Historical Significance
  • Surprisingly, little is known about Nazareth’s ancient years because outside of the New Testament, is it not mentioned until the Byzantine Period (4th Century AD)
  • In 1099, the Crusader Tancred captured Galilee and established his capital in Nazareth. Nazareth then returned to Muslim control in 1187 following the victory of Saladin in the Battle of Hattin, forcing the remaining Crusaders and European clergy to leave.
  • In an attempt to drive out the remaining crusaders from Palestine, Baybars, the Mamluk Sultan, destroyed the Christian buildings in Nazareth and declared the site off-limits to Latin clergy in 1263. While Arab Christian families continued to live in Nazareth, its status was reduced to that of a poor village.
Political/Cultural Significance
  • Currently, Nazareth is home to the largest Arab population in Israel
  • It is the capital and largest city in the Northern District of Israel
  • Home to the Church of the Annunciation, which was built over the remains of a fourth century Byzantine church in Nazareth.
Biblical Significance
  • Though it is never mentioned by name in the Old Testament, Nazareth was the “hometown” of Jesus and the site of several events in the life of Jesus (Ex: Luke 4)
  • Nazareth was a very small village, located 4 miles away from the big city of Sepphoris.