Nazareth, the Caesarea Inscription, and the hand of God—Pt. 2

by Enrico Tuccinardi Translated from the French and edited by René Salm Eleazar ha-Kalir         To understand the significance of Avi-Yonah’s reconstruction, we must briefly consider the oldest previous mention of Nazareth in the literature. This was the Lamentation for the 9th of Ab by the poet Eleazar ha-Kalir. Kalir is one of the most ancient and celebrated Jewish liturgical poets. He lived in Israel at an undetermined date in Byzantine times (VIII-IX CE) and authored over two hundred hymns serving as ritual synagogal prayers. The piyyoutim,6 especially those of Kalir, frequently refer to numerous midrashim and were often written in an allusive and even cryptic style.         In the mid-19th century, Rabbi Y. S. Rapoport (1790-1867), a learned Jew, made a … Continue reading

Nazareth, the Caesarea Inscription, and the hand of God—Pt. 1

by Enrico Tuccinardi Translated from the French and edited by René Salm First published in the Cahiers du Cercle Ernest Renan, 2010. Note: Bibliography is at the end of this series of posts. Summary. On 14 August 1962, a promising archaeological discovery in Caesarea Maritima provided a breakthrough regarding the Galilean town of Nazareth, a village whose early existence is unknown in non-Christian sources. This article explores the remarkable circumstances which ensured that, from a small marble fragment containing about a dozen letters, the Nazarene’s hometown was “proven” to be in existence from the first century of our era—according to some conservative Christian scholars. However, a series of coincidences and anomalies attending this discovery occasion suspicion, including the fact that the … Continue reading