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The Ancient City of Nazareth – The Birth of Christianity

While there is still some debate, it is now believed that Nazareth at the time of Christ had a population of 15,000 to 20,000. 

Nazareth in the Bible

Nazareth is discussed within the New Testament in five sections. 

The Bath house, Mary’s Well & Nazareth

Mary’s Well is the natural spring that until the 20th century was the primary source of water for Nazareth.   With no rivers or other major springs nearby, it is natural that the center of the city would surround this site.  And right next to the well is the bath house.


According to the Greek Orthodox Tradition, and several books of the Apocrypha including the book of James, the Annunciation (announcement to Mary of her forthcoming virgin birth) was made at Mary’s Well.


With the discovery of the bath house that is at least of the Roman period, and potentially much older, it confirms that Nazareth was a larger and more important city, than many have thought, during the time of Jesus.


Further, there is some evidence to suggest that Mary, and possibly even Jesus himself bathed at this bath house.   This evidence primarily comes from the 16th century scholar, Rabbi Moshe Bassola of Ancona, also known as the Anonymous Traveler. In 1542 he traveled to the holy land, including Nazareth.  He writes the following of his travels (as translated from Hebrew):


“We came from Kfar Kana, arriving the next day in Nazareth, where the Christian Jesus lived. The citizens told me that there existed a hot bathhouse where the Mother of Jesus immersed herself."

Modern Nazareth

Today, Nazareth is a wonderful place to visit.  Tourists can visit many holy sites. It has all the modern amenities, including great restaurants and hotels, and of course the Ancient Bath House, a place not to miss.

Further Information

·         Nazareth Entry in Wikipedia

·         Nazareth Entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica

·         Nazareth History from InSite Israel

·         Geography of Nazareth from HowStuffWorks.com

·         Nazareth from Bible History Online

·         Nazareth from the Israel Tourism Guide

·         Nazareth Cultural & Tourism Association