In New Testament
If Jesus was born in Bethlehem and dwelt in Capernaum then why was He called Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus the Nazarene?
The Bible tells us that Jesus grew up in Nazareth. When Joseph and Mary returned from exile in Egypt shortly after Jesus' birth, Matthew 2:23 tells us that they settled in Naz…areth, where his parents had come from originally. That is where Jesus grows up. It was only later in his life that Jesus dwelt in Capernaum at the beginning of His ministry. Remember that Jesus was born in Bethlehem as an emergency measure as his parents were traveling at the time. Joseph was not a resident of Bethlehem and so the association with that town was loose. It was not as established as those who were born in Bethlehem because and whose parents resided there.There are many references to Nazareth as the home of the family. Here are a few: . Matthew 2:23 The infant Jesus is brought to Nazareth from where Joseph had come before leaving for Bethlehem. And he [ Joseph] came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth : that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He [ Jesus] shall be called a Nazarene. Luke 2:51 The boy Jesus and his family return home after Passover And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth , and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. Mark 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. Matthew 4:13 Jesus leaves his hometown to begin his ministry proper. And leaving Nazareth , he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth , where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.. Jesus was called Jesus of Nazareth because that is where he grew up in a real town, though it was a rather small town at the time. Dr. James Strange, of the University of South Florida, points out that Nazareth was only a small place at the beginning of the first century A.D., and it had a population of probably no more than 480 people. When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., Strange reported that the priests whose temple service was no longer required were dispersed. A document has been discovered by archaeologists which lists the places where the 24 families or 'courses' of priests went. This list, written in Aramaic, records that one family went to Nazareth, which, though small, certainly existed then. This is based on research done by renowned archaeologist Jack Finegan, in a book published by Princeton University Press. In addition to this, many archaeological digs have uncovered tombs from the first century near the city limits of Nazareth. This establishes the town's boundary, as bodies were required to be buried outside the city. Thus, once again, evidence previously undiscovered has confirmed a Biblical detail. The adage 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence' certainly applies here. Much of what has been contended is superseded by discoveries which were made prior to November 1981. Thus the Bible references to Jesus as 'Jesus of Nazareth' can be seen to fit well with this information. Based on information from: 1981 i nterview with John McRay PhD in ' The Case For Christ ' by Lee Strobel pages 137-138, published 1998. . Personally I think that the Jesus Christ we think of is Jesus of Nazareth. Through my research I have decided that Jesus most likely was born and raised in Nazareth. See American Atheist: Debunking the Creche Tableau. In fact, the story of his birth to Mary, the manger, Bethlehem, the star, the three kings, and the whole idea of Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy was only added almost 90 years AFTER the death of Jesus. I believe this to be because the Christian faith was getting a lot of resistance from the Jewish faith and so they used this as a way to join Christianity to Judaism and gain converts. After all, it was the Jewish people who worked through Rome to crucify Jesus. What better way to get at them than to claim that they had killed someone that their own prophesies spoke of? Now keep in mind, I am not devaluing the life of Jesus or his importance. Only the religious dogma that has grown around his life. . Yet it can be argued that there is not any record that the Jewish leaders ever fought the birth of Jesus being a virgin birth, but used everything to fight Jesus being the son of God. The people of Nazareth never cared for him just as Jesus spoke. A prophet is not excepted in his own town. "Think of this; if there was a person who everyone in his town knew his entire family were thieves, and knew him as a thief, later on after he moves away they find out he is now a millionaire. No matter who tells you that he made his money honestly you would always think of him as a thief." This was the same with Jesus his earthly father was a carpenter as was he, how could a lowly carpenter be the son of God? Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3. Both verses speak about how could Jesus be the son of God he was just the son of Mary and they knew his brothers. Yet his brother and his cousin both believed he was the son of God meaning they believe he fulfilled the prophecies of the virgin birth and being born in Bethlehem. . It also can be argued that Herod had all the children 2 and under killed in Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus. Herod believed the King of the Jews was born in Bethlehem enough to slaughter many children. If Jesus was born anywhere else his birth wouldn't have worried the King. Matthew 2:16 plus for those who do not believe in the Gospel of Matthew this event is spoken of also in Syrian text and early Byzantine liturgy. The authenticity of Matthew and his book was never argued until more recently. Never in the early church of 100 ad was his testimony challenge nor did anyone challenge the statement of Herod killing all the babies under two. . Jesus the Nazarene - Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. " Matthew claims this was a fulfillment of prophecy, yet such a prophecy is not found anywhere in the Old Testament." --Skeptics Annotated Bible: Prophecies, Promises, and Misquotes in the Bible "Nazareth is not mentioned in ancient Jewish sources earlier than the third century AD. This likely reflects its lack of prominence both in Galilee and in Judaea," writes American archaeologist James Strange. Strange variously estimates Nazareths population at roughly 1,600 to 2,000 people in the time of Christ, and in another publication at a maximum of about 480.  However, some historians argue "that the absence of textual references to Nazareth in the Old Testament and the Talmud, as well as the works of Josephus, suggest that a town called 'Nazareth' did not exist in Jesus' day." --From Wikipedia: Nazareth "Nazarene may refer to: ....Jesus, as in Jesus the Nazarene." --From Wikipedia: Nazarene. "This is often understood as meaning Jesus of (the town of) Nazareth " --From Popscene7.blogspot.com: There's something Wrong Here. "The BAGD Lexicon suggests that Nazarene (if translated thus from 'Nazoraios') meant something else before it was connected with Nazareth." From Wikipedia: Refernce Desk: Nazoraios . Others argue that because scholars two-thousand years later do not know what Matthew is referring to would be presumptuous for us to automatically consider it error. The Old Testament was a part of their culture and of their time. It is easy for us not to be able to find or understand something written four thousand years ago and yet accuse a man who walked with Jesus of making a mistake. That would be like challenging one of our early presidents about what the U.S constitution really meant. Jesus spent much of his life in Nazareth but they called him Jesus of Nazareth because his earthly father was a Nazarene. Just like Joseph was a carpenter so we know Jesus was a carpenter also. . jerusalem ( Full Answer )