NazareneThis epithet (Gr. Nazaraios) is applied to Christ only once (Matthew 2:23). In all other cases the word is rendered "of Nazareth" (Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67, etc.). When this Greek designation was at first applied to our Lord, it was meant simply to denote the place of his residence. In course of time the word became a term of reproach. Thus the word "Nazarene" carries with it an allusion to those prophecies which speak of Christ as "despised of men" (Isaiah 53:3). Some, however, think that in this name there is an allusion to the Hebrew Netser , Which signifies a branch or sprout. It is so applied to the Messiah (Isaiah 11:1), i.e., he whom the prophets called the Netse , the "Branch."
The followers of Christ were called "the sect of Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5). All over Palestine and Syria this name is still given to Christians. (See NAZARETH .)
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.