Netzarim

A forum to discuss the history and current affairs of the Nazarenes and Messianic Judaism.

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Netzarim

Postby Eddie Yousif » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:50 pm

I have been very frustrated in the last couple of months, searching from one web site to another, Trying to learn and understand more about Nazarene/Messianic Jews and how they Relate to Christianity.


Many web sites have hidden agenda's and do not really give you the Full picture, but i did find one web site at http://www.netzari.info/how.htm , which I am really wanting to confirm with members here if this is indeed a true reflection of your core beliefs.


I would also love to learn more directly from You, just a basic outline of what Netzarim is all about!



Many thanks in Advance :)
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Burning one » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:17 am

Shlama, Eddie,


i would be hesitant to say any one site could accurately present the wide range of beliefs held by those of us who would fall under this label, but i do think the general presentations found on the site you've given are pretty good. hopefully others here can echo this sentiment.

there are so many nuances and details that might be particular to an individual or group that you can't really pinpoint something a Netzari believes and say it applies to the whole scope of people -- but i suppose this is applicable to any religious group... :D

anyhow, sincere questions are always welcome!


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Re: Netzarim

Postby Eddie Yousif » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:37 am

Thank you Jeremy for your input, Indeed I have encountered so many different groups that I somehow found myself lost in transit because everything got mixed up.


One group believed in the Torah as the Only valid Scripture and totally rejected the NT and all of its applications. Another accepted the Messiah of the NT but only regarded the Four Gospels as Scripture whilst rejecting all of Paul's books , considering it Anti-Semetic in nature. Another Group also Accepted the Messiah as their Savior, however they rejected the Deity of Jesus and considered him as only the Son of God ( fully Human-NO God). The Last group I encountered, i was lucky enough to be invited to their Church and they believed in all of the OT & NT whilst keeping the Law and all the Traditions of the OT.


You see how confused i have become? :crazy: :crazy:
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Dawid » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:46 am

The problem is basically one of having a wide variety of beliefs under a single heading. All of those are groups of Netzarim. Though, historicaly, "Evionim" is a more accurate term for most of the groups you just mentioned.
Now, Neo-Netzarim like myself and most of the Netzarim on this forum have a wide range of beliefs from those you've mentioned below to those who border on being Messianic, putting a greater emphasis on the NT than on the Torah, and accept the Trinity. There are the middle range, which is wide in itself. Andrew Roth is one of those. He accepts the deity of the Messiah, but not the trinity, puts roughtly equal emphasis on the Torah and the NT, but only uses the Peshitta NT, etc. I'm also in the middle range, but I'm more extremist/liberal than AGR. I accept the deity of Messiah, but only in a Kabbalistic sense, saying that he was the embodiment of the Adam Kadmon (and more specifically of Hokhma. I do not believe that he was equivalent to the Ayn Soph.), and putting more emphasis on the Torah than on the NT, though I accept both as inspired. I am also not afraid to prefer a Greek reading of the NT to the Aramaic one, simply because I do not believe that the Peshitta has been perfectly preserved. I think a Preserved or Received Text is a myth. I do preferr the Peshitta to the GNT, but I think that there are some cases where the Greek preserves what is probably a better reading. (no specific instances are coming to mind, though.) I also believe in an Aramaic and/or Hebrew original of the NT.
I would say that a basically accurate description of my beliefs can be found in Epiphanius' "Panarion" 29.
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Andrew Gabriel Roth » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:10 am

Shlama all--

I think we all need to recognize that any religious group is going to have a diversity of voices and there will be some confusion. Christianity has more than 30,000 denominations in part due to this very human propensity.

In the case of the Netzarim a lot of these issues is compounded by the fact that we are talking about a RESTORATION of beliefs. The Netzarim have always been here down through the centuries but as an "apostolic" body it broke in the fourth century, ironically around the same time as the Sanhedrin of Y'shua's day dissolved only to come back like Netzarim in recent years.

Take my publisher and friend Baruch as a further example. He will tell you that in his family Netzarim belief goes back to his grandfather who began ministry in 1946. However the "official" modern Messianic movement is traced by many others as originating in New York in the mid 1960's. Still others would argue that the "real" Messianic movement has only been restored in the last 15 years, with the older "JFJ model" being nothing more than a Protestant missionary outreach in Jewish garb. I believe that in a sense all are true, even in suggesting that in some ways the Netzarim never left but went underground, where as Dawid points out it became confused with Evyonim and other things.

But whatever the case may be in terms of origins, there should be no doubt whatsoever as to where we have to go. Put simply, we must put our own house in order to avoid the precise kind of confusion that Jeremy is frustrated with. Jeremy, let me tell you my friend, I am more frustrated about this than anyone else. And, in Mari, this is one of the largest criticisms I have about my own faith brethren.

For me the problem is not so much that we don't have all the answers (no one does) it is that we have not even framed the right questions to bring to the conversation. Any schmuck and their uncle can call themselves "rabbi" but there is no standardize yeshiva-ordination system, whereas even in Judaism competing sects have these, from Recontructionists to Chabad, each one being consistent from their frame of reference.

The reason we are so behind in this regard and the reason this causes such confusion is simple: There is no NT Masorah. This is the heart of the beast of the problem. Every single form of Jewish belief is rooted in a discussion of the Torah in the Masoretic Text. Yes, we know it's not perfect and yes we look at all variants but we are stabilized by knowing that a Torah scroll in Warsaw and a Torah scroll in Cleveland read exactly the same. We may diverge from the text as a launching point but never is the foundation in doubt.

So the first and most important thing I think is for the majority of Netzarim to adopt the Peshitta NT as THEIR Masorah, the base text. Then we can build proper liturgy and yeshiva structure around that and from there we can have some shot a leadership and Beit Dins and such that, if not getting all the answers, at least can direct the conversation properly.

And if you think this is kind of a hidden agenda of mine behind Mari, let me tell you, it is not so hidden. I have spelled out for many years now the need to put the Peshitta NT on to the NT equivalent of Torah scrolls precisely in the ancient manner that we do for synagogue. We need people to do aliyah and read from these scrolls as they would from Genesis or whatever. We need rabbis (or as I prefer, malpanas) who know Hebrew as well as the Orthodox and Aramaic and well as the COE.

I have to tell you all, this is a key issue for me, but I am pessimistic at it getting done in my lifetime to be sure. If we can just get the Peshitta as Masorah agreed on for now, that will be enough and we can leave the rest to subsequent generations. But if we don't at least make an effort, I can guarantee this kind of confusion will persist to this degree and more. We may never get rid of the confusion entirely, but we can minimize it from occuring over infrastructure.

And finally, also going in this direction, I have composed a basic halachic outline in Mari to try and address this problem. I have put together, like the first Guide to the Perplexed, a list of 13 principles of the Netzari faith. In doing so I have really tried to keep things as broad and clear as I can. But I can tell you that one of the things I insist on is SOME version of the 27 NT books as authoritiative and infallible canon. From there, I think it is possible to separate Netzarim from Evyonim belief and at least keep the two from being interchanged. I think that will do justice to both groups, even as the Karaites are distinct from the Rabbinic Orthodox on the conventional side.

So let us discuss FROM the base but not WHAT the base is. The Peshitta NT is our only hope.
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Christina » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:56 am

Shlama akhi Andrew,

I completely agree, an accepted NT Masorah (singular) is the starting point. If this doesn't get sorted out then we'll never get anywhere.
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Dawid » Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:02 pm

I think that we may be hinging too much hope on the PNT here. I don't know that the main problem is lacking an NT massorah. In all honesty, for most people it's not an issue. The real issue is probably the distrust that most of us have (and generally with good reason) of establishment.
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Burning one » Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:24 pm

Shabbat Shalom,

to Andrew: Eddie is the one who is frustrated over his experiences, not me. :)
i've been in these waters to see enough to have become embittered, but thankfully the joy of El is my strength, and that hasn't happened!

i do agree with your assessment of the need for a NT Masorah. and i especially like the vision of a NT scroll being read along with the Torah! personally, i had recently felt impressed to write a Torah scroll of my own for the congregation i attend, but perhaps a Peshitta scroll would be more conducive to the advancement of something akin to a NT Masorah... :sly:

to Dawid: i would respectfully disagree. i was speaking with my boss just this past week about the Peshitta vs. the majority of Greek manuscripts, and the variances contained in them, and was mentioning how it appears that more and more individuals are graduating from Bible colleges and universities with no more faith in the inspiration and preservation of the Scriptural texts. and yet they continue to go out and become leaders of flocks! this is a serious issue -- when professing believers walk away from a study of the available texts of Scripture and no longer have faith in the preservation of the Word. from the studies available to us using the Peshitta, so much of the variances DO dissolve and are reconciled, that the problem of apostasy could very well be reversed if more and more people were to look towards the Aramaic texts instead of the Greek. so i do think it is important.


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Re: Netzarim

Postby Dawid » Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:15 am

Rafa wrote:
I would say that a basically accurate description of my beliefs can be found in Epiphanius' "Panarion" 29


Super ironic that no? Same goes for me (theoretically- I need to get many things done before I can say I aproximate Epiphanius's "abominable heretics" in behavior and theology).

I also agree with Andrew's point of having AT LEAST this core agreement- that the Peshitta NT is the closest NT in existence to the originals (aside from a miraculous Hebrew DSS type manuscript appearing under a beach after a tsunami- which I doubt because Aramaic was the language of first century Jews). The COE were Nazarenes in the past, they have given many concessions over the years (especially after 1915) and represent 1% of Christianity (which is very sad) but their methodology is what I'd like to see for our texts (combined with the best of traditional orthodox Judaism which uses the MT text as it's base). If you read the talmud it says that standardisation is the key to preserving a culture, these sages knew what they were talking about (70 A.D.- the end of the world for some people it seemed).

Yeah, it is rather ironic that the man who provided us with the best ancient description of our faith was actually describing what he considered heretics. It is quite ammusing to say the least.
I completely agree that the PNT is the best we've got. I just have a lower opinion of what we've got than Andrew does. lol.
I don't know that the idea that the COE were Nazarenes in the past needs to be foundational. I honestly have no opinion on it because I've not done the research yet.
Standardization is very important, I agree. It is the key to survival. That's why Mormonism has survived and the bajillions of similar groups that sprang up at its time haven't. They had books and standard practices. But I think that it is important that we keep the standardization scholarly rather than fundamentalist. We must continue to pursue the facts, using a text critical TN"K, not fundamentalism, following a TN"K reading that we like best.
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Re: Netzarim

Postby dowidh » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:39 pm

Akhi Eddie,

Here's the truth Eddie. The whole Netzarim (נצרים ܢܨܪܝܐ) movement is about reconstructionism.
We believe that the original way was lost very early on in the first centuries.
I personally hold that there will be no full resToration without prophets like Eliyahu coming or even without the Mshikha himself. We look through a glass dimly. But I believe the Messiah will restore everything one day. But until then, we have a whole bunch of people trying to put all the pieces back together again. When that Job is the Messiah's. Sometimes it looks like chickens running around with their heads chopped off.

There is something very exciting about seeking out an ancient path which has been lost.
But it is a small step before one reaches heresy. Caution is need.
It's also important to remember that not everything was lost. We still have the Bible after all. So in my humble opinion, one should read the Bible regulary and study Orthodox Christianity and Judaism.
See what they agree on first. And do that. Where they disagree, look up what the Bible has to say about it in the original languages. That is a good starting point, but to just run off and do it alone, to make something from scratch is a very dangerous thing to do.

Try and focus on the majors, not the minors.
What beliefs, tenants, practices are the things that really matter in scripture.

Scripture warns about entertaining pointless arguments.
So try and focus on the fruitful ones.

Worship God regularly. With your mouth and how you live your life.

And in spite of the fact we've lost some things.
Thank God for everything we DO have. All the blessings he's given us.
We have the Aleppo Codex of Tanach.
We have the Peshitta New Testament and a translations of the Hebrew Tanach into Aramaic.
We have so much to be truly grateful for.

Sincerely,

David R.
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Dawid » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:37 pm

I think AGR will disagree with you about it being lost, Dowidh.

While starting from scratch may be the wrong thing to do, I also have a big problem with taking the places where Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism overlap at their word to be a problem aswell. To focus on these two traditions that have been passed down is, I think, a great fallacy. We must look at the other traditions we have, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, Samaritanism, Ethiopian Judaism, and Karaism, and compare them all to the Word as our final authority. Only the Word may be our basis for theology and practice.

Now, I do think that we must come as close as we may to the original practices, in order to bring about the return of the Messiah. This is something we must do. The Messiah won't just come on His own. He will come when we bring Him.
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Dawid » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:19 am

Ben Masada wrote:
Eddie Yousif wrote:I have been very frustrated in the last couple of months, searching from one web site to another, Trying to learn and understand more about Nazarene/Messianic Jews and how they Relate to Christianity.

Many web sites have hidden agenda's and do not really give you the Full picture, but i did find one web site at http://www.netzari.info/how.htm , which I am really wanting to confirm with members here if this is indeed a true reflection of your core beliefs.

I would also love to learn more directly from You, just a basic outline of what Netzarim is all about!

Many thanks in Advance :)

-------------------------------

According to the original in Hebrew, where the word "Netzer" appears, it has nothing to do with Nazarenes or "Messianic Jews." (Isa. 48:1) The text talks about the Jewish People as one. The House of Jacob called by the modern name of Israel, sprung from the "netzer" of Judah. It means that the main part of the People comes from the stock of Judah, plus the few thousands from the Northern Tribes who joined Judah, and plus the converted from the Gentiles.

The Nazarenes were called Notzerim because of Jesus' origin from Nazareth. Today, it has been generalized to call Christians Notzerim here in Israel, but originally, Christianity started as Christians, because Paul would preach about Jesus as Christ. (Acts 11:26)

First, I disagree with the majority opinion on the origin of the term "netzari." It seems more likely to me that it comes from "natzar" than from "netzer." Thus it is used in the same sense as the Samaritans use "Shomrim." The Netzarim considered themselves the "keepers" of the faith.
Next, Notzrim is a medieval term, a derogatory derivative of Netzarim, of similar relation as "Yeshu" is to "Yeshua."
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Dawid » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:10 pm

So you have the ability to create your own reality divorced from any evidence? Note that the New Testament and church fathers refer to nazaroi or nazoraeans. Different term.
The pronunciation with an "a" in the second syllable points to a root in "natzar" not "netzer." If the root were "netzer" it should be "Netzerim" or "netzrim."
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Dawid » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:35 pm

Ben Masada wrote:
Dawid wrote:So you have the ability to create your own reality divorced from any evidence? Note that the New Testament and church fathers refer to nazaroi or nazoraeans. Different term.
The pronunciation with an "a" in the second syllable points to a root in "natzar" not "netzer." If the root were "netzer" it should be "Netzerim" or "netzrim."

------------------------

There is no relation between Netzer and Nazarenes. The terms above, nazaroi and nazoraeans are not different. The root is the same. You have to check the original in Hebrew to understand what I am talking about. Read Isaah 48:1.

Never mind. We're not communicating. We've been talking at each other rather than to each other this whole time.
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Re: Netzarim

Postby Dawid » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:15 pm

Thanks. I think.
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