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Matt 2:23 and Tertullian’s 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:52 am
by MrMacSon
Matt 2:23 -
  • "[Joseph, Mary and Jesus] went to live in Nazareth, so that what the prophets had said, namely that He would be a 'Nazorean'/'Nazarene', was fulfilled"
This prophecy, however, does not occur anywhere in the Old Testament, and the OT does not even mention Nazareth, or Nazorean or Nazarene.

Matthew's prophecy is often linked to Isaiah's, although Isaiah's prophecy only gives "branch", as ne·tser. There are four other OT messianic prophecies where the word for branch is given as tze·mach.


Tertullian's passage in Against Marcion IV.8 -
  • "The Christ of the Creator had to be called a Nazarene according to prophecy; and this is why the Jews also designate us, on that very account"
- would seem to be an explanation.

Is it a fore-runner to the development of Matt 2:23?

Re: Matt 2:23 and Marcion 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:40 am
by spin
The earliest form of the toponym in Mt 2:23 is "Nazara".

The source for the prophecy in 2:23 is the birth of Samson, who would be a Nazirite. If, for example, there was confusion between a waw and a yod (frequently evinced in the DSS), one could read "Nazirite", think it was "Nazwrite", and transcribe it into Greek as nazwraios.

The netzer stuff only confuses the evidence.

Here is a fuller citation from Tertullian:

Christ of the creator according to prophecy had to be called a Nazirite [Nazaraeus] for the same reason the Jews call us Nazarenes [Nazareni] after him, for we are they of whom it is written, 'Her Nazirites [Nazaraei] were whiter than snow' (Lam. 4:7)... But the title Nazirite [Nazaraei] was destined to become a suitable one, from the hiding-place of his infancy, for which he went down and dwelt at Nazareth, to escape from Archelaus the son of Herod.

Tertullian uses the common Latin form Nazaraeus, used to indicate "Nazirite" (as seen in the quote from Lamentations), for Jesus, then switches to Nazarenus (plural Nazareni) to indicate Jesus' followers.

Re: Matt 2:23 and Marcion 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:49 am
by StephenGoranson
Is Tertullian the best source for Hebrew? After all, "the Jews call us [Tertullian's group]" Notsrim--with tsade, not with zayin. Other such indications are in my "Nazarenes," Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992) v. 4, 1049-1050.

Re: Matt 2:23 and Tertullian's 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:51 pm
by spin
StephenGoranson wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:49 am
Is Tertullian the best source for Hebrew? After all, "the Jews call us [Tertullian's group]" Notsrim--with tsade, not with zayin. Other such indications are in my "Nazarenes," Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992) v. 4, 1049-1050.
Clearly Nazareus indicates "Nazirite" in the Vulgate. His citation of Lam 4.7 underlines his Nazirite intention. The change to Nazarenus seems to be a de facto recognition of current terminology. Why Tertullian labeled it as what 'the Jews call "us"' is not transparent. Is it based on direct knowledge? Does it reflect understanding of Hebrew phonology? We have no reason to affirm either question. Were the Jews referred to actually Jewish Christians?

The Yerushalmi Talmud evinces no knowledge of these Christian Notzrim. Turning Tertullian's Nazareni into Notzrim has no evidence to support it. And I'd say that the term Notzrim only entered the traditions recorded in the Bavli in the 3rd century, so talking of Notzrim here could be anachronistic.

While the significance of Tertullian's reference to Jews calling "us" Nazarenes is not transparent, his reference to Jesus as a Nazirite is.

Re: Matt 2:23 and Tertullian’s 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:57 pm
by MrMacSon
Note I stuffed up the title and initially had Marcion instead of Tertullian. I've changed it in the OP, but subsequent posts have 'Marcion in their headers (though can still be edited)

Re: Matt 2:23 and Tertullian 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:31 pm
by MrMacSon
spin wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:40 am
The earliest form of the toponym in Mt 2:23 is "Nazara".

The source for the prophecy in 2:23 is the birth of Samson, who would be a Nazirite. If, for example, there was confusion between a waw and a yod (frequently evinced in the DSS), one could read "Nazirite", think it was "Nazwrite", and transcribe it into Greek as nazwraios.

The netzer stuff only confuses the evidence.

Here is a fuller citation from Tertullian:

Christ of the creator according to prophecy had to be called a Nazirite [Nazaraeus] for the same reason the Jews call us Nazarenes [Nazareni] after him, for we are they of whom it is written, 'Her Nazirites [Nazaraei] were whiter than snow' (Lam. 4:7)... But the title Nazirite [Nazaraei] was destined to become a suitable one, from the hiding-place of his infancy, for which he went down and dwelt at Nazareth, to escape from Archelaus the son of Herod.

Tertullian uses the common Latin form Nazaraeus, used to indicate "Nazirite" (as seen in the quote from Lamentations), for Jesus, then switches to Nazarenus (plural Nazareni) to indicate Jesus' followers.

Cheers, spin. It's noteworthy that that Lam 4:7 is in the Christian Bible, but not in the LXX or the Hebrew Bible.

Re: Matt 2:23 and Tertullian 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:34 pm
by spin
MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:31 pm
spin wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:40 am
The earliest form of the toponym in Mt 2:23 is "Nazara".

The source for the prophecy in 2:23 is the birth of Samson, who would be a Nazirite. If, for example, there was confusion between a waw and a yod (frequently evinced in the DSS), one could read "Nazirite", think it was "Nazwrite", and transcribe it into Greek as nazwraios.

The netzer stuff only confuses the evidence.

Here is a fuller citation from Tertullian:

Christ of the creator according to prophecy had to be called a Nazirite [Nazaraeus] for the same reason the Jews call us Nazarenes [Nazareni] after him, for we are they of whom it is written, 'Her Nazirites [Nazaraei] were whiter than snow' (Lam. 4:7)... But the title Nazirite [Nazaraei] was destined to become a suitable one, from the hiding-place of his infancy, for which he went down and dwelt at Nazareth, to escape from Archelaus the son of Herod.

Tertullian uses the common Latin form Nazaraeus, used to indicate "Nazirite" (as seen in the quote from Lamentations), for Jesus, then switches to Nazarenus (plural Nazareni) to indicate Jesus' followers.

Cheers, spin. It's noteworthy that that Lam 4:7 is in the Christian Bible, but not in the LXX or the Hebrew Bible.
Perhaps my LXX & HB are incorrect.

Re: Matt 2:23 and Tertullian’s 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:51 pm
by MrMacSon
.
The Hebrew Bible has "Her princes were purer than snow ..." - http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3204.htm

and 'Lam 4: 7 (LXX)' has "they were cleansed by the snow ... " - https://www.blueletterbible.org/lxx/lam ... orr_801007

So, Tertullian either used a NT version of Lamentations, or that phraseology -'Her Nazirites [Nazaraei] were whiter than snow'- made it's way into the NT version.

Re: Matt 2:23 and Tertullian’s 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:45 pm
by Ben C. Smith
MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:51 pm
.
The Hebrew Bible has "Her princes were purer than snow ..." - http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3204.htm

and 'Lam 4: 7 (LXX)' has "they were cleansed by the snow ... " - https://www.blueletterbible.org/lxx/lam ... orr_801007

So, Tertullian either used a NT version of Lamentations, or that phraseology -'Her Nazirites [Nazaraei] were whiter than snow'- made it's way into the NT version.
I think the translations are confusing you. The Hebrew has נְזִירֶ֙יהָ; the LXX (Old Greek) has ναζιραῖοι. Those are the words in question: the ones generally transliterated as "Nazirite" or "Nazoraean" or whatnot.

Re: Matt 2:23 and Tertullian’s 'Adv. Marc.' IV.viii

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:52 pm
by spin
MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:51 pm
.
The Hebrew Bible has "Her princes were purer than snow ..." - http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3204.htm
Look at the Hebrew underlying the translation "princes": NZYRYH.
MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:51 pm
and 'Lam 4: 7 (LXX)' has "they were cleansed by the snow ... " - https://www.blueletterbible.org/lxx/lam ... orr_801007
ναζιραιοι is visible in the Greek here.
MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:51 pm
So, Tertullian either used a NT version of Lamentations, or that phraseology -'Her Nazirites [Nazaraei] were whiter than snow'- made it's way into the NT version.
Or what Ben C. said....