Nazarene Space

It is no secret that my life’s work has been dedicated to the authentic restoration of the ancient sect of the Nazarenes. I founded the Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism way back in 1996. So you can imagine my concern when the name “Nazarene” was recently inaccurately hijacked and used to describe a Messianic Polygamist Cult. Let me make this clear, the overwhelming evidence is that the ancient sect of the Nazarenes DISCOURAGED polygamy, finding it at odds with the Yesod HaBriah (Principle of Creation).

Now I have thoroughly documented the Essene roots of Nazarene Judaism in my book Nazarene Theology http://www.lulu.com/nazarene .

Now to begin with, the Essenes were so opposed to Polygamy, that they were even opposed to divorce. You see, they saw divorce as a form of polygamy, because thorugh divorce, a man would have more than one wife in his lifetime. The Essenes criticized the Pharisees, because the prevailing House of Hillel allowed divorce at the drop of a hat. According to the House of Hillel, a man could divorce his wife just for spoiling his dinner (and Rabbi Akiba even allowed a man to divorce his wife for a prettier woman). (M.Gittin 9:10) The Essenes said the Pharisees had fallen into a trap of Belial saying:

They are caught in…Fornication, by taking two wives
in their lifetime although the Principle of Creation (Yesod HaBriah)
is "male and female He Created them" (Gen. 1:27) and those who
entered the ark "went into the ark two by two" (Gen. 7:9). Concerning
the Leaders it is written "he shall not multiply wives to himself" (Dt. 17:17)
(Damascus Document 4,20-5,2)

There is really no doubt that this Essene halacha is the basis for Yeshua’s own divorce halacha given in Mat. 19:3-9:

19:3 And the P'rushim approached him, and tempted him,
saying, "Is it right for a man to put away his wife for every cause?"
19:4 And he answered and said to them:
"Have you not read that he who made man the beginning,
'made them male and female' (Gen. 1:27)
19:5 And said,
'Wherefore shall a man leave his father
and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh' (Gen. 2:24)
19:6 And now then, they are no more two but one flesh
only. What therefore Elohim has joined together man cannot separate."
19:7 But they said,
"And why then did Moshe then command
to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away
if she was not pleasing in his sight?" (Deut. 24:1, 3)
19:8 And he answered them and said,
"Because Moshe on account of the hardness of your hearts,
allowed you to put away your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
19:9 And I tell you,
every man that has put away, or shall put away his wife,
except it be for fornication, and takes another,
commits adultery. And whoever takes the divorced also
commits adultery.
(Mt. 19:3-9)

But when we look at the Essene roots of this halacha it become especially clear that Yeshua, like the Essenes, objected to frivolous divorce, BECAUSE he saw frivolous divorce as a form of POLYGAMY.

Ironically Moshe K. argues that POLYGAMY as a solution to prevent DIVORCE! But remember, Yeshua only objected to FRIVOLOUS divorce, and then ONLY because frivolous divorce is a form of polygamy.

To advocate polygamy as a solution to divorce, is like a doctor killing healthy patients and then bragging that he has prevented them from getting sick!

Further evidence that the ancient Nazarene sect DICOURAGED polygamy can be found in 1Tim. 3:1-2, 12 and Titus 1:6 which require that certain leaders in the Assembly be “the husband of one wife”.

Moshe K. points out that the Aramaic word for “one” here is CHAD and that in Aramaic CHAD is sometimes used as an indefinite article. Thus he understands “the husband of one wife” to simply mean “the husband of a wife” or in other words, a married man.

In fact I am well aware of this Hebrew/Aramaic idiom, and discussed it in my book The Hebrew and Aramaic Origin of the New Testament (htto://www.lulu.com/nazarene) which I first published in 2005. On page 64 I discuss the use of this idiom in the Hebrew and Aramaic of Matt. 18:2, in which I define this idiomatic meaning of ECHAD (Hebrew) and KHAD (Aramaic) as meaning “a certain”. In fact wherever CHAD is used as an indefinite article in Aramaic it is always with specification rather than generalization. “a certain man” not “just any man”. Thus even if we understand 1Tim. 3:1-2, 12 and Titus 1:6 as examples of this idiom, they would me “the husband of a certain wife” (which simply makes no sense).

In fact we need look no further that the Essene halacha on Polygamy to find the basis for these verses:

They are caught in…Fornication, by taking two wives
in their lifetime although the Principle of Creation (Yesod HaBriah)
is "male and female He Created them" (Gen. 1:27) and those who
entered the ark "went into the ark two by two" (Gen. 7:9). Concerning
the Leaders it is written "he shall not multiply wives to himself" (Dt. 17:17)
(Damascus Document 4,20-5,2)

The Essenes applied the standard of Deut. 17:17 to their “leaders” and not just to the King of Israel. It is no surprise then to find the Nazarenes requiring certain of their leaders to “be the husband of one wife” as well.

It is absolutely clear to anyone without blinders on, to anyone without an agenda, that the ancient Sect of the Nazarenes followed suite with their Essene forefathers in DISCOURAGING polygamy.

Our Nazarene forefathers were NOT a polygamous sect, and as a Nazarene following in the heritage of our forefathers, as a man who has dedicated his life to the authentic restoration of the ancient sect of the Nazarenes, I resent anyone hijacking the name “Nazarene” to promote a practice that the true and original Nazarenes DISCOURAGED in order , not to advance the restoration of the Nazarene sect, but simply to advance their very personal agenda.

We have over ten years of doctrinal stability behind us. We remain on the cutting
edge of the Hebraic-Roots movement, while others (sadly) have gone over the edge into various apostate doctrines.

Folks, not only are we having a short fall, but the car broke down
today. It goes to the shop tomorrow and they will call us with an
estimate, but at the moment we are basically broke. If our efforts
have ever benefited you, please consider financially supporting this
work.

We are asking that if at all possible you contribute using Pay Pal
( http://www.paypal.com ). Paypal donations should be sent to:
donations@beitnetzarim.com (donations "at" beitnetzarim.com) or the
"Chip In" counter at http://www.wnae.net (Note only donations sent
through chipin.com show up on the chipin countdown.)

In most cases donations made by Paypal reach us instantly. If you
cannot donate using paypal you can also send donations by surface mail
to: Nazarene Judaism; Box 471; Hurst, TX 76053

James Trimm

Views: 253

Comment by James Trimm on August 24, 2008 at 4:54pm
When Rabbinic Judaism still permitted polygamy, even then they maintained “A man must give his wife a divorce if she desires it on taking an additional wife.” (b.Yev. 65a)

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