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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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NAZARENE. A title applied to Christ in Matthew 2:23 , apparently as a quotation from a phrophecy. Its signification is a matter of controversy. Apart from the primary meaning of the word, ‘an inhabitant of Nazareth,’ there may have been, as is often the case in prophetic quotations, a secondary meaning in allusion to the Heb. word nçtser , ‘a branch,’ in which case the reference may have been to the Messianic passage Isaiah 11:1 ; or possibly the reference may have been to the word nâtsar , ‘to save.’ The epithet, applied often in scorn (cf. John 1:48 ), was used of Christ by demoniacs ( Mark 1:24 , Luke 4:34 ), by the people generally ( Mark 10:47 , Luke 18:37 ), by the soldiers ( John 18:6-7 ), by the servants ( Matthew 26:71 , Mark 14:67 ), by Pilate ( John 19:19 ), as well as by His own followers on various occasions ( Luke 24:19 etc.). The attempt to connect the word with ‘Nazirite’ is etymologically impossible, and has no meaning as applied to Jesus Christ.

T. A. Moxon.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Nazarene'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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