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So how did the Church and Synagogue Split?

So how did the Church and Synagogue Split?

Cameron, MMin.


Please read this prayerfully, and with an open mind, it will challenge many preconceptions people may have about history of the Church.


Many Christians & Jews are unaware of the fact that for the first 40 years (up to 70 years) after Yeshua (Jesus) ascended into heaven, to sit at the right hand with all Power & Authority, believers in Yeshua were predominately Jewish.  These Jewish believers still followed Torah, kept Kosher, kept Shabbat, and worship in the Temple and synagogue.


The issue of keeping Torah deserves one (or more) articles by itself.  Today I’d like to discuss how the Messianic Believers (later called Christians) split from the Synagogue.  First we must understand that it was a gradual process, with Gentiles forming Churches separate from the synagogue around 100 AD/CE.  Jewish believers remained involved in the Synagogue as late as 200-300 AD/CE.  Also the split was not any one groups fault, but was a split driven by History, Doctrine, and later Anti-Semitism.


Until 68-70 AD/CE believing & non-believing Jews coexisted, sitting in the same synagogue, and attending the same temple.  Early believers kept all the Feasts of God (see last weeks article). This included Passover, which is a prophetic sign of His sacrifice for all who will believe.  Persecution was rare, and limited to individual locations.  Even Sha’uls persecution was limited in scope.  Jerusalem was between 1/3 & ½ believers in Yeshua before the destruction of the Temple .  Even James’s martyrdom was more of a political assassination by Herod to please certain leaders, than organized persecutions by the Jewish people.  While many Jews did not agree that Yeshua was Messiah, they respected the believers for their lifestyle & devotion.


The first major split occurred between 68-70 AD/CE.  As Roman armies gathered to besiege Jerusalem , Believers were able to flee the city, heeding Yeshua’s words in Matt 24.  By a miracle of G-d, the Romans lines split, and the believers literally walked out, and fled to Pella (see Josephus).  This action labeled the believers as traitors in the eyes of many Jews.  Rome destroyed the city, leaving thousands dead, many crucified.  Many Jewish groups (Zealots & Sadducees) were destroyed leaving the Pharusim (Pharisees) and Messianic Believers (Jewish Christians if you prefer) the main 2 groups left.  With the Pharisees being the dominate religious group in Judea .


Between 70 – 100 AD/CE another major change began, as large numbers of gentiles accepted Jesus.  As the Apostles died (or executed), Gentile leadership began to emerge, often bringing Greek though processes, not Hebrew, into scripture.  This Hellenization of the Faith was to later have a negative and devastating effect on the Church (allowing Paganism to enter into the Church).  Before 70 AD/CE all leaders in Jerusalem were Jews, after, all were Gentiles.


In 90 AD/CE The council of Yaneh (Pharisees) changed the Amadah (standing prayer) to include a curse against the Minim (unbelievers including the sect of the Nazarene, i.e. Messianics).  This was done as the Jewish Leaders struggled to redefine Judaism in response to the destruction of the Temple, and the inability to sacrifice (note: sacrifice was no longer needed, as trust in Yeshua provided atonement for all sin, this was done 40 years (one generation) before the temple was destroyed, this is important, as G-d would never leave His children without a way to atone for their sin).


By 105-300 AD/CE Gentiles dominated many parts of the faith, it is at this time that Anti-Semitic elements in the Church began forcing change in the worship, including “changing the Shabbat, to Sunday”, no longer celebrating the feasts, often replacing them with Pagan feasts. 


The Bar Kokhba revolution in 132-135 AD/CE furthered the split.  Rabbi Akiba (responsible for the first codification of the Mishneh) declared Bar Kokhba as  Messiah, forcing Believers to not support the revolution because they would not support a false Messiah.  This was unforgivable to the average Jew.


The final split came from the Gentilization of the church, as Jews made up only a small minority.  Many Anti-Semitic leaders arose, condemning: all keeping of feasts, keeping Kosher, Keep of biblical Shabbat (the changing of Shabbat to Sunday was never taught in scripture, it is a man made tradition), the Jewish, and the rejection of Torah.  These ung-dly doctrines were all codified by a "questionable Christian" Constantine .  Who deified himself, and used the Church as a powerbase to unite the empire.  Overnight, Pagan priests of Zeus became Priests of Christ.  Pagan statues became saints, Pagan temples became Christian cathedrals.  Some Church leaders even fought to have Christian Scripture separated from the Old Testament (First Testament or Tanakh), and to have Christ no longer one wide YHVH (Mistranslated today as Jehovah, another article for the future).  This was based on Gnostic teachings that were declared heresies, but still color thinking today.

The history from then on is blood shed, hate and rejection.


While many may reject this analysis, it is based on fact, and well documented in History.  If you want references, besides Holy Scripture, please see “Our Father Abraham” & Two Babylon’s.



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