22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Matthew claims that the prophets said Jesus would be a Nazarene. However, the words Nazarene and Nazareth are not mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament or apocryphal texts!
The following shows just how outrageous and irrational Christian apologists will become in order to excuse the bible’s obvious errors.
Look at this text from http://www.carm.org/bible-difficulties/matthew-mark/did-ot-prophesy-jesus-coming-nazareth.
There is no direct Old Testament citation that prophesies the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. In fact, Nazareth (approx 1800 people at the time of Christ) is not mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament or in the apocrypha. But, we have two possible explanations:
So far so good, the apologists admit that Nazarene is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament. However, the two “explanations” that follow are mind-boggling.
First, Matthew does not say ‘prophet,’ singular. He says ‘prophets,’ plural. It could be that Matthew was referring to several Old Testament references to the despised character of Jesus (i.e., Psalm 22:6, 13; 69:10; Isaiah 49:7; 53:3; Micah 5:1). Nazareth held the Roman garrison for the northern areas of Galilee.1 Therefore, the Jews would have little to do with this place and largely despised it. Perhaps this is why it says in John 1:46, “And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” So, it could be a reference not to an actual location, but the maligned character of the Messiah even as Nazareth was maligned for housing the Roman garrison, and Matthew was using it in reference to the implied hatred of Christ.
In the first explanation, Nazarene is not a place, but it is a reference to maligned character! Notice that this is at odds with Matthew 22:23, who says Jesus would fulfill the prophecy by living in Nazareth. But this stretch of imagination is nothing compared with the second explanation!
Second, there could be a play on words that Matthew was referring to. In Isaiah 11:1 it says, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” In Hebrew, the word for “branch” is netzer, “NZR” which letters are included in NaZaReth. It seems that Matthew was referring to the branch, the Nazarene, in turn a reference to God’s raising up of the Messiah. Clearly, Matthew was not exegeting Isaiah, but it seems he was referring to the Branch.
The apologist finds the word “branch” in Isaiah 11:1. Then he notices that “branch” in Hebrew has the letters NZR. Nazareth has the letters NZR. Therefore, we have a prophecy fulfilled! This is an extremely low standard for evaluating prophecies. Using this standard, almost any religion or psychic could claim fulfilled prophecies for almost any event.
If these explanations are true, then the Church of the Nazarene should changes its name to either the Church of Maligned Character or the Church of the Branch. I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.