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However when we look for historical confirmation of this hometown of a god – surprise, surprise! – no other source confirms that the place even existed in the 1st century AD.
• Nazareth is not mentioned even once in the entire Old Testament. The Book of Joshua (19.10,16) – in what it claims is the process of settlement by the tribe of Zebulon in the area – records twelve towns and six villages and yet omits any 'Nazareth' from its list.
• The Talmud, although it names 63 Galilean towns, knows nothing of Nazareth, nor does early rabbinic literature.
• St Paul knows nothing of 'Nazareth'. Rabbi Solly's epistles (real and fake) mention Jesus 221 times, Nazareth not at all.
• No ancient historian or geographer mentions Nazareth. It is first noted at the beginning of the 4th century.
The expression 'Jesus of Nazareth' is actually a bad translation of the original Greek 'Jesous o Nazoraios'. More accurately, we should speak of 'Jesus the Nazarene' where Nazarene has a meaning quite unrelated to a place name. But just what is that meaning and how did it get applied to a small village? The highly ambiguous Hebrew root of the name is NZR.
The 2nd century gnostic Gospel of Philip offers this explanation:
'The apostles that came before us called him Jesus Nazarene the Christ ..."Nazara" is the "Truth". Therefore 'Nazarene' is "The One of the Truth" ...'
(Gospel of Philip, 47)
What we do know is that 'Nazarene' was originally the name of an early Jewish-Christian sect – a faction, or off-shoot, of the Essenes. They had no particular relation to a city of Nazareth. The root of their name may have been 'Truth' or it may have been the Hebrew noun 'netser' ('netzor'), meaning 'branch' or 'flower.' The plural of 'Netzor' becomes 'Netzoreem.'
The Essenes were a third religious sect during the time of Christ that lived away from the towns. Instead they lived in simple communities. The Essenes practiced the seventh day sabbath, believed in reincarnation, non-violence to all living creatures and the sharing of all material possesions. They were uninvolved in the politics of the Sadducees and Pharisees and shunned publicity. Because of the discovery of dead sea scroll material, this ancient sect and their teachings are back alive. The dead sea scrolls were hidden by this ancient people long ago in the caves of Qumram. Josephus writing around 80 A.D. said that the Essenes were Jews by birth but seemed to have a greater affection for one another than they did for the Pharisees and Sadducees. Their piety toward God was extraordinary. They wore chitw garments. They used no profanity. They were ministers of peace and they spent a great deal of time studying the writings of the ancients.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1945, yet it took 50 years for the information to leak out about thes extraordinary people. What was so shocking to the scholars who examined the ancient documents was that there was a community of people practicing Christianity, or something very close to it, for at least 200 years before the time of Christ. Both the practice of baptism and of the sharing of the wine are recorded as part of their practices long before Jesus and John the Baptist popularized them.
"They possess nothing of their own, not house, field, slave nor flocks, nor anything which feeds and procures wealth. They live together in brotherhoods, and eat in common together. Everything they do is for the common good of the group. They work at many different jobs and attack their work with amazing zeal and dedication, working from before sunrise to almost sunset without complaint, but in obvious exhilaration. Their exercise is their work. Indeed, they believe their own training to be more agreeable to body and soul, and more lasting, than athletic games, since their exercises remain fitted to their age, even when the body no longer possesses its full strength"
"They neither buy nor sell anything among themselves. They give to each other freely and feel no need to repay anything in exchange. Before sunrise they recite certain ancestral prayers to the sun as though entreating it to rise. They work until about 11 A.M. when they put on ritual loincloths and bathe for purification. Then they enter a communal hall,where no one else is allowed,and eat only one bowlful of food for each man, ! together with their loaves of bread. They eat in silence. Afterwards they lay aside their sacred garment and go back to work until the evening. At evening they partake dinner in the same manner. During meals they are sober and quiet and their silence seems a great mystery to people outside. Their food and drink are so measured out that they are satisfied but no more. They see bodily pleasure as sinful. On the whole they do nothing unless ordered by their superiors, but two things they are allowed to do on their own discretion: to help those 'worthy of help', and to offer food to the needy. They are not allowed, however, to help members of their own families without permission from superiors. They are very careful not to exhibit their anger, carefully controlling such outbursts. They are very loyal and are peacemakers. They refuse to swear oaths, believing every word they speak to be stronger than an oath. They are scrupulous students of the ancient literature. They are ardent students in the healing of diseases, of the roots offering protection, and of the properties of stones. Those desiring to enter the sect are not allowed immediate entrance. They are made to wait outside for a period of one year."
"They believe that their souls are immortal, but that their bodies are corruptible. They believe the soul is trapped in the body and is freed with death. "
"Some of the Essenes became expert in forecasting the future."
"When they enter the sect, they must surrender all of their money and possessions into the common fund, to be put at the disposal of everyone; one single property for the whole group. Therefore neither the humiliation of poverty nor the pride of possession is to be seen anywhere among them."
The first reference to the Essenes comes from Josephus, writing about the death of Antigonus in 103 B.C. Josephus relates that the Essenes had an uncanny ability to successfully predict future events, and that the death of Antigonus at the hands of his brother, Aristobulus, ruler of Judea, had been accurately forecast by an Essene named Judas. (2.)
Josephus states that 'Judas was an Essene born and bred, indicating that he had been born into the movement at least a few decades earlier.
Their theology was dominated by apocalyptic ideas, in which there were confrontations between God (the power of light) and Belial (the power of the earth and darkness). The Essenes saw themselves as the soldiers of God, and they prepared for participation in battle.
5000 years ago, ancient spiritual tradition of India spoke of a universal source of all life. The energy called prana. This universal energy is the breath of life moves through all forms to give them life. Yogis work with this energy with breathing techniques, meditation, and physical exercise to produce altered states of consciousness and longevity
3,000 years ago, the ancient Qigong masters in China were practicing their meditative discipline to balance and invigorate the human energy field. They called this vital energy that pervades all forms, both animate and inanimate, Qi. The Qi is the vital energy of the body; while gong means the skill of moving this Qi and working with it. Practitioners use mind control to move and control the Qi to not only improve health and longevity, but also to enhance awareness, psychic powers, and spiritual development. The ancient Qigong masters also developed Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and the martial arts. In addition, they made the first model for acupuncture. Acupuncturists insert needles, or use moxa, or put magnets at specific acupuncture points to balance the yin and yang of the human energy field. When the Qi is balanced, the entity has good health. When the Qi is unbalanced, the entity has poor or impaired health.
The Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical teachings written about 538 B.C., calls these energies the astral light. Later on, Christian paintings and sculptures show a halo around the head of Christ and other spiritual leaders. Similarly, we see this halo on statues and paintings of Buddha, and also see energy or light coming from the fingers of many of the gods of India.
The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
In 1887, a Russian, Nicholas Notovich, journeyed to India to study Hindu culture. (Today we would call him an anthropologist.) Eventually Notovich arrived in Ladakh on the northern border of India, from whence he intended to return to Russia through Karakorum and Chinese Turkestan. While in Ladakh he was told by the abbot of a Buddhist monastery that manuscripts recording the life of Jesus were to be found in Lhasa-at that time absolutely closed to any "white" man, as was the entire country of Tibet. Despite this prohibition, Notovich determined to force his way to Lhasa in search of the rumored records. While still in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, Notovich visited the monastery of Himis and spoke with its abbot. When he asked the abbot if he knew anything of Isha, was amazed to receive this reply:
"The name of Isha is held in great respect by the Buddhists, But little is known about him save by the chief lamas, who have read the scrolls relative to his life....Among [the manuscripts of our monastery library] are to be found descriptions of the life and acts of the Buddha Isha, who preached the holy doctrine in India and among the children of Israel and who was put to death by the pagans, whose descendants have since embraced the tenets he then propagated,....
"The great Buddha, Soul of the Universe is the incarnation of Brahma. He remains almost always in passivity, preserving within himself all things from the beginning of time, and his breath vivifies the world. Having abandoned man to his own resources, he yet at certain epochs comes forth from his inertia, taking upon himself a human form to save his creatures from irremediable ruin.
"During his earthly existence, Buddha crates a new world among his scattered people. And after having fulfilled his task, he leaves the earth to reassume his invisible condition and his life of perfect bliss.
"Three thousand years ago, the great Buddha became incarnate in the celebrated prince Sakyamuni, thus continuing the scheme of his twenty incarnations....Simultaneously with the advent of Buddhism in China, its tenets were diffused amongst the Israelites [by Isha].
"Nearly two thousand years ago the perfect Being, again breaking through his state of inaction, became incarnate in the newborn infant of a poor family. It was his will that a child in simple words should enlighten the ignorant as to the life eternal-by his own example, bringing men back to the ways of truth in setting before them the paths most surely leading to the attainment of moral purity.
"When the holy child was still a boy, he was taken to India, where until manhood he studied the laws of the great Buddha who dwells eternally in heaven....
"The documents [about Isha] brought from India to Nepal and from Nepal to Tibet concerning his existence are written in the Pali language and are now in Lhasa. But a copy in our language-that is, the Tibetan-exists in this monastery."
Originally posted by C.C.Benjamin
I recall reading somewhere that Jesus was a Nazarene, a religious sect, and that Nazareth was named so because of all the Nazarene's there, not the other way around.
This implies some kind of Mystery Religion in my mind, and portrays Jesus as the renegade sect leader who began giving away secrets of healing and magic to all and sundry. No wonder they had him killed.
Originally posted by splendourinthegrass
Nazareth is an Aramaic and Hebrew word for LILY.
Originally posted by Hollywood11
It seems to go even further. The whole idea of the even being an actual city of Nazareth was a mistranslation of the original greek text the bible was written in.
Then 400 years later a town was built to match the theology that had developed in the church
Originally posted by Hollywood11
As far as I'm aware there is no archaeological evidence of a Gallilean town by that name prior to the 4th century, this is why some people haved called it "the town theology built". A town called Nazareth exists now, but no proof it existed at the time of Jesus.
The oldest texts of the NT are all Greek, so the greek translations are what we have to look at to understand the true meaning. It's appears to pretty much be a misinterpretation of the meaning of "nazarene".
[edit on 6-7-2008 by Hollywood11]