When was the city of Nazareth founded or named?

Settlements had existed nearby since neolithic times, but Wikipedia says "lack of archaeological evidence for Nazareth from Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic or Early Roman times, at least in the major excavations between 1955 and 1990, shows that the settlement apparently came to an abrupt end about 720 BC, when the Assyrians destroyed many towns in the area."

The lack of evidence for a town in Nazareth during early Roman times seems at first sight inconsistent with the gospels which report Jesus as coming from Nazareth. Although there is little evidence, it is possible that Jewish settlement began at Nazareth after the First Roman-Jewish War of 70 CE, but this still seems inconsistent with the gospels.


It may well be that there was a hamlet in Nazareth during the late first century BCE, too small even for well-informed commentators like Josephus to notice, and perhaps archaeology will provide a definitive answer. I can only comment on the evidence to date, which tells us there was definitely a place called Nazareth in the latter part of the first century CE, but does not provide evidence for or against its existence during the lifetime of Jesus.


The only first-century references to Nazareth are in the New Testament gospels. The first of these was Mark's Gospel, which of course was not a first-hand account. When read in the Greek language, Mark only refers to Jesus the Nazarene (Ναζαρηνέ), although most English-language Bibles translate this as Jesus of Nazareth in line with the later gospels. We can not say with any certainty that the author intended to describe Jesus as being from Nazareth, because 'Nazarene' is considered an unusual form of word to say that someone is from Nazareth and because there was a sect of Nazarenes, at least later in the century. There is one single reference to Nazareth, Mark 1:9, which says that Jesus began a journey from Nazareth, but grammatical difficulties suggest this passage may have been redacted some time after it was written. If it is original, then the author of Mark would have known about Nazareth at the time of writing.


Most scholars believe Matthew's Gospel was written anonymously in the eighties of the first century, and this author certainly knew about Nazareth, so this gives a date by which Nazareth must have existed. None of this means that Nazareth did not exist during the time of Jesus, or even during the Herodian period, but there is not yet any evidence either way.

We really aren't sure when Nazareth was founded or named. It is likely that the town (it was certainally NOT a city) of Nazareth did exist during Biblical times. The earliest mention of Nazareth in ancient sources is the 4th century AD - that is also about the time the Bible was organized into a religious document.

Nazareth is not mentioned in any ancient texts other than the Bible. There were 63 towns listed in Galilee in the Talmud. Nazareth is not one of them.

Josephus mentioned 45 cities in Galilee, Nazareth was not one of them.

There is a cemetery under the Church of the Annunciation. A cemetery was never located in a Jewish village, it was prohibited by the Torah. Those tombs date to around 70ad - the time that the canonical gospels were being written and redacted.

Nazareth mean christen, Jesus and his mom and dad lived there .

also the "Annunciation" happend there .

the name of the city called like that from the long past history, i belive that the name is the formal name of the city since the christens controled the land .

by the way, 3 popes visited the city