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orion-list Genesseret, a "Brancher" Town?

John Wheeler writes:
"Why not simply "ge-netseret", "Valley of Nazareth (or, of a 

John, I have not heard of "ge-" meaning valley before.  I am not
a Hebrew scholar and so am dependent on others when it comes
to new information like this.  Is this what you are suggesting?
If there is general agreement on this, I would think this would be
a very important thought.

You also write that "It seems clear enough that the early Christians
were called  "Nazarenes" after their founder, Jesus of *Nazareth*."

While I am quite enthusiastic about the idea that *Nazaret* refers
to BRANCH, I am extremely skeptical that it applies to Jesus because
of a TOWN called Nazareth.  It makes little sense to me that all of
Jesus' diverse followers (from Samaria, Judea and from Gallilee)
would be refered to as Nazarenes in terms of merely a single town.

I think it is more likely that the word DOES refer to "Branchers"
and that it ties in with Epiphanius's reference to a pre-Jesus Jewish
sect called "Nazorenes", and that the name, as Branchers, was 
probably applied to a community in which the key families (possibly
Davidic) lived.  I propose the town is Genesseret on the shores of
rather than on the current Nazareth location, which seems pretty
far removed from the fishing villages and fishing metaphors of
Jesus' ministry.

And that this early Nazorene sect was affiliated with Rechabite and
even Samaritan ancestry, and thus affiliated with the Essenes.
Further, I will be proposing that the Hasidim were, in fact, Rechabite-
inspired clans of warrior nomads, living in the general regions of
Samaria, that joined with the Priestly movement against the Greeks.
And that the fusion of the priestly clans, Scribes/Levites and the
Hasidim produced the Essene movement (of which Qumran was
only one expression).

Finally, I will propose that the pre-Jesus Nazorene movement could
be Hippolytus's 4th party of the Essenes, that the other divisions felt
polluted by if they were to touch them. 

I look forward to more of your input.  I am still working on my
next post on this thread.

George Brooks
Tampa, FL
For private reply, e-mail to George Brooks <george.x.brooks@juno.com>
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