Nazareth or Nazarene

Point of this Exercise:  The fact that Scriptures never refer to Yeshua as Yeshua the Nazarene, because it would suggest that he had studied under the Essenes.  Until I started researching, and even as late as this very moment, I never questioned who or what was a Nazarene, other than maybe a city, town or village.

There’s no reference to Nazareth in the Old Testament and first reference is found in Matthew.  They speak of “Jesus of Nazareth.  First mention of a town, something like the name Nazareth is in 1st century AD and the name that historians are saying is really Nazareth is a village called en-Nazirah.  Even the location of Nazareth is questionable.

The site bible-history.com provides this information:

Nazareth
Jesus grew up in Nazareth, which was a very small village near the Plain of Esdralon in Galilee. Although it is not mentioned in the Old Testament, there have been excavations revealing settlements in the area dating back to the Bronze Age, and tombs dating from the iron age to the Hasmonean period. [Still doesn’t mean it was a village called Nazareth.] The Biblical narrative reveals that Joseph and Mary lived here after their betrothal, in the announcement of Jesus’ birth came to Mary here in Nazareth (Lk 1:26). Joseph made his living here as a carpenter possibly because it was near Sepphoris, a Hellenistic city being built by Herod Antipas. [Again, this is all latter day information, that could have been edited in by those who put the books of the Bible together.]

Jesus left here at age 30 to be baptized by John (Mk 1:9), and returned to Nazareth before beginning his public ministry (Matt 4:13) and was violently rejected by the people of His town, and thus He moved on to Capernaum (Lk 4:16-30). There is no mention of Him ever returning back to His home town of Nazareth, but he was always identified with it (Matt 21:11), having been called a “Nazarene” which comes from the Hebrew root meaning “branch”, in accordance with the promises made to David that King Messiah would be a descendant (branch) from the royal line of King David.

Below is a copy of the map included with the article and if you look closely, just above Galilee on the left side of the map you will see Nazareth.  The quality of the map would indicate it certainly wasn’t put together in the first century AD. Perhaps it was pieced together with the information that the people investigating needed to be included to back up their reports or historical evidence.

Israel in New Testament Times

Nazareth is not mentioned in the OT (Old Testament). Given the OT is a precursor to the events of the NT I am surprised that Yeshua’s hometown doesn’t come up.

What’s the purpose for saying Yeshua of Nazareth.  Could it be so as not to draw attention to Yeshua’s ‘religious’ beliefs as a Nazarene, which might have occurred if he was referred to as Yeshua the Nazarene.

Whether or not he lived in Nazareth is not the point.  What I am sensing is that someone didn’t want us to know that Yeshua had studied under the Essenes.

Just saying ….

In earlier posts I shared that Yeshua was an Essene student as was John the Baptist; that to become a brother in that fellowship required 11 years of study and indoctrination to do so.

We have to ask ourselves why Yeshua put himself through 11 years of work, study, and indoctrination if Nazarethhe did not intend to incorporate and share those teachings with others? Seems to me that’s a rather simple question to answer.  It mattered to him.

Given he started his ministry at age 30 according to the Bible, and that we have a record of him visiting the Temple and astounding the teachers at age 12, somewhere between 12 and 30 years of age, he studied with the Essenes for 11 years.

I came across this Intertestamental Map of Palestine.  If you look, you will see a town Nazareth below Cana, which is below Galilee, with the notation that Nazareth is a Nazarene Essene Village.

The crop of the first map, just above clearly shows Nazareth as being located above

Intertestamental Palestine Map
Intertestamental Palestine

Galilee.

It isn’t a big thing re the location.  It simply points to the fact that people make mistakes and people can and will make changes to suit their agenda.  I am no different than any others, because (I am being honest here), I didn’t want to find a village called Nazareth because my heart and soul are so glued to the teachings I am finding through the Essenes.

One last question arises in this post which I leave for further thought.

John the Baptist was an Essene.  He baptized Yeshua.

Was this baptism the closing ceremonies, like when we graduate from high school, that welcomed Yeshua to the order of the Essenes?

5 comments

  1. I’ve never given Nazareth much thought. It seemed self-evident. But like most things these days, I find that taking a second look doesn’t hurt at all. More often then not, it is becoming clear that either we have misunderstood (by a mile) or something has changed. Must of woken up one morning and walked through a different gate.
    So far the Essene commentary has been fascinating and it parallels so much of my recent (re)learning. I equate with it very well. That second map is downright intriguing. You’re creating as you go. Your interest is opening all sorts of new avenues as you walk in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is opening all sorts of doors, for sure. I find these days that I never know what I will be drawn to, to think about and then write. Used to think it was all over the map — perhaps by world standards it is, but I have come to believe that the One who sees all, knows where this road leads to and when they all start intersecting. It’s really quite exciting; like leaving home without a roadmap or gps …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know that feeling perfectly well. I don’t read everything I can get my hands on, but am, more or less, drawn to what garners my attention. My wife and I were talking about the miraculous nature of this the other night. We always know what we need to know ahead of time. It is not by our efforts either. It is YHWH placing it right there in front of us constantly.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Absolutely – We are being lead and it is amazing how effortless YHWH has (finally made me see) made it. I just had to listen and hear, and with joy think that it will become as ‘unconscious’ as breathing; without thought. Quite the journey.

          Like

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