Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

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Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#1  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 02, 2013 6:27 am

Hi,

Greetings, first post here.

Pliny has a reference to the Nazarene Tetrarchy (Nazerinorum tetrarchia), which is in Syria. This leads to a lot of discussion about who and where were the Nazarenes, or the Nazerini, looking at Pliny and Epiphanius and more. However that is not the focus on this post.

Jeffrey J. Bütz in "The Secret Legacy" p. 155 is discussing this geography and quotes Hugh Joseph Schonfield:

"As a working hypothesis it may be suggested that the region was natively known as Nasarene or Nazarene Country (cp. the Se-neser of Enoch and Genesar, Gennesaret) by the Sea of Galilee. Some scholars have proposed that the eastern zone of Galilee of the Nations was called Nasara of Galilee" (Schonfield, The Jesus Party p. 282)

By the eastern zone of Galilee I understand is meant areas to the east of the Jordan River, such as Gamla and Hamat Gadar and further east into Trans-Jordan. Schonfield then discusses this in the context of Isaiah 9.

My question is essentially two-fold.

1) What scholars have proposed the above, and did they specifically speak of Nasara of Galilee ?

2) And what is the basis, in addition to Isaiah, for moving from the Pliny region in Syria to include an area much closer to Kinneret. ie. More closely connecting the geography of Pliny with the geography of the Bible.

Any help on these would be appreciated. Please avoid, in this thread, all the speculation about who were Nazarenes and who were not, and focus on the geography and the name, in the context of Pliny and the various scholars.

Thanks.

Steven Avery
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Re: Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#2  Postby spin » Jan 02, 2013 6:30 pm

While you are waiting for a response, Steven Avery, I'll comment in passing that Pliny makes clear that he is dealing with northern Syria in the vicinity to Apameia and Hierapolis Bambyce where this Nazerine Tetrarchy was. This is also in the vicinity of hills known now as the Jebel Ansariye, which seems to preserve Pliny's name for the area.
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Nazareth - three geographical alternatives

#3  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 02, 2013 6:59 pm

Hi,

Thanks, spin.
Yes, that is part of the question.
How does Pliny's Syrian location relate to theories like that of Hugh Schonfield ?

Allow me to give a bit more context.

There is a mythicist argument about whether Nazareth existed, and that is of no interest to me ... on this thread. Similarly the dozens of etymology discussions related to netzer, branch. Please respect that request, since it can be a rabbit-trail to my current inquiries. And a dozen NT redaction theories do not belong here either.

Allow this thread to be about the geography, topology and alternate locations of Nazareth, and how each theory fits with NT consistency, with the Bible text at hand (I use the AV, however so far these verses do not seem to be version dependent in terms of issues like geography and topology.) And I would be happy to discuss other issues on other threads.

In this thread, let us accept that Luke and the other NT writers were sound historians, and there was a city of Nazareth where Jesus resided, and one located in an area consistent with the New Testament verses. The question arises :

where was Nazareth of Galilee?

First, I count nine NT verses that directly connect with issues of geography, and I will list them here (but not their context, such as where coming from/to).

=========================

Matthew 2:23
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth:
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets,
He shall be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 4:13
And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum,
which is upon the sea coast,
in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

Mark 1:9
And it came to pass in those days,
that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee,
and was baptized of John in Jordan.

Luke 1:26
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee,
named Nazareth,

Luke 2:4
And Joseph also went up from Galilee,
out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;
(because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

Luke 2:39
And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord,
they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

Luke 2:51
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth,
and was subject unto them:
but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Luke 4:16
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up:
and, as his custom was,
he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day,
and stood up for to read.

John 1:46
And Nathanael said unto him,
Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?
Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Plus, the Matthew 4 verse is connected to:

Isaiah 9:1-2
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation,
when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea,
beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light:
they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

If I have missed verses that you think bear on the geography, please share away.

=========================

SIDENOTE:
There is even an interesting "Nazareth Inscription", however Nazareth there only refers to the provenance of the antiquities dealer who brought forth the item, and today Nazareth is a bustling antiquities center. Thus the inscription is significant in 1st century historicity discussions, as a Roman administration evidence that is difficult to explain other than in connection with the resurrection events. However the Nazareth name is a bit of a misnomer.

=========================

And there are various other evidences that bear on the location of 1st century Nazareth.

=====

SIDENOTE:
Remember, even Nazareth invisibilist René Salm allows Nazareth to exist in 70 AD, the discussion Salm raises is whether this village can be demonstrated to have existed c. 1-30 AD, the dates of the NT narrative. The Salm approach is largely an evidence from silence and presumptions, however it does properly spur us to consider whether the 4th-century-on Nazareth location has been accepted a bit naively and with poor vision glasses by the current evangelical crew.

Is part of that one-dimensional evangelical response a circling of horses because of the skeptic-mythicist attack ? Incidentally, those questions go back quite a way, with special reference to Arthur Powell Davies (1902-1957). And back around 1800 we had Edward Evanson (1731-1805) and Thomas Falconer (1772-1839) sparring precisely on the combined questions of New Testament consistency and authenticity and the Nazareth location in Galilee, looking at the verses above.

====

There can be some special external emphasis, as positive references to Nazreth on the Caesarea Maritima inscription, and secondarily the words of Julius Africanus through Euseubius. And also Epiphanius and Filaster.

As an example, the Caesarea Maritima inscirption also mentions Migdal. Thus, this could be argued as either supporting Har Nitai (since the region was being used for the Jewish priest refugees). Or it could be argued that two places so nearby is unlikely. Thus the specifics of each evidence might have geographical components.

Also of interest are a couple of silences, especially in how they relate to the geography. There is the silence of Origen as to the geography. (We should consider that perhaps the New Testament city was razed or decimated or emptied in the Jewish wars, a Galilee destruction emphasized by Josephus.) Normally such silences (Origen not discussing geography, although he does mention the location in commentary) are of minimal consequence. However Nazareth is a little special, Origen was 200 AD, lived in Caesarea not to far from modern Nazareth, and researched issues like Gergesenes and Gadara and the far-off Gerasa (the swine marathon), and Bethabara and Bethany, so his silence is more significant. The significance of that silence is moderated some by the fact that his geographical interest was especially focused on New Testament variants indicating two possible locales, which is not a problem on the Nazareth verses.

Similarly the value of the Josephus silence has geographical significance as he was headquartered at Sepphoris, less than 4 miles away from current Nazareth, making a Nazareth reference more likely, (even if very small) if it was the place we know today in the Nazareth Basin.

Moving ahead in time, and the current location, we also know that Empress Helena was not very accurate in New Testament geography, so it would be very easy for errors to be made in the fourth century, when the press was on to make NT identifications. (Whether Helena was directly involved or not.) Fourth century identifications should have some evidentiary significance, but not much if they are not corroborated in other ways.

Now let us return to the question of :

where is Nazareth in Galilee, consistent with the New Testament text and history ?

1) we know there is a Nazareth in the middle of the Galilee (the Nazareth basin, the city today) which surely must be considered a candidate for consideration. It was "spotted" in the fourth century.

2) A reasonable argument is made that Har Nitai, a bit over a mile outside of Migdal, much closer to Tiberias and Capernaum, is a more sensible identification, in terms of topology and NT text and geography. This is discussed in a web site called:
"The Real Nazareth?"
http://www.reocities.com/athens/parthen ... areth.html
Incidentally, a friend of mine was a bit involved in this, and afaik it had absolutely nothing to do with the invisibilist crew, it was simply designed as an attempt at reading the NT soundly and finding the right "facts on the ground". The web site goes back almost 15 years, the research and study a bit more.

3) Decapolis, or eastern Galilee location (the OP)

In addition to the reference in the OP, Hugh Joseph Schonfield (1901-1988) also mentions (3) in The History of Jewish Christianity, 1936, p.48 :

"the Nazareth of the New Testament was not situated in western Galilee, but across the Jordan in the Decapolis".

Hugh Schonfield is supported by Hans-Joachim Schoeps (1908-1980) and others, as this is covered by Jeffrey J. Bütz. (Even if we consider Schonfield a bit of a flake, he was not dumb or lacking background in the subject. Plus his more problematic speculative writings came quite a bit later, especially The Passover Plot. In an inquiry of this nature, genetic fallacies are to be avoided.)

And all this may be related in some respects to the Pliny reference to the Nazarene tetrarchy, the text of which is given by Ray Pritz at:

Nazarene Jewish Christianity (1988)
Ray A. Pritz
http://books.google.com/books?id=vh84AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA17
Nunc interiora dicantur. Coele habet Apameam Marysa amne divisam a Nazerinorum tetrarchia, Bambycen quae alio nomlno Hierapolls vocatur, Syris vero Mabog ibi prodigiosa Atargatis, Graecis autem Derceto dicta, colitur.

(text after Mabog added from The Fourfold Gospel, Edwin Abbott Abbott, .. 1914, p. 333, Abbott we can call Mr. Flatland ! Note that on p. 336 he notes that with Judas of Gamla, Gamla was considered part of Galilee, one demonstration that Galilee was larger than our current perspective, today Gamla is considered the Golan Heights). Additional Abbott note: on p. 355 Abbott has some Pliny errors coming from misunderstanding Jewish and NT sources, which, if accepted, is a corroboration of New Testament historicity and distribution. At least of complementary accounts, and even sensibly the actual Luke-Acts texts, that had been sent to Theophilus, high priest from 37-41 AD. (Note, skeptics and mythicists are not likely to agree with that Luke-Acts transmissional record.)

Ray Pritz also helps with the evidence of the date of the Pliny writing, and the geography, also described by Spin above. The review of Pritz by Robert M. Price mentions Gressmann, Guignebert and Eisler as writing on the Nazarene question, although it is unclear so far if any of these scholars address the geography of Nazareth in the direct manner of Schonfield.

Interestingly, this idea of Galilee east of the Jordan is not just Gamla or Hamat Gadar, some, like Champlin Burrage (1874-1951) have placed Pella in Jordan as part of the Galilee region. Heading pretty far south in Decapolis. Is this too far away to be consistent with NT stories or historical understandings ? And there is the region simply directly east of the Sea of Galilee in Trans-Jordan to be potentially considered as eastern Galilee.

Time to stop for now.

Some thoughts for consideration, if you can add to helping show strengths and weaknesses to the three geographical alternatives, or to pin down #3 to a more precise area, any assistance would be greatly appreciated. One issue, the topology of the Nazarene basin, and whether it fits the NT (e.g. the famous cliff where they attempted to throw Jesus down) has been somewhat exhaustively covered elsewhere, I would like this thread to concentrate more on fresh and new discussions.

For those skeptics who find it hard to readjust their thinking caps to a paradigm of New Testament reliability, give it a try to help out on this thread :) . Take a day and read Sir William Mitchell Ramsay to get into gear. It will all be a fine scholastic and intellectual exercise for you, and maybe even a breath of fresh Galilean air.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
Bayside, NY
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Re: Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#4  Postby spin » Jan 03, 2013 4:47 am

There's not much I need to add. It seems that Pritz (p.18) and I are in agreement over the Pliny indication of Nazerinorum tetrarchia, ie it is not relevant to the village biblically referred to as Nazareth. The attempt to extend Galilee into Gaulonitis (name preserved in Golan Heights) seems misguided, while the Har Nitai stuff is a fishing expedition attempting to deal with a single notion in Lk 4:29 that is not supported by other gospels, so there is no reason to think the tradition is early.

"Gressmann, Guignebert and Eisler": the first two are mentioned re Epiphanius's Nasaraioi (Pritz, p.46), while Eisler isn't mentioned in Pritz at all.
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Galilee includes region east of the Jordan

#5  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 03, 2013 11:17 am

Hi,

Interesting. For now, let's take the one point of Gamla, east of the Sea of Galilee and east of the Jordan River, being considered as Galilee.

spin wrote: The attempt to extend Galilee into Gaulonitis (name preserved in Golan Heights) seems misguided

As I pointed out above, Edwin Abbott makes clear that Gamla was considered in Galilee, by using the example of Judah the Galilean.

Acts 5:37
After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing,
and drew away much people after him:
he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

Here is the Abbott url and quote.

The Fourfold Gospel: The beginning (1914)
Edwin Abbott Abbott
http://books.google.com/books?id=CsWyAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA335
The followers of Judas of Gamala were not called Gamalites but Galilaeans,and Judas himself was called Judas the Galilaean.

And I easily found confirmation on this :

The Identification of Gamla (1995)
Danny Syon, IAA
http://www.academia.edu/1100929/The_Ide ... n_of_Gamla

Danny Syon makes this clear on p. 3 where he mentions "Judas the Galilean", in agreement with Abbott. One purpose of the Syon paper is to discount ideas that there was a distinct and separate Gamla west of the Jordan. In fact the emphasis that Gamla can be in Galilee is very strong.

==================

Danny Syon

"The Talmudic list of "walled cities" explicitly states 'Gamla, which is in Galilee'."

... the Second Temple period Golan district, inhabited predominantly by Jews, was considered part of Galilee. There are places that are alternately mentioned as being in Galilee or Golan.Judas the Galilean, who was said to have been "a Gaulonite, of a city* whose name was Gamla", shows that Josephus and possibly his sources treated Galilee and Golan as a unit. Josephus himself was sent to be the commander "of both the Galilees. Gamala also, which was the strongest city* in those parts, was put under his command" {War 2.20.4 [568]). ...

==================

Thus we can definitely accept that east of the Jordan River can be Galilee to the New Testament authors, as indicated by Matthew.

Matthew 4:15
The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim,
by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles;

==================

Gressmann, Guignebert and Eisler are mentioned together (with Schonfield) in the Robert M. Price review of the Ray Pritz book.
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ ... zarene.htm

==================

Shalom,
Steven Avery
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Re: Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#6  Postby Agrippina » Jan 03, 2013 12:01 pm

I'm bookmarking this thread for reference purposes. Thank you Steven, and welcome to Ratskep.

I watched a documentary about the historical Jesus the other day that said that at the time that he is thought to have been born, Nazareth was merely a settlement. They didn't expand on the source for that statement, just said that because of its not being a large town or city, he would have grown up unused to city life, therefore would have been a "country boy."

Thanks for all the info you've posted. It's useful.
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Re: Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#7  Postby spin » Jan 03, 2013 2:23 pm

The followers of Judas of Gamala were not called Gamalites but Galilaeans,and Judas himself was called Judas the Galilaean.

That's all Abbott states on the matter and his is an opinion, unsupported and of no evidentiary value.

Regarding Judas, "Galilean" is a title in both AJ 18.23 (18.1.6) and 20.102 (20.5.1). [See, Kennard, "Judas of Galilee and His Clan", JQR 36.3, p.283.] In BJ 2.118 (2.8.1) we find "a certain Galilean man, Judas by name", while in BJ 2.433 (2.17.8) he is "Judas the surnamed Galilean". Only one of those four references to Judas is he described as being of Galilean origin. The other three are purely titular. Add to this the fact that he is called "the Gaulanite man from a town named Gamala" in AJ 18.4 (18.1.1). This last is a clear indication of provenance. Whatever the significance of Judas being called a Galilean, most cases do not equal provenance, suggesting that the one example indicating so (BJ 2.118) is not transparent. Josephus has the habit of correcting errors in his earlier book, eg he overuses epitropos in BJ for the governors of Judea, which were each epitropos only from the time of Claudius, so that when he states in AJ that Judas was a Gaulanite man, it has the benefit of being written the later and therefore more likely to be correct. Syon, relying on BJ 2.568, is in the weaker position for doing so.

Matthew 4:15
The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim,
by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles;

Are Zebulun and Naphthali also beyond the Jordan? or was Isaiah looking at the land from the point of view of Moses and the settlement?

spin wrote:"Gressmann, Guignebert and Eisler": the first two are mentioned re Epiphanius's Nasaraioi (Pritz, p.46), while Eisler isn't mentioned in Pritz at all.

Gressmann, Guignebert and Eisler are mentioned together (with Schonfield) in the Robert M. Price review of the Ray Pritz book.
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ ... zarene.htm

I was under the impression you wanted information, so I stated what was in Pritz, as it seemed you only had access via googlebooks. Then for some reason you restated what was in Price's review. And it was even unhelpful to you the first time around.
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overview of Nazareth location, consistent with New Testament

#8  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 03, 2013 3:21 pm

Hi,

Agrippina wrote:Thanks for all the info you've posted. It's useful.

Most welcome. I plan to continue on a few related questions and more exposition in the days ahead, however we do now have the basics of Nazareth alternatives and some of the issues laid out nicely. (Afaik, this has never been laid out in such a manner before, while less important political, debate issues have gotten lots of ink.)

Ultimately it would be nice to lay out the advantages and disadvantages of the three possibilities, and what new info is needed. And with the beyond Jordan alternative it really still is an open-ended question of how far beyond Jordan should be considered. (i.e. just Golan and the Hamat Gadar area ? or more further east ?). Plus Hamat Gadar may not qualify, since it is the country of the Gadarenes in Luke 8:26 and 8:37. (A similar question arises further north, for the country of the Gergesenes, in Matthew 8:28 .. note I work only with the Received Text, so Gerasenes is not an issue, see my posts on that swine marathon issue on IIDB in ancient days.)

Luke 8:26 (AV)
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes,
which is over against Galilee.

Luke 8:37
Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them;
for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.

On the other hand, this may not be exclusive, since the hill country of West Virginia is also part of the Appalachians, and 100 such examples could be given.

And you can see the paradigmic difference in the discussion as well, e.g. when we look at:

Luke 4:28-30
And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built,
that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

As I view Luke in the manner of William Mitchell Ramsay (1851-1939), as the consummate, exacting historian. While a gentleman like Spin takes a totally different approach, as we see above, seeing this Luke 4 text as late and not reliable. Fair enough, note that I ask for the purposes of this thread accepting New Testament (Received Text) historicity and accuracy. And then seeking to locate Nazareth consistent with the NT text. Comments dismissing the NT text are of course expected on a skeptic, rationalist board, however that discussion will not be on this thread, at least not in my posts.

As for the beyond the Jordan question, I felt that the Daniel Syon paper clinched the point made by Edwin Abbott, so about Spin's attempt to hamstring the language (i.e. east of the Jordan River could not be called Galilee) .. we will simply have to disagree and move on. Especially as I do not see any refutation of Syon. (Really, the only refutation would be a second Gamla, and one main point of the Syon paper is that there is only one Gamla, to which all references to Galilee and Gaulonitis refer, when discussing Gamla.)

As for Gressmann, Guignebert and Eisler (and any others), I appreciate any notes on their work. Including whether they have any pertinent comments on the geography and the question of Galilee and/or Nazareth being east of Jordan. And no sound scholarship on these questions is "unhelpful to me", since I am simply looking for the soundest and most consistent and accurate understandings. If Gressman and Guigenbert only discuss Epiphanius, that is very good info, and appreciated. However, Spin, it looked like you were simply referencing what Pritz says about them, which is nice to know (the context of Epiphanius) but does not tell us if they may say more.

=====================

The next post, just put in, is from the René Salm perspective (Nazareth could have existed in 70 AD but not in 30 AD). I would be happy to discuss his concepts, however not on this thread, as I explained above. His theories have a number of presumptions that are simply not relevant to this thread.

Wait, there is an exception or two.

We could discuss Salm's little section where he attempts to handwave the question of whether Nazareth could be in another location, as that particular element is relevant to this thread.

(The question of Luke 4:29 and the topology of the Nazareth basin is also relevant to this thread, and could get a minor note of what Salm says. I have no definite view as to the "degree of difficulty" involved in that connection, although I do agree that it is a very pertinent question. And it is discussed in the Har Nitai site in some depth. A clear paragraph on each side, supporting the Nazareth basin region as being consistent with Luke 4:29, and questioning it as being simply unsound, would be appropriate here.)

Also it would be interesting to see precisely what was in the earlier discussions on Nazareth location and New Testament consistency, like Evanson-Falconer, and Davies above. That might better use its own thread, to be handled properly.

=====================

Shalom,
Steven Avery
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Re: Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#9  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jan 03, 2013 3:33 pm

Nazareth hardly existed if at all.

The gospels do not tell us much about this 'city' – it has a synagogue, it can scare up a hostile crowd (prompting JC's famous "prophet rejected in his own land" quote), and it has a precipice – but the city status of Nazareth is clearly established, at least according to that source of nonsense called the Bible.

However when we look for historical confirmation of this hometown of a god – surprise, surprise! – no other source confirms that the place even existed in the 1st century AD.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/nazareth.html
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Charles Guignebert on Nazareth location - Matthew 2:22

#10  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 03, 2013 5:36 pm

Hi,

Charles Guignebert (1867-1939) does have a little input on the questions raised in this thread.

==================

Jesus
The Name: Jesus the Nazarene
Charles Gugnebert
http://books.google.com/books?id=1249AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA79

There is today in Galilee a little town called Nazareth, situated " in a little open valley high up in the group of mountains which bound the plain of Esdraelon on the north " (Renan), and consisting of from three to four thousand inhabitants. It is natural to identify it with the town spoken of in our Gospels, and the majority of modern critics still, in fact, do so.1 But grave doubts, which cannot be dismissed without examination, have recently been cast upon this identification, and seem to be rapidly gaining ground amongst the commentators.

1 "The majority" because there have been various attempts, none of them successful, to assign the native place of Jesus to some other part of Galilee than the little town of Nazareth. Cheyne held that Nazareth meant Galilee itself; Burrage, that the name indicated a district of Peraea : Burkitt, that it stood for Chorazin. etc.

==================

Note that Gugnebert calles these other areas, even Peraea, "another part of Galilee". Granted, that may be simply handling his dismissal in a cursory fashion.

As for his references, Burrage we reference above, Cheyne does not look relevant, Burkitt could be checked out, and etc. we have to find on our own.

And this reminds me of an addition to the verse list above.

==================

Matthew 2:22
But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod,
he was afraid to go thither:
notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream,
he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

At least one commentator, in the discussion searching out the location of Nazareth, has discussed the "parts of Galilee" as an indication of the borders or coasts. So this verse needs addition to the 9 NT geography of Nazareth verses above.

There is also at times issues around the location of Cana, where the wedding was held (Cana has been given a number of possible locations) and also the texts which show travel to Capernaum after the wedding.

Shalom,
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Re: Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#11  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jan 03, 2013 6:18 pm

Why dont you read my link. Everything is in there.

You dont have to keep copying/pasting. Makes for a very dull thread.
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Hugo Gressmann - Der Messias, Commentary on Matthew

#12  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 03, 2013 6:30 pm

Hi Folks,

Hugo Gressmann (1877-1927) seems to be available in German. Der Messias, and a Commentary on Matthew (where he apparently has interesting commentary missed by Champlin Burrage on Matthew 2:23) might be relevant.

And I have noticed a comment about Gressmann: "Gressmann, for example, held that in ancient Israel there was a widespread belief that a virgin would have a son. See his work, Der Messias."
(The Promise of a Saviour-King (ISAIAH 7:14) (1961)
Edward J. Young
http://www.dabar.org/SemReview/Young-Isaiah7.htm
So that would make the research doubly helpful, to see how Gressmann discusses the virgin birth question.

Shalom,
Steven Avery

(The derail attempt above has been noted. Nobodies arm is being twisted to read this thread ;). For Scot, I have read the Rene Salm material on that website, and above I offered to join a discussion on another thread. And his SBL paper is mostly about archaeology in the Nazareth basin, mostly irrelevant for the discussion on this thread. As to interacting with Salm's theory, you can find some posts of mine, a bit censored and (snipped), on the Neil Godfrey Vridar blog. And some discussions with Rene Salm on the ANE-2 list in 2007. In this forum, I noticed that there was a spot of discussion buried in the humongous thread, and not very sensible. I avoid such huge threads. )
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Re: Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#13  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jan 03, 2013 6:32 pm

This thread is turning into complete utter crap.

Stop copying/pasting. This is a dicussion forum. Obviously you have never been on one.
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René Salm defends his mythical location as the only location

#14  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 03, 2013 11:52 pm

Hi,

We will take a little diversion to show the René Salm reasoning as to why the only Nazareth location that is possible is the one traditionally identified (since the 4th century). -

"Kicking the can again, traditionalists may retreat to yet another line of defense and claim: Ah. but Nazareth was not in the basin at all. You see. it was somewhere else! This is perhaps the ultimate argument from silence. A moment's thought, however, will show this line to be impossible, for it implies that there was (were) not one but two Nazareths in Galilee. The village we have been studying has been a named place for many centuries, identifiable as "Nazareth" and as a pilgrim destination since the fourth century of our era. Hence, if "Nazareth" existed somewhere outside the basin, then it must have been some other, second. Nazareth. We have no record at all of that other Nazareth, and if we did. then scholars would long since have been discussing which of the two Nazareths Jesus came from. The Myth Of Nazareth: The Invented Town Of Jesus, p. 290, 2008

We will leave this amazing skeptic/atheist logic to settle.
If any one has difficulty seeing the gaping flaws, we can discuss it more.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
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Edward Evanson - parts of Galilee- beyond Jordan

#15  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 04, 2013 12:39 am

Hi,

Let's fast-backward to abound 1800 to Edward Evanson (1731-1805) who may be credited with the earliest solid questions on Nazareth in the New Testament, from a skeptic's type of perspective. (There may be others, but he is definitely in the mix.) Evanson asks some good questions, noting New Testament wording, that might help us with comparing the alternative Nazareth locales.

The dissonance of the four generally received evangelists: and the evidence of their respective authenticity, examined; with that of some other scriptures deemed canonical (1805)
Edward Evanson
http://books.google.com/books?id=tg8WAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA164

The scripture section being considered is :

Matthew 4:12-17
Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Evanson
As if he imagined the city of Nazareth was not as properly in Galilee, as Capernaum was, (which indeed seems implied also in the second chapter, where he tells us Joseph "went aside," not into Galilee, but " into the parts or coasts of Galilee,") he informs us, that after John's imprisonment, our Saviour departed into Galilee, and, leaving Nazareth, came and dwelt at Capernaum, in order to fulfil a saying of Isaiah's, respecting the country beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles. Now to Isaiah, or any inhabitant of Judea, the country beyond must be the country east of the Jordan, as Gaulanitis or Galilee of the Gentiles, is well known to have been; whereas, Capernaum was a city on the western side of the lake of Gennesareth, through which the Jordan flows.

Evanson continues with a long discussion of Matthew's use of Decapolis, in Matthew 4:25, with Evanson struggling to find a difficulty, and he goes into the geography of Mark 7:31 (another one we went over on IIDB long ago, where the Received Text is fine, but the modern versions have a real problem).

However three parts of the Evanson approach seem to be of reasonable note:

1) parts of Galilee - Matthew 2:22
2) beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; - Matthew 4:15
3) "leaving Nazareth", if this is connected to the previous "he departed into Galilee", which is natural grammar, then it implies that leaving for Capernaum is more central Galilee, and that would support an outskirts Nazareth, including east of the Jordan - Matthew 4:12-13

From the studies so far, these deserve real consideration. Each one, in their own way, supports a less central sense of Nazareth to Galilee. They all are more comfortable with an east of the Jordan approach, which is what is given by a number of commentators who have seen Nazareth as part of an eastern region. (Noting that their reasons generally have to do with, as I understand it, statements by writers like Epiphanius that support an eastern Nazarene presence, rather than the 3 language issues above. This should be checked.)

Note that I go to the city (Manhattan, mainly) from where I live, yet technically I am in the city of New York (Bayside). So this type of language of centrality/outskirts is normal.

==========================

Thomas Falconer (1772-1839) was one of the writers who responded to Evanson. Part of his response was:

"no part of Galilee was on the eastern side of the Jordan."

hmm... nothing new under the sun. We find ourselves discussing the very same assertion now, 200+ years later. Above, you can see I found that not supported, emphasizing the Daniel Syon paper.

Certain principles in Evanson's "Dissonance of the four generally received evangelists", &c. examined: (1811)
Thomas Falconer
http://books.google.com/books?id=uXUuAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA365
"no part of Galilee was on the eastern side of the Jordan. Neither do we know whether Isaiah denominated Galilee of the
Gentiles with respect to his own situation in Judea. All the principal part of Canaan was called the country beyond Jordan, before it was occupied by the Israelites, It might have the appellation relatively to those nations who had hitherto sat in darkness and in the shadow of death.

So Falconer is reversing the viewpoint. Hmmm... It would be interesting to study this more, including some commentators. Falconer continues

"But how shalll we be able to dispose of the tribes of Zebulon and Naphthali, the limits of whose territories never extended to the east of Jordan."

Then he goes into a discussion of the authenticity of the book of Romans, and writings of Paul, and the people to whom he sent greetings. So far, I find the dots a bit difficult to connect.

==========================

John Gill (1697-1771) separates out beyond Jordan from Galilee of the Gentiles, while identifying beyond Jordan with Peraea.

Matthew 4:25
http://www.biblestudytools.com/commenta ... -4-25.html
Isaiah 9:1
http://www.studylight.org/com/geb/view. ... &verse=001

I find separating out beyond Jordan from Galilee of the Gentiles awkward, in terms of the sentence flow, yet Gill is claiming that this is the historic rabbinic understanding. It actually is a rather important exegetical question in all this.

John Lightfoot (1602-1675) is, not surprisingly, very excellent, and we can see that Gill is very similar to his understanding, again separating beyond Jordan from Galilee of the Gentiles.

The works of the Reverend and learned John Lightfoot
The Harmony of the Four Evangelists
http://books.google.com/books?id=-SlWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA622 (1684 printing)
p. 622-624
http://books.google.com/books?id=dkEwAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA141 (1822 printing)
p. 141-146

Lightfoot criticizes Beza on "beyond Jordan", apparently Beza did not see it as an independent phrase, and tries to make it "along Jordan". This shows us that careful exegetical attempts on these phrases go right back to the earliest Reformation era commentators. Lightfoot very specifically sees an "and" implied before Galilee of the Gentiles, one point that was de facto emphasized by Spin.

John Wesley (1703-1791) ..who often works with studies from the learned Johann Bengel (1687-1752) .. sees the grammar differently than Lightfoot: "Galilee of the Gentiles—That part of Galilee which lay beyond Jordan was so called, because it was in a great measure inhabited by Gentiles, that is, heathens."

==========================

Here is an good map, including showing Zebulon and Napthali.
http://www.bccfbroadcasts.com/maps/12_Tribes1.gif
nicer map
http://www.tinybeetle.us/dbrag/graphics/039.jpg

Notice that if this is accurate, modern Nazareth is smack-dab in the middle of the two, it looks more like Zebulon. This is difficult for some of these prophetic interpretations that puts the emphasis on Galilee of the Gentiles (including John 1:46 Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? ). Similarly, Lightfoot explains Galilee of the Gentiles as upper Galilee, which again seems difficult for the Nazareth basin.

==========================

Jerome and the Glossa Ordinaria are the most interesting parts in the Aquinas Catena Aurea
http://books.google.com/books?id=UQ4szk7rHxIC&pg=PA130

Jerome from Catena Aurea:
...Scripture here means that the region which had been the first to suffer captivity, now was the first to see the light of Christ's preaching. The Nazarenes again interpret that this was the first part of the country that, on the coming of Christ, was freed from the errors of the Pharisees, and after by the Gospel of the Apostle Paul, the preaching was increased or multiplied throughout all the countries of the Gentiles

Glossa Ordinaria from Catena Aurea:
Note that there are two Galilees; one of the Jews, the other of lite Gentiles. This division of Galilee had existed from Solomon's time, who gave twenty cities in Galilee to Hyram, King of Tyre; this part was afterwards called Galilee of the Gentiles; the remainder, of the Jews.

Here is a new verse for a little consideration:

Matthew 9:1
And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.

In his Commentary on Matthew, Jerome errs when he says that "his own city" is Nazareth:

Commentary on Matthew (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 117)
http://books.google.com/books?id=j0UmWBivNJgC&pg=PA105

This is pointed out by John Gill:

"not Bethlehem, where he was born, nor Nazareth, as Jerom thought, where he was educated, but Capernaum, as is clear from ( Mark 2:1 ) where he much dwelt, frequently conversed, and his disciples: here he paid tribute as an inhabitant, or citizen of the place, which he was entitled to by only dwelling in it twelve months, according to the Jewish canons..."

==========================

I'm a big believer in intelligence-gathering. Collect the basic facts first, and then try to form solid viewpoints. Thus, we may have enough, now or shortly, to try to compare alternative Nazareths more sensibly.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
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Re: Pliny on Nazarene Tetrarchy, Schonfield on Nasara of Galilee

#16  Postby spin » Jan 04, 2013 6:23 am

I don't see you have added anything new here, Steven Avery, unless you think you can get more antiquarian lore into the thread, so I'll limit myself to this statement:

    So Falconer is reversing the viewpoint.

That is not derived from anything you cited from Falconer. In fact, he states a view that I gave earlier:

    All the principal part of Canaan was called the country beyond Jordan, before it was occupied by the Israelites

The Hebrew word for "beyond" (עבר) is related to the name of the Hebrews (עברי), the people beyond (the river, ie the Jordan, from a perspective similar to that of Moses who we are told never crossed the river).
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beyond Jordan - Gill and Lightfoot east, Falconer west

#17  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 04, 2013 7:23 am

Hi,

And I agree that Falconer is agreeing with your question:

Are Zebulun and Naphthali also beyond the Jordan? or was Isaiah looking at the land from the point of view of Moses and the settlement?

If your question was rhetorical.
All this is a reversal of how the many "beyond Jordan" verses are used in verses in the NT.

Matthew 4:25
And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis,
and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

Matthew 19:1
And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings,
he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;

Mark 3:8
And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan;
and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude,
when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

John 1:28
These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

John 3:26
And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi,
he that was with thee beyond Jordan,
to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth,
and all men come to him.

John 10:40
And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized;
and there he abode.

If that is because this is an exceptional usage, Matthew quoting Isaiah looking from the other side, that would be reasonable, but I see that as unclear as the Isaiah understanding.

Isaiah 9:1-2
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation,
when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea,
beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light:
they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

One obvious concern is that in your interpretation Zebulon and Napthali are themselves beyond Jordan, making the passage quite awkward.

I'm happy to give it consideration. John Lightfoot and John Gill, above, will be the first check. Those antiquarians seem to far more savvy than the modern commentators :).

Gill gives a fair amount of Talmudic commentary, his Isaiah 9:1 commentary points to Matthew 4:25:
http://www.biblestudytools.com/commenta ... -4-25.html

and from beyond Jordan;
which was a distinct country of itself, known by the name of Peraea; so called, perhaps, from (peran) , the word here translated, "from beyond". It is to be observed, that here are three countries distinctly mentioned, Galilee, Judea, and "beyond Jordan"; which was the division of the land of Israel; of these three lands the Talmudists often speak.

Followed by a number of Hebraic references.

Lightfoot, in a very informative section (p. 623) has the same sense, and in addition to the note on Beza, has:

and in the Country beyond Jordan in the taking of Gilead, and carrying away the Reubenites, Gadites, and half Tribe of Manasseh ; as the Texts alledged ere while do give testimony: And answerably, in these three Regions did the Gospel appear most radiantly, even in Christs own Ministry and his presence there, as may be observed copiously in the Evangelists

=================

An interesting new point for the thread is that Galilee of the Gentiles goes up north, to the border of Tyre, ie. even into modern Lebanon, as you see in this map:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Galilee

Thus if the Messiah is considered as prophetically from Galilee of the Gentiles, and this is Upper Galilee, again we are far from modern Nazareth. Note though that Biblical Galilee, as discussed above, goes farther east that this map (does this forum take .jpgs easy, should I load the best two maps into the thread ? .. anyway, later I can load a summary into an easy-pic, easy-HTML yahoogroups and link to that here) and goes east of the Jordan (e.g. Gamla, per Danny Syon piece, would be proper to be considered as ancient Galilee).

Shalom,
Steven
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Re: beyond Jordan - Gill and Lightfoot east, Falconer west

#18  Postby spin » Jan 04, 2013 7:53 am

Steven Avery wrote:All this is a reversal of how the many "beyond Jordan" verses are used in verses in the NT.

They aren't citing Isaiah.
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Matthew citing Isaiah in 'beyond Jordan'

#19  Postby Steven Avery » Jan 04, 2013 8:05 am

Hi,

spin wrote:They aren't citing Isaiah.

Right, as I discussed in my post above :).

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Re: Matthew citing Isaiah in 'beyond Jordan'

#20  Postby spin » Jan 04, 2013 8:36 am

Steven Avery wrote:
spin wrote:They aren't citing Isaiah.

Right, as I discussed in my post above

But not the version that is in Mt.

The LXX Isa 9:1 version is a little different from Mt., but not in a way that changes anything. After "the way of the sea", LXX adds και οι λοιποι οι την παραλιαν κατοικουντες, "and the remnant of those who inhabit the coast" (my literal translation).)
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