First-Century Messianic Judaism—What Caused the Gentiles Believers to Leave It?

The question is often asked, “How did Gentiles get the notion that they needed to pull away from Judaism and form new practices?” The answer is complex—but the “withdrawal” can be traced back to the writings of the early Church Fathers.  

 The question about where did the Gentiles get the notion to pull away from the Jews/Judaism is an easy one—Anti-Judaism was a centerpiece feature of the early Church Fathers’ ideology. The “A Brief History of Anti-Semitism” workbook has a plethora of reference material covering church history. Sadly, many of the Church Father’s wrote hate-filled sermons and letters telling believers to stop practicing Judaism and stop associating with Jews.

 But on a positive note, this history also serves to provide us with evidence regarding where the first Believers gathered and how they worshiped the One True God. Gentiles were in synagogues practicing “Messianic” Judaism!  Otherwise, why all the instruction to stop engaging in Jewish practices? It would only be relevant if believers were practicing Judaism and were associating with Jews in synagogues. At one time “Messianic, ” Jews and “Messianic” Gentiles worshiped God together in a “single community.” Only in the second-century did we “part ways.” But of course, this means that the original “church” was not a “church” at all, but a Messianic Synagogue. For more, also see “The Works of Those Sent Out”—the Book of Acts from a Jewish Perspective.

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