Judaism and the Early Church Conclusion and Bibliography

Conclusion: Jesus as completion

Rabbinic materials point—clearly and perhaps surprisingly—to Jewish believers in Galilee in the second and third centuries living side-by-side with other Jews, socializing, attending the same synagogues, discussing and arguing with each other. Rabbinic leadership attempted defensively to separate and to marginalize the believers, but this was achieved only in the fourth and fifth centuries. Historical circumstances were frequently determinative: the Jewish-Roman wars, the Roman tax on Jews, and the messianic claims associated with Bar Kokhba pushed Jewish believers toward distinguishing themselves from other Jews. Christological disputes, like the one displayed in the Fourth Gospel, were frequently "framed by the Christian- Jewish quarrels, in which Jewish believers in Jesus play a deciding role."[1]

The key doctrine that appears through-out the entire historic relationship of Judaism and the church is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Messiah and Savior who came as God in flesh to the earth, fulfilled prophecy and died for humanity and their sins. Jesus regarded personal holiness as more important than following any of the laws. He challenged the perceived authority of the Pharisees and ignored them when they accused his disciples of violating rabbinical tradition; this is not Biblical law though. Jesus not only called the Pharisees out on their control and authority but on their legalism. Jesus wanted disciples and relationships not arrogant rule-abiding followers.

Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the Law but instead to fulfill. He calls the disciples to be righteous and obedient to the Laws.[2] Jesus Christ is the fulfillment and completion to Judaism. He is the Savior that they are looking for. Unbelieving Jews wanted supernatural signs, yet they refused to accept the most glorious of all supernatural sign, the Word of God to bring Jesus to earth by a virgin, see Him perform all the miracles that He did on earth, then to watch Him (who was innocent, holy and pure) die crucified on the cross, then to be resurrected, clearly as Messiah. The Jews missed it or ignored it. The sign was a stumbling block to them. Jesus is the way.[3]


Fergusson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity 3rd Ed. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003.

Freedman, David Noel. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Electronic Ed. New York: Doubleday, 1996.

Jeffers, James S. The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament.Downers Groves: Intervarsity Press, 1999.

Hindson, Ed and Caner, Ergun, eds. The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity. Eugene, Or: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.

Elwell, Walter, Ed, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 2nd Ed,,Grand Rapids, Mi: Baker Academic, 2007.

Wilson, Marvin R. Our Father Abraham. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989.

ME´ GIER, ELI SABETH. “Jewish Converts in the Early Church and Latin Christian Exegetes of Isaiah, c. 400–1150 Journal of Ecclesiastical History”, Vol. 59, No. 1, January 2008.

Kogan, Michael S, “TOWARD A JEWISH THEOLOGY OF CHRISTIANITY”, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 32:1, Winter 1995.

Kerr, Fergus, “Rage against Jesus (Luke 4:21-30)” Expository Times. Volume ii8 Number 3.

Weaver, Denny. “Footnote on Jesus,” Crosscurrents Magazine, Winter 2007.

Georgi, Dieter. “The Early Church: Internal Jewish Migration or New Religion?,” HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW 88:1, 1995.

Skarsaune, Oskar and Hvalvik, Reidar, eds, JEWISH BELIEVERS IN JESUS: THE EARLY CENTURIES. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2007.

Wright, Fred. Manners and Customs of Bible Lands. Chicago, Il: Moody Press, 1981.

Josephus, War of the Jews II.14.5

Unknown. “The Influence of Jewish Worship on Christian WorshipLiving the Good News: Winter C • 2009-10.

Bruce, F.F, "The Early Church in the Roman Empire," The Bible Student. Bangalore, India, 56 March-April, 1933: 30-32.

Harman, Chris, A people’s history of the world. London, England: Bookmarks Publications, 2002.

MacArthur, John, 1 Corinthians: Godly Solutions for Church Problems. Nashville, Tn: Nelson Impact, 2006.

[1] Oskar Skarsaune and Reidar Hvalvik, eds, JEWISH BELIEVERS IN JESUS: THE EARLY CENTURIES, 238.

[2] Matthew 5:17-20, NASB

[3] John MacArthur,1 Corinthians: Godly Solutions for Church Problems.( Nashville, Tn: Nelson Impact, 2006), 17.