Courtesy of holylandphotos.org
Luke's Gospel tells us that Nazareth is the town “where [Jesus] had been brought up.” The small town of Nazareth in the time of Christ is generally accepted to still be identified with modern Nazareth (Buttrick, 524). The city is approximately 20 miles from the Mediterranean and 15 miles from the Sea of Galilee which made it enough out of the way that few commercial business passed through. The city's altitude of 1300 feet above sea level made for a moderate climate with favorable rainfall for vegetation, but the overall lack of springs forced the city to rely heavily on cisterns. In Christ's time Nazareth was a small secluded village off the beaten path, insignificant in the fact that it doesn't appear any Hebrew literature (the Old Testament, the Talmud, the Midrash or Josephus). This reputation is furthered by Nathanael's reply in John's gospel: “can anything good come from Nazareth?” as a moderner might discount any backwater town out in the sticks with only one stop light.
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