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View of the Temple Mount from the site of Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue


The Manuscript and Mural Evidence for the Synagogue of the Nazarenes

Study into the Archeology and History of the Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue  

Called by Christians ‘The Apostolic Church in the House with the Upper Room’

Commentary by Robert D. Mock M.D.

September, 2004


Part Four



Manuscript and Archeological Evidence for a Nazarene Synagogue

The Pilgrim of Bordeaux and Eucherius

Caradactus, Gladys and Rufus Pudens and the Basilica of Ste. Pudentianna  

The Mosaic Apse of the Basilica Ste. Pudentianna

The Map of Jerusalem in the Madaba Mosaic

The Believers of the Hebrew Nazarene Synagogues were Jewish


Manuscript and Archeological Evidence for a Nazarene Synagogue

The Pilgrim of Bordeaux and Eucherius


We can now look at the evidence in a travel log of the Pilgrim of Bordeaux, who visited Jerusalem in the year 333 CE.  When you analyze the route of his pilgrimage, there is a suggestion that this pilgrim was not just a Christian but a Nazarene Christian


Most pilgrims to the Holy Land, when they went into the ‘Holy City’, would first go to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Yet the Pilgrim of Bordeaux in his itinerary first took the road from the Temple Mount over to the western hill of Mount Zion.  He describes details of his journey as he walked from the temple to the Siloam Pool and then ascending up to Mount Zion.  It was there he passed by the ruins of the house of Caiphas, the high priest who was instrumental for the death of Jesus.  Then he entered the ‘wall of Sion.”  There in his notes he mused that this was where the palace of David stood and that a ‘synagogue’ was still visible on the site of David’s palace.


Pilgrim of Bordeaux - Inside Sion, within the wall, you can see where David had his palace. Seven synagogues were there, but only one is left, the rest have been "plowed down and sown," as was said by the Prophet Isaiah. (Wilkinson 1983:157- 158 quoted in the Tomb of David and the Cenacle)


Then the Bordeaux pilgrim exited the wall of Sion and headed in the direction of the Damascus Gate, called the Neapolis Gate.  Along the route he inspected the walls of Pilate’s palace on the right overlooking the Tyropean Valley.  Notice in this entire itinerary, there is no mention of a tomb of Jesus or a site for the crucifixion at Golgotha.


By all appearances this pilgrim was knowledgeable in the Hebrew scripture and was versed in the history of the Jewish people.  The Pilgrim of Bordeaux also makes mention that the Jewish people were allowed back into the city of Jerusalem only once a year to ‘lament’ the destruction of the temple near a “perforated stone” near the temple site.  Was this ‘perforated stone’, the sahne actually the Dome of the Rock? 

  The Dome of the Rock


Whereas the Pilgrim of Bordeaux made special mention of a synagogue that still stood on Mount Sion, Epiphanius a few decades later called this structure a ‘church’.  Was it the same building but seen from a different perspective? 


We also in the same era have the writings of Eucherius written about 440 CE, who was a  retired Roman senator and a learned scholar and later the archbishop of Lyons

FranceHe stated;


Eucherius (440 CE) - "The plain upper part [of Mt. Zion] is occupied by monks' cells, which surround a church. Its foundations, it is said, have been laid by the Apostles in reverence to the place of the resurrection of the Lord. It was there that they were filled with the Spirit of the Paraclete [the Holy Spirit] as promised by the Lord." (cited by The Wandering Tomb of King David,)


Are we seeing in this quote an astute observation of a church scholar who recognized that the orientation of this former synagogue, now a church, was towards the tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher?


The Apse of the Basilica of Ste. Pudentianna 


There on a side street near the famous Basilica Saintes Maria Maggiore on the Via Urbana just off the Via Agostino Depretis, is the small Basilica of Sainte Pudentianna located over the site of the first Christian Nazarene Church in the city of Rome located at the home of Gladys and Rufus Pudens.  . 


The origin of the Basilica dates to 400 CE and there on the apse of the Basilica just to the right of Jesus’ head is an artist’s recreation of the Octagonal Memorial Church commissioned by Theodosius I (about 382 CE).  To the right of the Octagonal Church is the Church of the Apostles depicting the small synagogue as it is supposed to appear at 400 CE.  To the left of Jesus’ head is depicted the Anastasis which is now built into the larger Church of the Holy Sepulcher.


HTM0113W.gif (58489 bytes)The Mosaic Apse of the Basilica Ste. Pudentianna


That this apse mosaic is still intact today is a remarkable feat on a Basilica site.  Yet it is  which the Roman Catholic Church who is not sure it truly wants to fully affirm the origins if this basilica that does not affirm their apostolic succession that Peter was the first bishop of Rome. 


This is the story of the two patron saints, Pudentianna and Praxedes who are part of the most remarkable untold stories of Christendom.  Yet the Catholic Church has virtually dropped these two Christian virgins from their official saint’s lists because their traditions, legends and stories are not affirmed by the orthodox Roman church.  Though they were born and raised in Rome, both came out of the Celtic British Culdee Nazarene-Christian history and as such are not part of the official Roman Christian history.  Telling the story also affirms that the story of the Christian Church is a bigger picture than that affirmed by the Roman Christian Community. 


The traditional interpretation of this mosaic is that it is a portrayal of the buildings on the apse as they appeared contemporary to the artist that created the mosaic.  If so, then the portrayal of the Cenacle or the Synagogue of the Apostles would be how it would have been visualized in 400 CE as a synagogue.  To espouse the interpretations of scholars that there were no synagogues or churches after the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 130 CE because a battalion of the 10th Roman Legion was living on Mount Zion suggests that either the history is not correct or the portrayal of the apse of the Basilica of Ste. Pudentianna is not correct. 


It was in 1998 that I spent ten days investigating the early archeological evidence of the Early Christian Church in Rome.  With my historical knowledge of the British Culdee traditions of Joseph of Arimathea and his school (university) built at Glastonbury, it was easy to trace the earliest roots of the Nazarene Ecclesia not only in Celtic Britain but the remarkable transplantation of the message of salvation by the ‘blood of the messiah Yeshua’ from Britain to Rome.  The message of the death and resurrection of Yeshua found fertile soil of the Druids in Celtic Wales and western Britain for they also were looking for a messiah called Yesu. 


Yet in the powerful and unrelenting drive of Rome to conquer the world, the most powerful resistance to the unconquerable legions of Rome came from the tribe of the Royal Silurians, the kinsmen of that wealthy and powerful Roman Decurio, Joseph of Arimathea, who also was the maternal uncle of Jesus


In 42 CE, Claudius Caesar gave an edict to expel all Jews from the city of Rome yet within that same edict by the Roman Senate, it was also a capital offense to convert to Christianity and to the Druidic faith.  What was not recognized in this edict was that the thrust of Roman resistance was not towards the Jews but towards Christians and Druids in Britain. 


The next year, 43 CE, a major invasion was planned by Claudius Caesar into Britain to be spearheaded by Aulus Plautinus, the “Scipio” of his day with headquarters in Chichester, Britain and Rufus Pudens as his aide de camper.  They were to conquer and exterminate the British Christians.


Over in Wales and Cornwall, the stronghold of the tribe of the Silurians, we find three brothers, Guiderius, the eldest who was first in command but killed in the second battle. Arviragus, prince of the Cornwall dukedom who was a friend and confidant of Joseph of Arimathea and Caradoc, the leader of the Welch Silurian returning from military retirement, was elected as the commander in chief of the royal forces (Pendragon) and joined his forces with Arviragus.


Here we have a Celtic Druid, Caradactus, whose father, Bran the Blessed,  was the arch-Druid (high priest) of the all the Celtic Druids.  According to the history of the Culdee Christians, the family of Caradactus was baptized as Christian Nazarene converts by Joseph of Arimathea, Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  Caradactus was multi-lingual in Gaelic, Latin, Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic, yet more than that he was one of the fiercest opponents of Rome. Culdee literature calls him ‘bold and honorable’, feared by all of Rome as the ‘scourge of Rome’ and the first general to lead an army of Christians to battle. 


For nine years and 38 pitched battles, the Romans suffered defeat after defeat in pitched battles with the Pendragon Caracticus who had not received any reinforcements from either Ireland, Scotland or Gaul.  In the 39th pitched Battle of Clune in 52 CE, the forces of Caradactus met four of Rome’s most brilliant generals in history; Vespasian, who later placed the siege against Jerusalem and became the future Emperor of Rome, Titus, the son of Vespasian, who put Jerusalem and the temple of the Lord to the torch in 70 CE, Geta, the conqueror of Mauritania and Claudius Caesar who arrived with the 2nd and 14th Legions on the eve of battle directing the forces with a squadron of elephants. 


The Silurian forces in Britain made their first retreat when their horses panicked by the stench of the elephants.  While regrouping his forces, Caradactus spent the evening with his cousin, Aricia, the queen of the Brigantes, not knowing that she had been bought off by the Romans and turned traitor.  While asleep, she put him in chains and turned him over to the Romans.


Imprisoned, the entire royal family of Caradactus was taken to Rome; Caradactus and wife, his father, the Arch-Druid turned Christian, Bran the Blessed, Linus the crown prince, Gladys (princess in Gaelic) with her sister Eurgen.  According to the Roman historian Tacitus (Tacitus, bk xii, ch 36) the arrival of Caradactus and his family spread like wildfire to Rome and three million people lined the roads into Rome, awaiting the most feared man in the empire.  According to Tacitus,


Tacitus – “Rome trembled when she saw the Briton, though fast in chains.” (Tacitus, bk xii, ch 36)


There in Rome, Caradactus was sent to trial in the Roman Senate.  To a capacity crowd which for the first time, the Empress of Rome was allowed into the Senate and Gladys, the young seventeen year old daughter, refusing to leave her father’s side, stood by him on the Senate floor as he made his defense.  After Caradactus, in a manner free of spirit with a passion of righteous vigor and defending the rights of the free throughout all ages plead his own case to the Roman Senate who then to a standing ovation the Roman Senate gave him clemency. (Tacitus Annals 12:37) 


Queen Agrippa rose from her dais and went to the platform and shook hands with Caracticus and Gladys according to British customs and embraced them both according to Roman custom. 


Caracticus was given clemency yet was to stay in Rome for seven years and for his lifetime to renounce taking arms against Rome.  He was the only military enemy against Rome that was given his political freedom. Yet it was not for the sake of Caradactus but so that the cause of Yeshua could be permanently established by the Nazarenes in the city of Rome.  


Out of this act of clemency were forged bonds and alliances with the Claudian family that affected the polity of Rome and the development of the Roman Christian Church.


·                     Caradactus’ sister, Gladys Pomponia Graecinia, a convert of Joseph of Arimathea and the Bethany sisters, married the Roman military commander over all Britain, Aulus Plautinus.  For forty years, Pomponia Graecinia was a leader of high Roman society, scholar of classical Greek and Roman literature, author of prose in Greek, Latin and Cymric and whose works survived for 1500 years until they were burned in the Library of Glastonbury by the forces of Cromwell. 


·                     Gladys, the daughter of Caradactus was adopted into the family of Claudius Caesar and the next year married Rufus Puden Pudentius the aide de camp of the Roman Military Commander in Britain Aulus Plautinus.  Gladys’ new name was Gladys Claudia Britannica Pudentianna.  She was renown for her beauty and personal friends with Martial, the satirist of Rome, whose praise to Claudia and Rufus will be forever a part of classical Rome literature. Her children were all martyrs for Christ and her brother, Linus, became the first bishop of Rome.


·                     Linus, the prince heir to the throne of Siluria, son of Caradactus and sister to Claudia Britannica was ordained by the Apostle Paul in 58 CE as the first bishop of Rome.  The Apostle Peter was not the first bishop of Rome neither were any of the other Apostles were ever bishops of any ecclesia.  The apostles were commissioned to travel the world and were not appointed to the hierarchy of any one ecclesia.  According to the Apostolic Constitutions, the Apostle Peter stated,


Apostolic Constitutions - “Concerning those Bishops who have been ordained in our lifetime, we make known to you that they are these; of Antioch, Eudius, ordained by me, Peter, of the Church of Rome, Linus, brother of Claudia, was first ordained by Paul, and after Linus’s death, Clemens, the second ordained by me, Peter.”(Apostolic Constitutions, bk 1, p Jowett 125-6)


·                     Arviragus, the ruler of the western Silurians married Venus Julia, the daughter of Claudius Caesar, his arch military opponent.  When Arviragus again took up arms again against Rome when armistice between Rome broke, it never severed their love for each other or Venus love for her father.


·                     Rufus Puden Pudentianna was the son of Senator Quintus Cornelius Pudens who hosted the Apostle Peter in the city of Rome in 44 CE.  It was the senatorial estates willed to Rufus Pudens that resided on one of the seven hills of Rome, the Vermilion Hill.  This home became the home also for Caradactus and his family and known as the Palatium Britannica.  It was this home of the Roman Senator that hosted the first Christian Nazarene Church in the city of Rome, a magnificent estate which required 200 males and another 200 females to manage the estates.  Here were two magnificent baths, some of the largest in Rome, named after their two sons: Thermae Timotheus and Thermae Novanteus


·                     The Apostle Paul, when he arrived to Rome in chains, found family awaiting him.  It was Rufus Puden who was the half brother of Paul and the Jewess mother that gave birth to both of them was the wife of Senator Quintus Cornelius Pudens. 


Romans 16:13 – Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.”


It was Claudia, Paul’s sister-in-law who cared for him in their palatial home, the Palatium Britannica, and by tradition their children, Timotheus, Novanteus, Pudentianna and Praxedes were taught the love of Jesus on the lap of their uncle, the Apostle Paul.  It was in second Timothy that Paul sent greetings back to his family, Rufus and Claudia. 


II Timothy 4:21 – “Eubulus (Aristobulus, father-in-law of Peter) greets you, as well as Pudens, Claudia, and all the brethren.” 


·                     Two daughters were born to Gladys Claudia Britannica Pudentianna and Rufus Pudens Pudentianna: Pudentianna and Praxedes.  Both sisters died as virgins giving their lives entirely to the cause of the Lord, protecting, preserving and ministering to the families that were killed as martyrs in the infamous persecution of Nero.


·                     The Basilica Sainte Pudentianna was built over the bathhouses of the Palatium Britannica.  There enclosed within the church is a well by the basilica which is reputed to have the bones or relics of over 3000 martyrs for Christ during the Neronian Persecution.  And there on the apse of this ancient basilica built in 400 CE, one of the most ancient in Rome, is a mosaic picture of Jesus and His disciples and over them are mosaic pictorial representations of the chief Christian sites in Jerusalem in 400 CE.  One of these mosaic pictures is the “Church of the Apostle”, the Nazarene Synagogue of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem.  


The Map of Jerusalem in the Madaba Mosaic


On the border of Israel is a city of the Moabites which existed while the children of Israel under the leadership of Moses were dwelling in the land of the Amorites.  The children of Israel, in route to the Promised Land while traveling through the land of Basham, Og the ruler sought the services of the sorcerer and diviner, Balaam, and paid him to cast a spell upon the Israelites hoping to stop them from entering their land.  In the Biblical text we read of an ode to Heshbon. Here at the end of this ode we read,

SCN 1566

The Medaba Map on the Jordanian stamp of 1997


Numbers 21:30 – “Heshbon has perished as far as Dibon.  Then we laid waste as far as Nophah which reaches to Medaba.” 


Later we read in the Book of Joshua the tribal distribution given to Reuben and Gad which:


Joshua 13:8-10 – “Moses had given them beyond the Jordan eastward as Moses the servant of the Lord had given them:  from Aroer which is on the bank of the River Arnon, and the town that is in the midst of the ravine, and all the plain of Mobbed as far as Dibon.


This inheritance included the land of the Amorites surrounding Heshbon to the border of SCN 1372the Ammonites, Gilead, Mount Hermon and Basham.  


The Medaba Mosaic Map of Jerusalem on the 1989 Stamp of Jordan


In the reign of Justinian (527-565 CE) a map was create in mosaic tile in St. George’s Church in Medaba which was forty miles south of Amman, Jordan.  When the land was overrun by the Islamic powers, the city of  Medaba disappeared and the church was abandoned.  It was in the 1880’s that a restoration project was initiated and there was found a map of Israel from the Mediterranean Sea to the land across the Jordan River and from Egypt to Upper Galilee.  In 1896, it was viewed for the first time by Father Kleopas Koikylides, who was the librarian for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.  Except for 30 square meters, the rest of the map was destroyed. 


In the center of the mosaic map was the city of Jerusalem as it appears to the artists during the era of the Byzantine imperial rule of the Eastern Roman Empire.  These landmarks include the Damascus Gate, the Cardo which was the colonnaded street across the city, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Haram al-Sharif (the Temple Mount) and the Hagia Zion with the Cenacle or Coenaculum next to it.


Here again we see the evidence of the Synagogue of the Apostles and the Upper Room as it appeared in time in the mid 6th century.


So the archeological record suggests that since the days of Jesus and the disciples partaking a ‘Communion Meal’ at the Last Supper in the Upper Room, the physical evidence of a building over the site of the reputed Tomb of David remains intact


The Madaba Mosaic Map

Madaba-Outline.jpg (288549 bytes)

Index to Jerusalem as it appears in the Madaba Mosaic Map.

1 Damascus Gate Plaza with large column in center
2 Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Eastern Atrium, Martyrdom, Triportico, and Anastasis; pictured upside down)
3 Citadel and main western gate (today’s Jaffa Gate)
4 Hagia Zion
5 Cenacle or Coenaculum

6 Nea Church
7 The Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount)
8 Beautiful Gate
9 Probatike Gate (St. Stephen’s Gate, the main eastern gate)
10 Eastern Branch of the Cardo Maximus
11 The Cardo Maximus (running north-south from the Damascus Gate to Nea Church)

The thread of evidence exists that a Jewish synagogue was built in the first century Roman era which probably was a reconstruction of the original home of Mary and her son John Mark, the author of the Book of Mark and the youthful eyewitness to the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  From all evidence this same home of two or three stories, which could house on one floor up to 120 people, remained as part of the properties of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia of Jerusalem until the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 70 CE. That the leadership of the Nazarene Ecclesia remained intact as they obeyed the admonishments of their Lord and fled the city to the region of Pella in the Transjordan and in the isolated hills of Gilead and Basham about five years earlier is a historical fact. 


According to Josephus, when the first Jewish revolt (66-70 CE) was finally suppressed by the Roman general Titus, the destruction that was left behind was so complete that a pilgrim traveling through the area would never had known that a city was there.  Did this destruction include the western hill called Mount Zion?  In 1983, during excavations at the Dormition Abbey located on Mount Zion just adjacent to the Cenacle, the Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue, Roman coins were found dating to the second and third year (67-68 CE) of the First Jewish Revolt lying under destruction debris on the steps going down to the ritual baths and in remains in an oven. 


After the fall of Jerusalem, the Jewish population that remained began to return to the city.  The expected return of Yeshua did not occur and with the returning Jews were also the returning Nazarenes seeking out the location of their own synagogue where the disciples participated in the Last Supper with their Rabbi, Yahshua.  It was here fifty days later, about 120 disciples experienced the baptism of the Holy Ghost and a few days later where Peter delivered his Pentecost sermon, (Acts 2) thousands were baptized a members of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia. In as much as they were Jews which included the privileges of every religion of ancient origins, religio licita, being a licit or approved religion, they also returned and participated in rebuilding the city of Jerusalem.  That they were messianic Jews who believed that their Moschiach had already come only made them a unique sect in a religion of many sects.


Was the home of the Upper Room destroyed with the city of Rome is a fact we can only assume.  The evidence of a Jewish style synagogue in what was a former residence, albeit palatial residence, suggests that at the ground level a viable Nazarene synagogue was rebuilt. What is interesting about this construction is that on the outside at the base of the eastern and southern walls large ashlar type stones up to the size of 3 by 3.5 feet (96 x 110 cm.) were used in the reconstruction.  These were Herodian type stones, albeit damaged, is accepted and it appears that out of the ruins of the Herodian city of Jerusalem the building material was reused to make a new synagogue in memory of their Lord and Master, Yeshua.  The fact that in the construction, squared ashlars of various heights were used suggested that this was stone from pre-70 CE Jerusalem yet the construction was post-70 CE.  Here in memory of his cousin, James the Just, Simon ben Cleopas resurrected the edifice that Jesus lived, prayed and ministered to his own chosen ones, the disciples of our Lord.


According to Eusebius, during the years between 73 CE and 132 CE, a flourishing Nazarene Ecclesia worshipped ministered by 13 ‘bishops’ of the circumcised.  Yes, until the time of the Second Revolt the headquarters of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia of Jerusalem remained at the location of the Upper Room and the Last Supper.  This synagogue also remained under the Jewish leadership of the nasi or high priest of the Nazarenes, following the same type of leadership of James the Just. 


In 132 CE the city of Jerusalem was again ravished and destroyed.  This time the Nazarenes politically did not support the uprising of Bar Kokhba and Simon Bar Kokhba was portraying himself as the expectant messiah.  The Nazarenes already knew who their Moschiach (Messiah) was and as such many of the rabbinic leaders of the Sanhedrin turned against their Jewish brethren.  Within a few years, they began the effort to expel the Nazarenes from worshipping in the Jewish synagogues in the land.  This suggests that the Nazarene up to the era of the Bar Kokhba rebellion freely worshipped in any Jewish synagogue around the world.  This testimony is also attested to in the writing of the Apostle Paul as he freely worshipped as a Pharisee in the synagogues of the Jews throughout the cities surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.


After the Bar Kokhba rebellion, the Jewish people were totally expelled from the city of Rome, but historical evidence suggests that a Christian Nazarene presence remained at this time under Gentile Christian leadership. 


Once again in the midst of the 2nd century we see that the site of the Upper Room and the first Nazarene synagogue was rebuilt as a functional religious institution.  In 400 CE on the apse of the Basilica of Ste. Pudentianna is a mosaic picture. On it, next to the Octagonal Memorial Church of Theodosius I of 382 CE is represented the colonnaded Cenacle or Coenaculum now with many Roman influences and shedding any appearance of a Jewish synagogue.  Then in around 550 CE in the St. George church built in Medaba during the reign of  Justinian (527-565 CE) we again find representation that the site of the edifice of the Upper Room remained as part of the archeological history of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia of Jerusalem.


The Believers of the Hebrew Nazarene Synagogues were Jewish


The Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue or the House with the Upper Room


Most articles on the Early Christian Church start with the premise that the Apostolic assembly of believers were church attending believers of Jesus.  Well, they truly did attend an assembly in a building but there is where the context or the historical reality ends.  To move Roman Christian concepts and ideas backwards in time into the 1st century province of Roman Judea is historically and religiously untenable.  The messianic believers in Yeshua before His death and resurrection were all Jews or Jewish proselytes.  They believed in the Jewish God of Abraham, worshipped in the temple of Herod, attended the three major festivals of the Jews plus Hanukah, were Torah observant, Shabbat (Seventh-day Sabbath) worshippers, kashroot (dietary laws) observant and believed strongly in the chosennes of the children of Israel to the destiny and mission of God for this planet earth.  At no time did the Nazarenes believe that they were abandoning Judaism or their Jewish roots. 


It was the early Church historian, Epiphanius who had this to say:


Epiphanius, Panarion 29:7,1-5 – “But these sectarians whom I am now sketching disregarded the name of Jesus, and did not call themselves, Jessaeans, keep the name of Jews, or term themselves Christians – but “Nazoraeans,” from the place-name, “Nazareth,” if you please!  However they are complete Jews.  They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do. For unlike the previous sectarians, they do no repudiate the legislation, the prophets, and the books Jews call “Writings.”  They have no different ideas, but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion – except for their belief in Christ, if you please!  For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that God is one, and that his Son is Jesus Christ. 


They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew. For among them the entire Law, the prophets, and the so-called Writings – I mean the poetic book, Kings, Chronicles, Esther and all the rest – are read in Hebrew, as they surely are by Jews.  They are different from Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following.  They disagree with Jews because they have come to faith in Christ; but since they are still fettered by the Law – circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest – they are not in according with the Christians.” 


Later in his writings, Epiphanius also confirms that the Nazarene community had at least on of their gospels that was written in Hebrew but also confirmation how the early Christians in the 4th century at the time of Constantine the Great and the Nicean Council despised these followers of Yahshua, who actually “kept the faith of their forefathers”. 


Epiphanius, Panarion 29:9, 5-6 – “They have the Gospel according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear that they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written.  But I do not know whether they have removed just the genealogies from Abraham to Christ. 


But now that we have also detected this sect – like an insect that is small, yet still caused pain with its poison – and have squashed it with the words of truth, let us pray for help from God.” 


The dialogue of Acts 15 concerning the entry of gentile Christians to the assembly of the Nazarenes did not address the question about whether the non-Jew could become a Christian.  The non-Jewish messianic believer was already a Christian because a Christian only related to non-Jews.  Neither could one first become a Jew in order to become a Christian. There was never any discussion of whether a Jew became a Christian, only how could a believer in Yeshua as the messiah of Israel who was a gentile become a part of the messianic community of Jews.  The Hebrew-Judaic faith was the building foundation-stone of everything that was pertaining to the faith and beliefs of the Jewish Nazarene faith.  To affirm the name ‘Christian’ only suggest a religious belief system that is divorced in part from the Hebrew Jewish philosophy of the God of Israel.


In spite of despising everything that was Jewish and listing the Jews and all the separate sects of the Jews as heretics, Epiphanius made this interesting commentary on the relations of the Christians and the Nazarenes. 


Epiphanius, Panarion, 29:1,2 – “This group did not name themselves after Christ or with Jesus’ own name, but “Nazoraeans.”  However, at that time all Christians were called Nazoraeans in the same way.  They also came to be “Jessaeans” for a short while, before the disciples began to be called Christians at Antioch.” 


Worship in the messianic community of Jewish believers was no different than any other Jewish synagogue in Judea.  In Hebrew, the Jewish ‘house of prayer’ is called a Beit or Beth Knesset which literally interpreted is called a ‘house of assembly.’  When Greek became a dominate language, this house of worship became the synagogue, meaning assembly. 


Many Christian Churches have separate facilities for different functions within the activities of their church community.  For many the sanctuary is dedicated and therefore it functional use for many activities is suddenly limited.  Yet the synagogue was used for many types of activities. The prime activity in the synagogue was for the reading of the Torah in the Hebrew and the translation of the Hebrew mother tongue into the common language which was called the Targum.  Along with the Torah, the prophets were widely read as well as the writings.  The synagogue was also used for Shabbat and festival celebrations, central house for the collection of offerings and funds, a religious tribunal for the community and also as a guest house. 


Some have stated that the use of ecclesia was part of the shift from the Jewish synagogue to the Christian church, but that was not so.  An ecclesia or assembly of people in the Jewish faith had a synagogue in which to worship.  Later the Greek use of the word, kyriake which meant ‘belonging to the Lord (kyrios) came to be transliterated into English as ‘church’. 


As we finish the archeological, textual and historical analysis of the Hebrew Nazarenes, we have to come to one conclusion, until the time of the fall of Herod’s temple the main body of the followers of Yahshua haMoschiach ben David (Jesus the Messiah son of David) were believers fully in the Torah and zealous in the observation of not only the ten commands of the Lord of hosts but observant



Go to Part One - The Tomb of David

The Tomb of David and the Nazarene Synagogue (Cenacle) Section Two

Study into the Archeology and History of the “The Tomb of David” 

Residing under the Site called “The Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue”



The Anointed Ones and the Tomb of David

“Zion” and the City of David

The Gihon Spring, the Temple and the Citadel of David

Where were King David and the kings of Judah buried?

Governor Nehemiah inspects the Tomb of David


Return to Part Three

The Archeological Evidence for the Synagogue of the Nazarenes


Return to Part Two

The Synagogue of the Nazarenes


Return to Part One

The Star of David and the Seal of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia


Return to Beginning


Links and Book Orders


Order – The Messianic Seal of the Jerusalem Church by Olim Publication

Order – The Messianic Seal of the Jerusalem Church and related Jewelry at Israel’s Harvest


Messianic Seal

About the Messianic Seal by Ari Levitt, Adat B'nei HaMelech

The Messianic Seal by Jane Diffenderfer, Messianic Home

Ancient Messianic Synagogue Seal by Evangelical Press News Service

The Most Ancient Symbol of Christianity – Reuven Schmalz

The Menorah, the Star of David and the Fish by Reuven Schmalz and End of Times Ministries

The Messianic Seal of the Jerusalem Church by Family Bible

The Messianic Seal by HalleluYah Ministries

Messianic Seal of the Early Church by Christianity Network

How Many Symbols do You See?  by Threemacs Jewish Roots of Christianity

Found the Seal of the Messianic Church by Tough Love Faith Web


Nazarene Ecclesia

An Anthropolgists looks at the Judeo-Christian Scriptures by Richley S. Crapo

How we Lost the Sabbath by The Bible Only

Jesus the Nazarene and His Jewish Followers by Scholomo

Jewish Remnant History by Elisheva Gamaliel

Christianity and its relationship to Judaism by JewishEncyclopedia

Moses’ Seat and Messianic Nazarene Yisrael by Rabbi Moshe Yoseph Koniuchowsky

Are the Nazarenes and the Ebionites  the only True Israelties?  By Christian Think Tank

What is Nazarene Judasim? By James Trimm

Nazarenes and Christians by Paul N. Tobin

Shomrai HaBrit-Keepers of the Covenant by G. Shapiro

The Early Nazarenes and Rabbinic Judaism by William F. Dankenbring

What is the Original Faith of the Apostles by Norman Willis

Who were the Nazarenes and when did they become Heretics – G Shapiro

A Response to Anti-missionary who claim that the Nazarenes never existed – by Messianic Apologestics