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For Talmid: The Nazarenes/Messianic Jews

Discussion in 'Messianic Judaism' started by MissytheButterfly, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    Talmid, I noticed before and recently sometimes (and please correct me if I am wrong) but you state that Messianics stem from Nazarenes or are the same as Nazarenes some how.. something along those lines

    sort of like this:
    As if you believe Nazarenes and Messianic Jews are the same.

    I would like to know why you believe this (if you do indeed believe it) ?

     Could you please give some sources for this belief ?

    Do you believe that Messianic believers are Christians ?

    When you say Nazarene's are you using this definition:

    Nazarene, term used of the early Christians. Jesus was sometimes referred to as a Nazarene, alluding to his home town, Nazareth. This usage occurs several times in the New Testament. Nazarene is also used of Christians in the Qur'an. (source: http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0835049.html )

    or are you saying Messianics are Nazarites as in Numbers 6:2-21 ? One's that did this: The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead. (source: http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/nazarite.html )

    Note: I don't mind anyone jumping in and adding their opinion. I was just asking Talmid specifically because I have seen him refer to "Nazarenes/Messianic Jews".  
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  2. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    Okay.. here is the other question Talmid.. i thought would be better suited here as not to mess up the MJ/Calvinism thread.

    You said this:
    I was under the impression that Jews were the first century believers and the Gentiles broke away in the second century from Jewish beliefs hence a split came then Constantine decided to do away with Judaism and made it law for the religion to be Christianity as we know it today. In other words there was no Christian church per se, Jews and Gentiles worshipped the same until the whole split happened.

    So are you saying that the Nazarene sect was just a part of the Christian church that we know today or was the early Christian church different than what we know of today as the Christian church ?

    You also said this:
  3. Talmid HaYarok

    Talmid HaYarok Active Member

    I'm referring to the Nazarene Sect of Judaism which spawned Christianity. Its referred to in the book of Acts, and a multitude of other historical writings. This is what the Jews who followed Yeshua were originally called, because they were followers of Yeshua the Nazarene.

    At the time, the number of Jews who were "Messianic" with the Messiah down the street probably couldn't be counted. Just as in the same day no Jew would have called himself "Orthodox", but were divided into numerous sects and movements.

    Messianic, Orthodox, etc. are all relatively modern terms for groups that really haven't changed all that much.

    Messianic Gentile is synonymous with Christian in my mind except that a Messianic Gentile is generally part of a Messianic Jewish congregation.

    If this doesn't satisfy you then I'll look up sources after the Sabbath.
  4. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    Okay.. so where in Acts do you mean ? .. because in Acts as far as Christians are concerned I only know of these 2 verses in Acts about Christians: "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called <B>Christians</B> first in Antioch." (acts 11:26)

    "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." (acts 26:28)

    And reguarding Nazarenes in Acts is this:&nbsp;(Acts 24:5)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

    Also, I really don't understand how Messianic Gentile is synonymous with Christian if Messianic Gentiles do not live like Christians of today. In other words, Messianic Gentiles that are Torah observant, keep the feasts, kashrut law, etc, etc. When Christians of today mainly don't do any of that. (and yes I do know all Messianic Gentiles do not follow the Torah and so forth)

    Also I would like to point out that the majority of Messianics believers&nbsp;are Gentiles, not Jews.. so in light of that.. where exactly do you get they are generally a part of a Messianic Jewish congregation? If a Messianic congregation is predominately Gentile, and in your mind Messianic Gentiles are just Christians, then wouldn't a Messianic Gentile just be in a Christian church, not a Messianic congregation ? At least if you see Messianic Gentiles as being just Christians...

    And if the Nazarene's "spawned" Christianity, and the Jews that followed Yeshua were called Nazarenes as you say, wouldn't that just make them simply Christians but happen to be of Jewish descent ? Because what would really make them different besides the fact that they are Jewish because they have Jewish parents.

    I guess I am not understanding how you are making your distinction: A) You are saying Messianic Jews and Nazarenes are the same. B) You are saying&nbsp;Messianic Gentiles are not the same as Messianic Jews and are really just Christians, and C). Followers of Yeshua that were Jews were Nazarenes which some how makes them different than Messianic Gentiles simply because they are not of Jewish origin. (Please correct and elaborate if this is not what you are trying to convey)

    So yes, I think I need you to elaborate more on this issue if you would be so kind.. and also could you please explain exactly what your believe a Christian is.. meaning I want to know who is a Christian and how do they live and worship in your personal&nbsp;opinion&nbsp;?




  5. Talmid HaYarok

    Talmid HaYarok Active Member

    Yes, the verse about Stephen is the one I was referring to. Agrippa was of course a Gentile and not a Nazarene Jew.

    In those times "Jew" was strictly an ethnic term. Even converts to Rabbinic Judaism were called Proselytes and not Jews. The original Talmidei Yeshua were referred to as Nazarenes in all historical works. When you have a mix of Gentiles and Jews then they usually use the term for whichever ethnic group was predominant.

    The First Jerusalem council covered the issue of Judaizers, of which there are still a number of those congregations in the middle-east today. They still hold that a gentile must convert to Judaism to be a true follower of the Lord and keep all the commandments and feasts. These people entered into the Mosaic covenant and became counted among the Jews. The Jersualem council determined that this wasn't necessary and tried to stop the practice as it wasn't beneficial (not bad, just not beneficial).

    The Christians were the Gentiles who followed Yeshua as the Messiah but did not become part of the Mosaic covenant. Nazarenes were the Jews who were born in the Mosaic covenant but also accepted Yeshua as Lord and Messiah.


    A) Messianic and Nazarene have a huge overlap of meaning. For most intents and purposes they are the same and it can be used that way in common meaning.

    B) Messianic Gentiles and Christians would have been the same thing 1900 years ago. So I personally use the words interchangably.

    C) Was a confusing question. Yes, initially all the known followers of Yeshua were Jewish and became referred to as the "Nazarene Sect" (because they followed the Yeshua the Nazarene). They are different because they are Jews, but no lesser nor greater because of it.

    Are we getting somewhere now I hope?
  6. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    Hmmm.. That's interesting.. my Rabbi (who is 100% Jewish) doesn't seem to agree though.

    But I have to ask.. if you believe Messianic Gentiles are just Christians how is it then appropriate for you to answer the questions in the Messianic FAQ section because as you know some Messianics would highly disagree with you including Messianic Jews, my rabbi for one ???

    And also just because a group has a huge overlap doesn't mean they are the neccessarily the same. And you personally also don't know if Messianic Gentiles would be labeled Christians so you cannot honestly claim that.. furthermore Christians wasn't a term that Jews used.. it was a term used by Romans derogatorily for those that followed Yeshua.

    Also how do we know YOU are an authority to say what is Messianic and what is not and who is and who isn't ? Because according to the MJAA which is the the largest association of Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua in the world doesn't seem to agree either..

    It says this: "Gentiles who place their faith in Yeshua, are "grafted into" the Jewish olive tree of faith (Rom. 11:17-25) becoming spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham (Gal. 3:28-29)." and this "We acknowledge that the New Covenant body of believers is composed of both Jews and Gentiles who have received Yeshua the Messiah as the Promised Redeemer. The "middle wall of partition" has been broken down and now we worship the God of Israel together (I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:13-14). "

    Source: www.mjaa.org (Their Statement of Faith)

    So no, I don't think we really got anywhere. And in light of your thoughts shared here.. I have to say I have a BIG issue with you being the one answering all the questions in the Messianic FAQ.. but then again, I always have because I haven't agreed with some of the statements you have made on certain topics in the Messianic area of this board specifically concerning Jewish teachings. (No offense). And I also would say plenty of Messianic Jews would take issue with you claim that Messianic Gentiles would just be considered Christians.

    In history, Jews that believed in Yeshua as Messiah refered to themselves as saints or believers and non-Jews that believed were not referred to as Christians by Jews either.. others labeled them Christians, or Sects, etc.. not actually believers...

    Lastly, I have no idea what you mean about Stephen.

    Acts 24:5 refers to Paul, not Stephen.
    Acts 24: 1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
    2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
    3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
    4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
    5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
    6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.

    Also in Acts 11 still isn't talking about Stephen :
    25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
    26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

    Acts 6, 7, 8, 11, and 22 seem to be the only passages in Bible that refer to Stephen.. and in Acts 7 is the end of where he was alived because he was stoned for his faith..and as I know is touted as being the first martyr.

    Also, yes, Agrippa was not a Jew. But he does not say, "Paul, though persuadest me to be a Christian." it says, "Though ALMOST...." So at least at that particular time it doesn't seem Agrippa became a Christian. And note: he used the term Christian.. not Paul.

    So I don't understand about Stephen at all. You will have to enlighten me on your thoughts reguarding him and how he ties into this..

  7. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    I have done some reading up on the sect of Nazarenes and it seems that if you look at it in the way that you seem to Talmid, it would lead to the fact that anyone in the sect of the Nazarenes would be a Christian. Why ? Because people labeled Christians in the first century seemed to keep the same practice as original Jews, the only difference was that they believed in Yeshua as Messiah. Christian, Nazarene, and Messianic could be used interchangable if you look at it in the way you seem to state reguardless of whether you are a Jew or not. As we know Paul was a Jew, but Agrippa refered to him as if he was a Christian.. when he made the statement about almost persuading him... but not again Agrippa used the term, not Paul.

    So if you make the statement that Gentile believers are considered just Christians the same can be said of Jewish Nazarenes using your logic.

    Check this out:

    "The Ebionite/Nazarene movement was made up of the mostly Jewish/Israelite, followers of John the Baptizer, and later Jesus, who were concentrated in Palestine and surrounding regions, and led by “James the Just,” oldest brother of Jesus, flourishing between the years 30-80 CE. They were zealous for the Torah, and continued to walk in all the mitzvot (commandments) as enlightened by their Rabbi and Teacher, accepting non-Jews into their fellowship on the basis of some version of the Noachide Laws (Acts 15 and 21). The term Ebionite (from Hebrew ’Evyonim) means “Poor Ones,” and was taken from the teachings of Jesus: Blessed are you Poor Ones, for yours is the Kingdom of God” based on Isaiah 66:2 and other related texts that address a remnant group of faithful ones. Nazarene comes from the Hebrew word Netzer, drawn from Isa 11:1 and means a Branch—so the Nazarenes were the “Branchites,” or followers of the one they believed to be the Branch. The term Nazarene was likely the one first used for these followers of Jesus, as evidenced by Acts 24:5 where Paul is called “the ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.” Here we see the word used in a similar way to that of Josephus in writing of the four sects/schools of Judaism: Pharisees; Sadducess; Essenes; and Zealots. So the term Nazarene is probably the best and broadest term for the movement, while Ebionite (Poor Ones) was used as well, along with a whole list of other terms: Saints, Children of Light, the Way, New Covenanters, et al. We also know from the book of Acts that the group itself preferred the designation “The Way” (see Acts 24:14;22, etc.). The term “Christian,” first used in Greek speaking areas for the movement, actually is an attempt to translate the term Nazarene, and basically means a “Messianist.”

    As far as “beliefs” of the Ebionites, the documents of the New Testament, critically evaluated, are among our best sources. There are fragments and quotations surviving from their Hebrew Gospel tradition (see see A. F. J. Klijn, Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition, E. J. Brill, 1992), as well as the text of “Hebrew Matthew” preserved by Ibn Shaprut, and now published in a critical edition by George Howard (The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, Mercer University Press, 1995). Based on what we can reliably put together from other sources we can say the Ebionite/Nazarene movement could be distinguished by the following views:

    1. Jesus as the Prophet like Moses, or True Teacher (but not to be confused with YHVH God of Israel), who will anoint his Messiahs on his right and left hand when he is revealed in power following his rejection and death. These two figures, the Davidic Nasi (Prince of the Yachad) and Priest, will rule with him in the Kingdom of God.

    2. Disdain for eating meat and even the Temple slaughter of animals, preferring the ideals of the pre-Flood diet and what they took to be the original ideal of worship (see Gen 9:1-5; Jer 7:21-22; Isa 11:9; 66:1-4). A general interest in seeking the Path reflected in the pre-Sinai revelation, especially the time from Enoch to Noah. For example, divorce was shunned, even though technically it was later allowed by Moses.

    3. Dedication to following the whole Torah, as applicable to Israel and to Gentiles, but through the “easy yoke” halacha of their Teacher Jesus, which emphasized the Spirit of the Biblical Prophets in a restoration of the “True Faith,” the Ancient Paths (Jeremiah 6:16), from which, by and large, they believed the establishment Jewish groups of 2nd Temple times had lost.

    4. Rejection of the “doctrines and traditions” of men, which they believed had been added to the pure Torah of Moses, including scribal alterations of the texts of Scripture (Jeremiah 8:8).

  8. Ruhama

    Ruhama 25 'הושע ב

    Ok let me step in a sec... Missy I don't think Talmid's going to just dismiss your beliefs because he feels like it, don't worry! I think he's made it clear that this FAQ is for all of us, and it's just as easy to post multiple answers as it is to post just one. Some people share your beliefs and others don't, so I think all should be given mention if the topic is truly controversial.

    There's still plenty of time before the faq is finalized, anyway, so nothing's set in stone.&nbsp;
  9. Krys Tamar

    Krys Tamar New Member

    Interesting thread here...though it seems as if we are arguing semantics. To break it down from how I understand it from what has been presented here:
    1) Jews - those who follow Mosaic law and are blood descendents of Abraham (the actual word probably stems from the use of the Roman word Judea to describe the territory of the Jews. It is called Judea from the Kingdom of Judah which was the southern half of the two kingdoms of the Hebrews. The so called "lost tribes" of Israel were from the northern kingdom of Israel. Israel was taken by Assyria and its people scattered, Judah was taken by Babylonia and when Persia took over Babylon, the people of Judah, i.e. Jews, were allowed to return.)

    2) Christians (as it appears to be defined by Talmid) - those Gentile followers of Christ who do not accept Mosaic law.

    3) Nazarenes - Jews who follow Jesus Christ regardless of Mosaic law (meaning they are neither for nor against)

    4) Messianists - Jews who follow Jesus Christ and "keep kosher"

    5) Messianic Gentiles - Gentiles who follow Jesus Christ and "keep kosher"

    Essentially, in today's English...the last four are considered Christians, i.e. followers of Christ. Calling us by anyother name does not change who were are though we may express our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in different fashions. If the argument is about something other than this...it is lost on me.
  10. Talmid HaYarok

    Talmid HaYarok Active Member


    I would not say the early Christians were against Mosaic law either. Rather, Mosaic law was for those under the Mosaic covenant - The Jews. How else do you interpret the findings of the first Jerusalem council?

    Nazarenes Jews: Jews who followed Yeshua AND kept the Mosaic Law. Nowhere in the Bible is it ever taught.

    Messianists is a new one to me.

    Messianics (in general): Those who believe the Messiah has come, whoever it may have been. In common Christian usage it usually refers to Jews that follow Yeshua. It would be equally valid (and is used the general usage in Israel) to apply to Chabad Lubavitchers or the followers of Bar Kochba.

    Semantics, annoying but generally essential to any debate which seeks understanding.

    Welcome to the Messianic Judaism forum Krys Tamar!
  11. Krys Tamar

    Krys Tamar New Member

    Yeah...my bad...but you know what I meant. :)

    Well thank you very much.
  12. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!


    No offense but I didn't say he was or wasn't. I asked a question.. it's different than making a statement. And I am hardly worried, I just wanted to know.

    And I know nothing is set in stone.. hence why I am asking now before it even gets to someone posting and thinking they are the authority on something..

  13. Ruhama

    Ruhama 25 'הושע ב

    You've been talking about this a lot in threads, and asking questions that sounded like you thought Talmid wouldn't respect your wishes. Maybe my bad, but that's how it came across to me.
  14. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    Ruhama, I wasn't asking him to respect my wishes or not to.. I was inquiring about where his head is on this matter... that is all.