Alan C. wrote:
They said the following:
Of the four Gospel accounts, only two mention the birth of Jesus (Matthew and Luke), and only one (Luke) mentions anything about Jesus' life prior to His beginning His three-year ministry in Israel. So, from birth until 12 years of age and from 12 until 30, we know nothing about the life of Jesus. At least the Bible doesn't tell us anything about His life during those so-called "lost years." This has led many to speculate as to what Jesus did during those intervening years.
Well sorry but this just indicates two made up stories, a virgin birth then nothing for 30 years then an enigmatic preacher appears, you really must have some very credulous friends
The orthodox position is that Jesus grew up in Nazareth with His family until it was time to begin His ministry.
Archeologists have shown that Nazareth didn't exist till about 200 CE.
While the Bible doesn't explicitly say this, it is implied from the following passage in the Gospel of Luke: “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And he stood up to read.... All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips. ‘Isn't this Joseph's son?’ they asked. Jesus said to them, ‘Surely you will quote this proverb to me: “Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum." I tell you the truth,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his hometown’” (Luke 4:16, 22-24). Notice that Luke says that Jesus was "brought up" in Nazareth, and he also mentions twice that Nazareth was Jesus' hometown. Furthermore, the people in the synagogue knew Jesus and knew that he was Joseph's son. All of this leads to the conclusion that Jesus lived in relative obscurity in Nazareth until His baptism.
See above, Nazareth and the jesus guy didn't exist at the same time. Can your "Christian friends" not read some history books?
Edit, Please don't come back with more bible quotes from your "friends" Ask them for peer reviewed, evidence based arguments otherwise this is going nowhere, they can quote the bible and I'll quote it back at them all day and we'll get nowhere.
I may have credulous acquaintances. I understand your frustration about the Bible being quoted by Christians. You see, they view the Bible to be God's Words and they are instructed by the Bible to quote it for 'spiritual warfare'. Jesus himself quoted the Bible and thus defeated the Devil. Christians don't think the way non-Christians do.
Here is a Christian response about the existence of Nazareth:
Question: "Did Nazareth exist during the life of Jesus?"
Answer: Did Nazareth exist during the life of Jesus? How can we know? What does the evidence say? These are questions to which Christians have been asked to give an answer on a more and more frequent basis by those who profess themselves to be “skeptics” in our world today. It is curious that the first-century historicity of Jesus should be the subject of such contention, since this matter was effectively laid to rest long ago.
There are several reasons which are often given for doubting the first-century historicity of Nazareth, which are largely built around arguments from silence. For one thing, Nazareth is never mentioned in the writings of Josephus, nor is it mentioned in any other first-century writings. Critics also contend that the biblical geography is in error, as there is no cliff near the synagogue from which Jesus was allegedly thrown, as recounted in Luke 4:24-30.
Generally speaking, caution should be taken when dealing with arguments from silence. The question must be raised as to just how much one would expect the contemporary writers to mention the town of Nazareth. Nazareth was a small and insignificant village, and Josephus had no real reason to mention it. The town’s insignificance is evident in the first chapter of John’s gospel, when Nathaniel asks, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46).
Leaving aside the problems with the argument from silence, it should also be noted that the claim is not entirely correct. In AD 70, at the end of the Jewish war with the Romans, the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and this meant that Jewish priests and their families had to be redeployed. An inscription was discovered in 1962 in Caesarea Maritima, which documented that the priests of the order of Elkalir came to live in Nazareth. This has only been confirmed by later discoveries. For example, in 2009, the first Nazarene home to date from Jesus’ era was excavated by archaeologists. The house was a simple structure, consisting of two small rooms and a courtyard.
The claim about the errant geography carries a bit more weight than the argument from silence. The closest cliff from which Jesus might have been thrown is roughly 2.5 miles away from the synagogue, however, and there is no reason why Jesus could not have been taken this far.
In conclusion, the claim that there is no historical evidence for the existence of the town of Nazareth in the first century stands refuted by the archaeological data, and many of the more informed atheist critics, even among those who deny the historicity of Jesus, have advised caution with this argument.