Nazareth Village – An Introduction
Nazareth Village (NV) is small peaceful haven nestled in the busy life of the city. NV was a vision that came to fruition through Dr. Nakhle Bishara, who bought a piece of land that was untouched for about 140 years. That in itself was a miracle because everywhere around this piece of land was built up, and yet this area was completely untouched. NV started as a hospital and expanded into an archaeological project which transformed into the Nazareth Village we saw today, a Nursing school and a YMCA. Dr. Nakhle Bishara bought this land in the idea of turning ancient “dead stones” into living stones that educated the public about the Nazareth Jesus knew. NV had a large outdoor area of vineyards, olive tree gardens (400 year old olive tree), grape presses, olive presses, living the authentic 1st century life – eating the foods, using the same methods and tools etc.
Feel free to browse around their website: Nazareth Village
Here are two personal perspectives of our day from Dan and Fiona:
Hello! I am Dan Willms from Niagara On The Lake, and Niagara United Mennonite Church. Today after going on the tour of Nazareth Village, I was able to participate in a very cool experience. I got to dress up in 1st century clothing along with 6 other group members and help out in the Village. We got to wear a rob (which was actually quite cool in the hot sun), a head covering, belt and authentic leather sandals. Our task was to help clean up the village and to role play as people from that time as visitors to the village walked around. We mainly cleaned up brush, and branches which we brought to a central location where they would be burned later. This was not a hard task but there were a lot of brush. We did this for a few hours until lunch rolled around. We had an authentic lunch which included, pita bread, hummus, apples, date honey, lentil soup, Za’tar, olives, and cabbage salad. After a delicious meal it was back to the fields. In the afternoon it was much hotter, our robe and head covering really helped with that. We continued to work and interact with the tourists (I must be in a few photo albums from people all over the world now) until it was time to go home.
Hi there! My name if Fiona Mo, I’m from Markham Chinese Mennonite Church and I’m one of the faith leaders for Yella 2018! Being at the Nazareth Village was quite an incredible experience, and I’m sure I could go on and on about everything that we saw and experienced, but I’ll just give you highlights! The first thing that made this experience so memorable was the idea of ancient or “dead” stones becoming “living” stones. Nazareth Village is in the middle of Nazareth surrounding by buildings and busy streets, yet once you get into the village, you are completely transported back into the 1st century. One of the purposes of NV is to show people from all over the world the “The Nazareth that Jesus knew”. Those who work at Nazareth Village were adamant on keeping the authenticity of 1st century life, so everything from the tools that we were using, to the buildings were all done exactly the way people used to do it in that time. Having had a few days going around to different sites in Nazareth, I’ve been having a bit of a hard time connecting what I was seeing in the city to the stories in the Bible, and Nazareth Village really helped with bridging that gap. Two other specific things that I found impressive was: 1) They still had functional olive presses and 1st century grape press (aka feet) carved into the bedrock. 2) How amazing our group was today. We had participants from digging trenches with pick-axes to clearing garbage all over the property to handing pulling tall grass for the animals to eat. What started as a very rainy day soon because one that was very hot with the sun beating down on us. I was so impressed at how positive everyone stayed in the group and it really brought into perspective the life that Jesus knew in Nazareth. All in all, Nazareth Village was looking glass into what the 1st century was like and it truly brought many perspectives of the stories I’ve heard growing up, to life.