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City of Christian Love

The History and Importance of Nazareth

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Raouf Abujaber

City of Christian Love provides a detailed history of Nazareth from the dawn of the Christian Era until today with special focus on the religious communities found in this sacred city, including both the periods of tension and the periods of profound interreligious partnership and solidarity.

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Chapter One: Nazareth: The Late Antique and Early Christian Era, 100 B.C.–A.D. 637

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Chapter One

Nazareth

The Late Antique and Early Christian Era, 100 B.C.–A.D. 637

Eusebius of Caesarea (A.D. 264–340) is considered one of the most able historians and an authority on the history of early Christianity. He is even called by many as the Father of Church History. In his famous book, he referred to the forty-second year of Augustus’s rule1 and the twenty-eighth year after the Battle of Actium, and the resulting death of Antonious and Cleopatra brought an end to the rule of Egypt by the Ptolemy Dynasty. In that year, he confirmed the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem when Kirinyous was Governor of Syria. The latter, a dignitary of Rome and a senator, was delegated by Caesar to be the judge of the realm and commissioned to make a record of property and estates. In the neighboring Kingdom of the Jews, the Emperor Augustus had appointed Herod to be King of the Jews. He was the first foreigner to assume this post as he was an Edomite on his father’s side and an Arab on his mother’s.2

Nazareth of Galilee, in these times, must have been a village of no importance, but it was the place where Jesus Christ—the central figure in the Christian faith—lived with his mother Mary, the wife of Joseph, the carpenter. Although of little strategic or economic importance, ← 1 | 2 → the Jewish and Christian scriptures allude to the...

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