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The term Nazarene was one of several appellations given to Christians in the early centuries A.D. Helena Blavatsky writes in Isis Unveiled that both Jesus and John the Baptist were Nazarenes. She numbers the early Nazarenes among the Gnostic sects.

Confusion has arisen in the translation of the word Nazarene. It has traditionally been translated as “of Nazareth,” but there is no record that Nazareth existed at the time Jesus lived. Some scholars suggest that the word Nazarene means that Jesus was a Nazirite (Hebrew nazir, from nazar, “separate,” “consecrate,” “abstain”). The Nazirites were men and women who were consecrated to the service of God, either through their own vow or that of a parent. Blavatsky views the Nazarenes as the spiritual descendants of the original Nazirites, referred to in the Old Testament.


Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 36, no. 26, June 27, 1993.