The Parting of the Ways
By Anne Amos
... The split between Judaism and Christianity was gradual and happened at different rates in different places. There is remarkably little agreement among scholars as to what precisely caused the rift and estimates vary about the date, from the middle of the first century CE to the middle of the fourth CE.
Professor Alan Crown from Sydney goes beyond the reserve of most scholars and dates "the parting of the ways" to the Council of Nicaea 325 CE, a date which I accept. The Council of Nicaea was called by the Emperor Constantine to settle some theological differences that were dividing his Christian Empire. The first act of the three hundred bishops assembled was to set a date for Easter distinct from the Jewish Passover thereby effectively separating Jews and Christians. (continued on the following web page.)l and happened at different rates in different places. There is remarkably little agreement among scholars as to what precisely caused the rift and estimates vary about the date, from the middle of the first century CE to the middle of the fourth CE.
Professor Alan Crown from Sydney goes beyond the reserve of most scholars and dates "the parting of the ways" to the Council of Nicaea 325 CE, a date which I accept. The Council of Nicaea was called by the Emperor Constantine to settle some theological differences that were dividing his Christian Empire. The first act of the three hundred bishops assembled was to set a date for Easter distinct from the Jewish Passover thereby effectively separating Jews and Christians. (continued on the following web page.)
M Ann Brown,
Could you in a paragraph explain the point of this post?
The point of the post was to provide some historic documentation behind how the faith of Jesus Christ, evolved from a Jewish one, to what we see emerged later, and when and under whose authority, these changes took place.
Actually the Bible is pretty clear. We learn from variou splaces and especially from Acts 15 that the gospel was spread to the Gentiles and that the Gentiles were not expected to act like Jews, but as Christians.
We also know that Christianity is for the Jews as well, as they need Jesus as their Savior too. Christianity is not about religion, though there are some religous aspects involved. Christianity is about having a living and vibrant relationship with Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
It makes sense to me to move the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord to Sunday of Passover week. I don't agree with all of what Constantine did but I do agree with this one. This is really the last Passover to me. He is the Passover Lamb and now we celebrate His resurrection. He is the last lamb to be slaughtered. That part of God's plan is finished. The resurrection starts a new day - this is the day that He has made. We should continue to celebrate that day. However, we celebrate that day every day we exist. His resurrection is the promise of a new life. The old has passed. Now, we celebrate the new day. I'm not sure when the 14th of Aviv is this year or the 15th. It does not matter. What matters is that He rose on the day after the Sabbath on the week of the Passover. That, then, becomes a Christian celebration that no other faith can celebrate. He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
Thanks, LT, I'm still not sure why the post. A Christian might say something like, "A non-believing Jew cannot go to heaven without accepting Jesus as Lord." That, to some, would be an anti-Semitic statement. However, to the Christian, it is a basic fundamental position. To deny the necessity of receiving Christ as Lord to gain eternal life would be to deny the very words of Christ that He Himself spoke. I do not see the separation as late as 325, I see it as early as the very teachings of Christ. He clearly reported to them that their institutions would no longer work for them. A rejection of Him meant eternal damnation. In our new modern emerging church world, we are beginning to sway somewhat on this position. I am all for good Christian Jewish relationships but not to the point of acknowledging that their faith will get them to heaven. I am a strong supporter politically of Israel. Again, I'm not sure of the purpose of the post. I agree with what you said above.
This might be off subject but I am trying to understand the purpose of your post. I am very interested in the Jewish foundation of our faith. I think we often tend to minimize something that is very important and foundational to what we believe. It appears to me that Jesus may actually have been killed on the evening of the 14th of Nissan rather than the 15th as some propose. If He had been killed on the 15th, He would have been killed on a high Sabbath of the Jews which does not seem likely to me. However, the problem is that it seems He did eat the Passover with His disciples. What is important is that He was killed for our salvation and rose to become victorious for us over sin, death and hell. Our faith is all about Jesus but it does appear that He was following a pattern set down by God centuries before as the Israelites left Egypt. That would mean to me that on the 10th, He entered Jerusalem to be inspected as the Passover Lamb. I love Him and He is my Passover. I am wondering if you have views on this.
Ltr & Roy:
We are admonished in the Bible to "contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints." This was written BEFORE Constantine was born, so how can Constantine (who in the 320s, had not left the "sun worshipping cult" of which he was the head) be one who is to help us in the foundational doctrines of our faith?
There is MUCH to be learned by studying the historic, "Jewish Foundation of Our Faith". When we acknowledge that our Messiah was the promised Jewish Redeemer and King, that He was born a Jew, lived His life as a Jew, taught as a Jewish rabbi, taught primarily to Jews, was called Rabbi by His disciples on multiple occasions (depends upon which translation you use), He said He came for the
"lost sheep of the house of Israel", He was buried by Jews according to Jewish cusoms, and rose from the dead, and we do not find Him teaching differently AFTER He rose than He taught before.
His actual parting commandments in the "Great Commission" of Matt. 28:19 - 23 by identifying to whom He is talking, and to whom He is sending them ALL (most people claim that Paul was the apostle to the gentiles, but by carefully analyzing Matt. 28, here, we see that HE sent them ALL to the gentiles!)
Matt. 28: 19+
Go ye (apostles were Jews) and and teach all nations (gentiles)
Baptizing them (gentiles)....
Teaching them (gentiles) to obey whatsoever I have commanded you (Jews).
So at this important juncture, did Jesus give the apostles any authority to add, take away, or create anything different than He had previously given or told them to do? Did He leave them with a "make it up as you go, religion"? He obviously set the pattern in the OT commanding Israel not to "add or take away" from the instructions given to them. We see that alluded to in the book of Revelation. However with the multiple 1000s of churches today, they each are founded on some individual or group of men or women, who felt that they were best able to interpret the NT and what Jesus really wanted His NT believers to teach and practice, most of which cannot be found in the Bible.
Why should the Church of Jesus Christ rely on the then still pagan Constantine in the 320s A.D, (who at that time was still a sun worshipper and head of the cult) to tell them when and how celebrate Jesus' resurrection? What's wrong with looking into the Bible, into Jesus' commands or the Apostles practice and instructions? Even records of the early church provide us records as to what was practiced by the original Apostles. For centuries, the Eastern Orthodox type, the Ethiopian Orthodox churches celebrate the resurrection differently from the Western churches. Is this forum not a place where these historic things can be discussed? We are admonished to "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good."
The Apostles on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, we don't see anything in their message telling the people at the temple to stop going to the temple, and that they were going to take up tithes now so that they could start a church building fund. The Apostles were never to separate themselves from their mother faith Judaism, that is why they continued to go to the Temple, to the synagogues, and according to Roman history, they could not tell the difference between the Messianic Jews and the Orthodox non-Messianic Jews. Secular history is extremely important in this area as it is not biased toward one side or the others. If we are to
Changing the subject to one you brought up Roy, about Jews who do not accept Christ as receiving "eternal damnation". IF that is correct, do you teach that infants, and the heathen dying without Christ are "eternally damned" too?
We are told in the NT that God "blinded the Jews until the fullness of the gentiles come in." God is just and merciful, therefore if HE blinded them, how can he hold them accountable for not recognizing their Messiah?
The story of the "Valley of the Dry Bones" in Ezekiel explains what will happen to the Jews who God blinded, or who had never heard, and therefore had not believed. Those of them who did not believe because of being blinded, will be resurrected, and given their FIRST chance to know who God and their Savior was.
Remember it is to ISRAEL to whom God promised to give the New Covenant, Jer. 31: 31 - 33. Those who are not of bloodline Israel are to be "grafted into their covenants" Eph. 2.
Many who are unknowingly believing a form of "Replacement Theology" somehow think God had abandoned the Jews, and that the covenants are now theirs. However when all the texts on this subject are considered, even the NT in the book of Hebrews 8, confirms that the New Covenant is made with the House of Israel and the House of Judah.
Roy, if you would like to continue to discuss the chreonology of the "passion week" we can do via one to one e-mail.
One thing to consider, if Jesus did not die at the time the Passover lambs were slain, (at the end of the 14th of Nisan, which this year is on Friday, April 6, according to the New Moon visible in Jerusalem), then He cannot be the antitypical Passover sacrifice/lamb. Nisan 15, is the wrong date that the Roman Catholic church has promoted as the date He died. Interestingly the early Asiatic/Eastern church historically has taught that He did not take Passover the night He was betrayed, because He WAS the Passover the following afternoon. Look up the term Quartodecimans, and you will discover the early controversy over Easter/Passover date. You will also find that He fulfilled the "shadow" - a better alternate definition is "pattern, blueprint" established by the "Feasts of the Lord" of Leviticus 23. The Lord never gave the church Christmas, Easter (named after the "goddess of spring Ishtar), Halloween, these were ADDED by the Roman Catholic Church, so they are Catholic holidays, adopted from holidays of paganism, which in themselves do not portray the entire gospel message, as do the "Feasts of the Lord".
Here is the prophecy in Ezekiel 37 1 - 28, the whole chapter speaks of Israel's physical resurrection, from the dead, restoration to a physical body, they are given God's Holy Spirit, a state of holiness, they are restored to their land, and given salvation by God . His presence will be with them, and His 'Everlasting Covenant" is given to them. That is the covenant for which Jesus shed His blood. So according to the scriptures, many of Israel who died not believing in their Messiah, (because as God Himself said He "blinded them until the fullness of the gentiles come in,") will be resurrected and given a chance to believe and be saved:
Ezekiel 37:1 - 28
The Valley of Dry Bones
1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.
3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breatha enter you, and you will come to life. 6I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’
12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.
14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
One Nation Under One King
15 The word of the Lord came to me:
16 “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.’
17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
18 “When your countrymen ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’
19 say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’
20 Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on
21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.
23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding,b and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
24 “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.
25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever.
26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever.
27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’”
In Acts 15 (a very imprtant passage regarding this topic) what were the Gentiles who came to faith required to do? Note that they were not required to keep all the things that the Jews had been required to keep and this includes not being circumcised?
Regarding salvation ... only in and through Jesus can one be saved, Jew or Gentile.
Actually, the Roman Catholic church does not teach that Jesus died on the 15th but that the 15th that year was on Saturday, the same as the Sabbath. This would be in line with what most do believe about that year. I think you are mistaken on several of your assumptions. However, an important question for me to ask would be: do you believe in the Epistles? Do you believe that Jesus did actually give Paul the direction he claims to have received directly from Jesus? If so, then there are obviously many reasons to depart from many of the Jewish traditions. Salvation has always been a salvation by faith through grace. I cannot see where that would be a problem. However, Paul reveals to us one of God's mystery and that was that His family would all be one - both Gentiles and Jews. However, this family must accept Jesus as the Messiah that was promised to Israel. To reject the promised Messiah would mean eternal damnation. Jesus longed for His fellow countrymen but to no avail. They would not receive Him. Still to this day most reject Him. To those who receive Him, He gives life. They are one. They are no longer two. Do you believe in these things?
Re Jesus' Crucifixion day.
The replys in this thread, are getting harder and harder to follow and also to make sure all questions are answered.
According to what I have read, the RCC teaches that Jesus took the Passover the night before He was crucified. The Jewish Passover is always on the afternoon of Nisan 14. They teach that He was crucified the following day, which makes His crucifixion day Nisan 15. Do you have information different than this?