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The Nazoraeans As A ‘Sect’ In ‘Sectarian’ Judaism? A Reconsideration Of The Current View Via The Narrative Of Acts And The Meaning Of Hairesis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter questions the definition of the early Jewish-Christian followers of Jesus as a αἵρεσις (heiress) - a term usually translated as 'sect'. It explores the definition of the Sadducees, Pharisees, Essences and 'Galileans' (or 'Zealots' ) as αἵρεσις (heiress) in Acts and the works of Josephus. The word heiress is reviewed in terms of its placement in the narrative of Acts, and also in terms of the way it is used to convey a particular meaning. Having assessed the meaning, the chapter finally considers some historical ramifications, most particularly the word's common translation as 'sect' and the implications of this in terms of understanding of Second Temple Judaism as being in some way 'sectarian' in nature. In Acts 24: 5, the Jewish disciples of Jesus are called Ναζωραῖοι (Nazōraioi).

Keywords: Ναζωραῖοι (Nazōraioi); αἵρεσις (hairesis); Acts of the Apostles; Josephus; Second Temple Judaism; Jesus



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