How did the early church at the time of the fall of Jerusalem perceive its relationship to Judaism?

By the time 70 A.D. had rolled around the Jews had already done a lot to distance themselves from the followers of the way. They had already labeled the Christians “These men who have turned the world upside down… ” (Acts 17:6, ESV). There was also clearly an attempt to distance the Jewish theology from Paul during his trials at Caesarea. In many ways the charges brought against Paul by the Jews were a change of defamation, they were charging him with preaching in the name of the Jews what the Jews did not sanction. That is not a surprising on their part considering they picked Paul as their spokes person against those of the way. Maier gives us some insight into what was happening right around 70 A.D. in the Jerusalem church: “It is no surprise to learn from Aristo of Pella, an early Christian historian whose works are not extant, that the Jerusalem church after the Bar-Kokhba revolt was now composed almost entirely of Gentiles.” (Maier, 2008, p. 11). This lets us know that they Jews had worked hard and succeeded at isolating themselves from the way. Shelley, mentioned that many of the Christians fled Jerusalem during the 70 A.D. attack because they believe the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 24:15-16 about the abomination of desolation (Shelley, 2013). Either way after the event in 70 A.D. the shared consciousness of the Jews and the followers of the way was completely severed. From that point on the bishops in Alexandria and Roman would provide the guidance for the church and there would be ┬áno more counsels in Jerusalem.

 

Aaron

Resources

Maier, P. L. (2008). Not one stone left upon another: the catastrophic fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 forever changed the face of Judaism–and the fate of Christians in the Holy Land. Christian History And Biography, (97), 8.

Shelley, B. (2013). Church history in plain language (4th ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson

Posted in Blog, Church, History.