Was Nazareth Really Poor?

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Posted: Jul 10, 2018 10:49 AM
Was Nazareth Really Poor?

We don't have loads of archaeological evidence about Nazareth because people actually live there now, so it's a tough place to do a lot of digging, but there have been recent archaeological digs across from the church which is alleged to represent Jesus' childhood home, and these digs have shown a very nice home according to the standards of the time, and the surrounding areas show solid working class homes, and a fairly nice farm nearby. There were working class neighborhoods. Nazareth was largely a farm town and Galilean products, such as wine and olive oil, were in demand. Galilee and Nazareth were populated by small 'freeholders', farmers who actually owned their farms of perhaps 10 or more acres. Not hungry. Bad weather would be a problem, but setting aside weather problems and bad harvests, this was a reasonably prosperous part of the world. And a place of small plots owned and worked by locals, not or gigantic plots worked by slaves or serfs in thrall to politically connected absentee landlords.

In this short video, Dr. David Fiensy, author of Christian Origins and the Ancient Economy and experienced (with eight digging sites under his belt-almost all of them in Galilee) talks about the archeological evidence about Nazareth and what it really shows in contrast with politically motivated sociological models about the economic upbringing of Jesus of Nazareth.