Bill Heinrich  -  Jan 08, 2016  -  Comments Off on 06.02.02 Nazareth JESUS REJECTED IN HIS HOMETOWN

06.02.02 Lk. 4:16-30 Nazareth                    



(The poetic section is divided in three sections)


16 He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up,


1 A As usual, He entered the synagogue 

 B And stood up to read

C 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him, 

D and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it is written:


2 A 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me

B to preach good news to the poor.

               C He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives

                           D and recovery of sight to the blind,

C’ to set free the oppressed,

B’ 19 to proclaim

     A’ the year of the Lord’s favor(Isa. 61:1-2a).


3                      D’ 20 He then rolled up the scroll,

C’ gave it back to the attendant

B’ and sat down. 

A’ The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”

22 They were all speaking well of Him and were amazed by the gracious words that came from His mouth, yet they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

23 Then He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. So all we’ve heard that took place in Capernaum, do here in Your hometown also.’”

24 He also said, “I assure you: No prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 But I say to you, there were certainly many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months while a great famine came over all the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them—but to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 And in the prophet Elisha’s time, there were many in Israel who had serious skin diseases, yet not one of them was healed — only Naaman the Syrian.”

28 When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged. 29 They got up, drove Him out of town, and brought Him to the edge of the hill that their town was built on, intending to hurl Him over the cliff. 30 But He passed right through the crowd and went on His way.


Literary style. Verses 16 – 21 are written in a poetic style of three stanzas.  The first and third are of opposite patterns.  In line 1A, Jesus entered the synagogue while 3A is another reference to the synagogue.  In line 1B, Jesus stood up while in 3B He sat down.  In line 1C, He received the scroll of Isaiah while in 3C He gave it back to the attendant. In 1D, He unrolled it but in 3D He closed it.  Stanza 2 has the same structural form as 1 and 3.  Note the similarities between A and A’, B and B’, etc. In fact, this stanza could be moved to the right and unified with the other two.[1]


It should be noted that poetic forms of parables may change or even be lost in translation when sentence structures change. Not all parables are shown in poetic form, but these are presented so the reader can understand the dynamics of Hebraic speech that help people memorize the stories.


“As usual.”  Jesus lived in this community for most of His life and had attended the local synagogue every Sabbath.  It may have had a “House of the Book” attached – a classroom for young children or the sanctuary itself may have served in this capacity six days of the week.[2] This was like a homecoming for Him, but one that would be a disappointment and most certainly cause embarrassment for His family who would not come to faith until after His resurrection.


He entered the synagogue.”  Going to the house of worship on the seventh day was what everyone did – no one even questioned it. During the week teachers taught children or their disciples in synagogues, but on the Sabbath, the entire community came to the synagogue to be taught and to worship God. Likewise Jesus taught in the synagogues and His gospel message was later commissioned to the apostles (Acts 1:8).  When Paul began his ministry to the Diaspora (Jews in foreign lands),[3]  he also taught in the synagogues as Jesus had done.[4] Apollos also began his ministry in the synagogue (Acts 18:26). And since Jesus preached in the synagogue, those who accepted Him as their Messiah began to worship God at home and in a synagogue service that was patterned after the traditional Jewish service.[5]  Early Christian and Jewish services always began with praises, followed by prayer as stated in the Talmud:


Rabbi Simlai expounded: “A man should always first recount the praise of the Holy One, blessed be He and then pray.”


Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 32a-32b


“[Jesus] stood up to read.”  Luke takes notice of Jewish practices, as when Jesus stood to read the Scriptures and the audience always stood to listen.[6] This tradition is still practiced today. Following the reading from the Torah was a reading from the Prophets, which, in this case, was from the Book of Isaiah.[7] It was the cultural norm that, after He finished reading, He sat down to preach a sermon. What has been preserved by Luke most certainly is only a small segment of a much larger sermon presented by Jesus.


Ancient texts were usually intended for public reading, as silent reading was an unknown skill until the second or third century A.D.  That is why Jesus said “Let those who have ears, listen.”  He never said, “Let those who have eyes, read.”  For the most part, letters and other documents were an extension of oral communication.  St. Augustine, in his fourth-century Confessions, wrote that St. Ambrose was the most incredible man he had ever met because he could read without moving his lips or making a sound.


To make the matter of reading more challenging, papyrus and ink were expensive and scribes were among the highest paid professionals. Furthermore, Greek and Hebrew documents frequently had no separation of words, sentences, paragraphs, or punctuation. To read ancient texts required excellent reading skills, even by today’s standards.[8]


“To set free the oppressed.”  The literal translation of oppressed is to be taken, or conquered, as begin a captured prisoner of war.[9]  The allusion has two points to it:


  1. A reflection upon the exiles of Israel. Most Jewish people were living outside of their homeland because,


  1. They moved due to persecution


  1. They lived abroad because their forefathers were captured and relocated to foreign lands, and the families eventually settled there.


  1. Some Jewish families moved abroad because economic opportunities were better in places such as Rome and Antioch.[10]


  1. An allusion to those held captive in spiritual bondage by Satan.


“The year of the Lord’s favor.”  This phrase is clearly reflective of the year of Jubilee, the year when all debts were to be forgiven, slaves were to be emancipated (Lev. 25:8-17), and the oppressed captives were to be given their freedom.[11] This year was to occur once every fifty years, but it was seldom honored. Jesus proclaimed that this year was symbolic of Him because He is the one who forgives debts and gives freedom to humanity. That was absolutely stunning! It is noteworthy that the English words sins and debts are both translated from the Aramaic word hoba. Therefore, when Jesus speaks of sinners He is also speaks of debtors; when He speaks of the forgiveness of sins He also speaks of speaks of the forgiveness of moral and spiritual debts.[12]


But what Jesus did not read from the scroll of Isaiah (61:2b) is equally important; He did not mention the short passage with reference to the “day of vengeance.” That passage is a clear reference to when Christ returns as king to judge the godly and ungodly.  When John the Baptist thundered that One would come who would bring judgment and fire, he was right; however, that portion of his prophetic words was not to be fulfilled in the first century; it is yet to come.

06.02.02a (2)

“He began by saying to them.”  As previously stated, the teacher (or rabbi) would always stand to read the Scriptures and always sit down to teach the class or congregation.[13]  When the reader sat down in the seat of Moses, he was in a slightly elevated position and, essentially, was seen as a type of Moses as he instructed the congregation.

06.02.02b (2)


06.02.02.A. THE SEAT OF MOSES AND THE BEMA STONE.  The seat of Moses (background) and the Bema stone (foreground) in the synagogue ruins at Chorizim is typical of a first century synagogue.  At Nazareth, Jesus would have stood upon the Bema stone when He read the Scroll and was seated in the Seat of Moses when he explained the Scriptures to the congregation. Photograph by the author.


The Greek word Bema refers to the raised platform upon which a speaker stood to address a congregation, read proclamations, and upon which citizens stood when tried before officials.[14]   



06.02.02.B. THE SEAT OF MOSES IN CHORIZIM. A close-up view of the seat where the teacher of the synagogue sat to instruct the congregation. This stone seat was discovered by archaeologists in 1926, and is the type mentioned in Matthew 23:1-3.  Photograph by the author.


“Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” This passage from Isaiah 61 was recognized as one of the great messianic prophecies.  Therefore, when Jesus said this Scripture was fulfilled in their hearing, He was announcing that He was that expected Anointed One – the Messiah! They could not imagine that a child born out of wedlock, even if He was the best kid in town, could possibly be their messiah. Consequently, there was instant anger.

06.02.02c (2)

06.02.02.C. THE RECONSTRUCTED NAZARETH SYNAGOGUE06.02.02.C. THE RECONSTRUCTED NAZARETH SYNAGOGUE.  This synagogue is believed by Jewish scholars to be identical to the one that was graced by the presence of Jesus, although its location cannot be affirmed.  Since the architectural style of synagogues had little or no variation from village to village, archaeologists and researchers examined the synagogue ruins at Gamla to create an authentic reproduction.[15] A man wearing first century costume walks past the reconstructed village synagogue in the Nazareth Village which received rabbinic compliments for authenticity. Photograph by the author.


06.02.02.Q1 What was the unseen miracle in Nazareth (Lk. 4:16-17)? 


The tradition was that men of the congregation would take turns reading Scripture in the worship service, unless there was a visiting guest, then he was given the honor to lead the service. The readings from the scrolls were continued from week to week and, in any three year cycle the entire Hebrew Bible was read.  That, in itself, was a difficult task to accomplish since there were no chapter and verse divisions.  Furthermore, there were no vowels and all the letters were run together.[16] It is normally assumed that Jesus simply selected a text from Isaiah, read it, and applied it to Himself. Clearly, this was not the case. At the point where the reader of the previous Sabbath ended, that was the beginning point for the reader the following week.  The miracle lies in the fact that Jesus did not select the text, but His reading was the continuation from the reading of the previous Sabbath.  This was hardly a coincidence, but a miracle by a divine appointment.  One would hardly notice a miracle had occurred unless the order of synagogue worship was known. The custom of the day was as follows:[17]


  1. The congregation would recite the Shema (Deut. 6:4), which was a short prayer. At the end, there was a moment of thoughtful silence which was when the worshipers “folded up the Shema.”[18]


  1. A prayer followed.


  1. There was a reading from the Law (Parashah),


  1. There was a reading from the Prophets (Haphtarah).


  1. The reader would then give an explanation and life application to each reading.


Jesus was probably seated in the front of the congregation during the first two steps, then read a section from the Torah (step 3).  It is unknown if He read that section or if He entered the synagogue in time to read from the Prophets (step 4). Regardless, He then stood upon a large flat stone in the front of the synagogue called the “bema” (Heb. bima) stone.[19]  This was the honorable position of a maphtir or reader (who at this moment was Jesus) of the sacred megillah, meaning the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus then read the haphtarah, or the reading of the day, which was Isaiah 61:1-2a.  As He read, the entire congregation stood to honor the Word of God.  The length of the haphtarah was normally between three and twenty-one verses.  However, Jesus only read one and a half verses, rolled up the megillah, and gave it to the chazzan or the attendant, who carefully placed the sacred writing in a painted ark.[20]


After the unusually short reading, Jesus stepped off the bema stone, walked to the Seat of Moses, and seated Himself.[21] There He presented His sermon based on that Scripture (Isa. 61:1-2a).  His lifelong friends and neighbors could hardly believe that the little boy Jesus, who grew up in their community, was applying the words of Isaiah to Himself.  They knew of the miracles He had already performed, but when He reminded them that Elijah and Elisha performed miracles for their non-Jewish neighbors who believed God, that brought instant anger and fury. The unspoken message was that the pagans could become believers while they, the Jews of Nazareth, might not.


The first century Jewish philosopher, Philo, preserved a description of a synagogue service that was typical of the time of Jesus.  He recorded the following:


Now these laws they are taught at other times, indeed, but most especially on the seventh day, for the seventh day is accounted sacred on which they abstain from all other employments, and frequent the sacred places which are called synagogues, and there they sit according to their age in classes.  The younger sitting under the elder and listening with eager attention in becoming order. 


Then one, indeed, takes up the holy volume and reads it, and another of the men of the greatest experience comes forward and explains what is not very intelligible, for a great many precepts are delivered in enigmatical modes of expression, and allegorically, as the old fashion was; and thus the people were taught piety, and holiness, and justice, and economy, and the science of regulating the state, and the knowledge of such things as are naturally good, or bad, or indifferent, and to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong, using a threefold variety of definitions, and rules, and criteria, namely, the love of God, and the love of virtue, and the love of mankind.


            Philo, Every Good Man is Free 12.81-83[22]


The attendant was in charge of the service. It was his responsibility to insure the appointed people read Scripture at the appropriate times, to see that the furniture and building were kept in good order, and to make sure the entire service was conducted properly and in order.[23]  This form of a Jewish worship service became the pattern of worship in the early church, since the first converts were Jews. Jews wrote the first church hymns, some of which eventually were entered into Scripture (i.e. Phil. 2:6-11; 1 Tim. 3:16).[24]


“A widow at Zarephath … many in Israel who had serious skin diseases (leprosy).” At this point, the Master Teacher reflects upon the prophet Elijah and the miracle God performed through him to benefit the widow of Zarephath of Sidon.  There is also a poetic reflection concerning the healing of Naaman, the Syrian leper. Note the comparisons:[25]


1 Kings 17:1-16

There were many widows in the land of Israel

In the days of Elijah the prophet

But none of them were healed

Except in Zarephath, the widow of Sidon


Luke 4:25-27; cf. 2 Kings 5:1-15

There were many lepers in the land of Israel

In the days of Elisha the prophet

But none of them were healed

Except in Syria, Naaman the leper


The audience could not help but notice the powerful connection of what they had heard and seen with the miraculous stories in their Hebrew Bible. Everyone had heard of the honored prophets Elijah and Elisha, and now they were asked to connect Jesus with the greatness of these prophets.


Leprosy was the name given to a wide range of skin diseases, but the malignant skin disease of horrors was known by the Greek name of lepra and the Hebrew name of sara’at. This is the condition described in Matthew 8:3; Mark 1:42, Luke 5:12 and translated in the Revised Standard Version as “full of Leprosy.” The New English Bible translates the term as “covered with leprosy.” Its conditions include scaly skin with swelling, discharge, ulcers, loss of hair, odor, and loss of pigmentation.[26] This condition leads to an agonizing death. The significance of this discussion was that Jesus hinted that what the Jews will reject, the Gentiles will accept.


Finally, throughout the biblical period there was a prevailing idea that gods were territorial; that there were gods who controlled various cities and regions.  Therefore, it is amazing that the widow of Zarephath believed that Elijah could perform a miracle in the land of Baal. In light of that, it is even more amazing is that she gave him – a prophet of a foreign god – her last loaf of bread.


Likewise, Naaman, who had leprosy but was not confined to a leper’s colony, believed that a foreign god would help him.  His healing only occurred after the encouragement of his servant, but he finally had faith to step into the Jordan River for his healing.  The faith expressed by the widow and Syrian general surpassed that of the citizens of Nazareth.  Both were Gentiles, both are heroes of the Jewish faith, and to tell this to the Jews of Nazareth greatly angered them.


Everyone in the synagogue was enraged.”  The many friends and neighbors were extremely hostile to one of their own equating Himself with God.  However, how did His family feel?  For years they tried to live in this small village in peace and harmony, but the gossip about Jesus having been conceived out of wedlock continued.  It was in His hometown where the Jews first considered killing Him.[27]  The primary reasons for their hatred were:


  1. He identified himself as the Messiah spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, and


  1. He referred to the faith of two Gentiles to whom God showed mercy and blessing, but the

Jews considered them condemned. Yet they should have recognized that their own Scriptures prophesied the Messiah would bring salvation to the Gentiles.[28]


  1. Jesus said that His old friends, neighbors, and distant relatives of the small village were unworthy of Him, just as all of Israel was unworthy of Elijah and Elisha. That “unworthiness” was the result of the sin of unbelief committed by the people.


The rejection of Jesus most certainly had an effect on His half-brothers and half-sisters.  It can safely be assumed that by this time they would have married and established homes in Nazareth or nearby villages such as Cana.  In those days young married families remained close to the clan or extended families. Since the neighbors so severely rejected Jesus, they most certainly rejected and ridiculed His family as well. That was the norm of the day.  Jesus was confronted by several people groups, namely:


  1. Some of His friends and neighbors in Nazareth


  1. The religious leaders from Jerusalem who no longer had religious authority in the Galilee

(removed by Herod the Great), but spied on Him.


  1. His family members questioned Him as they too, could not believe He was the Messiah.


However, at a time when the Romans were quick to execute anyone whom they suspected to be the political-religious Messiah, they never confronted Jesus.  They had their spies such as the Herodians, observing Jesus, but they never felt threatened.


Finally, this may be a good place to comment about women in the Galilean synagogue. The stringent rules of Jerusalem were considerably more relaxed in Galilee. While in Jerusalem women were required to remain silent during synagogue services; in Galilee synagogue leaders were more lenient:

  1. Galilean women were permitted to make up a quorum to establish a new synagogue.


  1. They were permitted to read the Torah, but were not permitted to sit in the seat of Moses

or comment on the Torah reading.


  1. Women were permitted to engage in a question and answer session that frequently followed the teaching segment of the service. Some even became involved in rabbinic debates and their words are still on record.[29] The modern belief that women had to be silent and sit separately from men in the synagogue arose several centuries later.[30] (Incidentally, the Apostle Paul’s comments on women being silent in the church (1 Cor. 14:34) probably is a reference to this segment of the service.)[31]


  1. There is no archaeological or literary proof that women were separated from men until the 500s in the Common Era. The Babylonian Talmud speaks of women reading from the Torah in the synagogue near the end of the second temple period.[32]


The fact that men and women had equal opportunity to read during the Sabbath service is indicative that boys and girls both went to school to learn how to read.  This was quite unusual, not only in the Greco-Roman world, but for many other Jewish communities as well.  Second to Jerusalem, Galilee had become the primary academic center of Israel and, after the destruction of the temple, the seat of rabbinic authority relocated to nearby Tiberias.  In fact, all the major sages in Jerusalem were from the Galilee area. With education held in such high esteem, women were welcomed in the academic community.

06.02.02d (2)


06.02.02.Q2 The Sabbath Day’s walk – How far did they take Jesus (Lk. 4:29)?


The synagogue leaders were so angry at Jesus, that they wanted to take Him “to the edge of the hill” and throw Him over it to His death. In recent years tourists have been shown a huge cliff south of Nazareth and are told this was where the Jews wanted to throw Jesus. But the southern cliff account is a myth.


In reality, the first century event would have been a retaining wall that wasn’t much higher than possibly two to four meters – or just over a man’s height.  Being thrown over such a small cliff would not have been a fatal fall, but He would then have been stoned to death.  That is the cultural context according to research conducted by the reconstructed Nazareth Village, and this miniature cliff or retaining wall was either in Nazareth or right along the edge of it.[33]  While its location has been lost in history, these men were observant Jews and would not have broken any Sabbath laws (including those that pertained to a Sabbath walk) to drag Jesus to the huge cliff on the southern side of Nazareth.


The Sabbath Day’s walk traveling restrictions were established centuries earlier.  Joshua 3 contains the account of the Israelites crossing the Jordan as they were about to enter the land God had promised them. At that time the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the presence of God in their midst. The people were told by the famous leader, Joshua, not to get closer than two thousand cubits (about one thousand yards) from the ark (Josh 3:4a). Therefore, on the Sabbath Day one could not travel more than a thousand yards from the center of worship so as not to become distant from God. Especially since the term Sabbath means rest.[34]  Since the “center” was considered to be the home, synagogue, or other place in the village, the rabbis would place markers indicating the end of two thousand cubits along the roads leading in and out of every village.  On the Sabbath Day, the villagers could walk to the marker that indicated the limit of the distance they could travel.[35]


However, apparently there was some variation concerning the length of a Sabbath’s Day’s journey.  Acts 1:12 indicates the distance from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem as a Sabbath Day’s walk. Josephus cited this distance as five furlongs or 3,031 feet[36]  and again as six furlongs (a/k/a six stadia/stadium) or 3,637 feet.[37] But it is doubtful that when Luke wrote Acts 1:12, he was interested in a precise measurement.


In addition, a great disparity of distance lies in the fact that by Hellenistic measure 2000 cubits is 3000 feet. The variation may be due to the fact that while a cubit was generally 17.49 inches,[38] in some cases it was 21.5 inches. But the most common unit of measure was the shorter unit.  For general purposes, two cubits equal 36 inches or one yard as referred to in Joshua 3:4b. For Romans, a journey of 2,000 cubits (Num. 35:5), was reckoned to be equal to six Roman stadia (606.5 feet). Jerome in his Epistle to Algasian (Book 10) recorded the Sabbath Day journey to be a distance of 2000 feet.[39]  Obviously, there were different opinions as to a precise distance, but there was a consensus of the approximate distance.


Today tourists in Israel see a quarry on the south side of the mountain upon which Nazareth rests and are told this is the cliff where Jesus was threatened.  However, when examining the distance between Nazareth and the “traditional cliff” as determined by the Crusaders, there is no question this was far beyond any Sabbath’s Day journey, even by the most liberal interpretation.  Hence, the so-called traditional cliff location needs to be removed from any consideration as a historical-religious site.



06.02.02.D. THE “TRADITIONAL CLIFF” OF NAZARETH. The cliff south of Nazareth, according to Crusader traditions, is identified as being where the congregation of Nazareth challenged Jesus. However, this cliff is far beyond the traditional “Sabbath’s day walk” from the ancient synagogue and, therefore, cannot be considered as the site. It is a classic example of the many traditional myths of the Holy Land. Today it is an active quarry.  Photograph by the author.


The people He grew up with; the neighbors He loved and cared for; the kids He once played with who now had children of their own; for the most part, rejected Him. He saw friendly faces and critical eyes. Jesus left His hometown with a heavy heart and moved to Capernaum. The humble home that was His for so many years would be no more. Yet of all the human emotions that filled His heart, He knew that eventually the Jewish leadership would do likewise – turn against Him.  The passage in Isaiah expressed His own purpose and program – precisely what He was going to do with His life – the Kingdom of God as follows:


  1. To preach the good news to the poor (v. 11)


  1. To announce that captives to sin would be released (v. 18)


  1. To bring sight to the blind – both to those who are physically blind and those who were

spiritually blind to the truth (v. 18).


  1. To give liberty to those who are injured and oppressed (v. 18)


  1. To announce that the Kingdom of God has arrived – the hour of salvation has come.


It is noteworthy that little is recorded in the Bible concerning the relationship Jesus had with His biological family. It appears, however, that His brothers and sisters still had some serious misgivings about Him at this point. In fact, His brother James was as much, if not more, of a doubter as was the famous doubting Thomas until after the resurrection.  His mother and father, assuming Joseph was still alive, were the only family members who had any confidence in Him. Thus, the poetic words of David were fulfilled.


I have become a stranger to my brothers
and a foreigner to my mother’s sons.


Psalm 69:8


There are times when one must move on to the next phase of life. So did Jesus, as now He proceeded to the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee where He spent considerable time teaching and performing miracles.  So much so, that the region between the villages of Tabgha, Bethsaida, and Chorizim became known as the “evangelical triangle.” Capernaum was centered within this evangelical area.

06.02.02e (2)


06.02.02.Z MAP OF THE EVANGELICAL TRIANGLE.  The area of three villages where Jesus ministered most frequently formed what has been called the “Evangelical Triangle.” These villages were Tabgha, Bethsaida, and Chorizim, located in the area along the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee with Capernaum in the center. Courtesy of International Mapping and Dan Przywara.


Finally, two of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments have amazing reflections upon Luke 4:16-30, although that passage is based upon selections from Isaiah 61. The fragments indicate that the Essenes apparently believed that Isaiah’s words were messianic in nature, and when they wrote them, they did so in a similar manner to what Luke did.


Fragments 4Q278 & 4Q521[40]                                   Luke 4:16-30


  1. 4Q278 4:18

The Holy Spirit rests                                            The Spirit of the Lord is on Me


  1. 4Q521 4:18

The Messiah is exalted                                         For He has anointed Me

[i.e., made me into Messiah]


  1. 4Q521 4:18

To preach the good news to the poor                   To preach the good news to the poor


  1. 4Q521 4:18

Release for the captives                                        Release for the captives


  1. 4Q521 4:18

Opening the eyes of the blind                               Opening the eyes of the blind


  1. 4Q521 4:18

Raising up the downtrodden                                Set free the oppressed



  1. 4Q521 4:38-40

His mighty works: heal the sick                           What we have you did at

Capernaum do also here

[i.e., heal the sick]


  1. 4Q521 7:22

His works: Raising the dead                                 Affirms the raising of the dead as a messianic                                                                                        act of Jesus[41]


[1]. Bailey, Poet and Peasant.  Part I, 68 and Part II, 104; Fleming, The Parables of Jesus. 15, 23; Pilch, The Cultural Dictionary. 73.

[2]. Bookman, When God Wore Sandals. CD Trac 1.


[3]. Mills and Michael, Messiah and His Hebrew Alphabet. 104.


[4]. Acts 13:5; 14:1; 17:1, 10, 17; 18:4, 19.


[5]. See Philo, The Works of Philo. 689-90 quoted in 06.02.02.Q1. Also Martin, Worship in the Early Church. 24. Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica. 3:67; Geikie, The Life and Works of Christ. 2:3-4; Farrar, The Life of Christ. 118-20; See the book of Jubilees for the tiresome instruction on the minutest rabbinical details presented in synagogue services.

[6]. For a study on the synagogue worship service, see Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993). This reprint of the 1883 edition remains a classic resource.


[7]. Bivin, “The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth.” Yavo Digest. 3:4, 13.


[8]. Witherington, Living Word. 173.


[9]. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament. 1:291.


[10]. See 02.01.03.Z “Map Of The Two Jewish Diasporas.”


[11]. For further study of loans, debts, and how first century Jewish courts ruled, see the Mishnah and the chapter titled Baba Bathra.

[12]. Bailey, Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes. 252.


[13]. Bivin, “The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth.” Yavo Digest 3;4, 3.

[14]. Mt. 27:19; Jn. 19:13; Acts 18:12-17; 25:1-12; Franz, “God’s Gold and the Glory of Philippi.” 118.


[15]. Syon, Danny. “Gamla: Portrait of a Rebellion.” 30-33.

[16]. A system of “vowel points” was established in the 9th or 10th century (A.D.) to aid reading.


[17]. Farrar, Life of Christ. 103; Martin, Worship in the Early Church. 67-70.

[18]. Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica. 1:152.


[19]. Martin, Worship in the Early Church. 67-70.

[20]. Farrar, Life of Christ. 102; Lang, Know the Words of Jesus. 276, 308-09; Moseley, Yeshua: A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church 9.

[21]. The custom of being seated while teaching is also found in Mt. 5:1, 23:2, 26:55; Jn. 8:2; Acts 22:3.

[22]. Philo, The Works of Philo. 689-90. See also Martin, Worship in the Early Church. 24. Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica. 3:67.

[23]. Freeman, The New Manners and Customs of the Bible. 503.


[24]. Martin, Worship in the Early Church. 18-20.

[25]. For further study, see Bailey, Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes. 160-68.


[26]. Harrison, “Leprosy.” 2:463-66. See also Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica. 3:78.


[27]. Others references are Jn. 5:16; 7:30; 8:40, 59; Lk. 11:53-54.


[28]. Isa. 9:1-2; 42:1-3, 6-7; 60:1-3; also note Mt. 4:13-16; Acts 13:47.


[29].  For further study on the various opinions concerning the status and influence of women in the Second Temple Period, see the excellent work by Tal Ilan, Integrating Women into Second Temple History, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1999.


[30]. Safrai, Shmuel. “The Place of Women in First-Century Synagogues,” Jerusalem Perspective. 40 (1993): 3-6, 14; See also Spangler and Tverberg, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus. 12.


[31]. For synagogue service procedures, see Philo, The Works of Philo. 689-90 quoted in 06.02.02.Q1. Also Martin, Worship in the Early Church. 24. Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica. 3:67; Geikie, The Life and Works of Christ. 2:3-4; Farrar, The Life of Christ. 118-20.  See the book of Jubilees for the tiresome instruction on the minutest rabbinical details presented in synagogue services.

[32]. Cited by Fischer, The Gospels in Their Jewish Context. (Lecture on CD/MP3). Week 7, Session 1.


[33]. Information was acquired by personal interviews with Nazareth Village staff on June 9, 2013. Nazareth Village is a recreated first century living museum in Nazareth, Israel.


[34]. Josephus, Antiquities 1.1.1.

[35]. For additional Sabbath regulations, see Jubilees 50:6-13 at 02.04.06.  In fact, during the Maccabean Revolt, since the Jews refused to fight on the Sabbath, the Greeks slaughtered more than a thousand men, women, and children. Thereafter they decided to defend themselves so as not to be removed from the face of the earth (1 Macc. 2:31-38).

[36]. Josephus, Antiquities 20.8.6.

[37]. Josephus, The Jewish Wars 5.2.3.  Some other sources indicate 3,639 feet instead of 3,637 feet.

[38]. See Appendix 20; Some sources indicate the Old Cubit, a/k/a Short Cubit, was 17.49, 17.6, or 17.71 inches, or 45 cm.; See also Vine, “Cubit.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary. 1:53.


[39]. Kepler, “Sabbath’s Day’s Journey” 4:141; Geikie, The Life and Words. 2:622.

[40]. The comparison of Luke 4:16-30 with DSS 4Q278 and 4Q521 was adapted from Bailey, Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes. 150.


[41]. For more information on the messianic acts / messianic miracles, see 06.03.08.Q1, 06.03.08.Q2, 06.01.03, John 4:25 as well as the related video link 06.03.08.V; Fruchtenbaum, Messianic Miracles. 4.


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