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A New Testament title of Christ, from the place of his residence. In Matthew, John, and the Acts the spelling is Nazoraios, in Mark Nazarenos, while Luke has both forms. It is not clear to what prophecy Matthew was referring when he said that Christ should be called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23). It may have been an oral tradition or a play on one of the two words, both applicable to the Savior, namely nazoraios (holy to God) or neser (shoot-from the stock of Jesse). (Etym. Greek nazareth; Hebrew nasret.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.