The Early Christian Church - Vol. 1

By Philip Carrington | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
JEWISH CHRISTIANITY

The passing of the old Judaism, 238. The Flavian emperors, p.239. Josephus in Rome, p.240. Rabbinic Judaism, p.241. Rabbinic traditions about Jesus, p.243. Samaria, p.244. Simon of Gitta (Simon Magus), p.245. Jewish gnosis, p.247. The legend of James the Just, p.248. The fate of the Jewish church, p.249. The Matthew tradition, p.251. Jewish. Christian missionaries, p.253. The Epistles of James and Jude, p.254.


THE PASSING OF THE OLD JUDAISM

The fall of Jerusalem was the greatest historical event of the century next to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Rome had once again annihilated a rival; in this case an oriental city of great wealth, high antiquity, and world-wide influence, for she was the metropolis of a vast dispersion. There were millions of Jews in Europe, Asia, and Africa; and all their synagogues paid tribute to Jerusalem. The Christian churches were part of this Dispersion, for they had not altogether emerged from the synagogue stage, or severed themselves from the old Judaism; but now the great city was gone, and only the Dispersion was left. The lamentations over Babylon express their grief in dramatic form:

Woe, woe, the great city!
Babylon the strong city!
For in one hour thy judgement came.

(Rev. xviii. 10.)

The city, the throne, the Temple, the priesthood, and the sacrifice, renowned through all the ages, had vanished. Cries of mourning are mixed with chants of triumph as her smoke goeth up for ever and ever.

The old Judaism left two principal sons or successors; one was the tradition of the Law in the Pharisee schools, which gave birth to modern Judaism; the other was the gospel of Jesus in the apostolic schools, which gave birth to catholic Christianity. There were other successors, of course, but they had no future. These are both with us.

The old Jerusalem church had been the mother-church of apostolic christendom. Judaea and Samaria owed their evangelization to Jeru

-238-

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