The Academy of Prophets dates back many thousands of years. It continued with the Nazorean Academy which became fully established prior to and during the ministry of John the Baptist followed by Jesus the Nazorean. The Academy continued through the fourth century of the current era when it was condemned along with all beliefs that diverged from Rome.
Welcome to this blog. Here we will discuss the continuation of the Nazorean Academy of Prophets along with questions as to what this all means. Send questions; make suggestions; be a part of this Work. You may decide that this is not at all what you expected. Then again, it may be perfect and settles well with your spirit and conscience.
One question we are asked is:
How is this NOT a Church?
A critical examination of the Bible, especially the New Testament, shows that the Church was an innovation of Paul, not Jesus. You may counter that it was Jesus who said "Upon this rock I will build my church."
The man responsible for the first New Testament writings was Paul. The original disciples continued in the Way of the Nazoreans, based in Jerusalem. Paul came out with a radical change from the gospel.
According to the oldest Greek-based gospel, Mark 6:
8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
He concluded his Message much later with the same message, Matthew 25:
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" The consistency of the Jesus message is evident.
Originally called Saul, Paul claimed to have had a vision on the Damascus road and subsequently converted to the Nazorean faith. (Acts 7). He renamed himself “Paul.” Even though an educated man, Paul failed to impress the Ebionites who were the poorest of the district - uneducated fishermen and shepherds. Simple people were impressed with the simplistic gospel of the Nazoreans - John the Baptist and Jesus. Among the leaders in Jerusalem were brothers/ step-brothers James, Matthew, Simeon, Joses, and Jude. These continued the simplistic charity message. James was uncharacteristically intelligent and well-versed, an exception to the uneducated many. Paul tended to be intimidated by James who was the unchallenged leader of the Nazoreans. Jesus himself named James as his successor. (Gospel of Thomas 12). Jesus also warned of the coming of Paul. (Matthew 7:15-20)
Who could be so audacious, even blasphemous, to criticize Paul? Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William Short and repeated in a letter to James Smith, dated December 8, 1822: “Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus. these palpable interpolations and falsifications of his doctrines led me to try to sift them apart." - Thomas Jefferson to William Short, April 13, 1820.” The English playwright, George Bernard Shaw said: “…it would have been a better world if Paul had never been born.” Back during the centuries following Paul, Epiphanius related that the Ebionites opposed the Apostle Paul and named him an apostate.
The Nazoreans recognized Paul as one who persecuted their numbers and in an effort to escalate his efforts, fabricated a conversion to infiltrate their numbers and destroy their credibility from the inside. In the second century of the current era, one Marcion, enemy of both the Jews and Nazoreans, was instrumental in accumulating Paul’s writings and establishing the New Testament. A couple of centuries later, Marcion’s New Testament was tweaked into today’s New Testament by the council’s of Rome. The Greek church established by Paul followed by the Church of Rome managed to endorse the doctrines of Paul even though he managed to completely contradict and undermine the teachings he claimed to have been converted. Paul the Renegade invented an entirely new priesthood-based religion in the name of the one whom he had previously professed to hate and destroy. Paul’s new religion gutted the Nazorean Way with a new vocabulary, set of rules and regulations, and a new god.
If Paul showed any consistency, it was in one thing - his ability to repeatedly contradict and undermine the teachings of Jesus the Nazorean. Paul was the ultimate anarchist, infiltrating the ranks and even managed to be falsely labeled as a “ringleader of the Nazarenes.” His doctrines opposed Jesus’ selfless compassion and action and replaced it with a self-serving acceptance of some mythical Christ whereby missing an eternal existence in a fiery hell and receiving the free gift of heaven by grace through faith is the new goal. Guess what? No behaviors, actions, or obedience to Moral Law is required. As a matter, such things are categorically rejected as being from the evil one, otherwise known as Satan. Paul insisted that works were not necessary despite Jesus teaching that compassionate works were the sole factor that separated the sheep from the goats. By the way, the goats were those cast into outer darkness.
It is possible that Paul’s conversion experience was genuine, and equally possible that he just misheard the voice that spoke to him. He’s been dead for two thousand years and can’t be cross-examined as to his motives. But we do have several writings of Nazoreans including James and Peter outside of the heavily Paulinized New Testament. Our ancient writings tell the true story of the relationship between the Nazoreans and Paul that are only hinted at in the New Testament. It was the constant and sincere belief of the Nazoreans that Paul was subversive and referred to as the Enemy.
Let us compare the words, sayings, and teachings of Paul to Jesus and Jesus’ closest representatives:
Faith vs. Works
Attaining salvation - Paul taught that salvation was based solely on faith and never according to one’s actions, behaviors, or deeds. Salvation defined by Paul was going to heaven and missing hell. Jesus taught the exact opposite: Find those in need and deliver them from those needs. Make them whole. That is salvation. To do this is an obligation of the Way of God. No grace. No faith. No free gift. No heaven. No hell. Through compassionate charity we GIVE salvation to others. To Paul we are the receivers of salvation. Paul is dead wrong. Paul emphasized the importance of not being in league with some fictional Antichrist while rewriting the message and mission of the Nazoreans. Rather than “Give”, Paul said “Take”.
Paul invented spiritual laws, a competition of gifts of the spirit, a list of do’s and don’ts to outdo the Laws of Moses all in the name of “Christ” - whoever that is - and with the supposed purpose of freeing the believer to a place of overflowing. Paul proudly legitimized the work in the Jewish Temple by turning his “Christ” into the new, sufficient sacrifice. By changing Jesus into Christ, Paul could remove the earthly teachings of charity and replace them with a higher, more spiritual way. Rather than using his closest friends and students for this work, Jesus chose his mortal enemy - someone who hated his guts to introduce his new mystery religion - Christianity and the Church. Do you seriously believe that? Paul referred to Jesus’s disciples as false brethren, designating himself the only true Apostle - another term he invented.
Jesus introduced a new concept, a new standard - You should love more than your friends and neighbors; also love your enemies.
When asked: What is the most important commandment? Jesus answered (Matt 22:36-40 and Luke 10:25-37 plus Deuteronomy 6:5) Love god and love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). In the Lucan text, the lawyer asks a very specific question (vs 25): What is necessary for eternal life? Jesus referenced the two great commandments and then said (vs 28): “Do this and you will live.” This clearly shows that salvation is related to works, deeds, and actions - not faith; not grace; not asking Jesus in your heart; no belief in an atonement on the cross. In Luke’s version, Jesus illustrates his point with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Therein he defined “neighbor” to include enemies. Here his example is to prove salvation, making one whole, by their compassionate actions toward their enemy. The Samaritan is not a believer. He has no faith. He has not accepted Jesus as savior. Still, Jesus says he is the example of one who gains eternal life. Remember, that is what the lawyer asked.
Jesus taught that to be saved, one must become as a little child (Mt 18:4-5; 19:14; Mk 9:36-37; 10:14-15; Lk 18:15-17). Paul contradicted Jesus, saying that maturity demands that we forsake the things of childhood (I Cor 13:11). Jesus taught that the Way of God (the kingdom) is filled with those who practice active compassion and filled with childlike innocence. Paul insisted it is a place where people have professed the name of Christ and accepted Jesus as their Savior, having never performed a single kind, compassionate, childlike deed.
In the New Testament’s version of Jesus’s last public teaching (Mt. 25:31-45) he describes judgment as based solely on responses to compassion. He makes it abundantly clear that those who are compassionate in their actions will be saved. He is equally clear that those who are not compassionate in their actions will be cast into outer darkness, meaning in Christian terms - you won’t be saved. Follow Paul and his methods and you will be lost.
Paul vs. James
Paul taught that his version of salvation occurs apart from any legal requirement: Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” He restates his position many times throughout his letters of instruction: Romans 4:6; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; II Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5 It should be alarming that Paul was the first Biblical writer to claim that salvation can be had apart from actions.
The leader of the Jerusalem Nazoreans, James, rebuked Paul and his heretical teachings. James 2:24 - “You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” James’ vocabulary and syntax shows that he (James) was familiar with Paul’s false-instruction. James was outspoken in his defense of Nazorean standards making Paul’s response to be a name-caller, calling James and the Nazoreans false-brethren and false-apostles. He even sarcastically referred to the Jerusalem group as super-apostles.
Perhaps now, you can see why the Book of James was one of the most disputed books of the New Testament. It is the only NT book that upholds Nazorean standards. All the others, including the gospels, are dripping with Pauline editorials.
In Romans 4:1-3, Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6, and insists that Abraham was justified by his faith and not his works. Referring to the same passage in Genesis, in James 2:21-24, the Nazorean leader comes to the opposite and contradictory conclusion - Abraham was justified by works and faith. Once again, these comparative arguments show that James was very familiar with Paul’s heretical teaching. Many scholars are familiar with the fact that James is rebuking Paul directly. Some scholars insist that Paul and James had different meanings for “justification,” “faith,” and “works.” The fact is - they used the same words, in the same order, and in the same context. Both illustrated the same example of Abraham and Isaac and both referenced Genesis 15:6. Paul is undermining the teachings of Jesus and James is rebuking him. In fact, the Nazoreans of Jerusalem were a real thorn in his side. He admitted his inability o get along with Peter in Galatians 2:11: “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” You only get Paul’s versions of his disputes with the Nazorean brotherhood; therefore you get a very skewed version.
The Nazoreans and Paul agree on many things: the sun rises in the east; breathing air is good for people; compassionate love expressed in good deeds is good. First Corinthians chapter 13 seems inspirational in many ways and we agree with most written there. Paul was a heretic and did what all heretics do - mix truth with lies.
Faith and compassionate deeds are good. Compassionate deeds will result in salvation because salvation is making people whole again. Faith is good because it can motivate you to help those in need, but faith is not necessary or mandatory.
Paul agrees that faith and deeds are good. He insists that faith will get you into heaven which is Hellenistic philosophy. He would admit that compassionate deeds are good and reflect sincere faith, but not necessary or mandatory.
The Law of Moses and the True Torah
The Nazoreans never took pride in those who put their faith in being a descendant of Abraham or their trust in the Law of Moses. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Nazorean made it clear (Mt. 5:18-19): “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” The Nazoreans believed there was the True Torah or Law that was the kernel of the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses was rejected as man-made by the corrupt priesthood who established rule upon rule to snuff the life from those who would have generously followed the Way in acts of compassionate love. Have heaven and earth passed away? Have all the prophecies been fulfilled? No. Therefore the True Torah is the Rule of the Way.
What is the True Torah? (Mt 19: 16-22) Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to attain Life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter Life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”
There is the True Torah. Follow the commandments. Which commandments? Those stated here. NOT the 613 Jewish commandments. Not even the 10 Commandments. I count six. SIX. And the sixth is a summary of the first five. There is a seventh commandment given if you have the goal of being perfect. Take everything you do not require to live and give them to those who need them to sustain life. Life is human life. Eating, clothing, shelter, health.
The Nazoreans reject both Abraham and Moses. Why? Abraham practiced and perpetuated the priesthood - specifically circumcision and sacrifice. Moses expanded the priesthood with rules, regulations, and laws. Both Abraham and Moses practiced and honored slavery. They created a caste system whereby some people were better, with greater honor, and greater riches. Both perpetuated a monetary system that elevated gold and silver. Moses cast those with afflictions, those needing help out of the assembly rather than establishing a place where they were cared for and rehabilitated. Both invented systems that were self-contained and exclusive to ethnic identity and discouraged intermingling with all others. In the ideals of the Nazoreans, both systems are pure evil.
Paul vs. The Nazoreans:
Nazoreans are consecrated to the service of God. It is acceptable to make vows to God and their fellow man for certain amounts of time. One may consecrate one month of service. Another three months. One six months or a year. You may take a break from service and then a few days or weeks later renew your vows. Nazoreans make vows to abstain from alcohol, The consecrated Nazorean does not allow scissors to touch his hair.
Strong wine is a symbol of God's judgment and wrath. Nazoreans are consecrated to love, peace, and charity - not judgment and wrath.
The hair is also symbolic of the carnal which in the Nazorean Way explains why they do not speak of the Holy Spirit as an advocate but rather an adversary. The hair is the symbolic growth of the carnal mind while also representing spirit and therefore not cut. Hair represents the outpouring power of the spirit. For example, Delilah was symbolically considered both spirit and emotions. When she cut Samson’s hair, it was a symbol of the emotional nature cutting away the power of the spirit. Cutting his hair left Samson defenseless against the lower carnal nature and he lost his power.
Paul Contradicts the Nazorean Way:
Christians have excused Paul for two thousand years with his stance on drinking alcohol. Jews have no problem because they have always endorsed the use of wine. In modern times we know the dangers. Alcohol has always had the effect of bringing down inhibitions, tearing up families, and being the way fights get started and people killed. The Nazoreans have always been anti-alcohol. Paul, pretending to be a spokesperson for the Nazoreans contradicts their very base vows: “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (1 Tim. 5:23) Essentially Paul is encouraging the use of alcohol, after all, it will make your tummy feel better.
The Nazoreans place women in positions of honor, not subjugation. In I Cor 11: 13-15, Paul takes the opposite position, making women equal to slaves in how they relate to husbands. Christians have once again excused Paul with a hypothesis that Corinth was full of out-of-control women who needed to be reeled back into balance. That is clearly not the case in our view. Nevertheless, Paul teaches with the authoritative tongue of a self-designated apostle: “Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife [or woman] to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.” We all know Paul was wrong in his position. His was a chauvinistic anti-Nazorean position. Nature has never taught that there is shame for a man to have long hair. Quite the opposite is true, as the Nazirites from among the Nazoreans were specifically instructed to NOT cut their hair.
Jesus and Paul had conflicting ideas about how worship should be conducted.
The Nazorean was a wanderer, walking from village to township to countryside, lakeside, and even wilderness. His was an informal preaching and teaching ministry. He met needs and taught those he met to meet needs. Those he sent out were instructed to never solicit payment for their services. That is the simplest and least formalized form of ministry. It cannot even be called religion. It met social, not spiritual or religious needs. The spiritual and religious functions were constructs of the priesthood - enemy of the Nazorean Prophets.
Jesus spoke with individuals, families, small groups, and even priests and lawyers. The average person was usually interested and very receptive to his message, and his priesthood audience saw him as a minister of truth or a troublemaker.
Prayer was a private behavior. It wasn’t a requirement or chore. He taught his followers and listeners to pray in private. To pray in public was distasteful and exhibitionism (Mt. 6:1-18). In verses 5 and 6, he says: “when you pray, you must never… do so publicly in the synagogues or on the street corners.”
Jesus spent extra time on how to pray as he began his ministry. It seems that he had prophetic insight that others would follow to undermine and contradict him.
Jesus did not organize a church or synagogue. He led a very small band of friends and followers from village to town.
In great contrast to Jesus, Paul organized a giant system of churches as he traveled throughout the known world. He wrote letters to his churches to maintain administrative control of the great network he single-handedly built. These letters, several of which were gathered together to form nearly half of the New Testament, helped standardized his unique doctrines, a system not based on Judaism or the Nazoreans. Paul’s was a contradictory theology.
Today’s Christians make use of Paul’s elaborate public worship rituals and repudiate the simple teachings of Jesus the Nazorean whom they supposedly ask into their heart in hope that they will be spared judgment and punishment in a fiery hell. Just as Paul accepted Jesus in name only, so do his followers.
Dealing with Sinners: Jesus spoke privately and publicly with those Jewish society labeled as sinners. The priesthood was appalled as they watched him engage with the unclean: adulterers, prostitutes, publicans, tax collectors, and lepers among others. Jesus had an explanation for his critics: “The whole do not need a physician.” Paul contradicts Jesus (I Cor 5:11): “But remember, I have written to you to never keep company with any man that is immoral, covetous, idolater, troublemaker, drunkard, or extortionist; do not even eat with one of these.”
Feeding the Poor: Jesus taught (Mt 25:31-46) that wholeness, living in the Light, is based on our willingness to feed the poor. Jesus constantly emphasized the importance of feeding the poor (Mt 19:21; Mt: 25:31-46; Mt 26:9; Mk 10:21; Lk 18:22; Jn 12:6). Paul contradicted Jesus: (II Thess 3:10) “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if anyone does not work, neither should he eat.” Paul would turn away the poor, handicapped, unemployed, disabled, and elderly.
Slavery: In pre-Civil War days, Southern plantation owners defended slavery by quoting Paul, citing Ephesians 6:5 and Titus 2:9-10, where Paul exhorts slaves to obey their masters. Paul never once condemned slavery throughout his extensive writings, although slavery was widely practiced in his lifetime. Paul contradicted Jesus who was a champion of the slave. Jesus exalted the “least of these” (Mt 25:31-46) and elevated the slave above their masters (Mt 20:27; Mt. 23:11; Mk 9:35; Mk 10:44).
Equality for Women: Paul seemed to despise women. The Women’s Movement recognized Paul as anti-woman. Paul commanded that women not be allowed to speak in the churches (I Cor 14:34-45); they were instructed to stay home and take care of the children (I Tim 5:14); wives were told to recognize that they were to be subservient to their masters, their husbands (Eph 2:12; 5:22-24; Col 3:18-19).
Jesus, on the other hand, elevated women. He raised up the status of women who were prostitutes, the Samaritan woman by the well, and those who were his close associates such as Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene. The Nazoreans elevated women; not the Jews, the church, the Romans, and especially not Paul. Jesus even fussed at Martha for adopting a traditional woman’s role, while praising her sister Mary for choosing a more proactive participation (Lk 10: 38-42). Women were recognized for their economic support for Jesus’s ministry (Lk 8:2-3).
Homosexuals: Paul was the only New Testament writer who was anti-homosexual (Rom 1:24-27). You would think that Paul wasn’t anti-Law of Moses by his severe words of disdain for the gay community which matched those of the Levitical priesthood. In contrast, Jesus never uttered a single word against homosexual relationships. Since homosexuals were such sinful creatures according to the Law and Paul, and given Jesus’ affinity for sinners, lepers, tax collectors, and all others of society’s outcasts, it is very likely that in our time, it would be Jesus who would embrace the homosexuals rejected by those who claim to be his followers. It is no wonder that Paul’s words were used to justify slavery and also to persecute homosexuals.
Paul is responsible for the concept of original sin (Rom 5:12): “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
The Nazoreans agree with the Jews in this regard. How can Adam be responsible for our sin? Where is the justice in an inherited moral flaw? Am I to be punished for something my mother or father did? Of course not. We have the power to break unhealthy cycles. Should babies born with birth defects be punished? Should babies be born with defects due to their ancestor’s sins?
Jesus’ Sacrifice for Sin
Paul invented the theology of atonement of Jesus as a human sacrifice for sin based on the Law of Moses that he rejected, Once again, Jesus explicitly rejected this doctrine. Mt 9:13 and Mt 12:7: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”
Why Do People Follow Paul?
People like religion. They enjoy and feel a sense of accomplishment when they have a problem, a few easy steps to remove the problem, and a reward. Paul says, “Have faith, believe and receive your free gift.” You don’t have to do anything. It’s free. Paul even said it was best to NOT do anything, otherwise they may be tempted to boast at what they had earned.
Paul had impressive credentials for the Western mind to latch onto. He was wealthy, educated, and a rare Jew and Roman citizen. That meant he had the means and papers that made exhaustive travel possible. He traversed the entire Roman empire, converting gullible victims who were susceptible to his false-religion and diverted from the Nazorean Way. He gained traction early since he could speak their language, appeal to their vanity and need for religion, and invented a new set of standards and terminology that made the new converts feel as though they were being admitted into a secret, elite Mystery Religion. They did not know Jesus so when Paul spoke of Christ,they did not even have to relate this new religion to Judaism, and if they did make the connection, Paul simply spoke authoritatively of how this religion replaced the older form.
Paul created a unique, original doctrine: Salvation is missing an eternal, fiery hell by one special atonement through - placing on the altar a bloody, sinless, human sacrifice. Such a doctrine runs 180 degrees counter to the key principles of the Nazoreans, especially Jesus and his successor James, yet this very core principle is the foundation upon which Christian theology is founded.