IS THE WORD “CHRISTIAN” EVEN IN THE BIBLE?
What words are used in the Bible to designate someone who is holy and acceptable? If you said “Christian”, you are wrong. “Christian” never appeared in the Bible as it was originally written. How do I know this? The earliest complete versions of the New Testament are the Sinaiticus (dated at 350 AD) and Vaticanus (320 AD). Neither have the word “Christian” in its text. The first-time “Christian” shows up is in the much later 5th century Codex Alexandrinus. The Greek word for Christian is XPICTIAN which means anointed ones. Many think it means follower of Christ. What word was used prior to the heavily edited Codex Alexandrinus? XPHCTIAN is the original word and it is properly transliterated as Chrestian - not even the same root word. According to Strong’s Concordance these words are not related although they look and sound similar. Chrestian comes from the Greek chrestos having the meaning; good manners or morals, pleasant, better, useful, beneficial, kind, gracious. Christos on the other hand means anointed one and considered the Greek equivalent of מָשִׁיחַ Mashiach, Hebrew for Messiah.
CHRISTIANS OR CHRESTIANS?
Let us take a new look at some old familiar verses in the Bible that speak of “Christians”. The more accurate translation for Acts 11:26, after Barnabas brought Saul (aka Paul) to Antioch where they supposedly taught the disciples for about a year, the text says: "... the disciples were called Chrestians (kind and gracious people) first in Antioch." The second mention of the term follows in Acts 26:28, where Herod Agrippa II replied to Paul the Apostle, "Then Agrippa said unto Paul: You almost persuade me to be a Chrestian (a kind and gracious person)." The third and final New Testament reference to the term is in 1 Peter 4, which exhorts believers: "Yet if [any man suffer] as a Chrestian (kind and gracious person), let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." (1 Peter 4:16). Isn’t it amazing how scholars have lied to you about such fundamental doctrines of your faith?
If neither Chrestian nor Christian is the word for someone who is holy and acceptable, what is? Saint shows up 229 times in its Greek form, ἅγιος hagios, in the Greek New Testament. ἅγιος or Saint means holy. In Hebrew, the word would be צַדִּיק Tzadik, which means the righteous one. in Aramaic, the word is tzdeik, and in Arabic, tzadak means truth-teller. Who were the Saints of the New Testament? Who were the Righteous? The Truth-tellers? I will answer those questions after the next few paragraphs. I have already proven they were not called Christians, although they were incidentally referred to as Chrestians – gracious people with good manners.
BACK TO GALILEE FOR SOME ANSWERS
First, some related background information. Jesus, called Eshu in Aramaic and Yeshua in Hebrew, was a Galilean. Galileans spoke a specific form of Aramaic. Jesus, that is Eshu, was from the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee, the area known locally as Gen-Nasaret. This is where we get the Galilean-Aramaic term ܢܨܪܬ Natzrat when transliterated is mistaken for Nazareth. Jesus, Eshu, was from Gen-Nasaret, not Nazareth. “Nazareth the village” has caused centuries of problems for scholars and archaeologists who have not been able to even prove the existence of a village called Nazareth in the first-century AD. It appears that Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, found a few huts in Galilee and declared the find as the village of Nazareth, later to become the destination of pilgrims and tourists as the childhood home of Jesus of Nazareth.
TO THE NEW TESTAMENT FOR MORE ANSWERS
Let us look at what is behind the terms Natsraya, Gen-Nasaret, and Natzrat. Two Hebrew words stand firmly behind these terms. The first is Natsar which means to guard or keep watch. This is the word used by Eshu when he said:
“Therefore, keep watch (natsar) …” Matthew 24:42
“Watch (natsar), therefore…” Matthew 25:13
“…he would have kept watch (natsar) …” Matthew 24:43
“…keeping watch (natsar) over their…” Luke 2:8
“…they began to keep watch (natsar) …” Matthew 27:36
“…keeping guard (natsar) over…” Matthew 27:54
The other word is Netser which means branch.
“Learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch (netser) is yet tender…”
“Learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch (netser) is yet tender…”
“Every branch (netser) in me…”
“…the branch (netser) cannot bear fruit of itself…”
“…cast forth as a branch (netser), and is withered…”
THE VINE…THE BRANCHES
These should be significant. Eshu (Jesus) is called the Vine many times in his own parables. He speaks of his branches (netser) which are his followers or disciples. They are to keep watch (natsar). Eshu (Jesus) is called Jesus the Nazorean (Natsari) 21 times and his sect Natsraya once.
For those who give authority to the New Testament, this is very significant. Jesus (Eshu) is called the Nazorean (Natsari) and his sect is called the Nazoreans (Natsraya). His disciples are called branches (netser) and their duty is to keep watch (natsar). Add the 41 times that he is spoken of in conjunction with Gen-Nasaret, mistakenly called Nazareth, the connection becomes overwhelming.
So, I must ask: Was Eshu, that is, Jesus, was he a Christian, a Chrestian, or a Nazorean? What does your Bible say? Jesus the Christian? Or Jesus the Nazorean? What were his followers called? Christians? Or Nazoreans? Would you rather be called a made-up word or a Nazorean?
WHO WERE THE RIGHTEOUS?
Here I will re-ask the questions from earlier: Who were the Saints of the New Testament? Who were the Righteous? The Truth-tellers? They were the Nazoreans. NOT the Christians or the Chrestians.
Would you rather be called a made-up word or a Nazorean?
I have proven that Jesus, more correctly Eshu was known as Eshu ha-Natsari or Eshu the Nazorean. I have proven that his followers were known as Natsraya or Nazoreans.
What was their movement called? Let’s look at some New Testament scriptures:
"...and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem." Acts 9:2
“Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the Way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.” Acts 18:24-26
"All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words, acknowledged that God's Way was right, because they had been baptized by John". Luke 7:29
"But there was a great commotion at that time about the Way of God." Acts 19:23
"And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison." Acts 22:4
"But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;" Acts 24:14
"Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. "When Lysias the commander comes," he said, "I will decide your case." Acts 24:22
The Movement of God through the Natsraya was and is today called the Way.
WHAT WAS THE MISSION AND MESSAGE OF THE WAY?
Eshu made it plain even in the New Testament scriptures despite centuries of edits and redactions. So, forget Paul and his ideas. After all, Paul could not agree with the disciples of Jesus and he never met Jesus. Paul’s ideas were imagination at the least and visionary at the most. He even said that he learned none of his doctrines from men.
WHAT DID JESUS SAY HIS MISSION AND MESSAGE WERE?
Jesus came to preach the Good News – to give people an understanding of the Kingdom of God and the hope that they had through him. This message was that those who had needs could be made whole. Those who were followers of the Way would be the instruments in which change would be made. He constantly made reference to the kingdoms of God and Heaven which were the same under two names used as synonyms. He made it evident that both Heaven and God were not outside of the person, but both were within. Therefore, one was not to look for the kingdom in a distant place but rather within. This concept eludes many today who consider themselves followers of the kingdom of God in that they put all their hope in a distant kingdom of Heaven to be experienced after death. A kingdom AFTER DEATH was NEVER taught. It's a misunderstanding based on the words kingdom of heaven. Heaven is WITHIN, not without. Please read his words again and relearn what you thought you knew.
Jesus often taught parables that touched upon the reality of poverty in the experience of his listeners. In the Acts of the Apostles, there are scenes of the early community of Natsraya struggling with how to think about possessions, poor widows in the community, and the proper attitude toward material wealth.
Jesus wanted his followers to learn the discipline of meeting needs, not building empires, building clubs called churches, and gaining membership numbers.
Jesus had a very public mission of calling Israel back to God. Israel was a very religious people who had traded the Way of God as modeled by Jesus for a priesthood hierarchy that controlled the populace by Levitical Laws and Oral Regulations. The Way looked for needs and made the needy whole. This was and is Salvation. Christianity does not find it’s way in the Way of Jesus and God. They find theirs in the way of Paul. The God of Mankind is not a vengeful God who demands fear and submission. That is the adopted God of Israel – YHWH. The True God is within mankind. The True Torah is simple and easy to remember: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. For this reason, you should not murder, steal, or covet. You should honor your earthly and Celestial parents. Jesus focused on society’s need for justice, morality, and service to others.