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.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"power to heal sicknesses" - Establishment of Christianity

Around Tokyo

Establishment of Christianity

Christ Jesus never said to stop being Judaists but be a member of the new religion Christianity.

Accordingly Peter, other Apostles, and even Paul were Judaists.  And, the authors of the Gospels are also believed to have been Judaists.   However, these Gospels look like criticizing Judaists in general, since Christ Jesus was attacked by Judaist priests of the temple of Jerusalem.

Did Paul, Peter, and the Gospel authors blame only Judaist priests or Judaists in general?  Anyway, they seem to have tried to establish true Judaism.   And, this true Judaism was open to gentiles, including Romans, because God of Christ Jesus was not only for Judaists but for all the mankind.

However, those Gospels look like having been written to mean that people have to just believe in God and Christ Jesus and there is no need to follow Judaism.

Whether or not they were written with intention to mean that people had to just believe in God and Christ Jesus and there was no need to follow Judaism, the Gospels indicated the direction.  So, when the Gospels were written, Christianity was established, leaving the scope of Judaism.  But, when Christ Jesus was preaching, Christianity was not established in a strict sense, ironically.

Therefore the core of Christianity is in the Gospels.  But there are many mysteries about the Gospels unlike the holy books of Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc.

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Mar 3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
Mar 3:15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"be content with your wages" - Authority of the Gospels

Around Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Authority of the Gospels

The New Testament has documents related to Paul in an overwhelming ratio.  They are mostly letters written by Paul.  In addition, the Gospel according to Luke is also closely associated with Paul, since Luke followed Paul to Rome and wrote the Acts to testify what Paul was.  However, the Gospels according to Mark and Mathew are also included in the New Testament as holy books.

Indeed, it is thought that Luke was written based on Mark.  Or contents included in Mark account for 42% of those of Luke.  Put simply, 42% of contents of Luke were copied from Mark.  So, if Luke was holy, Mark was also holy, so that Mark was included in the New Testament.  But why are Mathew and John included in the New Testament while they were apparently written after Luke?

It is also thought that Mathew and John were also based on Mark and Luke.  But weren't there other documents also based on Mark and Luke around AD 100?  If there had been other Gospels that had been also written like Mathew and John based on Mark and Luke, they should have been included in the New Testament.

So, there are only two possibilities: (1) there were no other Gospels written based on Mark and Luke, or (2) there were other Gospels written based on Mark and Luke but they lacked some special conditions.  The matter is simple in the case of (1).  But what are the special conditions in the case (2)?

The answer must be also related to the basic question why Luke adopted Mark as its source.  It must be because Mark had been written under supervision of Paul or Peter.  So, only Mathew and John were written under supervision of somebody who succeeded Paul and Peter.

But why aren't there any descriptions about such supervision or authority in those Gospels?  This is one of major keys to understanding the Gospels.

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Luk 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.