For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds


Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

The Greek word for “Nazarene” is Nazōraios. Some theologians believe that word has its root in the Hebrew term, Nezer, which is used in the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 11:1 and is typically translated “branch” (as in a tree branch that bears fruit). Others say it points to the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 49:6 where the Hebrew word Nezorai refers to “Him who shall both restore Israel and be a light to the Gentiles.”

Additionally, some Bible historians think Nazōraios (“Nazarene”) was actually a derogatory term when first used as a description for Jesus and his disciples. According to this theory, Jewish Christians later changed the word to Nazarenos, a title of honor which translates as “Nazaraean.”

 Olive Branch

Works Cited:

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