Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 299insurgent district of the country; nurtured, if not born, in Nazareth, one of its chief cities; reared as a youth amid traditions of patriotic devotion, and amid scenes associated with heroic dreams and endeavors. The Galileans were restless, excitable people, beyond the reach of conventionalities, remote from the centre of power, ecclesiastical and secular, simple in their lives, bold of speech, independent in thought, [Pg 521]thoroughgoing in the sort of radicalism that is common among people who live 'out of the world,' who have leisure to discuss the exciting topics of the day, but too little knowledge, culture, or sense of social responsibility to discuss them soundly. Their mental discontent and moral intractability were proverbial. They were belligerents. The Romans had more trouble with them than with the natives of any other province. The Messiahs all started out from Galilee, and never failed to collect followers round their standard. The Galileans, more than others, lived in the anticipation of the Deliverer. The reference of the Messiah to Galilee is therefore already an indication of the character he is to assume."
To show the state the country must have been in at that time, we will quote an incident or two from Josephus.
A religious enthusiast called the Samaritans together upon Mount Gerizim, and assured them that he would work a miracle. "So they came thither armed, and thought the discourse of the man probable; and as they abode at a certain village, which was called Tirathaba, they got the rest together of them, and desired to go up the mountain in a great multitude together: but Pilate prevented their going up, by seizing upon the roads by a great band of horsemen and footmen, who fell upon those who were gotten together in the village; and when it came to an action, some of them they slew, and others of them they put to flight, and took a great many alive, the principal of whom, and also the most potent of those that fled away, Pilate ordered to be slain."