“He will be called a Nazarean.” Mt 2:23

“This sect of Nazareans is to be found in Beroea near Coelesyria, in the Decapolis near Pella, and in Bashanitis at the place called…Khokhabe in Hebrew.” Bishop Epiphanius (c. 375 AD)

As described by Epiphanius, a Roman Catholic Bishop of the 4th Century:

“This sect1)The 1st Century Jewish Historian, Josephus, identified four main sects of Judaism: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots. Out of these groups and their subgroups came forth the sect of Yahshua the Nazarean, the Messiah. A clue of Yoseph and Miriam’s sub-sect of Essenes is found in Josephus’ “Wars of the Jews” Chapter 2.8.13. Here a three year spousal trial is described. It was during this trial period that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Miriam, while she was still a virgin, before they had “come together” under the same roof and conceived Yahshua by holy inspiration.of Nazareans…also were called Yesseans, I suppose3)He is not sure about the reason, but speculates. because of Jesse4)Yesseans actually referred to Essenes. Among the enemies of Yahshua were a particular class of Scribes, who in some way, were offshoots associated with the Zadokite Priests of Qumran of the Judean Desert. These were derogatively nicknamed as Herodians (Mk 3:6; 12:13; Mt 22:16; 23:1-2). He broke from their extremist views and became a target for assassination. Yahshua was rather from Nazareth in Galilee and part of the Essenes of Mt Carmel nearby.
… since David was descended from Jesse [of the tribe of Judah]2)Yahshua was indeed a “firstborn” son. As such, he was claimed by God, like the firstfruits, and appointed as part of the priesthood of Levi. To exempt a firstborn from this Levitical priesthood, the father had to purchase (redeem) the child from Yahweh with silver. If this redemption price was not paid, the child by default was part of the Levitical priesthood as did the prophet Samuel. Yoseph probably did not pay this redemption money for Yahshua, and thus he was a Levitical priest.

“And Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.” Ruth 4:22
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch (naytser) from his roots shall bear fruit.” Is 11:1;
“The disciples were first called Christianos in Antioch [in Syria].” Acts 11:26

… these sectarians… did not call themselves [primarily by the Greek word] Christianos – but [by the Hebrew word] ‘Nazoraeans’ [Natsârím]…

For we have found this man [Sha’ul/Paul] to be a public menace and one who causes riots among all the Jews throughout the Roman Empire and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazareans/Natsârím.. Acts 24:5

“…they are not in accord with Christians [as defined under gentile councils] …they are nothing but Jews… [in ways] different from the [Rabbinical and other] Jews and [in ways] different from Christians [such as Bishop Epiphanius himself–who had been unified by the sword of the Roman Emperor Constantine and his successors, and who systematically murdered the Nazareans and their leadership. Epiphanius continues]…

  • They have the Gospel according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. [Acts 26:14 ]5)Hebrew and Aramaic (a sister language to Hebrew) were the primary languages in Israel. Jerome apparently translated this Hebrew Matthew into Latin, but it subsequently disappeared. He, Epiphanius, and others, quoted verses from it numerous times, citing verses that were not in the Greek Version. These quotes can be inserted back into the Greek text. For it is clear that they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written…6)The Lost Original Hebrew-Aramaic Source(s) and the inter-relationships between the Canonical Greek Gospels of the New Testament are a source of constant research by scholars.
  • they are still fettered by the Law [Torah] – Circumcision, the Sabbath [Saturday], and the rest…7)They understood that although a New Covenant/Contract was established with the Messiah, the laws were still to be written upon their hearts and minds as foretold by the prophets. The Gentile Christians distorted Sha’ul/Paul’s writings and used that distorted view as the basis for their new ideology. Nazareans/Ebionites rejected their distorted version of Sha’ul. Wherefore, we have retranslated, for example, the Epistle to the Galatians, restoring its original message.
  • as to Christ [Messiah; Mashíach], I cannot say whether…they regard him as a mere man [born of both Joseph and Mary, or, was born only by ‘the ever-virgin’ by the holy spirit]…”8)We have the testimony from Justin Martyr in about 160 A.D., and others, who said that they believe Y’Shua was conceived and born from the normal married union of Joseph and Mary. Obviously, then, the Hebrew Gospels that they possessed, did not reflect a “virgin birth” as it began to be taught by gentile Christianity. We have reconstructed the original scenario based upon earlier Aramaic manuscripts.
  • They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do…
  • They have no different ideas but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in [similarity to] the Jewish fashion…9)As in the 7-Rules of Hillel or the 4-Levels of Interpretation known as PaRDeS
  • For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that God is one, and that his son is Jesus the Christ.
  • They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew. For among them the entire Law, the Prophets, and the… Writings… are read in Hebrew, as they surely are by the Jews…”
  • “This sect of Nazareans is to be found in Beroea near Coelesyria, [Lebanon-Syria] in the Decapolis near Pella [Northern Jordan South of the Galilee], and in Bashanitis [west of the Sea of Galilee] at the place called…Khokhabe in Hebrew.” ….

Attested to by Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis (310-403) in Panarion 29 6:1—7:8 (ca. 375 AD); Apologist of Nicene-Constantinople Christianity [Brackets Mine and slightly reorganized] Close in his assessments but not exact!

The Torah [instruction] of Yahweh is perfect, restoring the soul; The Testimony of Yahweh is faithful, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7

The Anointed King-Priest Yahshua, Son of Yoseph and Miriam, descendent of King David, the Firstborn Son , whom the God of Israel raised from among the dead into immortality, said to those who would misinterpret him:

17 Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Nevi’im (the Law and Prophets):I did not come to abolish; rather to fullfill [to bring them into their fullness].
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and the earth passes away, one yod or one tittle will by
no means pass from the Torah and the Prophets till all things come to pass written therein. 19 Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men to do so, will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them, he will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Matthew 5:17; 18; 19;

The Pope meets with the Nazareans

In 312 A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine, saw a vision of a cross in “the heavens above the sun and bearing the inscription CONQUER BY THIS.” (This was according to him and Bishop Eusebius, his “mythmaker”)10)Carroll, James; Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History; Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, New York, 2001, pp 175, 178 From this time he united with “Pope” Silvester I , to make Roman Catholicism the religion of the empire. The first step was to stop the persecution, torture, and murder of Christians, in general. The “Edict of Milan” was issued commanding an official tolerance of Pagans, Christians, and Jews,. He ordered a Council at Rome that took place in 314—–“The Council of Arles”. 11)See: https://www.fourthcentury.com/arles-314-canons/ Accessed 2019This began to establish the Roman Church as supreme along with its calendar , with Easter Sunday rather than the Jewish Nazarean Passover celebration. In 315, he forbade Jewish proselyting of Christians, as a step toward isolating the Jewish Nazareans. Then, In 318 A.D., a meeting between Sylvester and Jewish Nazarean leaders took place. Constantine provided for their trip to Rome. The Emperor Constantine later convoked the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., in which, he presided as absolute and sole Caesar, and no Nazareans were present. The centrality of the Cross, and the Catholic Confessional Creed and the, later, IHS symbol, established there reached its final form in the year 381, and thus, the transformation was completed that he gradually enforced. In 326, Constantine murdered his wife and his firstborn son.

Roman Catholic Jesuit Professor, Malachi Martin admits: “The Jewish Christians [Nazaræans] … occupied the oldest Christian churches in the Middle East and whose leaders were always from the family of Jesus [Yahwshúa] himself…their first Bishop was James [Ya’aqov his brother] … “The issue that arose between Sylvester and the Jewish Christians [the Nazaræans] was nothing less than the whole nature of the church. A meeting between [Pope] Silvester [who had recently entered into league with Emperor Constantine] and the Jewish Christian leaders took place in the year 318. The emperor provided sea transport for eight [of them] … Sylvester spoke to them in Greek—he could not understand their Aramaic; they had little or no Latin. The vital interview was not, so far as we know, recorded, but the issues were very well known, and it is probable that Joses [Joseph], the oldest of the Christian Jews, spoke on behalf of the desposyni and the rest.”

“That most hallowed name, desposyni, had been respected by all believers in the first century and a half of Christian history. The word literally meant, in Greek, “belonging to the Lord.” It was reserved uniquely for Jesus’ blood relatives. Every part of the ancient Jewish Christian church had always been governed by a desposynos, and each of them carried one of the names traditional in Jesus’ family—Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Simeon, Matthias, and so on. But no one was ever called Jesus. Neither Silvester nor any of the thirty-two popes before him, nor those succeeding him, ever emphasized that there were at least three well-known and suthentic lines of legitimate blood descendants from Jesus’ own family. One from Joachim and Anna, Jesus’ maternal grandparents. One from Elizabeth, first cousin of Jesus’ mother, Mary, and Elizabeth’s husband, Zachary. And one from Cleophas and his wife, who also was a first cousin of Mary. There were, of course, numerous blood descendants of Joseph, Mary’s husband, but only persons in bloodline with Jesus through his mother qualified as desposyni.12)Caution: some of this is Roman Catholic spin-doctoring, in accordance with their “Ever-Virgin” Mary doctrines. All of them had clung to Jesus and to his mother, and when both these had gone, to the first Christian community, in Jerusalem from the beginning and, later, throughout the Middle East. …. “

“Ever since the Emperor Hadrian had conquered Jerusalem in the year 135, all Jews, and that included Jewish Christians, had been forbidden to enter Jerusalem under pain of instant death. That ban had not yet been lifted, at the time of Silvester’s meeting with the Jewish Christians.”

“Sylvester knew their history well. Jewish Christians had composed the only church ever in Jerusalem until the year 135. They left it only once in 102 years following Jesus’ death, just before the city’s capture by the Emperor Titus. Led by their bishop, Simeon, son of Cleophas, who was Jesus’ uncle by marriage, they had fled to Perea (in modern Jordan). In A.D. 72 they had returned to Jerusalem and had remained there until Hadrian’s ban. After that, Jewish Christian churches were set up all over Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia, but they were always hated by the local synagogues as apostates of Judaism, and always in quarrel with Greek Christians who refused to be circumcised and observe the Torah—things the Jewish Christians insisted on.” [Recall the description above of these Nazareans by Bishop Epiphanius.]

“They therefore asked Silvester to revoke the confirmation of Greek Christian bishops in Jerusalem, in Antioch, in Ephesus, in Alexandria, and to name instead desposynos bishops.”

“In addition, they asked that the Christian practice of sending cash contributions to the desposynos church in Jerusalem as the mother church of Christianity, which had been suspended since the time of Hadrian, be resumed.”

“Sylvester curtly and decisively dismissed the claims of the Jewish Christians. He told them the mother church was now in Rome, with the bones of the Apostle Peter, and he insisted that they accept Greek bishops to lead them.”

“It was the last known discussion between the Jewish Christians of the old mother church and the non-Jewish Christians of the new mother church. By his adaptation, Silvester, backed by Constantine, had decided that the message of Jesus was to be couched in Western terms by Western minds on an imperial model.”

“The Jewish Christians had no place in such a church structure. They managed to survive until the first decades of the fifth century. Then, one by one, they disappear. A few individuals reconcile themselves with the Roman Church—always as individuals, never communities or whole Jewish Chrisian churches. Another few pass into the anonymity of the new Eastern rites—Syriac, Assyrian, Greek, Armenian. But most of them die—by the sword (Roman garrisons hunted them as outlaws), by starvation (they were deprived of their small farms and could not or would not adapt themselves to life in the big cities), by the attrition of zero birthrate. By the time that the first biography of Jesus (apart from the Gospels) is published in Chinese and in China at the beginning of the seventh century, there are no more surviving Jewish Chrisitians. The desposyni have ceased to exist. Everywhere, the Roman pope commands respect and exercises authority.”

Malachi Martin, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church; G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York; pp. 41-44. Roman Catholic professor, former Jesuit professor who served in Rome with Cardinal Augustine Beas and Pope John XXIII. [Brackets mine; Underlines mine]

References   [ + ]

1. The 1st Century Jewish Historian, Josephus, identified four main sects of Judaism: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots. Out of these groups and their subgroups came forth the sect of Yahshua the Nazarean, the Messiah. A clue of Yoseph and Miriam’s sub-sect of Essenes is found in Josephus’ “Wars of the Jews” Chapter 2.8.13. Here a three year spousal trial is described. It was during this trial period that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Miriam, while she was still a virgin, before they had “come together” under the same roof and conceived Yahshua by holy inspiration.
2. Yahshua was indeed a “firstborn” son. As such, he was claimed by God, like the firstfruits, and appointed as part of the priesthood of Levi. To exempt a firstborn from this Levitical priesthood, the father had to purchase (redeem) the child from Yahweh with silver. If this redemption price was not paid, the child by default was part of the Levitical priesthood as did the prophet Samuel. Yoseph probably did not pay this redemption money for Yahshua, and thus he was a Levitical priest.
3. He is not sure about the reason, but speculates.
4. Yesseans actually referred to Essenes. Among the enemies of Yahshua were a particular class of Scribes, who in some way, were offshoots associated with the Zadokite Priests of Qumran of the Judean Desert. These were derogatively nicknamed as Herodians (Mk 3:6; 12:13; Mt 22:16; 23:1-2). He broke from their extremist views and became a target for assassination. Yahshua was rather from Nazareth in Galilee and part of the Essenes of Mt Carmel nearby.
5. Hebrew and Aramaic (a sister language to Hebrew) were the primary languages in Israel. Jerome apparently translated this Hebrew Matthew into Latin, but it subsequently disappeared. He, Epiphanius, and others, quoted verses from it numerous times, citing verses that were not in the Greek Version. These quotes can be inserted back into the Greek text.
6. The Lost Original Hebrew-Aramaic Source(s) and the inter-relationships between the Canonical Greek Gospels of the New Testament are a source of constant research by scholars.
7. They understood that although a New Covenant/Contract was established with the Messiah, the laws were still to be written upon their hearts and minds as foretold by the prophets. The Gentile Christians distorted Sha’ul/Paul’s writings and used that distorted view as the basis for their new ideology. Nazareans/Ebionites rejected their distorted version of Sha’ul. Wherefore, we have retranslated, for example, the Epistle to the Galatians, restoring its original message.
8. We have the testimony from Justin Martyr in about 160 A.D., and others, who said that they believe Y’Shua was conceived and born from the normal married union of Joseph and Mary. Obviously, then, the Hebrew Gospels that they possessed, did not reflect a “virgin birth” as it began to be taught by gentile Christianity. We have reconstructed the original scenario based upon earlier Aramaic manuscripts.
9. As in the 7-Rules of Hillel or the 4-Levels of Interpretation known as PaRDeS
10. Carroll, James; Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History; Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, New York, 2001, pp 175, 178
11. See: https://www.fourthcentury.com/arles-314-canons/ Accessed 2019
12. Caution: some of this is Roman Catholic spin-doctoring, in accordance with their “Ever-Virgin” Mary doctrines.