biblical events that took place in the tiny town.

Nazareth (Wikipedia) Extensive information, including modern demographics, climate, religious sites, and a full history through the modern period.

Has the Childhood Home of Jesus Been Found? (Bible History Daily) Discussion of the excavation of a 1st-century home in Nazareth, and why it interests people now, leading into the longer article published in BAR in 2015.