Monday, March 02, 2015

Jesus' house in Nazareth?

ACTUALLY, PROBABLY NOT: Jesus' House? 1st-Century Structure May Be Where He Grew Up (Owen Jarus, LiveScience).
Archaeologists working in Nazareth — Jesus' hometown — in modern-day Israel have identified a house dating to the first century that was regarded as the place where Jesus was brought up by Mary and Joseph.

The house is partly made of mortar-and-stone walls, and was cut into a rocky hillside. It was first uncovered in the 1880s, by nuns at the Sisters of Nazareth convent, but it wasn't until 2006 that archaeologists led by Ken Dark, a professor at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, dated the house to the first century, and identified it as the place where people, who lived centuries after Jesus' time, believed Jesus was brought up.

As usual with these things, the real story is that we now have detailed records of the excavation of a first-century Jewish house in Nazareth, which is archaeologically quite important. That there is a Byzantine and Crusader-era tradition that it was the house of Jesus hardly amounts to significant evidence that it was.