I know I said I would not touch Casey’s book (Jesus of Nazareth) again for a while, but Mike Kok’s review of chapter 3 (Historical Method) on the Sheffield Biblical Studies blog does call out for some response.
No archaeological evidence for Nazareth in early first century
I ignored Casey’s critique of Zindler’s and Salm’s arguments over the evidence for the presence of Nazareth and Capernaum in the supposed time of Jesus largely because I thought anyone reading Casey’s book would clearly see that Casey gives no evidence at all in his rebuttal of their claims, and the claims of “trained scholars” whom they each cite. (I like the word “trained” as a descriptor of biblical scholars as it is used by both Kok and Casey. Training has connotations of Pavlov’s dog-like behaviourist conditioning to say the right things in order to be accepted by the academic guild.) But Kok failed to notice what I took to be obvious, so presumably others will overlook the weakness of Casey’s argument, too:
He also critiques the extreme view that Nazareth did not existed (Zindler, Salm) based on a problematic handling of archaeological and textual evidence (128-32). Continue reading “Nazareth fictions, Aramaic blindspots and scholarly bias: Filling some gaps in Sheffield’s review of Casey’s ‘Jesus of Nazareth’”