My post on the archaeological proof that Nazareth did in fact exist elicited a number of responses, some of them asking for more details – especially about whether the name of the town could have been invented by someone who thought Jesus was a “Nazirite.”  I actually deal with that question in my response to mythicists in my book Did Jesus Exist?   There I deal with the arguments of mythicists Frank Zindler and G.A. Wells.  Here is what I say there:


Frank Zindler, for example, in a cleverly entitled essay, “Where Jesus Never Walked,” tries to deconstruct on a fairly simple level the geographical places associated with Jesus, especially Nazareth.  He claims that Mark’s Gospel never states that Jesus came from Nazareth.  This flies in the face, of course, of Mark 1:9, which indicates precisely that this is where Jesus did come from (“Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee”), but Zindler maintains that that verse was not originally part of Mark; it was inserted by a later scribe.   In my view, this making a historical claim based on “convenience.”  If a text says precisely what you think it could not have said, then all you need to do is claim that originally it must have said something else.

I do not mean to say that Zindler does not cite evidence for his view.  He claims that the name “Jesus” in Mark 1:9 does not have the definite article, unlike the other 80 places it occurs in Mark, and therefore the verse does not appear to be written in Markan style.   In response, I should say that …

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