Nazaraeans is the name of a Jewish sect mentioned by Epiphanius (Haer. 18). The name is probably derived from netsir, a branch (Epiphanius also writes it Nasarceans and Nassaraians), and, if we are right in identifying this sect with the Genistse (q.v.), signifies a branch of the true stock. The sect aimed at a patriarchal religion in place of a Mosaic Judaism. They canonized the patriarchs, andt did not exclude Moses and Joshua from that society. They allowed that a law was given to Moses, but asserted that this law was lost, and that the Pentateuch is corrupt or supposititious. They practiced circumcision, kept the Sabbath and the Jewish festivals, rejected the sacrifice of animals, and ate no flesh. It follows from this that they rejected the history of Genesis as well as the laws of Moses; but whether they professed to found their doctrine on tradition or on a new revelation is not told. They were found in Galaaditis, Basanitis, and other parts beyond Jordan. SEE NAZARENES.