The Pilgrimage: Israel Part Six

Modern day Nazareth is nothing like the little village Jesus knew, as you can see from this picture. But fortunately, you can go to Nazareth and have an experience of what it might have been like to visit Jesus’ home town if you visit Nazareth village, right in the middle of town. Built on the grounds where the old YMCA used to be, Nazareth Village is a re-creation village, somewhat like colonial Williamsburg. Here you run into first century shepherding, agriculture, wood-working, wine-making, a first century synagogue, and more. It’s a fun place. I am going to do several posts on Nazareth village (built with the consultation of two of my scholarly friends who live in Israel– Steve and Clare Phann) to give you an idea of what you are missing. If you want to see video of this place, check out my filming there in the On the Road with Jesus DVDs.

Let’s start with shepherds, sheep, and goats. Both were important to the ancient economy, and not just because lambs were needed for sacrifice. Here is a shepherd and his wife.

And here are the goats (and sheep), followed by our Yuliya enjoying a little one…


Goats get a bad rap sometimes. They produce good milk and cheese, whereas sheep are good mostly for wool (other than sacrifices). The other major animal likely to be seen in ancient Nazareth was the donkey, the poor man’s beast of burden.

Sometimes of course, humans have to be their own beasts of burden….


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