Friday, November 14, 2014
Jesus of Nazareth
The following is a passage from a paper on Margaret Baker's website that provides some insight into a pericope from John's gospel. Here is the link to the paper, and here is the section that made an impression on me:
"The Jewish religious leaders have him arrested and
killed, but according to John, the notice on his cross did not say simply ‘The King of the Jews’. It said ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’ (John 19.19). That is how the words are usually translated. But ‘of Nazareth’ here is not the usual word Nazarēnos; it is Nazōraios, and Jesus’ followers were called Nazōreans (Acts 24.5). This suggests that the Greek word did not mean ‘of Nazareth’ but came from the Hebrew nāṣar, which meant to guard, preserve or keep. In the Talmud, Jesus was called the nôṣrî. The Nazōreans would then be the preserved or guarded people, neṣûrîm, and with different vowels, they would be the guardians or preservers, nōṣrîm, which became the Hebrew name for the Christians.
"It was also the name for those people whom the Servant of the LORD would restore.
My servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I give you as a light to the nations... (Isa.49.6)"