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Zealots

The nationalistic Jewish partisans of the first century a.d., particularly those active in the Jewish War (66-70). The word “zealot” is Greek zelotes, and in the NT and the writings of Josephus represents the Hebrew qanna' or its Aramaic equivalent qan'ana; one of Jesus' disciples was a “zealot” or “Cananaean” (cf. Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15 RSV). The term could signify a religious enthusiast in general, then a militant nationalist, and finally a member of the religio- political party, the “fourth philosophy” (Josephus) of first- century Judaism,* which took a prominent part in the struggle against Rome.