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Jewish Christians were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea during the late Second Temple period (first century AD). These Jews believed Jesus to be the prophesied Messiah, but maintained the observance of Jewish law. Jewish Christianity is the foundation of Early Christianity, which later developed into Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Christianity started with Jewish eschatological expectations, and it developed into the worship of Jesus as the result of his earthly ministry, his crucifixion, and the post-crucifixion experiences of his followers. Modern scholarship is engaged in an ongoing debate as to the proper designation for Jesus' first followers. Many see the term Jewish Christians as anachronistic given that there is no consensus on the date of the birth of Christianity. Some modern scholars have suggested the designations "Jewish believers in Jesus" or "Jewish followers of Jesus" as better reflecting the original context.

Jewish Christians drifted apart from mainstream Judaism, eventually becoming a minority strand which had mostly disappeared by the fifth century. Jewish–Christian gospels have been lost except for fragments, so there is considerable uncertainty as to the scriptures used by this group.

The split of Christianity and Judaism took place during the first century AD.[1][2][failed verification][better source needed] While the First Jewish–Roman War and the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD were main events, the separation was a long-term process, in which the boundaries were not clear-cut.[1][2]


Early Jewish Christians (i.e. the Jewish followers of Jesus) referred to themselves as followers of "The Way" (ἡ ὁδός: hė hodós), probably coming from John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."[3][4][note 1] According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" (Greek: Χριστιανός) was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ", by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch.[10] The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" (Greek: Χριστιανισμός) was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD.[11]

The term "Jewish Christian" appears in modern historical texts contrasting Christians of Jewish origin with gentile Christians, both in discussion of the New Testament church[12][1][2][13][14][15] and the second and following centuries.[16]


See also: Second Temple Period, Origins of Judaism, Hellenistic Judaism, and Christianity in the 1st century

Jewish-Hellenistic background


Main articles: Second Temple Judaism and Hellenistic Judaism

Christianity arose as a Pharisaic movement within the syncretistic Hellenistic world of the first century AD, which was dominated by Roman law and Greek culture.[17] Hellenistic culture had a profound impact on the customs and practices of Jews, both in the Land of Israel and in the Diaspora. The inroads into Judaism gave rise to Hellenistic Judaism in the Jewish diaspora which sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism.

Hellenistic Judaism spread to Ptolemaic Egypt from the 3rd century BC, and became a notable religio licita after the Roman conquest of Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Judea, and Egypt, until its decline in the 3rd century parallel to the rise of Gnosticism and Early Christianity.

According to Burton Mack and a minority of commentators, the Christian vision of Jesus' death for the redemption of mankind was only possible in a Hellenised milieu.[note 2]

Jewish sects

During the early first century AD, there were many competing Jewish sects in the Holy Land and those that became Rabbinic Judaism and Proto-orthodox Christianity were but two of these. There were Pharisees, Sadducees, and Zealots, but also other less influential sects, including the Essenes.[1][2] The first century BC and first century AD saw a growing number of charismatic religious leaders contributing to what would become the Mishnah of Rabbinic Judaism; the ministry of Jesus would lead to the emergence of the first Jewish Christian community.[1][2]

The gospels contain strong condemnations of the Pharisees, though there is a clear influence of Hillel's interpretation of the Torah in the Gospel sayings.[18] Belief in the resurrection of the dead in the messianic age was a core Pharisaic doctrine.

Jewish and Christian messianism

Main articles: Jewish eschatology, Messiah in Judaism, Messiah ben Joseph, and Rejection of Jesus

Most of Jesus's teachings were intelligible and acceptable in terms of Second Temple Judaism; what set Christians apart from Jews was their faith in Christ as the resurrected messiah.[19] While Christianity acknowledges only one ultimate Messiah, Judaism can be said to hold to a concept of multiple messiahs. The two most relevant are the Messiah ben Joseph and the traditional Messiah ben David. Some scholars have argued that the idea of two messiahs, one suffering and the second fulfilling the traditional messianic role, was normative to ancient Judaism, predating Jesus. Jesus would have been viewed by many as one or both.[20][21][22][23]

According to the Expositor Greek Testament's exegesis of John 4:23, Jesus was criticial of the 'defects' of Judaism and Samaritanism and disliked their overemphasis on worshipping at the correct place with the right symbols.[24]

Jewish messianism has its root in the apocalyptic literature of the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD, promising a future "anointed" leader or Messiah to resurrect the Israelite "Kingdom of God", in place of the foreign rulers of the time. According to Shaye J.D. Cohen, the fact that Jesus did not establish an independent Israel, combined with his death at the hands of the Romans, caused many Jews to reject him as the Messiah.[25][note 3] Jews at that time were expecting a military leader as a Messiah, such as Bar Kokhba.


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Main article: Jesus

See also: Historical background of the New Testament

Christian views

Main articles: Life of Jesus in the New Testament and Ministry of Jesus

According to Christian denominations, the bodily resurrection of Jesus after his death is the pivotal event of Jesus' life and death, as described in the gospels and the epistles. According to the gospels, Jesus preached for a period of one to three years in the early 1st century. His ministry of teaching, healing the sick and disabled and performing various miracles, culminated in his crucifixion at the hands of the Roman authorities in Jerusalem. After his death, he appeared to his followers, resurrected from death. After forty days he ascended to Heaven, but his followers believed he would soon return to usher in the Kingdom of God and fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment.

Scholarly views

Main articles: Historical Jesus and Quest for the historical Jesus

Proponents of higher criticism claim that regardless of how one interprets the mission of Jesus, he must be understood in context as a 1st-century Middle Eastern Jew.[26][27]

There is widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, and on the meaning of his teachings.[28] Scholars often draw a distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, and two different accounts can be found in this regard.[29] Traditional scholarship on the subject stood on traditional theology. It emphasized Paul, and de-emphasized James and the Jewish grounding of early belief in Jesus.[30] Modern scholarship sees Jesus and his Jewish followers as grounded in the beliefs and traditions of first century Judaism.[31][page needed]

Critical scholars disagree on the historicity of many biblical narratives concerning the life of Jesus. Many such narratives have been classed as legendary or constructed from earlier traditions, such as the birth stories of Jesus.[32][33][34][35] The mainstream historical view is that while the gospels include many legendary elements, these are religious elaborations added to the accounts of a historical Jesus who was crucified under the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in the 1st-century Roman province of Judea.[36][37] His remaining disciples later believed that he was resurrected.[38][39]

Five portraits of the historical Jesus are supported by mainstream scholars, namely the apocalyptic prophet,[note 4] the charismatic healer,[43] the Cynic philosopher, the Jewish Messiah, and the prophet of social change.[44][45]

Early Jewish Christianity

Most historians agree that Jesus or his followers established a new Jewish sect, one that attracted both Jewish and gentile converts. The self-perception, beliefs, customs, and traditions of the Jewish followers of Jesus, Jesus's disciples and first followers, were grounded in first-century Judaism. According to New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman, a number of early Christianities existed in the first century AD, from which developed various Christian traditions and denominations, including proto-orthodoxy, Marcionites, Gnostics and the Jewish followers of Jesus.[31] According to theologian James D. G. Dunn, four types of early Christianity can be discerned: Jewish Christianity, Hellenistic Christianity, Apocalyptic Christianity, and early Catholicism.[46]

The first followers of Jesus were essentially all ethnically Jewish or Jewish proselytes. Jesus was Jewish, preached to the Jewish people, and called from them his first followers. According to McGrath, Jewish Christians, as faithful religious Jews, "regarded their movement as an affirmation of every aspect of contemporary Judaism, with the addition of one extra belief – that Jesus was the Messiah."[47]

Jewish Christians were the original members of the Jewish movement that later became Christianity.[12][48][1][2] In the earliest stage the community was made up of all those Jews who believed that Jesus was the Jewish messiah.[1][2][49] As Christianity grew and developed, Jewish Christians became only one strand of the early Christian community, characterised by combining the confession of Jesus as Christ with continued observance of the Torah[12] and adherence to Jewish traditions such as Sabbath observance, Jewish calendar, Jewish laws and customs, circumcision, kosher diet and synagogue attendance, and by a direct genetic relationship to the earliest followers of Jesus.[12][48][1][13]

Jerusalem ekklēsia

See also: Flight to Pella

The Jerusalem Church was an early Christian community located in Jerusalem, of which James the Just, the brother of Jesus, and Peter were leaders. Paul was in contact with this community.[50] Legitimised by Jesus' appearance, Peter was the first leader of the Jerusalem ekklēsia.[51][52] He was soon eclipsed in this leadership by James the Just, "the Brother of the Lord,"[53][54] which may explain why the early texts contain scarce information about Peter.[55] According to Lüdemann, in the discussions about the strictness of adherence to the Jewish Law, the more conservative view of James the Just became more widely accepted than the more liberal position of Peter, who soon lost influence.[55] According to Dunn, this was not an "usurpation of power," but a consequence of Peter's involvement in missionary activities.[56]

According to Eusebius' Church History 4.5.3–4: the first 15 Christian Bishops of Jerusalem were "of the circumcision". The Romans destroyed the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem in year 135 during the Bar Kokhba revolt,[57] but it is traditionally believed the Jerusalem Christians waited out the Jewish–Roman wars in Pella in the Decapolis.[58]


The Pauline epistles incorporate creeds, or confessions of faith, of a belief in an exalted Christ that predate Paul,[17] and give essential information on the faith of the early Jerusalem Church around James, brother of Jesus.[59][60][61] This group venerated the risen Christ, who had appeared to several persons,[17] as in Philippians 2:6–11, the Christ hymn, which portrays Jesus as an incarnated and subsequently exalted heavenly being.[62]


Main articles: Messiah in Judaism and Eschatology

Early Christians regarded Jesus to be the Messiah, the promised king who would restore the Jewish kingdom and independence. Jewish messianism has its root in the apocalyptic literature of the 2nd century BC to 1st century BC, promising a future "anointed" leader or messiah to restore the Israelite "Kingdom of God", in place of the foreign rulers of the time. This corresponded with the Maccabean Revolt directed against the Seleucid Empire. Following the fall of the Hasmonean kingdom, it was directed against the Roman administration of Judea Province, which, according to Josephus, began with the formation of the Zealots and Sicarii during the Census of Quirinius (6 AD), although full-scale open revolt did not occur until the First Jewish–Roman War in 66 AD.


According to the New Testament, some Christians reported that they encountered Jesus after his crucifixion. They believed that he had been resurrected (belief in the resurrection of the dead in the Messianic Age was a core Pharisaic doctrine), and his resurrection provided the belief that he would soon return and fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment.[63]

1 Corinthians 15:3-9 gives an early testimony, which was delivered to Paul,[64] of the atonement of Jesus and the appearances of the risen Christ to "Cephas and the twelve", and to "James [...] and all the apostles", possibly reflecting a fusion of two early Christian groups:

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures;
5 and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve;
6 then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep;
7 then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles;

8 and last of all, as to the [child] untimely born, he appeared to me also.[65]

The later canonical gospels provide more detailed narratives about the resurrection of Jesus. The New Testament accounts do not describe the resurrection itself, but rather accounts of appearances of Jesus.[66] Jesus is described as the "firstborn from the dead", prōtotokos, the first to be raised from the dead, thereby acquiring the "special status of the firstborn as the preeminent son and heir".[67][web 1] Scholars debate on the historicity of specific details of these narratives such as the empty tomb and burial of Jesus along with the resurrection itself. While Conservative Christian scholars argue in favor of a real, concrete, material resurrection of a transformed body,[68][69][web 2] secular and Liberal Christian scholars typically argue in favor of more naturalistic explanations, such as the vision theory. For example, Gerd Lüdemann argues that Peter had a vision of Jesus, induced by his feelings of guilt for betraying Jesus. The vision elevated this feeling of guilt, and Peter experienced it as a real appearance of Jesus, raised from dead.[web 3] Other scholars such as Craig L. Blomberg argue that there are sufficient arguments for the historicity of the resurrection.[70] According to Geza Vermes, the concept of resurrection formed "the initial stage of the belief in his exaltation", which is "the apogee of the triumphant Christ".[71] The focal concern of the early communities is the expected return of Jesus, and the entry of the believers into the kingdom of God with a transformed body.[72]

Proponents of the vision theory argue that cognitive dissonance influenced the inspiration for resurrection belief. According to Bart Ehrman, the resurrection appearances were a denial response to his disciples' sudden disillusionment following Jesus' death. According to Ehrman, some of his followers claimed to have seen him alive again, resulting in a multitude of stories which convinced others that Jesus had risen from death and was exalted to Heaven.[41][note 5] According to Paula Fredriksen, Jesus's impact on his followers was so great that they could not accept the failure implicit in his death.[73] According to Fredricksen, before his death Jesus created amongst his believers such certainty that the Kingdom of God and the resurrection of the dead was at hand, that with few exceptions (John 20: 24–29) when they saw him shortly after his execution, they had no doubt that he had been resurrected, and the general resurrection of the dead was at hand. These specific beliefs were compatible with Second Temple Judaism.[74]

According to N.T. Wright, "there is substantial unanimity among the early Christian writers (first and second century) that Jesus had been bodily raised from the dead,"[75] "with (as the early Christians in their different ways affirmed) a 'transphysical' body, both the same and yet in some mysterious way transformed," reasoning that as a matter of "inference" both a bodily resurrection and later bodily appearances of Jesus are far better explanations for the empty tomb and the 'meetings' and the rise of Christianity than are any other theories.[76] Rejecting the visionary theories, Wright notes that visions of the dead were always associated with spirits and ghosts, and never with bodily resurrection. Thus, Wright argues, a mere vision of Jesus would never lead to the unprecedented belief that Jesus was a physically resurrected corpse; at most, he would be perceived as an exalted martyr standing at the right hand of God.[77]

According to Johan Leman, the resurrection must be understood as a sense of presence of Jesus even after his death, especially during the ritual meals which were continued after his death.[78] His early followers regarded him as a righteous man and prophet, who was therefore resurrected and exalted.[79] In time, Messianistic, Isaiahic, apocalyptic and eschatological expectations were blended in the experience and understanding of Jesus, who came to be expected to return to earth.[79]

Bodily resurrection

A point of debate is how Christians came to believe in a bodily resurrection, which was "a comparatively recent development within Judaism."[80] According to Dag Øistein Endsjø, "The notion of the resurrection of the flesh was, as we have seen, not unknown to certain parts of Judaism in antiquity", but Paul rejected the idea of bodily resurrection, and it also can't be found within the strands of Jewish thought in which he was formed.[81] According to Porter, Hayes and Tombs, the Jewish tradition emphasizes a continued spiritual existence rather than a bodily resurrection.[82]

Nevertheless, the origin of this idea is commonly traced to Jewish beliefs,[83] a view against which Stanley E. Porter objected.[38] According to Porter, Jewish and subsequent Christian thought were influenced by Greek thoughts, where "assumptions regarding resurrection" can be found,[84] which were probably adopted by Paul.[note 6] According to Ehrman, most of the alleged parallels between Jesus and the pagan savior-gods only exist in the modern imagination, and there are no "accounts of others who were born to virgin mothers and who died as an atonement for sin and then were raised from the dead."[85]

Exaltation and deification

According to Ehrman, a central question in the research on Jesus and early Christianity is how a human came to be deified in a relatively short time.[86] Jewish Christians like the Ebionites had an Adoptionist Christology[87] and regarded Jesus as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity,[88] while other strands of Christian thought regard Jesus to be a "fully divine figure", a "high Christology".[42] How soon the earthly Jesus was regarded to be the incarnation of God is a matter of scholarly debate.[86][42]

Philippians 2: 5–11 contains the Christ hymn, which portrays Jesus as an incarnated and subsequently exalted heavenly being:[62]

5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;
8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient [even] unto death, yea, the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name;
10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven and [things] on earth and [things] under the earth,

11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.[89]

According to Dunn, the background of this hymn has been strongly debated. Some see it as influenced by a Greek worldview.[note 7] while others have argued for Jewish influences. According to Dunn, the hymn contains a contrast with the sins of Adam and his disobedience. Dunn further notes that the hymn may be seen as a three-stage Christology, starting with "an earlier stage of mythic pre-history or pre-existence," but regards the humility-exaltation contrast to be the main theme.[90]

This belief in the incarnated and exalted Christ was part of Christian tradition a few years after his death and over a decade before the writing of the Pauline epistles.[86][42] According to Dunn, the background of this hymn has been strongly debated. Some see it as influenced by a Greek worldview,[note 8]

According to Burton L. Mack the early Christian communities started with "Jesus movements", new religious movements centering on a human teacher called Jesus. A number of these "Jesus movements" can be discerned in early Christian writings.[91] According to Mack, within these Jesus-movements developed within 25 years the belief that Jesus was the Messiah, and had risen from death.[17]

According to Erhman, the gospels show a development from a "low Christology" towards a "high Christology".[86] Yet, a "high Christology" seems to have been part of Christian traditions a few years after his death, and over a decade before the writing of the Pauline epistles, which are the oldest Christian writings.[42] According to Martin Hengel, as summarized by Jeremy Bouma, the letters of Paul already contain a fully developed Christology, shortly after the death of Jesus, including references to his pre-existence.[42] According to Hengel, the Gospel of John shows a development which builds on this early high Christology, fusing it with Jewish wisdom traditions, in which Wisdom was personified and descended into the world. While this "Logos Christology" is recognizable for Greek metaphysics, it is nevertheless not derived from pagan sources, and Hengel rejects the idea of influence from "Hellenistic mystery cults or a Gnostic redeemer myth".[42]

Jewish practices and identity

The Book of Acts reports that the early followers continued daily Temple attendance and traditional Jewish home prayer. Other passages in the New Testament gospels reflect a similar observance of traditional Jewish piety such as fasting, reverence for the Torah and observance of Jewish holy days.

Paul and the inclusion of gentiles

Valentin de Boulogne's depiction of Saint Paul Writing His Epistles, c. 1618-1620 (Blaffer Foundation Collection, Houston, Texas)

See also: Paul the Apostle and Judaism, Christian views on the Old Covenant, Incident at Antioch, and Pauline Christianity

Saul of Tarsus (Paul the Apostle)

According to Larry Hurtado, "the christology and devotional stance that Paul affirmed (and shared with others in the early Jesus-movement) was… a distinctive expression within a variegated body of Jewish messianic hopes."[92] According to Dunn, Paul presents, in his epistles, a Hellenised Christianity.[93][note 9] According to Ehrman, "Paul's message, in a nutshell, was a Jewish apocalyptic proclamation with a seriously Christian twist."[39][page needed]

Paul was in contact with the early Christian community in Jerusalem, led by James the Just.[91][note 10] Fragments of their beliefs in an exalted and deified Jesus, what Mack called the "Christ cult," can be found in the writings of Paul.[91][note 11] According to the New Testament, Saul of Tarsus first persecuted the early Jewish Christians, but then converted.[note 12] He adopted the name Paul and started proselytizing among the gentiles, adopting the title "Apostle to the Gentiles". Saint Peter, Paul and other Jewish Christians told the Jerusalem council that Gentiles were receiving the Holy Spirit, and so convinced the leaders of the Jerusalem Church to allow gentile converts exemption from most Jewish commandments at the Council of Jerusalem, which opened the way for a much larger Christian Church, extending far beyond the Jewish community.

While Paul was inspired by the early Christian apostles, his writings elaborate on their teachings, and also give interpretations which are different from other teachings as documented in the canonical gospels, early Acts and the rest of the New Testament, such as the Epistle of James.[17][100]

Inclusion of gentiles

Some early Jewish Christians believed that non-Jews must convert to Judaism and adopt Jewish customs in order to be saved. Paul criticized Peter for himself declining to eat with gentiles during a visit by some of these Christians and therefore presenting a poor example to non-Jews joining the Christians.[101] Paul's close coworker Barnabas sided with Peter in this dispute.[102][103] Those that taught that gentile converts to Christianity ought to adopt more Jewish practices to be saved, however, were called "Judaizers".[104] Though the Apostle Peter was initially sympathetic, the Apostle Paul opposed the teaching at the Incident at Antioch (Gal. 2:11–21) and at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:6–35).[104][105] Nevertheless, Judaizing continued to be encouraged for several centuries, particularly by Jewish Christians.[104]

Paul opposed the strict applications of Jewish customs for gentile converts,[105] and argued with the leaders of the Jerusalem Church to allow gentile converts exemption from most Jewish commandments at the Council of Jerusalem, where Paul met with the "pillars of Jerusalem Church" (whom Paul identifies as Peter, Jesus's brother James, and John) over whether gentile Christians need to keep the Jewish Law and be circumcised. According to Acts, James played a prominent role in the formulation of the council's decision (Acts 15:19 NRSV) that circumcision was not a requirement. In Galatians, Paul says that James, Peter and John[106] will minister to the "circumcised" (in general Jews and Jewish proselytes) in Jerusalem, while Paul and his fellows will minister to the "uncircumcised" (in general, gentiles) (Galatians 2:9).[107][note 13]

The Catholic Encyclopedia[108] claims: "St. Paul's account of the incident leaves no doubt that St. Peter saw the justice of the rebuke." However, L. Michael White's From Jesus to Christianity[109] claims: "The blowup with Peter was a total failure of political bravado, and Paul soon left Antioch as persona non grata, never again to return." Scholar James D. G. Dunn, who coined the phrase "New Perspective on Paul", has proposed that Peter was the "bridge-man" (i.e., the pontifex maximus) between the two other "prominent leading figures" of early Christianity: Paul and James, the brother of Jesus.[110]

Hellenistic influences

Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin has argued that Paul's theology of the spirit is more deeply rooted in Hellenistic Judaism than generally believed. In A Radical Jew, Boyarin argues that the Apostle Paul combined the life of Jesus with Greek philosophy to reinterpret the Hebrew Bible in terms of the Platonic opposition between the ideal (which is real) and the material (which is false). Judaism is a material religion, in which membership is based not on belief but rather descent from Abraham, physically marked by circumcision, and focusing on how to live this life properly. Paul saw in the symbol of a resurrected Jesus the possibility of a spiritual rather than corporeal Messiah. He used this notion of Messiah to argue for a religion through which all people—not just descendants of Abraham—could worship the God of Abraham. Unlike Judaism, which holds that it is the proper religion only of the Jews, Pauline Christianity claimed to be the proper religion for all people.[111]

By appealing to the Platonic distinction between the material and the ideal, Paul showed how the spirit of Christ could provide all people a way to worship the God who had previously been worshipped only by Jews, Jewish proselytes and God-fearers,[112][113][114] although Jews claimed that he was the one and only God of all. Boyarin roots Paul's work in Hellenistic Judaism and insists that Paul was thoroughly Jewish, but argues that Pauline theology made his version of Christianity appealing to gentiles. Boyarin also sees this Platonic reworking of both Jesus's teachings and Pharisaic Judaism as essential to the emergence of Christianity as a distinct religion, because it justified a Judaism without Jewish law.[111]

Split of early Christianity and Judaism

Main article: Split of Christianity and Judaism

Emergence as separate religious communities

As Christianity grew throughout the gentile world, the developing Christian tradition diverged from its Jewish and Jerusalem roots.[115][116] Historians continue to debate the precise moment when early Christianity established itself as a new religion, apart and distinct from Judaism. It is difficult to trace the process by which the two separated or to know exactly when this began. Jewish Christians continued to worship in synagogues together with contemporary Jews for centuries.[117][118][119] Some scholars have found evidence of continuous interactions between Jewish-Christian and Rabbinic movements from the mid-to late second century CE to the fourth century CE.[120][121] Philip S. Alexander characterizes the question of when Christianity and Judaism parted company and went their separate ways as "one of those deceptively simple questions which should be approached with great care".[122] The first centuries of belief in Jesus were characterized by great uncertainty and religious creativity.[123] "Groups of believers coalesced into proto-factions of like-minded individuals, and then into factions. […] The degree of doctrinal cohesion of these groups is unknown. As attested by the extant texts, confusion and chaos were rampant."[124] At first, early belief in Jesus was very much a local phenomenon with some degree of coordination among communities on a regional basis.[125]

Both Early Christianity and Early Rabbinic Judaism were far less orthodox and less theologically homogeneous than in modern day. Both religions were significantly influenced by Hellenistic religion and borrowed allegories and concepts from Classical Hellenistic philosophy[126] and the works of the Greek-speaking Jewish authors of the end of the Second Temple period. The two schools of thought eventually firmed up their respective "norms" and doctrines, notably by increasingly diverging on key issues such as the status of "purity laws", the validity of Judeo-Christian messianic beliefs, and, more importantly, the use of Koine Greek and Latin as sacerdotal languages replacing Biblical Hebrew.[127]


Heinrich Graetz postulated a Council of Jamnia in 90 that excluded Christians from the synagogues, but this is disputed. Jewish Christians continued to worship in synagogues for centuries.[128][129][130]

According to historian Shaye J. D. Cohen, "the separation of Christianity from Judaism was a process, not an event", in which the church became "more and more gentile, and less and less Jewish".[131][note 14] According to Cohen, early Christianity ceased to be a Jewish sect when it ceased to observe Jewish practices, such as circumcision.[25] According to Cohen, this process ended in 70 AD, after the great revolt, when various Jewish sects disappeared and Pharisaic Judaism evolved into Rabbinic Judaism, and Christianity emerged as a distinct religion.[132]

Talmudist and professor of Jewish studies Daniel Boyarin proposes a revised understanding of the interactions between nascent Christianity and Judaism in late antiquity, viewing the two "new" religions as intensely and complexly intertwined throughout this period. According to Boyarin, Judaism and Christianity "were part of one complex religious family, twins in a womb", for at least three centuries.[133][note 15] Alan Segal also states that "one can speak of a 'twin birth' of two new Judaisms, both markedly different from the religious systems that preceded them".[134][note 16]

According to Robert Goldenberg, it is increasingly accepted among scholars that "at the end of the 1st century AD there were not yet two separate religions called 'Judaism' and 'Christianity'".[135][note 17]

Jewish Christianity fell into decline during the Jewish–Roman wars (66–135) and the growing anti-Judaism perhaps best personified by Marcion of Sinope (c. 150). With persecution by the Nicene Christians from the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, Jewish Christians sought refuge outside the boundaries of the Empire, in Arabia and further afield.[136] Within the Empire and later elsewhere it was dominated by the gentile-based Christianity which became the State church of the Roman Empire and which took control of sites in the Holy Land such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Cenacle and appointed subsequent Bishops of Jerusalem.

First Jewish–Roman War and the destruction of the Temple

Main article: First Jewish–Roman War

Full-scale, open revolt against the Romans occurred with the First Jewish–Roman War in 66 AD. In 70 AD, Jerusalem was besieged and the Second Temple was destroyed. This event was a profoundly traumatic experience for the Jews, who were now confronted with difficult and far-reaching questions.[137][note 18] After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD, sectarianism largely came to an end. The Zealots, Sadducees, and Essenes disappeared, while the Early Christians and the Pharisees survived, the latter transforming into Rabbinic Judaism, today known simply as "Judaism". The term "Pharisee" was no longer used, perhaps because it was a term more often used by non-Pharisees, but also because the term was explicitly sectarian, and the rabbis claimed leadership over all Jews.

Many historians argue that the gospels took their final form after the Great Revolt and the destruction of the Temple, although some scholars put the authorship of Mark in the 60s; this could help one understand their context.[138][139][140][141] Strack theorizes that the growth of a Christian canon (the New Testament) was a factor that influenced the rabbis to record the oral law in writing.[note 19]

A significant contributing factor to the split was the two groups' differing theological interpretations of the Temple's destruction. Rabbinic Judaism saw the destruction as a chastisement for neglecting the Torah. The early Christians however saw it as God's punishment for the Jewish rejection of Jesus, leading to the claim that the 'true' Israel was now the Church. Jews believed this claim was scandalous.[142] According to Fredriksen, since early Christians believed that Jesus had already replaced the Temple as the expression of a new covenant, they were relatively unconcerned with the destruction of the Temple during the First Jewish-Roman War.[73]

Controversies over Passover and the Eucharist

Main article: Easter controversy

See also: Quartodeciman

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Rejection of Jewish Christianity

In Christian circles, the term "Nazarene" later came to be used as a label for those Christians who were faithful to Jewish law, in particular, it was used as a label for a certain sect of Christians. At first, these Jewish Christians, originally the central group in Christianity, were not declared unorthodox but they were later excluded from the Jewish community and denounced. Some Jewish Christian groups, such as the Ebionites, were accused of having unorthodox beliefs, particularly in relation to their views of Christ and gentile converts. The Nazarenes, who held to orthodoxy but adhered to Jewish law, were not deemed heretical until the dominance of orthodoxy in the 4th century. The Ebionites may have been a splinter group of Nazarenes, with disagreements over Christology and leadership. After the condemnation of the Nazarenes, the term "Ebionite" was often used as a general pejorative for all related "heresies".[143][144]

Jewish Christians constituted a community which was separate from the Pauline Christians. There was a post-Nicene "double rejection" of the Jewish Christians by adherents of gentile Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. It is believed that no direct confrontation occurred between the adherents of gentile Christianity and the adherents of Judaic Christianity. However, by this time, the practice of Judeo-Christianity was diluted by internal schisms and external pressures. Gentile Christianity remained the sole strand of orthodoxy and it imposed itself on the previously Jewish Christian sanctuaries, taking full control of those houses of worship by the end of the 5th century.[145]

Growing anti-Jewish sentiment in Christian writings

Growing anti-Jewish sentiment among early Christians is evidenced by the Epistle of Barnabas, a late-1st/early-2nd century letter attributed to Barnabas, the companion of Paul mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, although it could be by Barnabas of Alexandria, or an anonymous author using the name Barnabas.[146] In no other writing of that early time is the separation of the gentile Christians from observant Jews so clearly insisted upon. Christians, according to Barnabas, are the only true covenant people, and the Jewish people are no longer in covenant with God. Circumcision and the entire Jewish sacrificial and ceremonial system have been abolished in favor of "the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ". Barnabas claims that Jewish scriptures, rightly understood, serve as a foretelling of Christ and its laws often contain allegorical meanings.

While 2nd-century Marcionism rejected all Jewish influence on Christianity, Proto-orthodox Christianity instead retained some of the doctrines and practices of 1st-century Judaism while rejecting others.[note 20] They held the Jewish scriptures to be authoritative and sacred, employing mostly the Septuagint or Targum translations, and adding other texts as the New Testament canon developed. Christian baptism was another continuation of a Judaic practice.[147]

Later Jewish Christianity



Main article: Ebionites

The Ebionites were a Jewish Christian movement that existed during the early centuries of the Christian Era.[148] They show strong similarities with the earliest form of Jewish Christianity, and their specific theology may have been a "reaction to the law-free Gentile mission."[149] They regarded Jesus as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity and his virgin birth,[88] and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites.[150] They used the Gospel of the Ebionites, one of the Jewish–Christian gospels; the Hebrew Book of Matthew starting at chapter 3; revered James the brother of Jesus (James the Just); and rejected Paul the Apostle as an apostate from the Law.[151] Their name (Greek: Ἐβιωναῖοι Ebionaioi, derived from Hebrew אביוניםebyonim, ebionim, meaning "the poor" or "poor ones") suggests that they placed a special value on voluntary poverty.

Distinctive features of the Gospel of the Ebionites include the absence of the virgin birth and of the genealogy of Jesus; an Adoptionist Christology,[87] in which Jesus is chosen to be God's Son at the time of his Baptism; the abolition of the Jewish sacrifices by Jesus; and an advocacy of vegetarianism.[152]


Main article: Nazarene

The Nazarenes originated as a sect of first-century Judaism. The first use of the term "sect of the Nazarenes" is in the Book of Acts in the New Testament, where Paul is accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes ("πρωτοστάτην τε τῆς τῶν Ναζωραίων αἱρέσεως").[153] The term then simply designated followers of "Yeshua Natzri" (Jesus the Nazarene),[note 21] but in the first to fourth centuries the term was used for a sect of followers of Jesus who were closer to Judaism than most Christians.[154] They are described by Epiphanius of Salamis and are mentioned later by Jerome and Augustine of Hippo,[155][156] who made a distinction between the Nazarenes of their time and the "Nazarenes" mentioned in Acts 24:5.[157]

The Nazarenes were similar to the Ebionites, in that they considered themselves Jews, maintained an adherence to the Law of Moses, and used only the Aramaic Gospel of the Hebrews, rejecting all the Canonical gospels. However, unlike half of the Ebionites, they accepted the Virgin Birth.[158][159]

The Gospel of the Hebrews was a syncretic Jewish–Christian gospel, the text of which is lost; only fragments of it survive as brief quotations by the early Church Fathers and in apocryphal writings. The fragments contain traditions of Jesus' pre-existence, incarnation, baptism, and probable temptation, along with some of his sayings.[160] Distinctive features include a Christology characterized by the belief that the Holy Spirit is Jesus' Divine Mother; and a first resurrection appearance to James, the brother of Jesus, showing a high regard for James as the leader of the Jewish Christian church in Jerusalem.[161] It was probably composed in Greek in the first decades of the 2nd century, and is believed to have been used by Greek-speaking Jewish Christians in Egypt during that century.[162]

The Gospel of the Nazarenes is the title given to fragments of one of the lost Jewish-Christian Gospels of Matthew partially reconstructed from the writings of Jerome.


Main article: Knanaya

The Knanaya of India descend from Syriac Christians of Jewish origin who migrated to India from Mesopotamia between the 4th and 9th century under the leadership of the merchant Knai Thoma. In the modern age, they are a minority community found among the St. Thomas Christians. The culture of the Knanaya has been analyzed by a number of Jewish scholars who have noted that the community maintains striking correlations to Jewish communities, in particular the Cochin Jews of Kerala. The culture of the Knanaya is a blend of Jewish-Christian, Syriac, and Hindu customs reflecting both the foreign origin of the community and the centuries that they have lived as a minority community in India.[163][164][165]

Surviving Byzantine and 'Syriac' communities in the Middle East

Some typically Grecian "Ancient Synagogal" priestly rites have survived partially to the present, notably in the distinct church service of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, Syriac Orthodox Church and the Melkite Greek Catholic communities of the Hatay Province of Southern Turkey, Syria and Lebanon.

The unique combination of ethnocultural traits inhered from the fusion of a Greek-Macedonian cultural base, Hellenistic Judaism and Roman civilization gave birth to the distinctly Antiochian "Middle Eastern-Roman" Christian traditions of Cilicia (Southeastern Turkey) and Syria/Lebanon:

The mixture of Roman, Greek, and Jewish elements admirably adapted Antioch for the great part it played in the early history of Christianity. The city was the cradle of the church.[166]

Members of these communities still call themselves Rûm which literally means "Eastern Roman", "Byzantine" or "Asian Greek" in Turkish, Persian and Arabic. The term "Rûm" is used in preference to "Ionani" or "Yāvāni" which means "European Greek" or "Ionian" in Classical Arabic and Ancient Hebrew.

Most Middle-Eastern "Melkites" or "Rûms", can trace their ethnocultural heritage to the Southern Anatolian ('Cilician') and Syrian Hellenized Greek-speaking Jewish communities of the past and Greek and Macedonian settlers ('Greco-Syrians'), founders of the original "Antiochian Greek" communities of Cilicia, Northwestern Syria and Lebanon. Counting members of the surviving minorities in the Hatay Province of Turkey, in Syria, Lebanon, Northern Israel and their relatives in the diaspora, there are more than 1.8 million Greco-Melkite Christians residing in the Northern-MENA, the US, Canada and Latin America today, i.e., Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic Christians under the ancient jurisdictional authority of the patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem ("Orthodox" in the narrow sense) or their Uniat offshoots ("Catholic" or "united" with Rome).

Today, certain families are associated with descent from the early Jewish Christians of Antioch, Damascus, Judea, and Galilee. Some of those families carry surnames such as Youhanna (John), Hanania (Ananias), Sahyoun (Zion), Eliyya/Elias (Elijah), Chamoun/Shamoun (Simeon/Simon), Semaan/Simaan (Simeon/Simon), Menassa (Manasseh), Salamoun/Suleiman (Solomon), Yowakim (Joachim), Zakariya (Zacharias), Kolath and others.[167]

Contemporary movements

In modern times, the term "Jewish Christian" or "Christian Jew" is generally used in reference to ethnic Jews who have either converted to or been raised in Christianity.[citation needed] They are mostly members of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christian congregations,[citation needed] and they are generally assimilated into the Christian mainstream, but they may also retain a strong sense of attachment to their Jewish identity. Some Jewish Christians also refer to themselves as "Hebrew Christians".

The Hebrew Christian movement of the 19th century was an initiative which was largely led and integrated by Anglicans, and they included figures such as Michael Solomon Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem 1842–1845; some figures, such as Joseph Frey, the founder of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, were more assertive of their Jewish identity and independence.

The 19th century saw at least 250,000 Jews convert to Christianity according to existing records of various societies.[168] According to data which was provided by the Pew Research Center, as of 2013, about 1.6 million adult American Jews identify themselves as Christians, and most of them identify themselves as Protestants.[169][170][171] According to the same data, most of the Jews who identify themselves as some sort of Christian (1.6 million) were either raised as Jews or are Jews by ancestry.[170] According to a 2012 study, 17% of Jews in Russia identify themselves as Christians.[172][173]

Messianic Judaism is a religious movement which incorporates elements of Judaism with the tenets of Christianity. Its adherents, many of whom are ethnically Jewish, worship in congregations which recite Hebrew prayers. They also baptize messianic believers who are of the age of accountability (able to accept Jesus as the Messiah), often observe kosher dietary laws and keep Saturday as the Sabbath. Additionally, they recognize the Christian New Testament as holy scripture, though most of them do not use the label "Christian" to describe themselves.

The two groups are not completely distinct; some adherents, for example, favor Messianic congregations but they freely choose to live in both worlds, such as the theologian Arnold Fruchtenbaum, the founder of Ariel Ministries.[174]

The Hebrew Catholics are a movement of Jews who converted to Catholicism and Catholics of non-Jewish origin who choose to keep Jewish customs and traditions in light of Catholic doctrine.

See also


  1. ^ It appears in the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 9:2, Acts 19:9 and Acts 19:23. Some English translations of the New Testament capitalize 'the Way' (e.g. the New King James Version and the English Standard Version), indicating that this was how 'the new religion seemed then to be designated'[5] whereas others treat the phrase as indicative—'the way',[6] 'that way'[7] or 'the way of the Lord'.[8] The Syriac version reads, "the way of God" and the Vulgate Latin version, "the way of the Lord".[9]
    See also Sect of “The Way”, “The Nazarenes” & “Christians” : Names given to the Early Church.
  2. ^ Eddy & Boyd (2007), p. 136: "Burton Mack argues that Paul’s view of Jesus as a divine figure who gives his life for the salvation of others had to originate in a Hellenistic rather than a Jewish environment. Mack writes, "Such a notion [of vicarious human suffering] cannot be traced to old Jewish and/ or Israelite traditions, for the very notion of a vicarious human sacrifice was anathema in these cultures. But it can be traced to a Strong Greek tradition of extolling a noble death." More specifically, Mack argues that a Greek "myth of martyrdom" and the "noble death" tradition are ultimately responsible for influencing the hellenized Jews of the Christ cults to develop a divinized Jesus."
    Eddy & Boyd (2007), p. 93further note that "The most sophisticated and influential version of the hellenization thesis was forged within the German Religionsgeschichtliche Schule of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—now often referred to as the "old history of religions school." Here, the crowning literary achievement in several ways is Wilhelm Bousset’s 1913 work Kyrios Christos. Bousset envisions two forms of pre-Pauline Christianity: [1. In the early Palestinian community, and 2. In the Hellenistic communities.]"
  3. ^ See for comparison: prophet and false prophet.
  4. ^ The notion of Apocalyptic prophet is shared by E. P. Sanders,[40] a main proponent of the New Perspective on Paul, and Bart Ehrman.[41][42]
  5. ^ Ehrman: "What started Christianity was the Belief in the Resurrection. It was nothing else. Followers of Jesus came to believe he had been raised. They did not believe it because of “proof” such as the empty tomb. They believed it because some of them said they saw Jesus alive afterward. Others who believed these stories told others who also came to believe them. These others told others who told others – for days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, and now millennia. Christianity is all about believing what others have said. It has always been that way and always will be.

    Easter is the celebration of the first proclamation that Jesus did not remain dead. It is not that his body was resuscitated after a Near Death Experience. God had exalted Jesus to heaven never to die again; he will (soon) return from heaven to rule the earth. This is a statement of faith, not a matter of empirical proof. Christians themselves believe it. Non-Christians recognize it as the very heart of the Christian message. It is a message based on faith in what other people claimed and testified based on what others claimed and testified based on what others claimed and testified – all the way back to the first followers of Jesus who said they saw Jesus alive afterward.[41]
  6. ^ Porter, Hayes and Tombs: "Stanley Porter's paper brings together a body of literature, hitherto largely neglected, which highlights the fact that the Greeks, contrary to much scholarly opinion, did have a significant tradition of bodily resurrection, and that the Jewish tradition emphasizes a continued spiritual existence rather than a bodily resurrection. Thus, Paul in the New Testament probably adopted Graeco-Roman assumptions regarding the resurrection, although he was not blindly derivative in developing his conceptual framework."[82]
  7. ^ Several authors have even argued for influences from a "pre-Christian Gnostic redeemer myth". According to Dunn, this interpretation is dated, and based on "a most questionable historical foundation".[90]
  8. ^ Several authors have even argued for influences from a "pre-Christian Gnostic redeemer myth". According to Dunn, this interpretation is dated, and based on "a most questionable historical foundation"[90] while others have argued for Jewish influences. According to Dunn, the hymn contains a contrast with the sins of Adam and his disobedience. Dunn further notes that the hymn may be seen as a three-stage Christology, starting with "an earlier stage of mythic pre-history or pre-existence," but regards the humility-exaltation contrast to be the main theme.[90]
  9. ^ The term "Pauline Christianity" is generally considered a pejorative by mainstream Christianity, as it carries the implication that Christianity is a corruption of the original teachings of Jesus, as for example in the belief of a Great Apostasy as found in Restorationism.[citation needed] Most of orthodox Christianity relies heavily on these teachings and considers them to be amplifications and explanations of the teachings of Jesus.[citation needed]
  10. ^ According to Mack, he may have been converted to another early strand of Christianity, with a High Christology.[94]
  11. ^ According to Mack,[95] "Paul was converted to a Hellenized form of some Jesus movement that had already developed into a Christ cult. [...] Thus his letters serve as documentation for the Christ cult as well." Price (2000), p. 75, §. The Christ Cults comments: "By choosing the terminology “Christ cults,” Burton Mack means to differentiate those early movements that revered Jesus as the Christ from those that did not. [...] Mack is perhaps not quite clear about what would constitute a Christ cult. Or at least he seems to me to obscure some important distinctions between what would appear to be significantly different subtypes of Christ movements."
  12. ^ Galatians 1:13.[96] According to Dunn, Paul persecuted the "Hellenists"[96] of Acts 6.[97] According to Larry Hurtado, there was no theological divide between "Hellenists" (Greek speaking Jews from the diaspora who had returned to Jerusalem) and their fellow Jesus-followers; Paul's persecution was directed against the Jesus-movement in general, because it offended his Pharisaic convictions.[98][99]
  13. ^ These terms (circumcised/uncircumcised) are generally interpreted to mean Jews and Greeks, who were predominant; however, this is an oversimplification, as 1st-century Judaea Province also had some Jews who no longer circumcised and some Greeks and others such as Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Arabs who did.
  14. ^ Cohen: "The separation of Christianity from Judaism was a process, not an event. The essential part of this process was that the church was becoming more and more gentile, and less and less Jewish, but the separation manifested itself in different ways in each local community where Jews and Christians dwelt together. In some places, the Jews expelled the Christians; in other, the Christians left of their own accord."[131]
  15. ^ Boyarin: "for at least the first three centuries of their common lives, Judaism in all of its forms and Christianity in all of its forms were part of one complex religious family, twins in a womb, contending with each other for identity and precedence, but sharing with each other the same spiritual food."[133]
  16. ^ Segal: "one can speak of a 'twin birth' of two new Judaisms, both markedly different from the religious systems that preceded them. Not only were Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity religious twins, but, like Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac and Rebecca, they fought in the womb, setting the stage for life after the womb."[134]
  17. ^ Boyarin adds that "Without the power of the orthodox Church and the rabbis to declare people heretics and outside the system it remained impossible to declare phenomenologically who was a Jew and who was a Christian. At least as interesting and significant, it seems more and more clear that it is frequently impossible to tell a Jewish text from a Christian text. The borders are fuzzy, and this has consequences. Religious ideas and innovations can cross borders in both directions.[127]
  18. ^ Such as:[137]
    • How to achieve atonement without the Temple?
    • How to explain the disastrous outcome of the rebellion?
    • How to live in the post-Temple, Romanized world?
    • How to connect present and past traditions?
    How people answered these questioned depended largely on their position prior to the revolt.
  19. ^ The theory that the destruction of the Temple and subsequent upheaval led to the committing of Oral Law into writing was first explained in the Epistle of Sherira Gaon and often repeated. See, for example, Grayzel, A History of the Jews, Penguin Books, 1984, p. 193.
  20. ^ See the Historical background to the issue of Biblical law in Christianity and Early Christianity.
  21. ^ As the Hebrew term נוֹצְרִי (nôṣrî) still does.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Shiffman, Lawrence H. (2018). "How Jewish Christians Became Christians". My Jewish Learning. Archived from the original on 2018-12-17. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Christianity: Severance from Judaism". Jewish Virtual Library. AICE. 2008. Archived from the original on 17 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018. A major difficulty in tracing the growth of Christianity from its beginnings as a Jewish messianic sect, and its relations to the various other normative-Jewish, sectarian-Jewish, and Christian-Jewish groups is presented by the fact that what ultimately became normative Christianity was originally but one among various contending Christian trends. Once the "gentile Christian" trend won out, and the teaching of Paul became accepted as expressing the doctrine of the Church, the Jewish Christian groups were pushed to the margin and ultimately excluded as heretical. Being rejected both by normative Judaism and the Church, they ultimately disappeared. Nevertheless, several Jewish Christian sects (such as the Nazarenes, Ebionites, Elchasaites, and others) existed for some time, and a few of them seem to have endured for several centuries. Some sects saw in Jesus mainly a prophet and not the "Christ", others seem to have believed in him as the Messiah, but did not draw the christological and other conclusions that subsequently became fundamental in the teaching of the Church (the divinity of the Christ, trinitarian conception of the Godhead, abrogation of the Law). After the disappearance of the early Jewish Christian sects and the triumph of gentile Christianity, to become a Christian meant, for a Jew, to apostatize and to leave the Jewish community.
  3. ^ Cwiekowski 1988, pp. 79–80.
  4. ^ Pao 2016, p. 65.
  5. ^ Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on Acts 19, http://biblehub.com/commentaries/jfb//acts/19.htm Archived 2015-10-25 at the Wayback Machine accessed 8 October 2015
  6. ^ Jubilee Bible 2000
  7. ^ American King James Version
  8. ^ Douai-Rheims Bible
  9. ^ Gill, J., Gill's Exposition of the Bible, commentary on Acts 19:23 http://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/acts/19.htm Archived 2015-10-25 at the Wayback Machine accessed 8 October 2015
  10. ^ E. Peterson (1959), "Christianus." In: Frühkirche, Judentum und Gnosis, publisher: Herder, Freiburg, pp. 353–72
  11. ^ Elwell & Comfort 2001, pp. 266, 828.
  12. ^ a b c d Tomson, Peter J.; Lambers-Petry, Doris, eds. (2003). The Image of the Judaeo-Christians in Ancient Jewish and Christian Literature. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. Vol. 158. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. p. 162. ISBN 3161480945. Though every definition of Jewish Christians has problems, the most useful is probably that they were believers in Jesus, of ethnic Jewish origin, who observed the Torah and so retained their Jewish identity.
  13. ^ a b Tabor, James D. (2013). Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 24. ISBN 978-1439134986. [...] the original apostolic Christianity that came before Paul, and developed independently of him, by those who had known and spent time with Jesus, was in sharp contrast to Paul's version of the new faith. This lost Christianity held sway during Paul's lifetime, and only with the death of James in 62 AD, followed by the brutal destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, did it begin to lose its influence as the center of Jesus movement. Ironically, it was the production and final editing of the New Testament itself [...] supporting Paul's version of Christianity, that ensured first the marginalization, and subsequently the death of this original form of Christianity.
  14. ^ Theological dictionary of the New Testament (1972), p. 568. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey William Bromiley, Gerhard Friedrich: "When the Jewish Christians whom James sent from Jerusalem arrived at Antioch, Cephas withdrew from table-fellowship with the Gentile Christians".
  15. ^ Cynthia White, The emergence of Christianity (2007), p. 36: "In these early days of the church in Jerusalem there was a growing antagonism between the Greek-speaking Hellenized Jewish Christians and the Aramaic-speaking Jewish Christians".
  16. ^ Michele Murray, Playing a Jewish game: Gentile Christian Judaizing in the first and Second Centuries AD, Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion (2004), p. 97: "Justin is obviously frustrated by continued law observance by Gentile Christians; to impede the spread of the phenomenon, he declares that he does not approve of Jewish Christians who attempt to influence Gentile Christians".
  17. ^ a b c d e Mack 1995.
  18. ^ Leman 2015, pp. 145–146.
  19. ^ Cohen 1987, pp. 167–168.
  20. ^ Daniel Boyarin (2012). The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ. New Press. ISBN 978-1595584687. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  21. ^ Israel Knohl (2000). The Messiah Before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520928749. Retrieved 20 January 2014. The Messiah before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  22. ^ Alan J. Avery-Peck, ed. (2005). The Review of Rabbinic Judaism: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 91–112. ISBN 9004144846. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  23. ^ Peter Schäfer (2012). The Jewish Jesus: How Judaism and Christianity Shaped Each Other. Princeton University Press. pp. 235–238. ISBN 978-1400842285. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  24. ^ "John 4: Expositor's Greek Testament". Biblehub. 2023.
  25. ^ a b Cohen 1987, p. 168.
  26. ^ White (2004). pp. 127–128.
  27. ^ Ehrman (2005). p. 187.
  28. ^ Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell 1998 ISBN 0664257038 p. 181
  29. ^ Graham Stanton, The Gospels and Jesus (2nd ed.), (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) p. xxiii
  30. ^ Wilson, Stephen G. (1995). Related Strangers: Jews and Christians. Minneapolis, MIN: Augsburg Fortress Publishers. pp. 35–47. ISBN 080063733X.
  31. ^ a b Ehrman (2005).
  32. ^ According to Karl Rahner, the gospels show little interest in synchronizing the episodes of the birth or subsequent life of Jesus with the secular history of the age. Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0-86012-006-6 p. 731
  33. ^ Sanders, Ed Parish (1993). The Historical Figure of Jesus. London: Allen Lane. p. 85
  34. ^ Vermes, Géza (2006-11-02). The Nativity: History and Legend. Penguin Books Ltd. p. 64.
  35. ^ Many view the topic of historicity as secondary, given that gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than chronological timelines. Interpreting Gospel Narratives: Scenes, People, and Theology by Timothy Wiarda 2010
  36. ^ Ehrman (2012)
  37. ^ Stanton (2002), pp. 143ff.
  38. ^ a b Porter 1999.
  39. ^ a b Ehrman, The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden religion swept the World.
  40. ^ E.P. Sanders (1993). The Historical Figure of Jesus
  41. ^ a b c Bart Ehrman (1 April 2018), An Easter Reflection 2018 Archived 2020-09-25 at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ a b c d e f g Bouma, Jeremy (27 March 2014). "The Early High Christology Club and Bart Ehrman — An Excerpt from "How God Became Jesus"". Zondervan Academic Blog. HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Archived from the original on 21 April 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  43. ^ group
  44. ^ The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0805443653 pp. 124–125
  45. ^ The Cambridge History of Christianity, Volume 1 by Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young (2006) ISBN 0521812399 p. 23
  46. ^ Dunn 2006, pp. 253–255.
  47. ^ McGrath, Alister E., Christianity: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing (2006). ISBN 140510899-1. p. 174: "In effect, they [Jewish Christians] seemed to regard Christianity as an affirmation of every aspect of contemporary Judaism, with the addition of one extra belief – that Jesus was the Messiah. Unless males were circumcised, they could not be saved (Acts 15:1)."
  48. ^ a b Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C., eds. (2000). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. p. 709. ISBN 978-9053565032. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  49. ^ McGrath, Alister E., Christianity: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing (2006). ISBN 1405108991. p. 174: "In effect, they [Jewish Christians] seemed to regard Christianity as an affirmation of every aspect of contemporary Judaism, with the addition of one extra belief – that Jesus was the Messiah. Unless males were circumcised, they could not be saved (Acts 15:1)."
  50. ^ Cross, F.L., ed. (2005). The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd rev. ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 862. ISBN 978-0192802903. Archived from the original on 25 September 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  51. ^ Pagels 2005, p. 45.
  52. ^ Lüdemann & Özen 1996, p. 116.
  53. ^ Pagels 2005, p. 45-46.
  54. ^ Lüdemann & Özen 1996, pp. 116–117.
  55. ^ a b Lüdemann & Özen 1996, p. 116-117.
  56. ^ Bockmuehl 2010, p. 52.
  57. ^ On the Jerusalem Church between the Jewish revolts see: Jonathan Bourgel, From One Identity to Another: The Mother Church of Jerusalem Between the Two Jewish Revolts Against Rome (66-135/6 EC). Paris: Éditions du Cerf, collection Judaïsme ancien et Christianisme primitive, 2015 (in French).
  58. ^ Eusebius, Church History 3, 5, 3; Epiphanius, Panarion 29,7,7-8; 30, 2, 7; On Weights and Measures 15. On the flight to Pella see: Bourgel, Jonathan, "The Jewish Christians' Move from Jerusalem as a pragmatic choice Archived 2021-09-19 at the Wayback Machine", in: Dan Jaffe (ed), Studies in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity, (Leyden: Brill, 2010), p. 107-138; P. H. R. van Houwelingen, "Fleeing forward: The departure of Christians from Jerusalem to Pella," Westminster Theological Journal 65 (2003), 181-200
  59. ^ Colin G. Kruse (2012), Paul's Letter to the Romans ISBN 0802837433 pp. 41–42
  60. ^ David E. Aune (ed.)(2010), The Blackwell Companion to The New Testament ISBN 1405108258 p. 424
  61. ^ Ralph P. Martin (1975), Worship in the Early Church, ISBN 0802816134, pp. 57–58
  62. ^ a b Price (2003), pp. 351–355, §. Conclusion: The Name of the Lord – The Name Above All Names
  63. ^ According to Wright, "He [Paul] believed himself to be living at a new stage in the eschatological timetable: the 'age to come' had already begun, precisely with the Messiah's resurrection." N.T. Wright (2003), Resurrection of the Son of God, p.272.
  64. ^ Creeds of the Churches, Third Edition by John H. Leith (1982) ISBN 0804205264 p. 12.
  65. ^ 1 Corinthians 15:3-9
  66. ^ Vermes, Geza (2008a), The Resurrection, p.141.
  67. ^ Novakovic, Lidija (2014), Raised from the Dead According to Scripture: The Role of the Old Testament in the Early Christian Interpretations of Jesus' Resurrection, A&C Black, p.152
  68. ^ N.T. Wright (2003), Resurrection of the Son of God, p. 272; cf. 321.
  69. ^ Vermes, Geza (2008b), The Resurrection: History and Myth
  70. ^ Blomberg, Craig L. (1987), The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, 2nd Ed, 2007.
  71. ^ Vermes 2008, p. 138-139.
  72. ^ Vermes 2008, p. 139.
  73. ^ a b Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ
  74. ^ Paula Fredricksen, From Jesus to Christ Yale university Press. pp. 133–134
  75. ^ N.T. Wright (2003), Resurrection of the Son of God, pp. 9–10.
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Origins of Christianity

Jewish Christianity