Early Church - Jews or Gentiles?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by LadyEagle, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    Present your best argument. :D

    To answer Old Regular from the thread at the Politics forum, I did not state the Church at Rome (Paul's letter to the Romans) was comprised of ONLY Jews, but many were, and probably most. And Paul was a Jew. [​IMG]

    Source:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/epistle-to-the-romans
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Historians of ancient Rome verify that Christianity was a sect of Judaism in the minds of the people. This argues for thepoint that most early churches were very "jewish" in composition and character, so that a pagan would not tell them apart.

    And Paul went to "the Jew first" in every city. Follow his journeys and you note him always presenting the Messiah to the Jews prior to debating with Goyim. The synagogue (seat of Jewish religion) was his first stop.

    (One exception was Philippi, a largely free-Roman city. Without a synagogue, Paul went to the place where a few Jews were praying on the sabbath.)

    Most names that he greets in his epistles are Jewish names, again showing a strong Jewish basis within the fledgling churches.
     
  3. Ben W

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    The Church was certainly seen as a Jewish sect, the trouble was that the "God Fearers" - Non Jews that attended Synagogue and the Samaritans began to be converted to it. People are probably well aware of the problems that existed between the Samaritans and the Jews, hence it didnt stay seen as a sect for terribly long, and then the Apostles went forth into world evangalism. Phillip is one good example to study if you have the opportunity.

    I found this book really helpfull "What happened to the twelve Apostles" - Elva Schroeder
     
  4. HankD

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    Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

    HankD
     
  5. Ben W

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    True Hank, yet remember that the book of Romans was written after the formation of the church, which was going through these issues prior!
     
  6. FundamentalDan

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    Well, the earliest church at Jerusalem had about 20,000 or so members who were exclusively Jews in the first little while. So I would say it was at least strong majority Jews. By the way, I am a Samaritan, so I am neither Jew nor Gentile. My late grandfather, however, was a saved Jew.
     
  7. Ben W

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    Did you know Dan that the Samaritans in Israel are building a new "Peace Centre" on the top of the mount where they worship in Israel? Amazing to see them still going after 2000 years!

    http://www.the-samaritans.com/
     
  8. FundamentalDan

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    Wow. No, I did not know that. Well, maybe I should head on over there and go join. But it is good to know that Jesus can save Samaritans too!
     
  9. OldRegular

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    If you read John 4 you will see that some of the first people saved were Samaritans! :D
     
  10. FundamentalDan

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    Yeah, I know. I have read it. I was actually referring to that passage, but did not make my meaning clear. I was trying to think of how to work in how the Bible says some believed because of the woman's testimony and other believed after talking with and seeing Jesus personally. But I could not figure out how to do it and still be pithy.
     
  11. HankD

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    Ben W says in response to

    Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

    OK, IMO the transitional Book of Acts is key in this issue.

    Acts 15 10-11
    Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

    The old was passing away to make room for the new, the mystery of God that the whole world was to be included in the Abrahamic promise.

    However, their hearing was dull and a new "Torah" (so to speak) has been developing even since then with various NT "mitzvoth" to be "kept" (what to do/not do, where to go/not go, what to drink/not drink, etc...) Some with a flavor of Judaism, others without.

    Ephesians chapter 2 IMO explains the Gentile citizenship with the OT saints of the household of God.

    There is no distinction (shouldn't be anyway)between the Jew and Greek (Gentile) and the Law has no part in the Gospel (other than the conviction of sin). We are ALL led of the Spirit.

    That is my point.

    HankD
     

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