I have a question that has seemingly come out of nowhere for me, and I'm finding it very difficult to deal with. While I certainly don't endorse the overall quality of the particular website where I first saw this information, what I read here I find on the whole quite challenging, because I couldn't find anything to refute the claims that there was no city of Nazareth in Jesus' day. Is there any evidence that Nazareth actually existed in the time of Jesus? -- Gabriel Hauber (Brisbane)
I visited the website. (What an unpleasant tone! I found little but mockery of Christianity, and regurgitation of hackneyed arguments against the historic truth of the faith.) I think I can help you. The website's basic argument is this: Nazareth is not mentioned by ancient writers, therefore it must not have existed at the time. The Gospel writers mendaciously supplied this detail.
Remember this: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Yet logically speaking, one cannot prove that something does not exist simply because the evidence has not been produced. To insist otherwise is to commit the classic fallacy, argumentum ex silentio. For more on logical fallacies, let me direct you here.
It is irrelevant that Nazareth is not mentioned by Helena, the pilgrim who visited the Holy Land three centuries after Jesus' resurrection. She did not find it, and I am sure many other villages would no longer exist after three hundred years. "Excavations in fact not only revealed the sanctity of the site but also the remains of the ancient village of Nazareth with its silos, cisterns and other cave-dwellings. No construction survived the impetus of time," according to this scholar.
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