You are here:   Christianity > Jews, Christians and Judaeo-Christians
 

 
Tensions in the Temple: "Expulsion of the money-changers" by Giotto, c.1304 

The combined expression "Jewish Christian", made up of two seemingly contradictory concepts, must strike readers not specially trained in theology or religious history as an oxymoron. For how can someone simultaneously be a follower of both Moses and Jesus? Yet at the beginning of the Christian movement, in the first hundred years of the post-Jesus era, encounters with Jewish Christians distinguishable from Gentile Christians were a daily occurrence both in the Holy Land and in the diaspora. 

To understand the genesis of these notions, the first point to note is that during his days of preaching, Jesus of Nazareth addressed only Jews, "the lost sheep of Israel" (Mt 10:5; 15:24). His disciples were even expressly instructed not to approach Gentiles or Samaritans (Mt 10:5). On the few occasions that Jesus ventured beyond the boundaries of his homeland, he never proclaimed his gospel to pagans, nor did his disciples do so during his lifetime. The mission of the 11 apostles to "all the nations" (Mt 28:19) is a "post-Resurrection" idea. It appears to be of Pauline inspiration and is nowhere found in the Gospels apart from the spurious longer ending of Mark (Mk 16:15), which is missing from all the older manuscripts. Jesus's own perspective was exclusively Jewish; he was concerned only with Jews. 

Indeed, we learn from the Acts of the Apostles that the primitive community of Jesus followers consisted of 120 Jewish persons, including the 11 apostles and the mother and brothers of Jesus (Acts 1:14-5). This is incidentally the last reference to Mary in the New Testament, although there are further allusions to the male siblings of Jesus in the Acts and in Paul. James, "the brother of the Lord" as Paul refers to him, is presented as the leader of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:19; Gal 1:19) and according to another Pauline passage, the married brothers of Jesus also acted as missionaries of the Gospel (1 Cor 9:5). 

View Full Article
 
Share/Save
 
 
 
 
62peppe
March 18th, 2014
12:03 PM
"Didachè.7:1 Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water." Isn't there clearly stated the trinity? Who should be the "Son" if not Jesus?

sabluerAnonymous
April 3rd, 2013
9:04 AM
I THINK i'VE ALWAYS BEEN A JEWISH CHRISTIAN, BUT NEVER PUT A NAME TO IT UNTIL RECENTLY. I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM COMBINING THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. I ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS THE MESSIAH, BUT I AM OPEN TO THE FACT THAT JESUS MAY HAVE BEEN "LIGHTING THE WAY" FOR ANOTHER, WHO IS YET TO ARRIVE.

Unimpressed
June 13th, 2012
1:06 PM
I don't know why Standpoint feels the need tho humour Geza Vermes by publishing these articles. His method of scholarship is less "historical critical" and more "cut and paste". The traditional gospels are not to be trusted (unless they can be mined for tidbits which support his argument). Here's a good overview of his nitpicky approach to criticism: http://www.amazon.com/review/R23BXJ5P3WJQWV/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R23BXJ5...

jackndc
December 24th, 2011
2:12 AM
The comments on here are a great example of how mankind has been able to argue about things of many years past which have zero use in today's society of Islamic jihad terror, Arab-Zionist fights, and other such threats to civilization. The are all petty people picking fights over nonsense that is mostly myth.

andyd
December 15th, 2011
10:12 PM
Sorry, Ben David: "Until the middle of the 20th century it was customary to believe that the Samaritans originated from a mixture of the people living in Samaria and other peoples at the time of the conquest of Samaria by Assyria (722–721 BC). The Biblical account in II Kings 17 had long been the decisive source for the formulation of historical accounts of Samaritan origins. Reconsideration of this passage, however, has led to more attention being paid to the Chronicles of the Samaritans themselves. With the publication of Chronicle II (Sefer ha-Yamim), the fullest Samaritan version of their own history became available: the chronicles, and a variety of non-Samaritan materials. According to the former, the Samaritans are the direct descendants of the Joseph tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, and until the 17th century AD they possessed a high priesthood descending directly from Aaron through Eleazar and Phinehas. They claim to have continuously occupied their ancient territory and to have been at peace with other Israelite tribes until the time when Eli disrupted the Northern cult by moving from Shechem to Shiloh and attracting some northern Israelites to his new followers there. For the Samaritans, this was the 'schism' par excellence.("Samaritans" in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, Volume 14, op. cit., col. 727.)"

andyd
December 15th, 2011
9:12 PM
Love the self-appointed experts who boldly claim that Geza Vermes has only a superficial knowledge of the bible and/or gospels!

notmelbrooks
December 15th, 2011
9:12 PM
How can I believe anything past the 2nd sentence in the article," For how can someone simultaneously be a follower of both Moses and Jesus?" Jews dont "follow" Moses.

giuseppebrasil
December 14th, 2011
11:12 PM
the christian meme evolution

AnoJoenymous
December 14th, 2011
6:12 PM
Monism is passe: The Uncertainty principle and Relativity make that evident. If monism is passe so too is monotheism.

Ben David
December 14th, 2011
1:12 PM
Just one quibble: Samaritans were not, are not Jewish. They are one of the alien tribes moved in to resettle Israel after the destruction of the first Temple. Their attempt to prevent the return of the Jews - and their disputes with Ezra and Nehemia - are recorded in those books, and in the book of Daniel.

Post your comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.