The Nazarene Seal
James Scott Trimm
The Nazarene Seal is a seal that was found on several artifacts found in the ancient Essene Quarter of Jerusalem in a grotto adjacent to the upper room, which is directly astride the ancient location of the ancient Nazarene Synagogue on Mt. Zion. This is a synagogue which was built after 70 CE with stones from the recently destroyed Temple carried over from the adjacent ridge of the Temple Mount. The artifacts are widely regarded as being of Nazarene origin and dating to the early second century.
The artifacts in question are some shards of pottery, an oil lamp and a "stand" labeled in a first century Aramaic script "for the anointing oil" which appears to be a stand for a flask of anointing oil. Remains of a matching flask, also containing the seal were found nearby.
The seal is made up of three parts. The center of the seal is the Mogen David (Star of David, or literally "Shield of David"). The top "point" of the Mogen David serves as the triangular shaped base for a seven branched menorah. The bottom "point" of the Mogen David is part of the lower, more controversial symbol.
This lower symbol has been mistaken by some as a "Christian Fish" and redrawn by many so as to more closely resemble a Christian fish. In fact an image of a fish would have violated the Torah commandment against religious images of “…anything… that is in the water under the earth…” (Ex. 20:4).
Many re-drawings of the seal have altered the "snout" of the supposed fish, making it pointed, as it is in the Christian fish. I have examined photographs of all eight of the "seal" artifacts, and in only one is the "snout" pointed, and that is one in which the entire seal is drawn with straight lines, so that the bottom symbol is diamond shaped. In the seven remaining artifacts the "snout" is missing from five, and rounded in the remaining two.
The next question is the "eye" of the "fish". The eye portion is missing from four artifacts. In three others the "eye" appears to be a dot, in two of these the dot is off centered and could an "eye", while in one of them it is nearly centered. In the remaining artifact the "eye" is a "+".
This symbol is not a "fish" but the Hebrew letter ALEF as drawn in the Essene "Cryptic Script" used in 4Q298. The "eye" was originally a TAV as written in the ancient Paleo Hebrew Script (which also closely resembles the TAV used in the Essene "Cryptic Script" of 4Q298. This TAV is written dead center. It appears to have later been replaced in time by a "dot" which eventually evolved into the "eye" of a "Christian Fish". The original bottom portion of the seal was a representation of "The Alef and the Tav".
First of all I want to thank those of you who over the last couple of days helped us keep our account from going in the negative. Thanks to you we did not. But the battle is not over, it never ends.
Our Messiah said:
A thief does not come, except to steal,
and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they might have life,
and they might have that which is abundant.
(Jn. 10:10 HRV)
There are two forces at work described in this verse. Messiah desires us to have life, and to have it in abundance, meanwhile the Enemy seeks to kill, steal and destroy. Lately I found myself in the cross hairs of the Enemy.
It is no secret that my family and I have been under oppression for some time now. To add insult to injury, today we learned that our clothes dryer motor is dead and must be replaced, which will cost us $250 that we just plain do not have.
If you believe in the work we are doing here then now is the time.
Please help us bring the message of Messiah and Torah to a lost world and create Scripture study materials for believers.
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