A History of New Testament Times in Palestine, 175 B.C.-70 A.D

By Shailer Mathews | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
HEROD AGRIPPA I AND HEROD AGRIPPA II 1

THE early years of Christianity had little or no influence upon Judaism. The community of those who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, the church, remained loyal to the temple and the synagogue, and was in fact a sect of the Jews. But before any considerable time had passed there sprang up within the church a new group headed by Stephen, one of seven men chosen to relieve the twelve of a part of their rapidly increasing work. This group saw that if Jesus really were the Christ, Judaism was no longer final, and with this conviction its members attacked the exclusiveness of Pharisaism in much the same spirit as Jesus himself. As might have been expected, Judaism was enraged. Stephen met his Master's fate, and there broke out a fierce attack upon the new sect. This persecution, however, but intensified the Christians' zeal, and wherever they were scattered they organised new communities. The persecution was doubtless Sadducean in part, but its chief agent was a Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus. In him religious persecution had its most conscientious agent, and Judaism its most consistent representative. Yet

The development within Jewish Christianity.

Stephen.

____________________
1
General References: Schürer, The Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Div. I. II. 150-165; Graetz, History of the Jews, II. 175-200; Hausrath, History of New Testament Times, Time of the Apostles, II. III.

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