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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Judaizers

As takin from John Hunt's book "Concise Church History: Clear, Simple, and Easy to Follow Overview of Church History". In it he quotes Philip Schaff, in his History of the Christian Church Volume 1: Apostolic Christianity AD 1-100

On page 13 he quotes:

"1. The Judaizers,

The Judaizing tendency is
the heretical counterpart of Jewish Christianity. It so insists on the unity of
Christianity with Judaism, as to sink the former to the level of the latter, and
to make the gospel no more than an improvement or a perfected law. It regards
Christ as a mere prophet, a second Moses; and denies or at least wholly
overlooks, his divine nature and his priestly and kingly offices.

Judaizers were Jews in fact, and Christians only in appearance and in name. They
held circumcision and the whole moral and ceremonial law of Moses to be still
binding, and the observance of them necessary to salvation. Of Christianity as a
new, free, and universal religion, they had no conception. Hence they hated
Paul, the Liberal apostle of the Gentiles, as a dangerous apostate and
revolutionist, impugned his motives, and everywhere, especially in Galatia and
Corinth, labored to undermine his authority in the churches. The epistles of
Paul, especially that to the Galations, can never be properly understood, unless
their opposition to this false Judaizing Christianity be continually kept in
view. The same heresy, more fully developed, appears in the second century under
the name of Ebionism."

Jerusalem Council, AD 49

The problem
of the Judaizers is discussed under the Leadership of the Apostles in Jerusalem,
Acts 15:6,12
James, Simon Peter, Barnabas and Paul all speak and come to
an agreement that Gentiles as well as Jews are free from the Jewish ceremonial

However they must be sensitive to their Jewish Christians and stop
eating food sacrificed to idols. Leviticus 17:10-14; 19:26; 1 Corinthians 8:7-13

The issue of sexual immorality was also raised because this was a
problem with many greeks. Thus the first Church council set out the practical
outworking of relations between Jewish and Greek Christians. The Jews were
cautioned against legalism while the Gentiles were cautioned against immorality.
Compassion and sensitivity were set over against legalism and hedonism. A letter
and two personal witnesses in the person of Judas and Silas are sent back to
Antioch to calm the Church there. Acts 15:22-29. The Letter sent from the
Jerusalem Council follows:

22Then the apostles and elders, with the
whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch
with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men
who were leaders among the brothers. 23With them they sent the following letter:
The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch,
Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24We have heard that some went out from us without
our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.
25So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends
Barnabas and Paul— 26men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ. 27Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of
mouth what we are writing. 28It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to
burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You are to abstain
from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals
and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

Acts 15:22-29 NIV [1]

This issue was already dealt with. Some in our day are trying to get christians to become some type of modern Judaizing / Ebionite group.


[1] pages 13-14 by John Hunt, in the book Concise Church History: Clear, Simple, and Easy to follow overview of Church History. Copyright 2008 by John Hunt Publishing ltd. Published by AMG publishers.


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