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Why the Truth About Nazareth is Important
Why the Truth About Nazareth Is Important
by Frank Zindler
Proving the non-existence of gods is usually a futile endeavor, generally involving the nearly impossible task of proving a universal negative. Indeed, when the 'god' in question is undefined, such proof is impossible. It is impossible because the exercise is scientifically meaningless. In science, unless a claim of the existence of anything—be it a god or a subatomic particle—leads to predictions which can be tested, it can't even be proven false: it is merely meaningless. The worst part of all this is that no one takes seriously the testing of such claims—nor should he.
Recently, when I argued that Jesus didn't want me to be like the hypocrites and pray in public [Matthew 6:5-6], no one took my 'proof' seriously. Speaking to the ceiling, I had 'tested' my own claim by exclaiming "Jesus! If you agree that we should not be hypocrites and should not pray in public, give us absolutely no sign in the next ten seconds!"
Similarly, millions of people in TV audiences have been unimpressed by my 'demonstration' of the nonexistence of the Christian god when I have exclaimed "Jehovah! If you exist, strike me dead in the next ten minutes!" Even the fact that I am always still alive ten minutes later seems not to move the world one bit.
As I said, effectively proving the nonexistence of a god can be frustrating—and usually futile.
In the article ["The Myth Of Nazareth: The Invented Town of Jesus"], René Salm has, however, found and struck the Achilles' heel of a very popular god—Jesus of Nazareth. While almost nothing in this god's definition is agreed upon by scholars and believers, one thing must be true. If he ever existed, he must have been from 'Nazareth'—just as Dorothy's Wizard was from 'Oz.' We know quite certainly that there never was a Wizard of Oz because exhaustive LandSat photo searches of Missouri and Kansas conclusively fail to find remains of Emerald City and Munchkin burial mounds. Absolute proof is possible because an exhaustive search is possible.
If it could be shown conclusively that 'Nazareth' did not exist at the time that Jesus and his family are supposed to have lived there… You get my intended point.
As I have said, René Salm has found the Achilles' heel of a god—Jesus of Nazareth. His exhaustive study and critique of what has passed for archaeological excavations of Jesus' home town make it absolutely certain—or at least as certain as any scientific argument can be—that the place now called Nazareth was not inhabited from around 730 BCE until sometime after 70 CE. This nasty fact is more than a mere inconvenience for those who seek historical facts in the Gospels.
By demonstrating the fictive nature of Jesus of Nazareth, Mr. Salm has done a great service for science and civilization in general. Of course, there are those who now might argue that Jesus was actually 'Jesus of Bethlehem of Judaea.' Alas, the Israeli archaeologist Aviram Oshri has removed that base from the ball park too. He has shown by his own excavations that although Bethlehem in Galilee was inhabited during the Herodian period, Bethlehem in Judaea was not.
Of course, a Jesus of Kalamazoo or a Jesus of Cucamonga cannot yet be ruled out. Even so, Franciscan 'archaeologists' have not yet realized they need to start building a case for possible gods in ZIP-code areas 49001 and 91729. The Jesus they have been riding all these years has been shot out from under them so suddenly, they don't yet realize they're being supported only by (hot) air.