Nazareth is of course the city of Jesus’ upbringing, and there are a few “holy
sites” in the city. It is mostly a
Palestinian city, Palestinian Christian at one time, although I suspect that
Muslim influence only increases over time.
I am less than enthusiastic about the city. The most helpful aspect of a visit to the
city lies in getting a sense of the terrain of Jesus’ environment.
Here is the Church of the
Annunciation, over the traditional site of Gabriel’s appearance to Mary:
Here is the traditional site
where Gabriel appeared to Mary, one entrance to the cave:
The other end of the cave
open’s under the Church
of Joseph next door:
Then there is the
traditional synagogue. As I mentioned in
reference to Capernaum, it is not at all clear
that there was a standing synagogue building at Nazareth at the time of Jesus. Nazareth
may have been a village of about 500 at the time, and it seems fairly likely
that the “gathering,” the synagogue, was in the village square. The synagogue that is below is certainly centuries
later than Jesus, and any earlier synagogues beneath it are just as likely to
date years after Jesus.