Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
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23-06-2013, 04:08 PM
Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
One of the major flaws in the new testament is naming the town of Nazareth as the hometown of Jesus (Yeshua ben Josef) I believe it to have been a purposeful mistranslation of the Nazarene. As to the town I am led to believe that it is just the result of religious tourism and is as much the real home of Jesus as Disneyworld is the true home of Mickey Mouse. Earliest records for this town don't pop up for almost 200 years outside the bible and the current city of that name seems to have been founded no earlier than 50CE or 15 years after the supposed death of Yeshua.
My hypothesis is thus Nazarene was changed to Nazareth in part of the Roman effort to de-radicalize Jesus and remove the Anti-Gentile and especially the Anti-Roman rhetoric he he would have been preaching as an early 1st century messianic (meaning political leader not savior that was an addition by Paul of Tarsus) figure.
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/nazareth.html





Nazareth is a major city in the region now mainly due to religious tourism and that original mistranslation of Nazarene to of Nazareth. Yeshua ben Joseph was a member of the Essene cult the Nazarene's along with his older cousin John and his brother James, who took over the leadership of the cult that Yeshua received upon John's death, when Yeshua was executed for breaking Pax Romana.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essenes

Quote:The Church Father Epiphanius (writing in the 4th century CE) seems to make a distinction between two main groups within the Essenes:[31] "Of those that came before his [Elxai, an Ossaean prophet] time and during it, the Ossaeans and the Nazarean."[51] Epiphanius describes each group as following:
The Nazarean – they were Jews by nationality – originally from Gileaditis, Bashanitis and the Transjordan… They acknowledged Moses and believed that he had received laws – not this law, however, but some other. And so, they were Jews who kept all the Jewish observances, but they would not offer sacrifice or eat meat. They considered it unlawful to eat meat or make sacrifices with it. They claim that these Books are fictions, and that none of these customs were instituted by the fathers. This was the difference between the Nazarean and the others…[52]
After this Nazarean sect in turn comes another closely connected with them, called the Ossaeans. These are Jews like the former… originally came from Nabataea, Ituraea, Moabitis and Arielis, the lands beyond the basin of what sacred scripture called the Salt Sea… Though it is different from the other six of these seven sects, it causes schism only by forbidding the books of Moses like the Nazarean.[51]

http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/018...Essene.php

Quote: The objective of Jesus as the head of the Nazarenes was exactly what Christians have always said it was. He was trying to convert the sinners of Israel before the End. What has come to us of his attempt has come from some of his converts. He was a professional Essene, but preaching to the masses. The people who recorded Jesus’s doctrine had only a partial knowledge of it. He had no time to explain to them the finer points of Essene theology. His object was to have them repent and be ritually purified by baptism, ready for God’s Appointed Time, which would be soon! The Essenes had exactly the same aim. The differences are only apparent, because we have only an incomplete idea of the views of both Jesus and the Essenes, and the church has made its own changes later. What we do know overlaps far more than can be explained by accident.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/jlgi/jlgi05.htm


John the Baptist, the cousin of Yeshua was also a Nazarene Essene, and was in fact the leader of their branch until his death. Yeshua only took over after John was stoned.

http://www.essene.com/What is a Nazarene.htm


Now there are some differences between the Nazarene version of Essene as Yeshua and his followers are shown eating fish (in fact his early followers had been working as fishermen before leaving their families to follow the charismatic cult leader) while the Essene are strict vegetarians. Nazarenes also had a strong Messianic streak (in the true meaning of the term not the bastardised Paul of Tarsus meaning) they were politically motivated and Yeshua and John may have had designs on becoming high priest and King of Israel (John being High Priest and Yeshua becoming King) The fact that the later Roman writers sanitized the anti-gentile rebel from the character of Yeshua (one step in changing him into the Jesus Christ we know of today) is no real surprise as you can see in the Gospels themselves a shift to more anti-jewish pro-roman sentiment in the later books (John for instance is dripping with anti-semitism)

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23-06-2013, 04:16 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
It's somewhat irrelevant to this question, but the Nazirites were ascetics, and they FAR predated the Essenes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazirite

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23-06-2013, 04:22 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(23-06-2013 04:16 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It's somewhat irrelevant to this question, but the Nazirites were ascetics, and they FAR predated the Essenes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazirite

I'm just trying to be as correct as possible. I like being right about things and if I'm not right I change my position to the correct one. I noticed in the resurrection of Jesus thread that ralphellis took over that this exchange happened.

(23-06-2013 03:21 PM)maklelan Wrote:  
(23-06-2013 11:34 AM)ralphellis Wrote:  Oh, Jeezzz, you are so behind the drag-curve this is getting embarassing. Let me spell this out in words of one syllable - Nazareth did not exist in the 1st century AD.

Actually there have been settlements in and around Nazareth as far back as the Neolithic Era. The question is whether or not it was inhabited in the first century CE. The notion that it was not derives from its lack of mention in contemporary texts, which suffers from the fallacious assumption that lack of mention = non-existence (just like your notion that it's relevant to anything that Josephus doesn't mention Edessa). The actual archaeological evidence, independent of arguments from silence, quite firmly established the existence and habitation of the city of Nazareth throughout the first century CE. It just wasn't a big city. The idea that it wasn't inhabited is confined these days only to amateur circles, which deals primarily in outdated scholarship that circulates more easily for free. See here for an example of actual archaeological excavation there.

(23-06-2013 11:34 AM)ralphellis Wrote:  It was made up later, as an excuse for those - like yourself - who hated the thought of Jesus being a Nazarene.

Again, "Nazarene" and "Nazarite" are two entirely different words.

(23-06-2013 11:34 AM)ralphellis Wrote:  But we know Jesus was a Nazarene, otherwise why else did he ask the disciples to become eunuchs??

Asceticism was an early Christian ideal deriving from more Greco-Roman-oriented Christians. See Philo's De Vita contemplativa or the Qumran sectarian literature for Jewish examples of asceticism. The linking of this tradition with Jesus originated in the late first century CE.

Since maklelan seems to know his stuff I was wondering if my information was incorrect and it was easier to start a new thread than try and get in on that one.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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23-06-2013, 06:10 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(23-06-2013 04:08 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  One of the major flaws in the new testament is naming the town of Nazareth as the hometown of Jesus (Yeshua ben Josef) I believe it to have been a purposeful mistranslation of the Nazarene. . . .

I would say the position you're promoting is not built on solid methodological grounds. If you have more specific claims or evidence you'd like to share I'd be happy to take the time to respond, but I don't think I can commit the time to comprehensively respond to your whole post and the links you shared. My biggest concerns would be the following:

1 - Parallelomania, or the tendency toward equating similar looking or sounding personal and place names, philosophies, and traditions. As far back as the 60s this tendency has been criticized by scholars (see here). Ellis presents one of the most egregious and ridiculous examples of parallelomania I have ever seen. According to his series of books, Jesus was the king of Edessa and King Arthur, as well as a descendant of Cleopatra. Paul was Josephus. The linguistic and logical gymnastics required to arrive at any one of these identifications just absolutely horrifies me. They are the most irresponsible and illogical conclusions I've ever seen. One of the most prominent theories associated with parallelomania from a mainstream point of view is a genetic relationship between Qumran and Christianity. It's attractive because it provides some fertile grounds for insights into early Christianity and the development of the Christ tradition, but there's really not much that commends the theory. The Dead Sea Scrolls just happen to be the only other really significant Jewish literary corpora from the time period, and they promote a species of messianism, so it's quite natural to want to build a conceptual bridge of some kind between them and the Christ tradition. Strong connections between the two are purely speculative, no matter how secure they may be made to seem. There is nothing to suggest Jesus was an Essene, and even the notion that John the Baptist was an Essene (to say nothing of the notion that he was a leader) is at best only a probability. This leads to my next concern:

2 - The need to produce firm and groundbreaking conclusions. Scholarship is governed by a number of methodological boundaries that are intended to help theories stay within logical and evidentiary boundaries. They help us to be more secure in our conclusions, but they also limit what we can say from the evidence. Most academic discussion deals more with weighing probabilities rather than making definitive and absolute claims. On many, many occasions, however, the conclusions that hobbyists and pseudo-scholars are looking for--the really big and groundbreaking ones that obliterate this and that tradition or consensus view--lie on the other side of that limit. For those without rigorous training, those limits are almost always invisible (although the limits are glaring when it comes to the arguments of opponents), and the conclusions seem well within grasp. This leads almost invariably to fallacious and specious reasoning and speculation. The overriding drive in this speculation is usually the ostensible need to find theories that incorporate the most pieces of evidence, or make everything fit, but in reality certain pieces of evidence are always prioritized, with others manipulated to be made to fit within the model. Priority is given to evidence that supports presuppositions and biases. Mythicists, for instance, insist that Jesus didn't exist in any sense, but there's really no evidence that such is the case. There is certainly evidence that the New Testament's portrayal is thoroughly rhetorical and propagandist, but to suggest that no historical figure whatsoever lies at the root of the tradition reaches well, well beyond the evidence. For the most part, sound methodology prevents us from drawing absolute conclusions one way or another, but there are definitely dynamics within the text that problematize the notion that the character was invented from whole cloth (which conclusions requires logical leaps and assumptions anyway), and so the responsible conclusion is to place the weight of probability on the existence of some actual figure named Jesus whose story was elaborated upon through the years. I would call the conclusion that Nazareth is an intentional emendation of Nazarene purely speculative at best.

3 - The argument from silence. This tendency plagues both atheists and believers. The lack of mention of any character or toponym from any historical source is not, in and of itself, evidence of anything. Writers and annals inexplicably omit things all the time. To Ellis I pointed out that fundamentalists argue for the traditional dating of Daniel on the grounds that, among other things, the text uses the legitimately Neo-Babylonian name Belshazzar despite that character's omission from Herodotus' history. Where, they rhetorically ask, could a second century Daniel have gotten that name if not even Herodotus had access to it in his records? The assumption is that Herodotus didn't have access to it, but those fundamentalists happily ignore the fact that Herodotus also never mentions the name Nebuchadnezzar, the most famous king in Neo-Babylonian history. Certainly he had access to that name, but for some reason he omitted it.
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24-06-2013, 01:54 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
The town is "nats-aret". The prophecy was of a righteous branch of life springing from a dead tree (King David's line and the cross of Messiah). The branch is "nat-saret".

"Nat-seret" and "nats-aret". You'd have trouble discerning the difference if I said it to you aloud and you weren't a Hebrew speaker. The prophecy fulfillment is a play of words as many biblical prophecies are. This is not a falsification or mistranslation perpetrated by the author of the gospel of Matthew.

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24-06-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(23-06-2013 06:10 PM)maklelan Wrote:  3 - The argument from silence. This tendency plagues both atheists and believers. The lack of mention of any character or toponym from any historical source is not, in and of itself, evidence of anything.

Seems to me like some duplicity occurs. For instance, I can imagine a Christian arguing the above to suggest a man like Jesus existed; then later turn around and talk about Superhero Jesus. Perhaps a Jewish rabble-rouser can be overlooked (by notorious record-keepers and gossips like the Romans Dodgy ), but a resurrected superhero Jewish rabble-rouser? Tongue

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24-06-2013, 02:29 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(24-06-2013 02:10 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(23-06-2013 06:10 PM)maklelan Wrote:  3 - The argument from silence. This tendency plagues both atheists and believers. The lack of mention of any character or toponym from any historical source is not, in and of itself, evidence of anything.

Seems to me like some duplicity occurs. For instance, I can imagine a Christian arguing the above to suggest a man like Jesus existed; then later turn around and talk about Superhero Jesus. Perhaps a Jewish rabble-rouser can be overlooked (by notorious record-keepers and gossips like the Romans Dodgy ), but a resurrected superhero Jewish rabble-rouser? Tongue

This! My argument about Jesus (Yeshua Ben Josef) assumes he existed based on circumstantial evidence. Thus everything speculated about him or what he did/said is speculation. Jesus Christ of Nazareth as seen in the Bible is a myth and a composite one at that. I use the King Arthur comparison here. We think that the early Arthurian legends were based on Alfred the Great but no one thinks that he had a sword called excalibur and was advised by a wizard named Merlyn. The myths surrounding him are so built up that the original man it is based on is lost under the weight of them.

As to the argument from silence, I think the lack of any artifacts from the time period is a major point against the town having anything to do with this myth. Religious tourism makes a lot of sense here and considering the sheer amount of archeology done in the area had they ever found 1 shred of evidence the fundies would be crowing from the rooftops about it. Added to the fact that no non biblical sources even acknowledge the existence of the place for 200 years I can safely claim to be skeptical of it.

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24-06-2013, 02:30 PM (This post was last modified: 25-06-2013 04:51 PM by kim.)
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(23-06-2013 04:08 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  As to the town I am led to believe that it is just the result of religious tourism and is as much the real home of Jesus as Disneyworld is the true home of Mickey Mouse.

Speak not these false notions of DisneyWorld or DisneyLand. You will not find the birthplace of the Mouse in such fictitious places.
If you seek the truth... you seek Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City, MO. The true home (birthplace) of Mickey Mouse - at 31st & Troost.

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24-06-2013, 08:48 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(24-06-2013 02:10 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Seems to me like some duplicity occurs. For instance, I can imagine a Christian arguing the above to suggest a man like Jesus existed; then later turn around and talk about Superhero Jesus. Perhaps a Jewish rabble-rouser can be overlooked (by notorious record-keepers and gossips like the Romans Dodgy ), but a resurrected superhero Jewish rabble-rouser? Tongue

Sure, that can happen, but it can always be pointed out that.
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24-06-2013, 08:51 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(24-06-2013 02:29 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  As to the argument from silence, I think the lack of any artifacts from the time period is a major point against the town having anything to do with this myth.

But there are plenty of material remains from the time period.

(24-06-2013 02:29 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Religious tourism makes a lot of sense here and considering the sheer amount of archeology done in the area had they ever found 1 shred of evidence the fundies would be crowing from the rooftops about it. Added to the fact that no non biblical sources even acknowledge the existence of the place for 200 years I can safely claim to be skeptical of it.


You can claim to be skeptical, but not safely. Strata associated with the first century BCE and CE show habitation. That's already been pointed out. I believe someone linked to an article that basically argues that that archaeology data doesn't count since it was theists who executed the excavations, but certainly no one here takes that kind of flippant and fallacious dismissal seriously.
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