Bart Ehrman on Nazareth

Bart Ehrman

I don’t think he read my recent post :) but Bart Ehrman has also posted on the evidence for Nazareth existing at the time of Jesus.

Bart has several advantages over me. Not only is he a professional working full time in this field, but he is able, because of his position, to have personal communication with some of the key players, as he reports on in this blog post.

Ehrman points out that Rene Salm’s arguments, even if they were well based in the archaeology, don’t prove that Nazareth didn’t exist in Jesus’ day. They would just show that there is limited evidence for this – not surprising since it was a small village and the area is now overlain by a city.

But he also points out that the archaeological evidence does indeed point to habitation in Nazareth at the time of Jesus – probably a small and rather poor village.

Worth reading.

Nazareth – the evidence mounts

Excavated tomb in Nazareth

I have written before about archaeological excavations in Nazareth and sceptics who claim Nazareth didn’t exist as a village at the time of Jesus (and hence the gospels must be wrong) – see Did Bethlehem and Nazareth exist in Jesus’ day? and Nazareth re-visited.

I have just come across some new information that was first published more than two years ago in an academic journal, but has now been written up in a more widely-read magazine.

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Prayer for healing seems to work

Healing the deaf

I have long had an interest in the effectiveness of prayer for healing. My initial reaction to healing claims tends to be mild scepticism (I believe healing can occur but I don’t believe all claims of divine healing are credible), but I try to find cases where there is good evidence.

So I am interested to see how medical science is exploring the value of prayer and faith in providing real help to suffering patients. One researcher is Professor Candy Gunther Brown, a historian in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University.

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“The sun came up from the ocean, red with the cold sea mist”

Sunrise 4

I’ve been away on a short holiday for the last week, at a beautiful spot on the NSW coast. Our holiday unit is right on the beachfront, with views over the Pacific Ocean.

We sleep just inside large glass doors, so we hear the sounds of the surf during the night, and wake as the sun begins to shine over the eastern horizon and small wrens begin to hop across the grass. Watching the sunrise one day this week gave me a few ideas.

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Bart Ehrman and the evidence for Jesus

Bart Ehrman is a respected New Testament scholar and an “atheist-leaning agnostic”. As well as academic publications, he has written a number of popular-level books about Jesus and the New Testament. Many of the books present a more sceptical view of the New Testament than many christians accept, but one of his more recent books, Did Jesus Exist, has led to critical comments from atheists.

In this short video segment, taken from a Q&A following a talk he gave at the Freedom From Religion Foundation last year, Bart answers a question about whether there is evidence for whether Jesus existed. His answer opens up a few interesting ideas.

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