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The Myth Of Nazareth: The Invented Town Of Jesus Paperback – March 10, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: American Atheist Press (March 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578840031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578840038
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I am amazed by your work and can't wait to see the pathetic attempts to reply! -- Robert M. Price, PhD, ThD, Author, The Pre-Nicene New Testament, Deconstructing Jesus, Jesus Is Dead, etc. Christianity cannot survive unless this book can be refuted. By proving scientifically that Nazareth was uninhabited at the time Jesus of Nazareth and his family were supposed to be living there, Salm strikes the Achilles' heel of a very popular god. We KNOW the Wizard of Oz is not real, since we know there never was a Land of Oz. Because of this exhaustive archaeological investigation, we now know that Jesus of Nazareth also is a literary fiction. Apologists and all other professional Christians are going to be out of work unless they can disprove this book -- or find a way to suppress it. -- Frank R. Zindler, Author, The Jesus the Jews Never Knew --Back cover

About the Author

For 30 years a scholar of early Buddhism as well as Christianity, René Salm is also a published composer of classical piano music and a linguist who commands many ancient and modern languages ranging from Aramaic, Hebrew, and Pali, to German, French, and Italian. In addition, he is a mental-health professional and concert-quality pianist. Salm resides in Eugene, Oregon, without need of car or television. The Myth Of Nazareth lays the foundation for a projected sequel -- a new account of Christian origins that will investigate suppressed evidence of Gnostic, Judean, and Essene roots of Christianity.

More About the Author

An independent religious researcher, René Salm has also worked for a number of years as a composer/musician and as a mental health technician. A self-described "spiritual atheist," Salm has investigated Buddhism and Christianity for three decades and carefully read through the entire fifty volumes of Buddhist scriptures in the course of twenty years. He authored "Buddhist and Christian Parallels Compiled from the Earliest Scriptures" (2004), while his controversial book "The Myth of Nazareth: The Invented Town of Jesus" (2008) is an archeological exposé which shows that the town of Nazareth came into existence after the time of Jesus. It places Salm among the "New Atheists" and also among a growing number of "Jesus Mythicists," that is, scholars who believe that Jesus of Nazareth was invented by the early Church and never really existed as a human being. Salm continues to investigate the religious as well as possible historical links between Christianity and Buddhism. He maintains several websites including Mythicist Papers ( and

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 60 people found the following review helpful By P. Lindsay falvey on May 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I don't care if Jesus came from Nazareth, Bodhgaya or Timbukto, but I do care for good books, and this is an excellent book on a difficult subject. How could archaeology of little oil lamps be interesting? - ask Rene Salm, for has made it so in this highly readable and objective account of the area where Nazareth was meant to exist about Year 0.

Without preciousness, without the emotion of some recent anti-religion books and without fear, the book incidentally shows that belief is anathema to the spiritual dimensions of religion, yet is the very essence of the religion of the ignorant. I suspect that these latter forces will crucify the work with the usual dogma-based arguments that we too often leave unchallenged. Nevertheless I predict that the work will persist on the shelves of those who strive to understand their spirits - for those in the Christian tradition, this means those who strive to know Jesus, for they know it matters little whether he was a Jew or blond or was born in Nazareth. But it matters if their church is pushing an invented (not an inherited tribal story) myth as fact.

This is a scholarly work in a field dominated by scholars employed by church-related bodies. For this reason it is unique as its scholarship is of a higher order than that of those it criticizes. And potential readers should be aware that Salm's the criticism is kind - regardless of the obnoxious comments of another reviewer whom I suspect has not read the book at all. The reader is led into gentle questions such as `why would the church chose to present the data that way?' and `how could an archaeologist make such a simple mistake?' Of course we learn more with time in all such fields but the book allows for this and softly leads us to consider the remaining questions.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By bratule on July 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Excellent! A detailled and complete review of the archaeological evidence for the existence or non-existence of Nazareth during the siecles before and after year 1.
Clear, nice explanations of the various wars and invasions at this time. Objective criticisms of the ideological biases from the previous archeologists. Well referenced.
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21 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazed on November 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
The review by J.F. Joyner below is riddled with falsehood. No first century CE residence has ever been discovered at Nazareth. Period. In 2009, Yardenna Alexandre completed an excavation in which see recovered the foundation of a Mamluk period building, during the course of which she identified two lateral cuts into the bedrock beneath the building. She found no stratified or otherwise contextualized artifacts that would date these cuts, nor did she recover any other indications of a first century CE edifice. She made no mention of any first century structures in her closing report on the excavation, and she has never published so much as a single sherd that would be diagnostic for that period. She did, however, participate in a series of press conferences and releases in December 2009, primarily on behalf of the Israeli Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, in which she announced she had recovered a first century CE residence in Nazareth in spite of not having recovered any artifacts indicating such (the "solid evidence" underlying her dating is her problematic identification of a nearby depression as the remains of a refuge pit, as well as her claim that she discovered sherds that may date to the second century CE that she is illegally withholding from the IAA and from publication). This was nothing more than a canard offered to bolster the Israeli tourist trade, formulated (not coincidentally) at the start of the Christmas season's tourist rush (the fact that Alexandre's dig was actually sponsored by the Marian Center, and was slated to produce content for a Jesus-related exhibit there even before the first spade-full of earth was turned, is also highly revealing).Read more ›
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While not a professional archaeologist Mr. Salm is very good at bringing to light the fact that for so many years letting scholars who are religious excavate religious sites the biased scholarship that has been put out into the public sphere. Mr. Salm patiently guides you trhough the history of Nazareth and looking at all available shards of pottery, lamps, etc. shows that the fore-mentioned scholars have "fudged" the dates to provide evidence that Nazareth was inhabited at the time of Jesus. Reviewing this evidence without religious bias secular scholars have come up with a more reasoned dating.
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This is an excellent book about a very hard topic: Nazareth and the problem of its real existence as a town in times of Jesus. In brief: Did it exist at that time or not? In doing that, Rene Salm, the author, reviews both primary and secondary sources of highly recognized archaeologists and scholars and analyzes it with deep and conscientious scope. In his own words: "This work has not presented new material, but has brought a radically new analysis to material long know."

The theme is not an easy one because of the consequences. If Nazareth didn't exist at Jesus time, then where he came from, and, more interestingly, why do the evangelists mention the town in the Gospels?

The book is divided basically in two halves: the first one is the analysis in itself, and the second one is the catalog of sources and additional information for the reader. The interesting part for the common reader is the first one. Here, Salm gives us the data, the analysis and the conclusions he draws from them. In this field, Salm is very convincing without recurring to traps or twisted interpretations to get to the point.

This is not the first time that a very small (actually very small) collection of handicraft remains gives raise to an entire city with buildings and streets and temples and so on and on. I know archaeology is a highly developed science, but what we learn in this book is a very different thing: science guided by faith rather than truth. As long as you read the book you begin to think about that and after reviewing some definitions in parallel even from Wikipedia you discover that the author is not a radical one (or an outsider) but someone who just put the topic at issue. Nothing else.

Maybe you will read the other reviews and decide not to read "The Myth...
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