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Jesus From the Block

An archeological dig in Nazareth has uncovered the home of “a simple Jewish family” in a neighborhood Jesus may have known.

“Just in time for Christmas, archaeologists this week unveiled what may have been the home of one of Jesus’ childhood neighbors. The humble dwelling is the first dating to the era of Jesus to be discovered in Nazareth, then a hamlet of about 50 impoverished Jewish families where Jesus spent his boyhood. Archaeologists and present-day residents of Nazareth imagined Jesus as a youngster, playing with other children in the isolated village, not far from the spot where the Archangel Gabriel is said to have revealed to Mary that she would give birth to the boy. Today the ornate Basilica of the Annunciation marks that spot, and Nazareth is the largest Arab city in northern Israel, with about 65,000 residents. Muslims now outnumber Christians 2 to 1 in the noisy, crowded city. The archaeological find shows how different it was 2,000 years ago: Christianity and Islam did not yet exist; the Jewish Temple stood in Jerusalem; and tiny Nazareth was near a battleground between Roman rulers and Jewish guerrillas.”


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