The Clear Truth Radio Show
(Week of April 17th)
"What Do You Mean... 'Church'?"
Now we can see from David Stern’s own words above: 1. The terms “Christian” and “Messianic” are alternate translations of the Greek word “Christianoi” “and mean the same thing”. 2. The term “Christianoi” or “Christian” is used in the scriptures only to denote a GENTILE believer in Yeshua, so that scripturally the term “Jewish Christian” is “a contradiction in terms”.
Kefa (1Kefa 4:16) totally supports the idea that "Christian" was at the time a derogatory term. Kefa cites being called "Christian" as an example of suffering akin to being called "a murderer, a thief, an evildoer or a busybody in other men's matters" (1Kefa 5:15-16).
In the Aramaic Peshitta the word "Christian" is the Greek word "Christianos" written with Aramaic letters. This is NOT the Aramaic word for "Christian" which is MISHIKHAYE and based on the Aramaic word MASHIKHA. This goes to support the idea that the Aramaic text is indicating not that they called themselves "Messianic" (In those days most Nazarenes spoke Hebrew and Aramaic) but that Greek speakers called them "Christians".
Christes is closely related to Chrestes which was the name of a false god and was a word indicating a pagan priest or prophet and was often a title for pagan gods. Although CHRISTI is used by Homer as applied to the rubbing with oil of the body after bathing (Il. 23, 186; also in Od., 4, 252) the word Christes meant a white-washer, but Chrestes was a common title for pagan gods. The persecutors probably were poking fun at believers in Messiah because if one adapts Greek CHRISTI (anoint) in the same was as the Hebrew word Mashiach is derived from the three letter root M-SH-CH (anoint), then the result is a word meaning "white washer" (i.e. one who covers things up and makes them look white/pure when they are not so on the inside). The Greek speakers probably got a good laugh out of this.
The facts: 1. Epiphanius states that the Nazarenes called themselves "Nazarenes" and did NOT call themselves "Christians". 2. No believer in the NT ever identifies himself as a "Christian", in all three occurrences the usage indicates a word that was being used by non-believers to describe believers. These two facts together seem to settle the matter.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 gives a hint on who this person really might be! Afterall, if he is set himself up in the Temple then he must be acceptable and accepted by the builders of this Temple. The idea that "Jesus Christ" is the AC is nothing new but is utterly ridiculous. The idea that a translation of the Messiahs name into another language must be satanic is not even ridiculous but is laughable.
And in Martin Luther King Jr. had said:
"But if anyone suffers as a 'N*g*r', let him not be ashamed,..." Would that mean he advocated the term and that it was not derogatory?
Read the context:
15 Only not a man from you, should suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as a worker ofevil.16 But if he suffers as a "Christian", let him not be ashamed: but let him glorify Eloah inthis Name,
Notice the equivalency between being called a murderer, a thief, a worker of evil or a thief.
To the contrary, history records that the original Jewish followers of Yeshua did not use the term at all and were instead called "Nazarenes". The 4th Century writer Epiphanius records of the Nazarenes:
But these sectarians... did not call themselves Christians--but "Nazarenes," ... However they are simply complete Jews. 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 the Jewish fashion-- except for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that G-d is one, and that his son is Yeshua the Messiah. 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. They are different from the Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following. They disagree with Jews because they have come to faith in Messiah; but since they are still fettered by the Law--circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest-- they are not in accord with Christians.... they are nothing but Jews.... They have the Goodnews according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear that they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written."
(Epiphanius; Panarion 29)
In restoring the ancient sect of Nazarene Judaism it makes no sense for us to adopt a term that we known the original Nazarenes did not use, was originally a derogatory term, that no NT believer used to refer to themselves, which Paul never used and which has come to refer to a follower of the antinomian religion which was later termed "Christianity" by Ignatius as opposed to "Judaism".
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