Daily Archives: 2011-05-08 19:32:32 GMT+0000

Earliest (pre-Christian) Nazarenes: Pliny the Elder’s evidence

Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century p...
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Ray A. Pritz discusses in some depth the evidence extant for Nazarene Jewish Christianity (the title of his book, subtitled: “From the end of the New Testament Period Until Its Disappearances in the Fourth Century”). It was published 1988 so no doubt the scholarly discussion summarized by Pritz at that time has since moved on.

I post here the first of his discussions of a “pre-Christian” sect related to a name like “Nazarenes”. We know from Acts that early Christians were known (at least by outsiders) as Nazarenes — Acts 24:5.

I skip here the reasons (covered many times elsewhere) this term cannot refer (contrary to Matthew 2:23) to a person from the village of Nazareth. Maybe will do so in a future post. I only present Ray Pritz’s discussions, and the evidence he cites, for a pre-Christian group known as “Nazarenes” or something similar. read more »

Jesus Potter Harry Christ, ch.6: Meeting Satan Again for the First Time

The Draco (constellation) constellation from U...
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Continuing my review of Jesus Potter Harry Christ. All review posts are archived here. (Updated 1 hour after original posting)

I found this chapter one of the most interesting so far because of the questions and possibilities it raises. In my youth I was a keen amateur astronomer but knew much less about the northern than the southern sky. Since those days I have become much more interested in ancient cultures and beliefs, so I was especially interested to learn that the constellation of Draco (= Dragon) marked the northern celestial pole and appeared to be eternally turning the cosmos around that pole. Another serpentine constellation, Hydra, surfaces and submerges along the horizon. Derek Murphy writes an interesting chapter suggesting how the movements of these constellations could have given rise to a number of our famous myths, and have been the basis for certain religions making symbolic use of them. read more »