Judaizers


Judaizers

Judaizers, see also , generally describes those who inculcate to Christians the adherence to Torah Laws, which is normally considered the prerogative of followers of Judaism, the parent religion of Christianity. Similarly, "One who has Judaized" refers to a Christian who accepts adherence to Torah Laws, see also Biblical law in Christianity.

Several "degrees" or "types" of Judaization can be discerned:

a) Adherence by Gentile Christians of Torah Laws intended for Israelites (i.e. the 613 Laws given to Israel at Sinai). This approach was the original direction promulgated by the apostles after Jesus' death (led by Jesus' brother James the Just) and followed from a assumption that Gentile followers of Jesus first needed to convert to Judaism, see also the Great Commission. According to the New Testament, the first Gentile converts into the Jesus movement were called converts to Judaism (see proselyte), before they were called Christians. Saint Paul was against the assumption that Gentiles needed to first become Jews in order to partake in the community of Jesus. He calls this faction "those of the circumcision". This conflict between Saint Paul and the Jesus movement led by James was finally settled at the Council of Jerusalem (see , it was determined that Gentile converts to Christianity did not have to go through the proselyte ritual to secure a place in the World to Come; but in addressing the second question as to whether or not they should obey the Torah they encouraged the Gentiles to "abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication," in order for the Gentiles to be able to immediately participate in Jewish community: "For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath. (Acts 15:22)" The expectation was that the Gentiles, upon immediately renouncing their idolatrous practices and ways (the four prohibitions), could now get through the door of a synagogue and hence learn the rest of Torah in the synagogues where they were still expected to attend.

Paul also addressed this question in his Epistle to Galatians in which he condemned those who insisted that the proselyte ritual had to be followed for justification as "false believers" (Galatians 2:4):

:But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. But because of "false believers" secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us — we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you. And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) — those leaders contributed nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me in sending me to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do. [. . .] "We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners" - yet we know that a person is justified not by the group requirements for getting "in" to the Jewish family through the proselyte ritual, but through faith in Jesus Christ! And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by becoming Jewish according to the way of Jewish authorities, because no one will be justified by becoming Jewish in the way proscribed by the Jewish authorities. (Galatians 2:3-9, 15-16 NRSV)

Also Paul warned the early Galatian church that Gentile Christians who submit to the laws of Torah will be alienated from Christ: "Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves go through the man-made ritual of the proselyte and seek to place your faith in an identity of being Jewish, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I testify to every man who lets himself become a proselyte according to the Jewish authorities, that he is obliged to obey all the man-made laws of the Jewish authorities - including disassociating with other Gentiles! You who want to be justified by identity as a Jew through the proselyte ritual have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." ( (see also Abrahamic religions). In Torah-submissive Christian groups which include the Ethiopian Orthodox church, dietary laws and Saturday Sabbath are observed as well. [http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg.aspx?eccpageID=7&IndexView=toc]

[http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=142&letter=G#543 Jewish Encyclopedia: Gentiles: Gentiles May Not Be Taught the Torah] makes the following observation:

Marcion

In the second century, Marcion opposed the "Judaizers". According to the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica article on [http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/MAL_MAR/MARCION.html Marcion] : "It was no mere school for the learned, disclosed no mysteries for the privileged, but sought to lay the foundation of the Christian community on the pure gospel, the authentic institutes of Christ. The pure gospel, however, Marcion found to be everywhere more or less corrupted and mutilated in the Christian circles of his time. His undertaking thus resolved itself into a reformation of Christendom. This reformation was to deliver Christendom from false Jewish doctrines by restoring the Pauline conception of the gospel, Paul being, according to Marcion, the only apostle who had rightly understood the new message of salvation as delivered by Christ. In Marcion's own view, therefore, the founding of his church—to which he was first driven by opposition—amounts to a reformation of Christendom through a return to the gospel of Christ and to Paul; nothing was to be accepted beyond that. This of itself shows that it is a mistake to reckon Marcion among the Gnostics. A dualist he certainly was, but he was not a Gnostic." But like the Gnostics, Marcion believed that the Jewish God Yahweh had created the world, was lesser in status to the unreachable higher God, and was evil, see also Dualism. Against this view, Irenaeus of Lyons's "Against Heresies" [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-60.htm#P7525_2024213 3.12] section 12 ridiculed those who think they are wiser than the Apostles because they were still under Jewish influence.

Judaizing Teachers

The Judaizing teachers were a group of Jewish Christians who taught that converts to Christianity must first be circumcised (i.e. become Jewish through the ritual of a proselyte) in order to observe the Law of Moses (as well as the oral traditions of the authorities making the proselyte ritual mandatory for Gentiles to secure a place in the World to Come) in order to be justified. This group was very active in the church of the first century AD prior to the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in the Great Jewish Revolt. These requirements made Christianity a much less appealing religious choice to many Gentiles.

Paul saw these teachers as being both dangerous to the spread of Christianity and propagators of grievous doctrinal error. Many of his letters included in the New Testament (the so-called Pauline epistles) contain considerable material disputing the view of this group and condemning its practitioners. In 2 Corinthians 11:5 and 12:11 he called his opponents "super-apostles". Also, in 2 Corinthians 11:13 -15 Paul refers the Judaizers as "False Apostles". Paul publicly condemned Peter for his seemingly ambivalent reaction to the Judaizers, embracing them publicly in places where their concepts were popular while holding the private opinion that the teachings were erroneous, for example ), the Epistle of Barnabas condemns most Jewish practices, claiming that Jews had grossly misunderstood and misapplied the Law of Moses.

Later effects of Judaizer controversy

The eight homilies "Adversus Judaeos" (against the Judaizers) of
John Chrysostom (347 - 407) deal with the relationship between Christians, Jews and Judaizers.

At various times since the second half of the fifteenth-century, the Russian Orthodox Church has described several related heretical groups as having a Judaizing character; the accuracy of this label - which was influenced by the early Christian polemics against Judaizers - has been disputed. (See Sect of Skhariya the Jew.) More and more in the 20th and 21st centuries, John Calvin and orthodox practitioners of infant baptism have been indisputedly traced to Judaizers of the 2nd century by Tertullian.

The letter to the Galatians strongly influenced Martin Luther at the time of the Protestant Reformation because of its exposition of Justification by Grace. See also Law and Gospel.

ee also

* Armstrongism
* Herbert W. Armstrong
* Christianity and Judaism
* Christianity and antisemitism
* John Chrysostom#The Homilies against the Judaizers
* Circumcision in the Bible
* Council of Jamnia
* Council of Jerusalem
* Ebionites
* Expounding of the Law
* Hellenization
* Heresy
* Jehovah's Witnesses
* Judeo-Christian
* Law and Gospel
* Legalism (theology)
* Messianic Judaism
* Millerites
* Mormonism and Christianity
* Early Bishops of Jerusalem
* Restorationism
* Restorationist (Church of Christ-Elijah)
* Sabbath in Christianity
* Sabbatarianism
* Sect of Skhariya the Jew
* Seventh-day Adventist Church
* Shabbat
* Subbotniks
* Xueta

References

External links

* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08537a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Judaizers]
* [http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=148&letter=I&search=Judaizers Jewish Encyclopedia: Judaizers]
* [http://www.gentiles-and-circumcision.info/ Gentiles and Circumcision]


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