Nazarene Space

A Brief History of the Modern Restoration of the Ancient Nazarene Sect of Judaism


Although Nazarene Judaism can be classed as “Messianic Judaism” there are certainly some differences between our movement and what is commonly called “Messianic Judaism”.

The “Sacred Name Movement” is a movement of loosely connected groups which began first to grow out of the Church of God Seventh Day and other Sabbatarian groups beginning in the 1920’s. The main factors connecting these “Yahwists” were 7th day Sabbath Keeping; Feast Keeping; refraining from Pagan customs and use of Sacred Names.

“Messianic Judaism” originated in the late 1960’s the term was coined by a then “Hebrew Christian” AoG pastor named Martin Chernoff. He was president of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America, in 1973 he made a motion to rename it the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and in 1975 the name was officially changed and the MJAA was born.

In 1984 I (James Trimm) became a believer in Yeshua as Messiah and left Rabbinic Judaism. At first I continued to attend my Rabbinic Synagogue on Friday night and Saturday and a United Methodist Church on Sunday. I really did not know what else to do. Then one day (about a month later) the pastor came to me and told me I might be more comfortable in a Messianic Jewish congregation. I said “What’s a Messianic Jewish congregation”? and he directed me to a small Messianic Jewish Congregation meeting in Fort Worth.

I began meeting with that group and soon learned that nearby was a large Baptist Seminary with a huge Seminary library. I began visiting this library, spending whole days researching NT origins and “Christian” origins. I soon became convince that the NT had originally been written in Hebrew and Aramaic rather than Greek. I also learned of an ancient sect of Judaism called “Nazarenes” who were the original followers of Yeshua as the Messiah. From this point forward I began calling myself a Nazarene and working to reconstruct this ancient Sect of the Nazarenes.

Around 1988 I met Rabbi  Moyal, an Orthodox Rabbi who had become a believer in Messiah not by reading the NT but through studying the Talmud, Midrashim and Zohar. I began studying with him, and for this I was disfellowshipped from the Messianic Congregation.

In 1993 I met Dr. James Tabor, we learned that we both had an interest in Second Temple Era Judaism as our discussion progressed he challenged me on the issue of the two Houses of Israel, he introduced me to certain teachers in Rabbinic Judaism that were teaching the Lost Ten Tribes had migrated into Western Europe and would be reunited with Judah. Among these war John Hulley, Yair Davidy and the now late Rabbi David Horowitz. I became convinced that these Rabbinic Jews were correct on this issue and began teaching this truth as well in 1993. (This was five years before “Who is Israel? was published by Batya Wootten in 1998).

In 1996 I lost a personal debate with a Yahwist on the usage of the Sacred Name and was thus “drawn into” the “Sacred Name” movement.

That same year (1996) I was on a the newly hatched World Wide Web on an email discussion group (similar to YahooGroups but before they existed) called “Roots of Faith” which discussed the common origins of Christendom, Rabbinic Judaism and even Islam in Second Temple Judaism. I sent out a message declaring that I consider myself a modern Nazarene and asking if anyone else did. Several people responded and I created the Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism (now known as the Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim). I searched the web and found three other independent congregations calling their faith “Nazarene Judaism”, I contacted them and all were interested in networking together.

That same year (1996) ten years after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong (founder of the World Wide Church of God – A large Sabbath Keeping, feast keeping Christian Church which abstained from pagan holidays and taught a theology similar to “Two House Theology”) (Shortly before his death Armstrong even declared that the doctrine that the Torah had been abolished was a satanic lie.) Joseph Tkach jr wrote a “personal” in Plain Truth magazine apologizing for Armstrong. This topped off an effort by Joseph Tkach to transform “Worldwide” into a mainline Christian Denomination, recanting the earlier beliefs of the group. The result is that about this time came an exodus of thousands of Sabbath keeping, feast keeping Christians abstaining from the pagan holidays and believing in a form of “two house theology”… these “Worldwide” refugees were looking for new homes, many of them came to the Two House movement and Nazarene Judaism.

Two years later (1998) Batya Wooten published her book “What is Israel?” and a year later (1999) founded Messianic Israel Alliance (MIA) teaching what was being called “Two House Theology”.

That same year we held our first Nazarene Judaism conference Netzarim ’99 in Dallas Texas.

In 2001 the MIA split into the MIA and the Union of Two House Congregations. The split was over the issue of the Sacred Name and secondarily over Torah Observance. The MIA was open to groups Sacred Name or otherwise, Torah Observant or otherwise. The Union of Two House Congregations was all Sacred Name and all Torah Observant.

In 2003 the Union of Two House Congregations changed its name to the Union of Nazarene Yisrael Congregations (UoNYC) saying “Nazarene is the most biblical term applied to Torah keepers in Yahshua as found in Acts 24:5” That same year SANJ (now known as entered into a mutual recognition pact with the UoNYC.

Today there is mutual recognition and unity between the WNAE, UoNYC and the International Assembly of Nazarene Israelites (IANI).

Views: 368

Comment by Avshalom Ovadya Tzuar on May 31, 2009 at 12:55am
Very interesting Rabbi. I was aware of many of the groups and people you mentioned but had no idea how this whole Nazarene, Sacred Name, Two House thing got started. Very eye opening. Thank you!
Comment by HEROYAHU, Bro. Keen on May 31, 2009 at 9:03am
Yessir! This "Brief History" was very timely & valuable to us all, and more supplements would be wonderful.
However, I suggest a correction: we be called "judaism" less often and NAZARENE ISRAELITES more often. Thanks, again !
Comment by HEROYAHU, Bro. Keen on May 31, 2009 at 9:23am
Also! if I may say so, - this article spells Yahshua like I spelled it for years !
However, 198 times out of 200 times, our Hebrew puts the "U" in the first sylable, NOT THE LAST ! Yahusha !
Comment by Yhezriel on June 1, 2009 at 12:14pm
I guess I'll through my two cents in. I focus on the absolute Ps. 68:5 Our King David called Elohim YAH. For me until Mashiach arrives it good enough for me. I want to spend my energy on the Joy of keeping Torah and not the minor details differences that split people up.

5 Sing unto God, sing praises to His name; {N}
extol Him that rideth upon the skies, whose name is the LORD; and exult ye before Him.

ה שִׁירוּ, לֵאלֹהִים-- זַמְּרוּ שְׁמוֹ:
סֹלּוּ, לָרֹכֵב בָּעֲרָבוֹת--בְּיָהּ שְׁמוֹ; וְעִלְזוּ לְפָנָיו
Comment by Yhezriel on June 2, 2009 at 12:22pm
I agree and I understand the need to search for the truth, I really do, more then must people think. It has been a life quest for me. What I have learned is two things: (1). Keeping Torah is simple. YAH made it so simple that a child can understand it. By keeping his Sabbaths, Feasts, 613 Mitzvots, calling on his name and do not add or subtract from HIS word. We men cloud the waters by our pride and our own self motive and when we do this we keep others from finding the narrow path by creating confusion. I've learn to filter and ignore the noise, just as one tries to find a good radio station, just a lot of static and bad stations in between but once you got the station, you got it.
(2). To surely guarantee "Salvation" we need to follow the footstep of Messiah through Torah. Then surely we cannot be denied access to the kingdom if we are being obedient to the Father's word.

The Chapter 18 of Mattiyahu: In what content were you using verses 19 & 20? I do not see the connection. I believe the chapter has to do with offending someone (strong’s #G264 = faults, offend, sin) my understanding is that if you or I are offended. Then we can after several attempts in addressing with our brethren we can eventually take them to the assembly with witness before judgment is passed against that person that has offended you or I. What ever judgment we bind here on earth then that judgment is bond in heaven. Which goes in line with what Torah teaches. We know this because Peter comes back with a follow up question about now many time should we forgive our offenders. Many times these verses are used by men to bind their men made traditions and theology. Truthfully you and i can come together and bind anything we want or need, from wealth to starting our own doctrine and even his name. Surely this is not what Meshiach was referring to Mat 18: 19 & 20

Blessing in his name of בְּיָהּ "YAH"
Comment by Yhezriel on June 2, 2009 at 3:28pm
David, I understand your concern. It is my concern also. It really is. I have been in this walk only seven years and I have heard just about everything. I am involved in a Torah study group and all we do in this group is question everything. The name is one of the most debatable issues within our walk beside the deity of the Messiah. I can truly tell you that for every form of variation of the name. There is another person calling it a deity name. Just recently, I was in an email discussion about the name Yahweh. Some are saying the Yahweh name is a Jupiter deity. This individual had all kinds of links and article and artifacts to prove his claim. I made a vow seven years ago, because of the different denominations and bible translation and opinion. I will go only to the original source "The scrolls "Hebrew"" and this will be my final authority in my life. I have learn some hebrew and study habits, just to verify what I am reading. I will NOT allow none else to persuade my thinking. I will listen to it, filter it and verify it. If I am wrong I will teshubah. As you can see, there are debates about everything. I had been confused and not knowing which direction to go. Keeping it simple has done wonders for me. Because just when you think you have it right, someone will tell you do not. I do not mean we should not keep trying to fine the truth. What it means is there should be some stability in our walk to a certain point and what we are not sure at this moment. Put it on the shelf and the spirit of YAH, in HIS time will reveal it to us. On the name of YAH. I can prove in Hebrew scripture the name YAH, but can anyone prove the other names in the scriptures. So to me this is closest YAH has shown us at this time, without a doubt. If we can not really on the Hebrew for our final authority, then we are all in a big mess.

Thank you for sharing and you are absolutely right we all should be careful.
Comment by HEROYAHU, Bro. Keen on July 8, 2009 at 12:40am
Shalom, Dear Bro. Troy.
Thank you for your labors to consider and examine such things. That makes us all stronger.
Everything you said looks real good. But, of course, I wish you had commended my discovery a little better.
Let me quote you and add a clarification: "for the greater good we are going to have to choose to tolerate our differences, particularly when we are dealing with things no one can prove their correctness,".
That's nice. I hope to get tolerated too. ha! d-.-b
However, concerning your reference to "PROOF", let me add what should constitute evidence beyond a reasonable doubt ( ie.virtual proof), sufficient to satisfiy some judge and jury.
It is provable that our savior's name should contain the sylable YAH (the Self-Existent One).
It is provable that the third letter of the Tetragrammaton is always a "waw" and entitled to expression.
It is provable that the letter "waw" is commonly sounded aloud plainly as the sound of "oo" or "ooo" or "U" !
The Hebrew dictionary offers more than five hundred words where that letter appears and the phonic is an emphatic "oo" sound.
I choose to agree with over five hundred "witnesses" and call it proof.
Yet I can still politely ask if any logic is better within the confines of these points.
Let me try to repeat a previous statement.
"However, about 198 times out of 200 times,our Hebrew puts the "U" in the second sylable of "JOSHUA", NOT THE LAST ! Literally Yahuwsha !" [ Now, whether our Savior's name was Yahuwsha is a bit different topic. ]
It is superior notation and form to emulate that which is provided, IE. THE "OO" IN THE SECOND SYLABLE !
I like superior notation.
The "oo", "ooo", or "U" sound is commonly heard in the last sylable of "Joshua" ALSO . . and we are told that it can happen EVEN WITHOUT the letter "waw" by using three little vowel points.
I must wait and use your second response in trying to decide if you are being evasive or candid.
Good Communication is hard work.
This is not fists pounding the table, -as they say. It's a little extra effort to communicate by typewriter ! ! !

aka . . . .Street Ministry for Yahuwshua !
Comment by Shawn on August 11, 2009 at 12:13pm
enjoyed reading the history of these organizations.
Comment by Cliff Tucker on September 19, 2010 at 4:38pm
According to the scriptures, He will make His name known. I assume it wil be before or at the entrance of the New Yerusalem.
Not that we should quit searching.


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