Is “Christian” supposed to be “natsarim”?
Hello, brethren in Christ,
I hope you are well and my greetings to you and the church. I have been going on your website for many answers to questions that I study and I get provided many concrete answers.
I wanted to get some clarification on the word "natsarim". I have been having some discussion with a friend who states that the Bible is translated wrong. For example: "Christians" are actually "Natsarim". Now the kind of Bible he uses is a Hebrew Bible. He states that there is no such thing as Christians, the word, or rather "religion" itself mentioned in the Bible. But in James 1:26, it states it there.
Can you please shed some light on this?
Thank you and God bless.
When arguments are made, there is a set of assumptions made from which the argument is built. Formally, the set of assumptions are called prepositions. The prepositions for an argument must be true in order for the argument as a whole to be true. If you show that one or more of the prepositions are false, then the whole argument collapses.
Your friend starts out assuming that the New Testament is written in Hebrew. That is provably false. See:
- Was the New Testament written in Greek or Aramaic?
- The New Testament was written in Hebrew, not Greek!
In Acts 11:26 we read, "And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."
The word natsarim is a Hebrew word for Nazarenes. Nazarene (singular) means a person from the town of Nazareth. The only time we find Nazarenes (plural) used is in a derogatory accusation against Paul. "For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5). However, the accusation is wrong because Christianity is not a sect of Judaism. It is the replacement of the Israelite religion. While Jesus did grow up in Nazareth, Christianity did not originate in Nazareth.
Your friend likes to think of himself as superior because he knows a little bit of Hebrew. As you noted, the Bible proves his various positions wrong. Knowledge of God's teaching does not require knowing Hebrew or Greek. You can understand what God said by reading translations in your own language.
"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God" (I Corinthians 1:26-29).
Thank you so much for the response!
I hope I am always welcome to ask questions.
Thank you once again
Everyone is welcome to ask questions. I answer as many as I'm able.