December 21, 2009 | David F. Coppedge

Hometown of Jesus Was Real

A first-century house has been excavated in Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up.  The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery today; see also Associated Press for information and pictures.  This is the first dwelling established from the early Roman period that encompasses the life of Christ.
    Professor Todd Bolen at Bible Places says this discovery “should put to rest the theory of at least [one] person who has claimed that since Nazareth is mentioned in the first century only in the New Testament, the city did not exist at that time.  It is true that Nazareth is not mentioned in Josephus and other contemporary sources, but that is only an indication of how insignificant the town was.”

Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? (John 1:46)  Come and see (Galatians 3-4).
    In the debate with Christopher Hitchens (see Resource of the Week for 12/12/2009), William Lane Craig noted that Jesus came at a point on the timeline of human history when only 2% of all human beings had lived.  This helps explain Paul’s statement in Galatians 4:4 that “when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” – it was not late in history for all the people who lived before the good news, as Hitchens implied.  It was also a time when the Pax Romana with its network of roads made possible the rapid dissemination of the gospel through an empire that encompassed most of civilization at that time.
    People living before Christ (BC, not BCE) had the promises of God of a coming Redeemer as far back as the time of Adam (see Genesis 3:15 and commentary on Grace to You).  As Paul explained, Abraham believed God’s promise and was justified by faith.  He was the father of all people who trust God, whether looking forward or back to his promised Messiah.  Evolutionists, by contrast, populate the world with millions of years of pre-humans (see next entry).  You can believe that if you want to, provided you recognize it to be an unscientific, self-contradicting, evidence-contradicting, foolish myth.  Either way, you are going to put your faith in something.  Make it something worth your trust.

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