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Switch to Forum Live View Jewish Christians <> Gentile Christians?
6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 3:20AM #1
Daldianus
Posts: 31,765
(please do not refer to anti-semitism etc because the first thread to this subject has been closed, instead please do refer to the actual topic. thank you)

Why were there two versions of Christianity right from the start? The Jewish version on the one side (James and the Jerusalem 'Church' which still adhered to the Torah and other Jewish customs) and the Gentile one (as defined by Paul) on the other.

Why wouldn't the Jews simply have converted to the new religion like the Gentiles did? If the Gentile Christians where saved simply by accepting Jesus as their God and Savior then why would the Jewish Christians still have to, additionally, follow Jewish customs and laws?

Especially if Christianity was indeed 'Judaism enhanced' and thus made traditional Judaism obsolete. Just because of tradition and folklore? But why? It wasn't needed, according to Paul, in order to be saved. And if the Gentiles didn't need those laws then why would the Jews?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 4:01AM #2
QED
Posts: 1,269
Daldi -

I have already answered your question.  Also, James did not require people to follow the Torah as part of their salvation.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 5:07AM #3
Daldianus
Posts: 31,765

QED wrote:

Daldi -

I have already answered your question. Also, James did not require people to follow the Torah as part of their salvation.



And your answer was that they were simply fond of their old traditions and therefore had a hard time of letting go? Why should that have been different for the Gentiles?

And where does it say that James didn't require them to follow Torah?

He was in favor of circumcision, etc. The Jewish Christians followed the Jewish rituals, practices, etc. They went to the Temple and to the synagogues. They were quite different from Gentile Christians.

So again, why didn't Jesus/God tell them to simply follow Paul's view if the Torah had indeed become obsolete and wasn't required for salvation? Why would God/Jesus want to have two different versions? 'Luckily' for them the one died out over time (starting especially after the destruction of Jerusalem but remnants of the movement were alive up to the 4th century at least), otherwise we would still have two versions of the religion even today!

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 5:17AM #4
QED
Posts: 1,269
Daldi -

Read Acts 15:
     1 Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. 5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

    6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." 12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16 "'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' 18 that have been known for ages. 19 "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

    22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. 23 With them they sent the following letter: 23 The apostles and elders, your brothers, 23 To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: 23 Greetings. 24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul-- 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. 29 Farewell. 30 The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the brothers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

    36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 7:35AM #5
Daldianus
Posts: 31,765

QED wrote:

Daldi -

Read Acts 15:
1 Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. 5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." 12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16 "'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' 18 that have been known for ages. 19 "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. 23 With them they sent the following letter: 23 The apostles and elders, your brothers, 23 To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: 23 Greetings. 24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul-- 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. 29 Farewell. 30 The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the brothers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.



1. There is no reason to assume that Acts chronicles but historical facts. Especially since Acts' version of the events often contradicts Paul's own version of the events in his letters.

2. How does that explain the need for two variations of Christianity? Why didn't the Jews simply give up their traditions and became Gentile Christians? Why didn't Jesus or BibleGod tell them that they don't need these old traditions and laws anymore?

3. If the Jewish Christian movement hadn't been wiped out in the early centuries would it constitute one more flavor of Christianity today next to Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, etc?

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 7:55AM #6
clyde5001
Posts: 3,501
Following the Torah does not lead to "salvation". The Covenant leads to "salvation". Two separate things.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 8:33AM #7
Daldianus
Posts: 31,765

clyde5001 wrote:

Following the Torah does not lead to "salvation". The Covenant leads to "salvation". Two separate things.



The question is now if the earliest Christians (James and the Jerusalem 'Church') would have subscribed to this or not. Judging from the description in the Bible it seems so because why else would they have continued to keep the Torah, to follow Jewish practices, to go to the synagogues,etc instead of getting rid of these things and simply do like the Gentile Christians?

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"Eternity is very long, especially towards the end." - Woody Allen
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 9:01AM #8
Palmtree0
Posts: 3,231
False premise #1


Why were there two versions of Christianity right from the start? The Jewish version on the one side (James and the Jerusalem 'Church' which still adhered to the Torah and other Jewish customs) and the Gentile one (as defined by Paul) on the other. Why wouldn't the Jews simply have converted to the new religion like the Gentiles did?



The OT and the NT are not seperate version of two separate religions, but rather, they are all the same Gospel message.


False premise # 2

If the Gentile Christians where saved simply by accepting Jesus as their God and Savior....



People are not saved by "accepting Christ, but rather, people accept Christ because they have been saved.


False premise # 3

then why would the Jewish Christians still have to, additionally, follow Jewish customs and laws? Especially if Christianity was indeed 'Judaism enhanced' and thus made traditional Judaism obsolete. Just because of tradition and folklore? But why? It wasn't needed, according to Paul, in order to be saved. And if the Gentiles didn't need those laws then why would the Jews?



Christ did not make the Law obsolete, but rather, He was the fulfillment of the Law.

Matthew 5:17-18
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.



Judging from the description in the Bible....
They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.



Have you noticed that the church in Jerusalem, (among others whom became apostate), are no longer in existence??

Revelation 3: 1-2
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 9:12AM #9
Daldianus
Posts: 31,765

Palmtree0 wrote:

The OT and the NT are not seperate version of two separate religions, but rather, they are all the same Gospel message.



That's your interpretation of things. That's not how the Jews (or for that matter any non-Christians) see it obviously. You can't prove your claim. Or can you? All you can do is that the latter book claims to be an extension of the former.

[QUOTE]People are not saved by "accepting Christ, but rather, people accept Christ because they have been saved. [/QUOTE]

What saves them then in the first place?

[QUOTE]Christ did not make the Law obsolete, but rather, He was the fulfillment of the Law.[/QUOTE]

If he didn't make the Law obsolete then why don't Chrisitans adhere to the Law anymore?

And what does 'to fulfill the Law' actually mean?

[QUOTE]Have you noticed that the church in Jerusalem, (among others whom became apostate), are no longer in existence??[/QUOTE]

Of course. Which has a lot of simply historical and social reasons. The Jewish Christians were for example mostly wiped out when Jerusalem and the surrounding areas were attacked and/or destroyed by the Romans in 66. That was the beginning of the end for them.

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 9:30AM #10
Aorto
Posts: 1,970

Daldianus wrote:

Why were there two versions of Christianity right from the start?



Who says there were only two? And who says they were in opposing camps?

It's historical process, venturing into the unknown. America didn't start out as any set code. It was an experiment. There were many who sought to remain loyal to the English King while remaining "American". But trying to maintain both just didn't work. Thus, America.

I'd look at your question in the same line. The early development of the Church was more of an experiment. It's not like Jesus plopped down some constitution telling everyone the way a Church should be organized.

The Jewish version on the one side (James and the Jerusalem 'Church' which still adhered to the Torah and other Jewish customs) and the Gentile one (as defined by Paul) on the other.

Why wouldn't the Jews simply have converted to the new religion like the Gentiles did? If the Gentile Christians where saved simply by accepting Jesus as their God and Savior then why would the Jewish Christians still have to, additionally, follow Jewish customs and laws?

Especially if Christianity was indeed 'Judaism enhanced' and thus made traditional Judaism obsolete. Just because of tradition and folklore? But why? It wasn't needed, according to Paul, in order to be saved. And if the Gentiles didn't need those laws then why would the Jews?



You're on a witchhunt. I think you are drawing conclusions the evidence doesn't bear out. Can you honestly say that there was this James vs. Paul death match going on and that James was pro-Jewish and Paul was anti-Jewish?

Besides, the evidence used to draw these conclusions is the same evidence that you yourself don't even believe.

Is your point to find out what really happened or to, once again, point out just how silly Christian belief is? I'd say your issue isn't historical process but individual Christians who have the audacity (or lunacy) to believe any of this.

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