Re: [Synoptic-L] Isaiah 26:2
Please accept the thanks of an 84 year old for taking the time to answer my query and good luck with the Ph.D !
From: Jack Kilmon
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2011 2:43 PM
Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Isaiah 26:2
From: "Dennis Goffin" <mailto:d.goffin%40hotmail.co.uk>
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 4:43 AM
Subject: [Synoptic-L] Isaiah 26:2
> To:- Jack KilmonHi Dennis:
> I am investigating the term ‘nazwraios’ translated as Nazarene. My
> guess is that the Hebrew or Aramaic word rather carries the meaning
> ‘consecrated to God’ or ‘sacred initiate’ and has nothing to do with
> Nazareth, being closer to Nazarite. This is how the Mandaeans use what
> would seem to be a cognate expression. I read today that the above verse,
> in the Aramaic version of Isaiah, uses a similar word to mean ‘righteous’
> and as you are an Aramaic specialist, I thought that perhaps you could
> throw some light on the matter. I hope you don’t mind my asking you.
> Kind Regards,
> Dennis Goffin
> Chorleywood UK
I'm sorry it took me a while to get to this. At 70 years I have decided to
no longer be the "informed amateur" of these forums and am working on my
Ph.D. It turns out to be a lot of work. :) Let us deal with the "Nazirite"
I think the Church "Fathers" were confused over the distinctions between
נזיר Nazirites ναζιραῖοι and Nazarene Ναζωραῖος where the Matthean author
flipped a zeta for a tsade (Ναζαρὲτ) to conform to "Nazareth" (which was
spelled with the tsade) to force the Judges 13:5 prophecy ὅτι ἰδοὺ σὺ ἐν
γαστρὶ ἔχεις καὶ τέξῃ υἱόν καὶ σίδηρος οὐκ ἀναβήσεται ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ
ὅτι ναζιρ θεοῦ
ἔσται τὸ παιδάριον ἀπὸ τῆς κοιλίας καὶ αὐτὸς ἄρξεται τοῦ σῶσαι τὸν Ισραηλ ἐκ
χειρὸς Φυλιστιιμ "For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no
razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God
from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the
Philistines." Matthew used the LXX because he sucked at Hebrew. Even Bible
translators get confused since most translations spell it NazArite with an A
instead of NazIrite with the proper I (the zayin before the yod in "nazyr"
נזיר is with an hiriq gadhol).
I don't think we will ever know for certain what the origin of "Nazarenes"
was. I think it most likely arose from Isaiah 11:1 "netser" (branch)
because it is "netseraya" in Aramaic which perfectly
distills to Greek transliteration as Ναζωραῖος, Ναζωραίων Greek doesn't have
a tsade). We must look at the words of Isaiah 11:1 wa'yatsah choter mygeza
yeeshay weNETSER meeshereshyaw yeeparah where the "netser" (branch) of Jesse
Ιεσσαι gave rise to both the Netseraya/NAZORAIOS/Nazarenes and the
Yeeshaya/IESSAIAOI/Jesseans and I find this in Epiphanius Panarion 29
5.1-4 "For a short time they were given the name Iessaians before the
disciples in Antioch began to be called Christians (this was around 60 CE
Acts 11:26 jk ) and they were called Iessaians because of Jesse, it seems to
me, since David was from Jesse." So the Nazarenes were equated with the
Jessians making the case that both of these designations, had the same
origin in Isaiah. Also Nilus, Bishop of Ancyra, in "de monastica
exercitatione, 3 This connection is also made by E. A. Abbott "The
Beginning" (Vol 2) in "The Fourfold Gospel" (Cambridge 1914) p. 318. I
accept it since it is the most
logical connection and Ναζωραῖος perfectly fits the Greek transliteration
with the addition of the noun ending. If a group was founded by someone
considered by his followers as the "Netser
of Jesse," I can see them being called the "branchers" (Netseraya/Nazarenes)
and "Jessians" (Yeeshaya/Iessaioi).
That's my take, Dennis.
Best regards and shlama amek
San Antonio, TX
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