“The facts are that no demonstrable evidence dating either to the time of Jesus or to earlier Hellenistic times has been found at Nazareth. It is a late Roman-Byzantine village, not a mythical settlement at the turn of the era. As author Salm says, that question has already been answered, and answered convincingly.… Of course, the religious faction has reacted furiously to the book.”
—James Randi, Atheist, former magician, and archskeptic. Author, Flim-Flam, etc.
Excerpt from his YouTube video.
“I have been looking over your ‘Nazareth’ volume which you sent me and it is, of course, very thorough in your usual manner. But as I told you early on, you don’t have to convince me. I am a believer. I know there was no ‘Nazareth’… at least not where they were talking about it, from the first days I read Josephus who virtually catalogued all the important locations in Galilee and of course, no Nazareth!” —Robert Eisenman, PhD. Author, James the Brother of Jesus, etc.
“…I have studied your work relating to the archaeology of Nazareth and find your position very interesting. Concerning the [post-50 CE] dating of the known tombs, you are certainly correct… I concur with your remarks regarding Hachlili [specialist in Judean funerary customs]. She is a splendid scholar who, nevertheless, has a different area of investigation and other scientific goals.”
— Prof. Hans-Peter Kuhnen, PhD. The world’s foremost expert on Roman tombs in the Galilee.
“BTW, if anyone is interested in an excellent summary of the archaeological recoveries at Nazareth to date, I would highly recommend Rene Salm’s book on the subject… [I]t provides an excellent inventory and analysis of the evidence, a feat all the more remarkable when one considers that Salm is not a formal member of our profession.”
—An American archaeologist (Dec. 2009).
“A very persuasive, even-handed treatment of an explosive topic.” —Alan Zundel, PhD, author of Be Transformed: A Christian Path to Your True Self.
“I don’t think that what he’s saying can be easily dismissed.” —Keith Akers. Author, The Lost Religion of Jesus.
“I have just read the first part which deals with the Stone to Iron ages and highlights the unreliability of theological archaeologists who apparently find what their Bibles tell them to look for, even if the facts may allow other interpretations…A joy to read, worth the time to consider.” – L. Falvey, Ph.D. Universities of Cambridge (UK) and Melbourne. Author, The Buddha’s Gospel.
Frank Zindler (past President of American Atheists):
[Nov. 15, 2006]
Proving the non-existence of gods is usually a futile endeavor, generally involving the nearly impossible task of proving a universal negative. Indeed, when the ‘god’ in question is undefined, such proof is impossible. It is impossible because the exercise is scientifically meaningless. In science, unless a claim of the existence of anything—be it a god or a subatomic particle—leads to predictions which can be tested, it can’t even be proven false: it is merely meaningless. The worst part of all this is that no one takes seriously the testing of such claims—nor should he…
…[You have] found and struck the Achilles’ heel of a very popular god—Jesus of Nazareth. While almost nothing in this god’s definition is agreed upon by scholars and believers, one thing must be true. If he ever existed, he must have been from ‘Nazareth’—just as Dorothy’s Wizard was from ‘Oz.’ We know quite certainly that there never was a Wizard of Oz because exhaustive LandSat photosearches of Missouri and Kansas conclusively fail to find remains of Emerald City and Munchkin burial mounds. Absolute proof is possible because an exhaustive search is possible.
If it could be shown conclusively that ‘Nazareth’ did not exist at the time that Jesus and his family are supposed to have lived there… You get my intended point.
…[Your] exhaustive study and critique of what has passed for archaeological excavations of Jesus’ home town make it absolutely certain—or at least as certain as any scientific argument can be—that the place now called Nazareth was not inhabited from around 730 BCE until sometime after 70 CE. This nasty fact is more than a mere inconvenience for those who seek historical facts in the Gospels.
By demonstrating the fictive nature of Jesus of Nazareth, [you] have done a great service for science and civilization in general. Of course, there are those who now might argue that Jesus was actually ‘Jesus of Bethlehem of Judaea.’ Alas, the Israeli archaeologist Aviram Oshri has removed that base from the ball park too. He has shown by his own excavations that although Bethlehem in Galilee was inhabited during the Herodian period, Bethlehem in Judaea was not.
Of course, a Jesus of Kalamazoo or a Jesus of Cucamonga cannot yet be ruled out. Even so, Franciscan ‘archaeologists’ have not yet realized they need to start building a case for possible gods in ZIP-code areas 49001 and 91729. The Jesus they have been riding all these years has been shot out from under them so suddenly, they don’t yet realize they’re being supported only by (hot) air.
[From the Probing Mind column, “Why the Truth About Nazareth is Important,” American Atheist magazine (Nov-Dec. 2006).] – Frank R. Zindler, Author, The Jesus the Jews Never Knew.
The following are extracts from a review of the book posted on amazon.com prior to June, 2008. The full review is no longer online:
“Overall, New Testament researchers must grapple with the thesis put forward by René Salm which is amazingly thorough, even on the points of grammar of the primary literature and an excellent survey of the secondary literature…
“I must admit that when I first learned about this book, its author, its publisher, and the lack of peer review, the red flags seemed too tremendous to overcome. I knew that René Salm had a hard sell with me since he was going against the experts, had no formal training, etc. However, I was willing to pick up the book because of the endorsement by scholar Robert M. Price who is an accomplished biblical researcher.
“Well, the author succeeded and has convinced me he is most likely correct. What convinced me the most was that Salm did not actually go against the authorities, but instead followed them, streamlining the evidence into a more consistent picture for what they really say rather than having artifacts becoming exceptional to fit a picture of a pre-Christian Nazareth…
“The book also has the quality of not being an argument from silence as other arguments for the nonexistence of Nazareth have been--it was not mentioned in the Old Testament, Josephus, or the Talmud, and the Christian Julius Africanus (3rd century CE) placed Nazareth in Judea instead of Galilee. Salm has a much more scientific approach and is a positive case rather than a negative one…”
“Do buy this book.”—Gilgamesh.
Mr. René Salm,
I applaud your endeavor to enlighten the public with the truth concerning Jesus. Keep up the good work.
—Andrew D. Benson, author of The True Origins of Christianity and the Bible.