tv Finding Jesus Faith Fact Forgery CNN March 26, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
jesus spent his childhood in the village of nazareth, in the region of galilee. today nazareth is the bustling city of more than 70,000 people in northern israel. here, in a deep seller, beneath a 19th century convent lie the remains of what may prove to be one of the extraordinary discoveries every made. >> jesus lived a real life. he was not a mythical person, and he lived a real life in a real place in a real home. to be able to fill in something from the context in which he grew up would be very, very exciting.
>> for the english archaeologist that made the discovery, it's the find of a lifetime. i don't expect i wille hav ordain work on a site, which is so fascinating and catches the imagination of quite so many people around the world. >> first uncovered in the 19th century, the true significance of this site was ignored by mainstream archaeology for more than 100 years. the ruins of a first century jewish house. was this simple home where jesus spent the formative years of his life?
>> it's not only exciting and special, but it's mystical. because one sabres into dealing with the questions of where did the holy family live? >> isn't this exciting, though, to think we are looking at such an important part of human history at this point. >> it's possible this house is the real deal, because we have to remember mary was alive through much of the period of the early church. >> she would have passed down the memory of where these places were to the disciples tha would have passed them down further. the gospel of mark. >> what happened during his childhood is a mystery.
>> it's a matter of just speculation as to what the early years of jesus were like since none of the gospels tell us anything about that. >> the new testament tells us very little about jesus' childhood years, and so to get an idea of jesus as a child we have to look into archaeology and look to history outside of what the gospels tell us. >> one of the very few gospel stories about jesus' childhood is after the death of harrod the great. >> according to the gospel of matthew, they do not go to skwra judea. >> they go to nazareth, who is
mary's childhood home. >> and it really is a moment where the story shifts over to mary's world. >> jesus will spend the next 30 years of his life living in nazareth. the town of nazareth in the first century a.d. is a mystery, and we know nothing about it before the first century and know little about it in the first century a.d. >> doesn't show up in any literatu literature, and it was a pezzant society. >> the glory of womanhood is having children, and coming back with your first son is really a
wonderful moment for her, and it's a sign of favor in the eyes of god. >> the family making their home in nazareth is one of the last things reported in the gospels about jesus' early life. is this archeological site in the modern day city the place where he spent those missing years? >> you can't understand jesus if you do not understand the cultural situation, and it was jesus lived, and the rooting to that is here in this home. back with 9 lobster dishes. try succulent new lobsr mix & match eeow sweet a lobsters. lover's dream can be. there's something for everyone and everyone's invited. so come in soon. or how high the pollen count, flonase allergy relief keeps your eyes and nose clear. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances that cause nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes.
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found here may be the uncovered ruin of the childhood home of jesus christ. the story goes back more than a century. in 1881, a congregation of nuns called the sisters of nazareth take possession of this site and build their convent on it. they discover that underground there are remnants of something. but they don't know what. >> i have the keys of the kingdom with me. >> they were told at the time that it was the site of a great
church and that a burial of a saint lay on that ground. but these were just local stories and i'm not sure anybody really believed those. >> in 2006, british archaeologist ken dark conducts a routine inspection of the cellar and gets the surprise of his life. >> i went over to the sisters of nazareth convent and to my great surprise, instead of a small locker or two, there was a huge cellar of archaeological features including what was immediately apparent was an undiscovered cave church. i naturally was amazed to see archaeological features of which mainstream archaeology had been unaware. >> the remains occupied a large
section of one-half of the cellar. but who built it and how old it was remained a mystery. >> i began to look through pilgrimage accounts to see if there was any evidence for this large building, and whether any of them told us what this church was dedicated to. >> the description is called the sacred locations. >> in addition to the biblical account, we actually only have a seventh century pilgrims account, and he says that there stood two churches. one which was built over the childhood home of jesus, and the other big church in the center of nazareth, the church of the atphupbs anone anone seeation.
>> today, the church of the anunsuation still stands in the center of nazareth, attracting tens of thousands of visitors a year. >> this is the traditional spot where the angel gabriel was believed to announced to mary that she was about to give birth to the messiah. >> as the mother of jesus, mary occupied the special place in the hearts of many christians. >> mary is really the closest to god. she is known as the queen of heaven and is foremost among all of the saints. >> mary's an incredibly important figure for the early church because she's a symbol for women. there's this idea of a loving individual who is seen as the
special protector of the week. of someone who protects women who protects children who protects elderly. >> today, the church of the announceuation is the largest in the middle east. the question is if the seventh century description of nazareth is accurate, what happens to the other church that once stood nearby? >> the church that was said to be built over the childhood home of jesus was called the church of the nutrition. so called because it was where jesus was nurtured as a child. the big question is where that church is today. it disappeared from history somewhere around the time of the crusades. we're not really sure what happened to him, but we do know is that there are some clues from the medieval manuscript that gives us a few hints about where this church once stood. >> and it was fairly easy toee if it hanged the series of attributes that they attribute to the church of the nutrition. did it have a well? well, yes, there is a well at the site. did it have a vault under it?
yes, the site included a large vaulted area. did that vault include two tombs? yes, there are tombs incorporated in the vault. this did alert me to the possibility that we'd found the church of the nutrition. >> what ken dark says he's found in this underground site matches the description of the church of the nutrition, which according to legend was built on the site of jesus' childhood home. >> according to a later tradition, there was also a tomb deep beneath the church belonging to none other than mary's husband. >> it was believed that the site contained the tomb of joseph. >> one of the strong clues that it is is because of the oral tradition that said this is the home of the just. and joseph of course is
described in the scriptures as a just man. it's important particularly relationship to the house because you would not have a church being built here simply because and the church is built re because it's a holy place. >> whether st. joseph was ever buried here is impossible to know. the tomb has been empty since the crusades. >> but above it, the archaeological investigation uncovered a series of features that predated both joseph's tomb and the church of the nutrition. could they belong to a house? >> this is part of a cave, which is very typical, very common here in the hill country, and so we have a cave built into a house. >> realizing that there was a
first century house that was signed was exciting in archaeological terms because it raises the possibility that this was the very house in which jesus had been brought up. >> by painstakingly distinguishing different walls, ken dark was able to recreate the outline of a floor no one had seen in centuries. >> there was a series of walls that had been built by people out of blocks of stone and mortared together. those walls, when one looks at them in plan formed the outline of the house. >> it is now possible to recreate the house that jesus may have lived in more than 2,000 years ago. >> a house of two stories with bedrooms, family rom rooms, a cave carved into the rocky terrain. >> the house that was recently
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jesus lived as a boy? and what would it have been like? the gospel of matthew describes joseph as a tech tone, but there are different opinions about how wealthy this made him. >> interestingly, the craft of techen to was seen as below that as a peasant. it did not have the benefit of a plot of land. >> it is not a technical term for carpenter, it means an artisan of some kind working in stone or wood. and so joseph has a trade, he has a home, and he's got enough money to get betrothed and to marry a wife. >> i think 100 years ago scholars might have thought of joseph and mary as a poor family, as a family who were just keeping their heads above
the water as it were. whereas modern scholars are beginning to think that they had a little bit to work with. >> the family of joseph was claiming a royal dissent. obviously the line of david was a very significant one. >> and so by definition, that would tend to set them apart from others within a given village or community. >> joseph we know a bit more about than the origins of mary. >> within the archaeological site, a series of domestic objects have been recovered. kept in this simple cabinet, they are tangible evidence that a woman once lived here, and they give us an insight into her life. >> a spindle well is a disk with
a hole in the center, used as a weight in spinning of the yarn. >> if you think about a woman's domestic possessions, one of the most important is going to be her spinning gear. think of the spindle whirl, it's something that she uses every day, it's part of the fabric of her life. weaving was the ideal activity for an elite woman in antiquity. had a lot of honor to it. had a lot of respectability. >> women who wove fabric wer virtuous women. you were a good wife if you were making clothes for your family. so the significance of finding a spindle well in this house isn't just that this is part of day-to-day life, it says something about the moral character of the women who live
there. >> if you think about joseph and mary's life in nazareth, it's entirely possible that they were involved in the kind of consumer economy that existed in roman galilee. and so i think you shouldn't be shocked to find objects, for example, on an archaeological site that would indicate some kind of prosperity. >> amongst the other artifacts are items of jewelry. >> the bracelets are probably roman in date. although bracelets of similar form were manufactured for several centuries, so we can't be sure. >> we have countless texts that suggest a woman's appearance was important. wealthy jewish women, no doubt, wore jewelry of gold and silver, but poorer women also wore jewelry of wood or glass or metal. >> earlier work also found some glass beads at the site. this would be part of a necklace, typical of women's dress across the roman world. >> in galilee in the first century, the jewelry that women wore would have been probably
stuff that was locally sourced. wood or beautiful glass beads or fiber, perhaps. >> i think it's conceivable that mary had jewelry on that she used to wear jewelry. >> early finds from the site include a series of metal rods with flattened ends. which probably are make-up spatulas. >> if in your opinion a rural place like galilee, you wouldn't want make-up on laboring in the fields, for instance, it would have been reserved for special occasions, perhaps for feast days. >> it's fair to think of a woman from a family of craftsman, for example, as having access to at least a modest amount of cosmetics. >> a woman's life in first century nazareth was centered on the home, and her children. >> mary, like most jewish women would have spent her day
providing for her family which would have included weaving, touching water, and cooking. >> mary is a jewish woman of the first century, would have been responsible for jesus' religious upbringing. so she would have introduced him to basic moral questions, how to be a good person. >> if joseph was away practicing his trade, the person who would be raising the children in the fear of the lord would have been mary herself. >> she might have sung songs so him. might have told him life lessons using biblical stories, much as people do today. mary would have been responsible for teaching jesus what a meant to be a jew and how to live your life in accordance with god's plan. >> beyond the safety of the
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courtyard and multiple rooms. though the bible tells us very little about jesus' childhood, we know from historical sources that turbulent events were taking place in galilee. how might these events have influenced the man jesus became? >> precisely because galilee was relatively fruitful, it was also a target of opportunity for the roman ocpiers. >> jesus. >> i think jesus would have known about the harshness the romans had. >> jews in the first century a.d. galilee, farmers, artisans,
stone masons were among those just trying to eke out a living. they're then retired to pay taxes and rent their roman occupiers. this would have been a massive burden on their daily life. >> the most insidious thing about taxation and roman provinces is that it's contracted out to private individuals who bid for the job. and so there's a real motivation to believe the locals, to engage in dirty practices collecting the tax. and fundamentally, the system is prone to corruption. >> they would have felt a great deal of resentment towards the roman occupiers. >> some time after 4 b.c., a
violent rebellion breaks out in a town close to nazareth. >> over there, beyond these buildings, is the ancient city of sefhorus. it would have been the major city in the region while nazareth was a small village. >> it was an important town four miles from nazareth. it was the capital of roman galilee in the first century a.d. >> this area was plunged in the turmoil. a certain man named judas led a rebellion against both rome and the sons of herrod. he entered into the city, breaking into the armory, stealing all the weapons, and arming his men. >> judas was a famous rebel against rome. who insisted that the empire had no proper right to be ruling israel. >> we know about judous' revolt,
it is written about in historical documents. >> here was a native jew who could be king over judea, a new messiah that jews wanted to support. >> today we could not imagine someone going up against a force such as the roman empire in that way. but in judous' time, the romans have not been in israel very long. relatively speaking. >> for a while it may have looked like the rebellion would have been successful. but then the romans have 15,000 troops down into syria into sephorous to squash the rebellion. >> i think it would be terrifying to face the roman army. you would know that they were
there to utterly destroy you. >> judas was hopelessly outclassed in military terms by the romans. >> i have a feeling after those first few jewish rebels fell and the roman army just continued to advance, they knew the gig was up. >> the romans levelled the city in response because it had been taken. so that everyone who saw this would understand that revolt against rome was impossible. >> the romans round up 2,000 individuals and crucify them. they then take the entire population of the city and sell them into slavery. judas probably met his fate on a cross. >> romans would not let people take down, take down the corpses when they died. so what you had in nazareth was the smell of rotting corpses. defecation, urination, and the moans of those dying.
sometimes it took days to die. >> if you put up that spectacle, rome's theory is, no one will dare do this again. >> even if jesus didn't see it firsthand, he would have heard the stories. this would have been something that people talked about for years afterwards. >> you can imagine the impression that the destruction might have left on a small child. this would have been part of his upbringing. it would have been part of his world view. >> when it was destroyed, it put people in nazareth, jesus, and his family included, in the position of needing to judge, how can we assert who we are as israel and at the same time, coexist with the romans? >> jesus knew what happened when
you tried to fight fire with fire. when you tried to take on the romans, maybe it was this failed rebellion that caused jesus to formulate this idea of non-violent resistance. >> he eventually comes to preach a religion of non-violence and non-violent resistance to brutal roman power. >> i think that's what accounts for jesus', the kinds of things he says, turn the other cheek and walk the extra mile which really is a way for the oppressed to maintain some sense of dignity and age si in their own lives. >> but does the house believed by some to be his childhood home contain any other clues about how the religion of the child shaped the beliefs of the man? >> jesus! gets the network it deserves. verizon. (mic thuds) uh, sorry.
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associated with the house only came into use at the very turn of the first century b.c. and the first century a.d. these are pieces of cooking pot, and in fact, you can see on the outside evidence of charring where they've been exposed to the flames of a fire. >> as well as helping to date the site precisely to the time of jesus, stoneware found here also provides the strongest evidence that this house was lived in by a jewish family. >> limestone containers indicate that these were people following jewish purity laws. >> a jewish family would ideally
use limestone vessels because limestone vessels did not contract or convey ritual purity like ceramic. limestone was preferred for storing water, for cooking, for drinking, and so on. >> could the family who owned these limestone vessels have been the family of jesus? mary and joseph's piety is revealed in the gospel of luke in the only story in the new testament of jesus' childhood. >> now his parents went to jerusalem every year for the feast of the passover. and when he became 12, they went up there according to to the custom of the feast. >> the fact that the family of jesus regularly going to jerusalem for passover suggests that what we've got here is a pious family who has the history to the hebrew bible. >> the journey from the galilee to jerusalem on passover would have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 miles, and
taken on foot, about seven day us. this was a really big dertaking. >> evidence of first century jerusalem can be found deep under the mode city. >> archaeologists tunnelled down for years until they finally came to this point here. this is the street level from the time of jesus. you can see the columns here that held up the roofs shops where shopkeepers would have been selling their goods. you can imagine children running through the streets and people yelling at one another, and of course these are the streets where jesus would have walked towards the temple to go up to worship. i mean, this is a very sacred place. >> in first century roman occupy judea, jerusalem at passover must have been an incredibly busy, chaotic, almost glorious place. there was so much to see. so much going on. so many pilgrims crowding them.
>> the experience of being in jerusalem for a 12-year-old child like jesus would have been overwhelming. the sights, the sounds, the smells, but most of all the sheer number of people. >> during passover, jerusalem's population would have ballooned from 40,000 to around half a million people. >> we know that there were thousands of pilgrims in jerusalem at this time, and it would have been absolutely thrilling to a young jew like jesus. >> just imagine what it was like for a -year-old boy to be coming from the provinces, from the countries, from the bo docks to arrive in the big city at a time like this. >> one cannot overestimate the importance of the temple in the first century. it was the religious center of judaism. the place where god's presence
was understood to reside on earth. it was also the political center of judaism. it was also one of the major commercial and economic centers of judaism. >> around the vicinity of the temple, there would be people coming in on special trips. there would have been priestly authorities they would have been filled with animals brought there for passover sacrifices. at some point mary and joseph lose sight of jesus. it's not difficult to imagine such a thing happening. it's very crowded during the passover in jerusalem. in the temple in particular. there would have been a bustling crowd. so it's very easy to imagine that jesus would get separated from his parents in that kind of scene and become lost. >> jesus! >> and he's not lost for a short period of time, he's lost for three days. they must have been insane with worry. >> i'm looking for my son, he's 12 years old. >> where did jesus go? he's got to be with one of the relatives been right? and he's not. >> jesus! >> well, the first thing you need to realize is that these
ancient jewish families were extended families. and when you had a child that was on the cusp of manhood anyway, you might well assume he's with his relative or with that relative, and not look at the possibility of that. they're not infants anymore. >> when jesus' parents find him in the temple, he says elsewhere do you think i would have been? there's a sense of him wanting to be in the temple. enjoying conversing with the wise people in the temple. >> and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. >> didn't you know that i had to be in my father's house? >> this for joseph and mary is a little peculiar, and probably quite offensive because he has been lost for three days. >> there is already this budding sense of calling and a special mission that jesus believed he had, and the end of the story says and he grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with god and human kind.
may be jesus' family home. the place where he would have lived, not just as a boy, but worked as a young man following in his father's footsteps. >> it's very important to remember that jesus worked for 18 years from ages 12 to 30 and we think of him as a pious weak link, but this is a carpenter who understood what it meant to work a full day and be tired after that. >> the turning point in jesus' life is not when jesus' father passed away prematurely. i think it's because of the rise and growing fame of the ministry of his cousin, john the baptizer. >> the meeting between jesus and john the baptist is clearly a pivotal moment in jesus' mission.
after this moment, you see him really going for his mission with this real force and energy and conviction. >> a changed jesus returns to nazareth, perhaps to this very home. sus goes to the synagogue and starts to preach. >> he comes back to nazareth to deliver this manifesto, it's really the sermon in relationship to who and what this jesus is all about. >> jesus had a famous saying, a prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and amongst his own relatives. he returned to nazareth and he preached in the synagogue in nazareth. according to luke's account of the incident, he proclaimed that today's the day, now is the year of god's favor. and they found offense in it.
>> even though he knows that his message is going to be rejected, he says it anyway. >> the rejection is so strong that they think he's presented himself as a false prophet. >> this is the kind of event, rabble in a small town that news would have quickly spread throughout the town. >> this young boy, mary's son, growing up, living a regular life. how is it now that he's transformed into this figure? i think it was difficult for them just to process it as human beings. and to make that transition. >> they got up and drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built so that they might hurl him off the cliff.
>> this is a mountain just outside the city of nazareth. this is the spot where the men from the synagogue drag jesus with the intention of throwing him off the cliff and killing him. >> i think mary, like any mother, would have horrified at what was happening to jesus. i think she would have been afraid for her son. things would have been happening very quickly, and she wouldn't really have understood what was going on. he's in a situation that's essentially a riot in the making. >> but he passed through the midst of them, and went on his way. >> you could see this story as one of the early indications of the miraculous power that jesus is going to have. it's partly a way of showing that he's a peacemaker, but he's not going to fight back, but it's also a way of showing that he's somehow stronger than that.
he's not a weakling that they can bully in that way. >> jesus' time in nazareth had come to an end. >> as far as we know, he never returned there again. >> they reject him, and he says, right, i'm carrying my ministry forward, but it'll be somewhere else that i will bring what i've come to do to fruition. >> but has modern archaeology uncovered the home he left behind? first mentioned in a medieval text, then lost for centuries, is this cave church what remains of the ancient church of the nutrition? and if so, are the ruins found within it the very house where mary and joseph raised jesus? >> it's possible that it genuinely was the childhood home of jesus. on archaeological ground, that's entirely possible.
but it can't be demonstrated. >> it's difficult to be sure who this house belonged to in the first century. it was a house of the kind that mary and joseph would have lived in. >> the pottery, the limestone vessels, the construction of the house, the dimensions all make it likely that this is jesus' house. and it makes sense that early christians would have treasured that location and pass it on to later pilgrims. a lot of it fits together and a lot seems to make it likely that this would be the house of jesus, mary, and joseph. >> i think that the sisters of nazareth convent is most likely a church of the nutrition mentioned in the area. the big question is whether or not this is actually the childhood home of jesus. and we may never know the answer to that question.
king herod is one of the most notorious characters in the bible. he is the man who tries to kill the infant jesus. >> kill them all. >> appalling act where all the male children are slaughtered. >> but in history, herod is a powerful and successful ruler. >> history should remember herod the great as a ruthless but very effective king of judea.