Specialized Areas of Interest > History: Modern & Ancient

The Search For Ancient Nazareth, Nazarenes, Nazara, Nazerites...

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Diane_:
Decided to start a new thread regarding Nazareth and Nazerites.  This thread I hope will include searches for an ancient city, town, village or school with that name and followers and names of Nazarenes, Nazerites or anything that sounds like or is related to the word.  This includes possible locations, passages from books, people, followers, etc.

Regarding Samson

Judges 13:5 New International Version (NIV)

5 You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.".

Regarding John The Baptist, (At Birth)

Luke 1:13-15 New International Version (NIV)

But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.

Regarding Paul

Acts 24:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

5 For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

Regarding Moses

Numbers 6:1-8 New International Version (NIV) The Nazirite

6 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, 3 they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. 4 As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.

5 “‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.

6 “‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. 7 Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head. 8 Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord.

I found this yesterday, and I feel it explains why these Nazarenes were considered Zealots at the time.  I've questioned if Jesus was a zealot.  Going by what was thought of the Nazarenes at the time, he more than likely would have been considered a Zealot by the ruling Sadducee and Pharisee. 


--- Quote ---The Nazarenes were a liberal, Jewish sect opposed to the strict Hebrew regime of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Nazarene culture and language were heavily influenced by the philosophers of ancient Greece, and their community supported the concept of equal opportunity for men and women. Documents of the time referred not to Nazareth but to the Nazarene society. Priestesses existed in equal opportunity with priests, but this was so different from what the male-dominated Hebrew society wanted and what the later, male-dominated Roman Church required.

It has to be remembered that Jesus was not a Christian: he was a Nazarene - a radical, westernized Jew. The Christian movement was founded by others in the wake of his own mission. The word "Christian" was first recorded and used in AD 44 in Antioch, Syria.

In the Arab world, the word used today, as then, to describe Jesus and his followers is Nazara. This is confirmed in the Muslim Koran: Jesus is Nazara; his followers are Nazara. The word means "Keepers" or "Guardians". The full definition is Nazrie ha-Brit, "Keepers of the Covenant". In fact, the Brit aspect of that is the very root of the country name of Britain. Brit-ain means "Covenant-land".

In the time of Jesus the Nazarenes lived in Galilee, and in that mystical place which the Bible calls "the Wilderness". The Wilderness was actually a very defined place. It was essentially the land around the main settlement at Qumran which spread out to Mird and other places. It was where the Dead Sea Scrolls were produced-discovered at Qumran in 1948.

Somewhere after the Crucifixion, Peter and his friend Paul went off to Antioch, then on to Rome, and they began the movement that became Christianity. But as recorded in the other annals, Jesus, his brother James and the majority of the other apostles continued the Nazarene movement and progressed it into Europe. It became the Celtic Church. The Nazarene movement as a Church is documented within the Celtic Church records as being formally implemented as the Church of Jesus in AD 37, four years after the Crucifixion. The Roman Church was formed 300 years later, after Paul and Peter’s Christians had been persecuted for three centuries.

Through many centuries the Nazarene-based Celtic Church movement was directly opposed therefore to the Church of Rome. The difference was a simple one: the Nazarene faith was based on the teachings of Jesus himself. The guts of the religion, the moral codes, the behavioral patterns, the social practices, the laws and justices related to Old Testament teaching but with a liberal message of equality in mind - this was the religion of Jesus. Roman Christianity is "Churchianity". It was not the message of Jesus that was important: this Church turned Jesus into the religion. In short, the Nazarene Church was the true social Church. The Roman Church was the Church of the Emperors and the Popes; this was the Imperial hybrid movement.
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/biblianazar/esp_biblianazar_2.htm
--- End quote ---

Fascinating! 

Diane_:
Sometimes I wonder why my little quests are so important to me.  In the long run, does it really matter?  Probably not, but I'm compelled to put myself through this for whatever reason.  Maybe one day I'll just accept there are no answers and have to go with my heart.  I just feel like I have to pass through this before I can move on.  Sound crazy?  Don't know, but onward I go.

So yesterday I found a few things I thought were interesting. The first one being that back in 1620 the Catholic Church bought up a chunk of land on a hillside above the town I suppose is modern day Nazareth.  They don't seem to have published any of the findings at that time, (nor is there mention of them looking for anything), and didn't thoroughly research the area until around 1955.  At that point they found nothing from the early first or second century.  I find that just a little hard to believe.  One would think that back in 1620 they would be looking for proof to wave around and say see...here it is.   But if the proof they found contradicted their concept of the history of Nazara then it would have been destroyed, or hidden away for as long as they want it to be. 


--- Quote ---Catholic Church
In 1620 the Catholic Church purchased an area in the Nazareth basin measuring approximately 100 m × 150 m (328.08 ft × 492.13 ft) on the side of the hill known as the Nebi Sa'in. The Franciscan priest Bellarmino Bagatti, "Director of Christian Archaeology", carried out extensive excavation of this "Venerated Area" from 1955 to 1965. Fr. Bagatti uncovered pottery dating from the Middle Bronze Age (2200 to 1500 BC) and ceramics, silos and grinding mills from the Iron Age (1500 to 586 BC) which indicated substantial settlement in the Nazareth basin at that time. However, lack of archaeological evidence for Nazareth from Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic or Early Roman times, at least in the major excavations between 1955 and 1990, shows that the settlement apparently came to an abrupt end about 720 BC, when the Assyrians destroyed many towns in the area.  wiki
--- End quote ---

There is a great deal of information that many Nazarites, including Jesus traveled back and forth from Israel to Egypt.  There was suppose to have been a school of higher learning in Egypt and in Israel.  I ran across a page on a Knights Templar site that mentions Nazara in Egypt.  But I cannot find any other reference to a "Nazara" in Egypt just yet.  I rarely give up.  I have no idea where the author of the below link got this information on Nazara in Egypt, and knowing me I will probably try to contact him after running out of all of my options.


--- Quote ---In Arab countries to this day, the word used to describe Jesus and his followers is not Christians but “Nazara”. This is confirmed in the Islamic Koran and the word means 'keepers' or 'guardians' (Knights are also known as protectors, in fact one of the Knights Templar's role was to protect travellers in the Holy Land in the 12th Century). The full definition is Nazara ha-Brit, which means  'Keepers of the Covenant'.  In fact, the “Brit” aspect of that is the very root of the country name of Britain (originally Britannia). Brit-ain actually means "Covenant-land".

The expression 'Keepers of the Covenant' is very similar to the very meaning of the very name “Knights Templars”

Remember too the account in the bible about the “Three Wise Men”? They were more accurately called “The Three Magi” known for their knowledge and Magic. A knowledge of herbs and their uses, Alchemy etc would be Magic to the uneducated. Knowledge is everything, imagine what would be thought of a common box of matches in those days, quite simply it would have been thought of as "Magic". The use of an antibiotic to cure a disease would be viewed as a Miracle. What is less well known however is that they were also known as “Nazars”. Could this connection help to explain where the name Nazarene came from?

Also, if there was an ancient city in Egypt called “Nazara” could that prove to be significant? Well, it appears that there was such a city. Quite possibly the Magi came from Nazara and were known as Nazarenes. Did these "Three Wise Men" become the teachers of Jesus "Keepers of the Knowledge" the sacred knowledge taught to initiates of the Nazara. Was "Baptism" performed by John the Baptist the initiation ceremony, or graduation of the knowledge? Evidence suggests that a well known oil (this oil has euphoric properties) was poured over the initiate prior to the cleansing in the water part of baptism, was this cleansing part to wash off the oil preventing further absorption of the oil through the skin. After the baptism many people would describe euphoric spiritual feelings. Did the oil helping to relax the subconscious and develop their spiritual connection with God cause this....

The Knights Templar used meditation daily, meditation is said to lead to higher consciousness used by Buddhists. Christianity does not mention meditation, yet the Knights Templar Order clearly used it, one can only deduce that the Knights Templar religious traditions came from a different source other than Roman Catholicism. Did the Order's traditions come from the Nazarenes, if so did the Nazarenes practice meditation? This would explain why the Roman Catholic Church destroyed them.
http://www.knightstemplar-uk.co.uk/history.html
--- End quote ---

Me thinks they were destroyed because they knew too much.  Are the Gnostics a branch off of the Nazarenes?  Or are they one and the same?  Where the dickens was Nazara in Egypt? The quest continues.  :D


Len:
I'm not so sure you're looking for a town or city, perhaps more so an association or underground organization. And in these matters the historical record usually remains silent, not only because of outside suppression, but for deliberate secrecy. You may occasionally get lucky in fact finding missions looking for the White Lodge, but more often than not you will find no more than footprints in sand... and this is quite intentional.

But on this particular subject thread, the quote below contains a clue ;) :


--- Quote --- The word "Jesus" represents an individualized level of enlightenment and experience. Christ, on the other hand represents an epithet, an explanation of the quality of enlightenment reached by "Jesus". For this reason, and in the context of Western Mysteries, "Jesus" represents the Perfect Mold, the inner workings of the purified "Substance" and the vehicle in which the path of AWAKENING the level of Christ Consciousness takes place...

The word "Consciousness" (in Syriac means Messiah and in Greek Christos means the Anointed One).

As for the word "The Nazarene", the meaning is: "He who reveals what is hidden (Truth)".

As for the word "Messiah", it has two meanings, "Christ or the Anointed One" and "The Measured One"

"Jesus" in Hebrew means "The Redemption" and the word "Nazara" means "The Truth". Thus, "The Nazarene" means "Truth". Jesus had attained "Nazirutha", perfect spiritual enlightenment, and that he also taught that path to others. Hence, Jesus and his disciples were Nazarenes or Nazoraeans: meaning, followers of the mystic path to God, or Pure Being.

The apostles before us used to employ the terms: 'Jesus the Nazoraean Messiah', which means 'Jesus, the Nazoraean, the Christ "The Anointed One".

Remember:  The last name is "Christ", the first name is "Jesus", the middle name is "The Nazarene".

Hence the Name "Jesus Christ the Nazarene" means; The Anointed One, the Giver of Truth - The Bringer and Source of Redemption - The Revealer of what is hidden - The Enlightened One who has the gift to Awaken others... .


http://www.plotinus.com/perfect_model19_copy.htm
--- End quote ---

Diane_:
Thank you Len, awesome.  ;-) 

Len:
Further clues along this line may also be found in the Gospel of Philip, which reads:

""Jesus" is a hidden name, "Christ" is a revealed name. For this reason "Jesus" is not particular to any language; rather he is always called by the name "Jesus". While as for "Christ", in Syriac it is "Messiah", in Greek it is "Christ". Certainly all the others have it according to their own language. "The Nazarene" is he who reveals what is hidden. Christ has everything in himself, whether man, or angel, or mystery, and the Father." -- Gospel of Philip

As a side note, the Gospel of Philip also disclaims the Virgin Birth, confirming Culdian claims. This book has also long been suppressed by the Orthodoxy. 

"Some said, "Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit." They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman? Mary is the virgin whom no power defiled. She is a great anathema to the Hebrews, who are the apostles and the apostolic men. This virgin whom no power defiled [...] the powers defile themselves. And the Lord would not have said "My Father who is in Heaven" (Mt 16:17), unless he had had another father, but he would have said simply "My father". " --Gospel of Philip

 ;)

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