Saturday, March 18, 2017

"And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew" - The Separation between Judaism and Christianity

The Japanese Government Plane at Tokyo Haneda Airport

The Separation between Judaism and Christianity

Christianity was not originally intended to be separated from Judaism.

Christ Jesus never tried to travel, like Paul, to Athens, Alexandria, Rome, etc. and other foreign lands outside Palestine.   He rather declared that He was sent to Israel.

Accordingly, Apostles and other followers of Christ Jesus, except Paul, never tried hard to preach Christianity to gentiles and foreigners after the Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Christianity was a part of Judaism.  The God of Christianity was the God of Judaism.  So, it was a matter of course for those Christian Judaists that those who believed in Christ Jesus were also Judaists or Israelites whether or not they lived in Palestine or not.

So, Christianity started as a sect or a school of Judaism, like the Essenes.  And it might have continued only to be so, if Paul had not launched his mission targeting foreigners or gentiles.  And, yet Paul did not declare that Christianity had nothing common with Judaism.  Paul did not even claim that Christianity should be separated from Judaism.

So, Paul and Peter were executed and died in Rome as Judaists rather than Christians in today's meaning.

The Gospels according to Mark and Luke that were surely written while Peter and Paul were alive did not mean that Christianity was separated from Judaism.  But they claimed that high priests and other leaders of Judaism did not believe Christ Jesus and thus they should be to blame.  Christianity was the right school of Judaism or true Judaism, according to Mark and Luke.

The Gospel according to Mathew, written between the death of Peter and Paul and the Jewish-Roman War, even stressed the tie between Christianity and Judaism.  It was because Judaism had been officially approved by the Roman authority while Emperor Nero singled out Christians as his target of persecution.  So, Mathew tried to persuade the Roman authority to protect Christianity as a school of Judaism.  Lives of Christians were at stake.  For Mathew to write his version of the Gospel was a desperate effort to protect Christians.

But, when the Jewish-Roman War erupted and the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed, Christians came to have a different view on Judaism.  For them to claim that Christianity was just a school of Judaism did not give them any advantage in their relationship with the Roman authority.  Rather Christians thought that God forsook Judaism.  God wanted Christians to get independent from Judaism.  Accordingly, John wrote his version of the Gospel that re-defined Christianity as an independent religion.   With the fall of the temple of Jerusalem, God changed his priority from Judaism to Christianity.  According to John, Christianity was now above Judaism.

But the leaders of the Christian church adopted all the four Gospels as part of the holy books of Christianity in the 4th century, while those Gospels had been written for different purposes and included some different or contradictory contents to one another.  It meant that they admitted also that Christianity was a school of Judaism.  Indeed, it could not be denied that Christ Jesus was a Judaist.

This condition has not changed even today.  Christianity is a school of Judaism or true Judaism.  But the reference should be made with Judaism having been practiced 2000 years ago.

Then, what is Judaism of today?  While Judaism having been practiced 2000 years ago had capacity to somewhat accept Christianity, as proven by the existence of Christian Judaists such as Paul and Peter, Judaism today does not accept Christianity.

Even 1400 year ago, the separation between Judaism and Christianity gave a chance for Islam to be established while Muslims believed in the same God as that of Judaism and Christianity.

So, the separation between Judaism and Christianity has been one of critical factors that have worked behind the human history for these 2000 years.

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Mar 3:17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
Mar 3:18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,
Mar 3:19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.