Are Nazarenes Christians?

No, but despite this fact, like all Jews, we see Christians as our brothers in the larger Judeo-Christian tradition and we readily join with them in promoting shared Judeo-Christian principles.

Epiphanius writes:

But these sectarians… did not call themselves Christians–but “Nazarenes,” … However they are simply complete Jews.
(Epiphanius; Panarion 29)

Notice that these original Jewish followers of Yeshua were a sect of Judaism which “did not call themselves Christians”.   No Nazarene in the Ketuvum Netzarim (the so-called “New Testament”) ever refers to themseves as a “Christian”.  In fact Paul never calls himself a Christian, but frequently identifies himself as Jewish (Acts 21:39; 22:3) and even as a “Pharisee” (Acts 23:6). The word “Christian(s)” appears only three times in the so-called “New Testament” and always in a context of being used by non-believers to describe believers. In the Aramaic of Acts and 1Kefa (The only books to use the word “Christian(s)”) the word always appears as a transliterated Greek word and not as the Aramaic word for “Christian” implying that Helenists who spoke Greek were the ones calling them “Christians”.   The Greek word Christes is closely related to the Greek word Chrestes which was the name of a false god and was a word indicating a pagan priest or prophet and was often a title for pagan gods.   Although CHRISTI is used by Homer as applied to the rubbing with oil of the body after bathing (Il. 23, 186; also in Od., 4, 252) the word Christes meant a white-washer, but Chrestes was a common title for pagan gods. The persecutors probably were poking fun at believers in Messiah because if one adapts Greek CHRISTI (anoint) in the same was as the Hebrew word Mashiach is derived from the three letter root M-SH-CH (anoint), then the result is a word meaning “white washer” (i.e. one who covers things up and makes them look white/pure when they are not so on the inside). The Greek speakers probably got a good laugh out of this.

Originally the term “Christian” was a derogatory term used for Gentiles who were attracted to Nazarene Judaism and did not refer to a follower of a religion later named “Christianity”.  The word “Christianity” was coined later by Ignatious sometime after 98 CE.  Nazarenes see Christianity as an apostate movement which has rebelled against and rejected the Torah of YHWH and incorporated a great deal of paganism into its new non-Jewish religion.

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