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  #1  
Old May 17, '17, 8:14 pm
Potato1237 Potato1237 is offline
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Default Confused about Early Church and Judaism.

Hello everyone,



As you may know from previous posts of mine, I am confused about the early Churches relationship with Judaism.


I have been reading online from Catholic sources and I stumbled on anti Catholic ones as well. I am very worried and confused so to make things quick, I will list questions I have below.

1.Did early Christians worship in houses rather than churches?

2. If so, how many Catholic things, like icons and statues were apart of the services in these house churches?

3. How did the Church go from being Jewish believers, to believing that Jews had to become Christian to be saved? (Ignatius of Antioch)

4. How can we explain antisemitism in some of the Church fathers?

5.Did Jesus intend to start Christianity?

Any feedback is appreciated, I need desperate help discerning the matter.

Also, I apologize for any spelling or grammar errors, its late and dark and i'm bit stressed right now.
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  #2  
Old May 18, '17, 12:38 am
PaulfromIowa PaulfromIowa is offline
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Default Re: Confused about Early Church and Judaism.

Quote:
1.Did early Christians worship in houses rather than churches?
Yes. There were no Christian church buildings in the earliest years, as Christianity was persecuted.

Quote:
2. If so, how many Catholic things, like icons and statues were a part of the services in these house churches?
Christian art, icons, and statues were probably not a First Century thing. The essential "Catholic things" are not art, but the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments, which have always been present.

Quote:
3. How did the Church go from being Jewish believers, to believing that Jews had to become Christian to be saved? (Ignatius of Antioch)
All of the Apostles and the early Christians were Jews, but Christ taught that the Gospel should be preached to all. Christ taught the necessity of faith and baptism for salvation, as described in the Gospels and Acts.

Quote:
4. How can we explain antisemitism in some of the Church fathers?
That requires book length discourse. There was always conflict between those Jews who accepted Christ and those who did not.

Quote:
5.Did Jesus intend to start Christianity?
He didn't just intend to, He did, as described in the Gospels. At Pentecost: "And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church."
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  #3  
Old May 18, '17, 3:26 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Confused about Early Church and Judaism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Potato1237 View Post
1.Did early Christians worship in houses rather than churches?
Pretty much yes. The first churches were really house churches. At first Christians literally just met to worship at someone's house (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:5; Philemon 2; Colossians 4:15) or in synagogues (which in some cases could actually just be someone's house), but around the mid-2nd century onwards you see houses being converted and renovated into actual religious buildings.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/his...s-worship.html

We often imagine that Christians were always in hiding because they were persecuted, but in reality, the level of persecution varied from place to place: for the first 250 years of Christianity, persecutions were isolated and localized affairs. So in some places, the government officials might actively hunt Christians down, but in others they were generally left unscathed.

It was a crime to be Christian, and Christians had bad publicity in many places, but Christians were always not sought out, and those that were found were not all put to death: some were acquitted. (Let's just say that there were Christians who had a martyr complex: they actively tried to get themselves arrested and killed. That proved off-putting for some officials.) If anything, Christians were more in danger of getting lynched by mobs than be legally executed. State-sponsored empire-wide persecutions were not a thing until the late 3rd-early 4th century.

Quote:
2. If so, how many Catholic things, like icons and statues were apart of the services in these house churches?
The house church in the town of Dura Europos in Syria had frescoes in them. And then there's also the artwork in the catacombs.

Early Christian art was mainly two-dimensional: wall and panel paintings. At best, you had carvings in high relief on stuff like coffins (sarcophagi). That explains why the Eastern Churches still uses icons to this day. There were a few pieces of three-dimensional statues (more like statuettes actually), but those were very rare. Early Christians were apparently more uncomfortable toward three-dimensional statuary because it reminded them of the statues of pagan gods and the monuments of emperors.

Quote:
4. How can we explain antisemitism in some of the Church fathers?
It's actually 'anti-Judaism'. Technically speaking, anti-Semitism is hostility against Jews as a people, as an ethnic group. Anti-Judaism is opposition to or Judaism.

Let's just say that Christian anti-Judaism had its start in the rhetoric of the apostles themselves (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16; Acts 2:22-38; 3:12-26; 4:8-22; 5:29-32), who were Jews taking a page from the Jewish Scriptures. They called out their fellow Jews for rejecting Jesus the Messiah, inspired by the traditional biblical pattern of calling Israel for its disobedience and/or the rejection of its prophets (e.g. Nehemiah 9:26; 2 Chronicles 36:14-16). That's why the two most Jewish gospels of the four canonical ones, the gospels of Matthew and John, are at the same time the most 'anti-Jewish'.

Of course, there was some regional variation in Christian anti-Judaism: they tended to be higher in areas where there are more Jews for Christians to encounter, dialogue and/or heckle with than in areas with only a minimal Jewish presence. (Notice a pattern here?) It's no surprise that the Church Fathers who exhibit the more overt kind of anti-Judaism come from these religiously and culturally diverse areas: Rome, Syria, Asia Minor.

Now as the Church expanded over the Empire and became more 'international', the original Jewish context of this became more and more obscured, to the point that in a post-Constantinian world, where Jews have become a minority and Christians have dominated Europe, anti-Judaism had oftentimes segued into full-blown anti-Semitism.

In other words, when Christianity started becoming less 'Jewish', the original Jewish context of the rhetoric ("you rejected Jesus") was forgotten, but the rhetoric remained, now stripped of its original context. And that's why Christian anti-Semitism (the horrible kind, the kind we should all condemn and agree was not good) arose.
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  #4  
Old May 19, '17, 1:45 pm
Potato1237 Potato1237 is offline
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Default Re: Confused about Early Church and Judaism.

Thanks for the responses, they were helpful and informative. Sorry for the late reply, I have been away for a few days.
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  #5  
Old May 20, '17, 7:32 am
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jcrichton jcrichton is offline
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Default Re: Confused about Early Church and Judaism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Potato1237 View Post
Hello everyone,



As you may know from previous posts of mine, I am confused about the early Churches relationship with Judaism.


I have been reading online from Catholic sources and I stumbled on anti Catholic ones as well. I am very worried and confused so to make things quick, I will list questions I have below.
Hi!

...I understand your concerns... however, note that it is not about getting a well-rounded amount of information from all the available sources; rather, it is about getting the "correct" information and working with that:
Quote:
14 And we beseech you, brethren, rebuke the unquiet, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient towards all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that which is good towards each other, and towards all men. 16 Always rejoice. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all. 19 Extinguish not the spirit. 20 Despise not prophecies. 21 But prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 From all appearance of evil refrain yourselves. 23 And may the God of peace himself sanctify you in all things; that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He is faithful who hath called you, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:14-24)
...as for your query, I can only offer you what Christ gives... it is up to you to determine if you will take Him on His Word or follow man's counsel:
Quote:
1.Did early Christians worship in houses rather than churches?

5.Did Jesus intend to start Christianity?
They followed the standard for Judaism (as did Jesus); they went to the Temple and the synagogues... several things happened upon the emergence of the Church: a) persecution of Christ and His Followers, b) change in God's Economy, c) persecution of the Church:

Quote:
20 Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. (St. John 15:20)

21 Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe me, that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father. 22 You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. 24 God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth. (St. John 4:21-24)

1 And Jesus being come out of the temple, went away. And his disciples came to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And he answering, said to them: Do you see all these things? Amen I say to you there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone that shall not be destroyed. (St. Matthew 24:1-2)

6 These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God. 3 And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father, nor me. (St. John 16:1-3)
...so while the Church emerged (had it commencement within the walls of the Temple and the synagogues, due to her roots in Judaism, Jesus' Followers, which were referenced as "the Way" were chased and persecuted out of the Temple and it's economy (system); eventually, they gathered in their personal homes, wilderness, desert, and even the catacombs built by Rome.

Quote:
2. If so, how many Catholic things, like icons and statues were apart of the services in these house churches?

3. How did the Church go from being Jewish believers, to believing that Jews had to become Christian to be saved? (Ignatius of Antioch)
The New Covenant Unfolded and Doctrine and Practices were set in motion--the old economy (Temple) passed and the new economy (Church) was introduced.

The early Church was not the only party holding this Belief; St. Paul expounds on this in Romans 9 through 11:32. Jews must accept Jesus since, as St. Peter was Inspired:

Quote:
12 Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)
Quote:
4. How can we explain antisemitism in some of the Church fathers?
There are errors of pride (ego) and there are errors of zealousness... even well-meaning people fail to exercise God's Love and Mercy.



Quote:
Any feedback is appreciated, I need desperate help discerning the matter.

Also, I apologize for any spelling or grammar errors, its late and dark and i'm bit stressed right now.
Seeking the Truth (Jesus) is never a matter of desperation nor stress; we must Know Him in our heart and mind!

...typos and vocabulary are of no serious consequence--the only time these gain importance is when they are intended as an assault or defamation... seek the Truth and He Will Lead you to Freedom!

Maran atha!

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  #6  
Old May 20, '17, 7:40 am
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Default Re: Confused about Early Church and Judaism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick457 View Post
Pretty much yes. The first churches were really house churches. At first Christians literally just met to worship at someone's house (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:5; Philemon 2; Colossians 4:15) or in synagogues (which in some cases could actually just be someone's house), but around the mid-2nd century onwards you see houses being converted and renovated into actual religious buildings.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/his...s-worship.html

We often imagine that Christians were always in hiding because they were persecuted, but in reality, the level of persecution varied from place to place: for the first 250 years of Christianity, persecutions were isolated and localized affairs. So in some places, the government officials might actively hunt Christians down, but in others they were generally left unscathed.

It was a crime to be Christian, and Christians had bad publicity in many places, but Christians were always not sought out, and those that were found were not all put to death: some were acquitted. (Let's just say that there were Christians who had a martyr complex: they actively tried to get themselves arrested and killed. That proved off-putting for some officials.) If anything, Christians were more in danger of getting lynched by mobs than be legally executed. State-sponsored empire-wide persecutions were not a thing until the late 3rd-early 4th century.



The house church in the town of Dura Europos in Syria had frescoes in them. And then there's also the artwork in the catacombs.

Early Christian art was mainly two-dimensional: wall and panel paintings. At best, you had carvings in high relief on stuff like coffins (sarcophagi). That explains why the Eastern Churches still uses icons to this day. There were a few pieces of three-dimensional statues (more like statuettes actually), but those were very rare. Early Christians were apparently more uncomfortable toward three-dimensional statuary because it reminded them of the statues of pagan gods and the monuments of emperors.



It's actually 'anti-Judaism'. Technically speaking, anti-Semitism is hostility against Jews as a people, as an ethnic group. Anti-Judaism is opposition to or Judaism.

Let's just say that Christian anti-Judaism had its start in the rhetoric of the apostles themselves (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16; Acts 2:22-38; 3:12-26; 4:8-22; 5:29-32), who were Jews taking a page from the Jewish Scriptures. They called out their fellow Jews for rejecting Jesus the Messiah, inspired by the traditional biblical pattern of calling Israel for its disobedience and/or the rejection of its prophets (e.g. Nehemiah 9:26; 2 Chronicles 36:14-16). That's why the two most Jewish gospels of the four canonical ones, the gospels of Matthew and John, are at the same time the most 'anti-Jewish'.



Of course, there was some regional variation in Christian anti-Judaism: they tended to be higher in areas where there are more Jews for Christians to encounter, dialogue and/or heckle with than in areas with only a minimal Jewish presence. (Notice a pattern here?) It's no surprise that the Church Fathers who exhibit the more overt kind of anti-Judaism come from these religiously and culturally diverse areas: Rome, Syria, Asia Minor.

Now as the Church expanded over the Empire and became more 'international', the original Jewish context of this became more and more obscured, to the point that in a post-Constantinian world, where Jews have become a minority and Christians have dominated Europe, anti-Judaism had oftentimes segued into full-blown anti-Semitism.

In other words, when Christianity started becoming less 'Jewish', the original Jewish context of the rhetoric ("you rejected Jesus") was forgotten, but the rhetoric remained, now stripped of its original context. And that's why Christian anti-Semitism (the horrible kind, the kind we should all condemn and agree was not good) arose.
Hi, Patrick!

Excellent point in your rendering of this pertinent distinction!

Maran atha!

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Old May 21, '17, 12:51 am
jimkhong jimkhong is offline
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Default Re: Confused about Early Church and Judaism.

To add to patrick457's excellent explanation:


Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulfromIowa View Post
Yes. There were no Christian church buildings in the earliest years, as Christianity was persecuted.
Not really, There were no Christian Churches in the first few decades but not because Christianity was persecuted. Christianity was only proscribed in 64 after the Fire of Rome by Nero. Even after that, Christians were not hounded by police in the streets as is so often dramatically portrayed. For one thing, police didn't exist in those days. Most persecutions were local and not very well carried out. Only the Diocletian persecutions at the end of the 3rd century can be considered competently executed Empire-wide and that dramatic portrayal may be a little bit more accurate, but only a little.

In the early Church, most Christians expected the Second Coming to be imminent. If you expect the world to end soon, why bother to build anything permanent? When the realisation sunk in that the Church had to be around for some time, there was little money from a Church of poor people that had been giving away all its wealth to the destitute and needy. In any case, the life of the early Church revolves around Sunday worship, fellowship and instructions. Not much use for a permanent structure and a home with a dual-use works just as well. Often, an unused dwelling usually from a benefactor, is co-opted. We have only found permanent structures used as churches dating back to second century although there were houses/buildings dating to end first century that could have been permanent churches.


Quote:
Christian art, icons, and statues were probably not a First Century thing. The essential "Catholic things" are not art, but the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments, which have always been present.
Christian symbols and iconography has been with us from the earliest days. Fish, bread & wine, the tau-rho symbol, alpha & omega and the chi-rho were popular from the first century and has been either found or referred to in Christian first century writings. For Christians who came from a religion which eschew images, symbols and iconography became important and remains so until today, although now it is often in supplementation to more traditional arts.

Depictions of the crucifixion seem to emerge only from early second century and more complex iconography (e.g.., Good Shepherd) later still.


Quote:
All of the Apostles and the early Christians were Jews, but Christ taught that the Gospel should be preached to all. Christ taught the necessity of faith and baptism for salvation, as described in the Gospels and Acts.
It wasn't so much that there was a realisation that one had to be a Christian to be saved but more a realisation that one need not be a Jew to be saved. This is documented in Acts in the Council of Jerusalem. So, very early on the distinction between Christians and Jews emerged.


Quote:
That requires book length discourse. There was always conflict between those Jews who accepted Christ and those who did not.
This is very simple and does not require a book length discourse. Christians and Jews developed rather bad blood quite early on. Happens due to ego, jealously etc. Note that rivalry tends to be strongest among siblings or related sibling nations with common origins (e.g.., Catholic & Protestants, N & S Korea, Arabs & Jews, etc). Rather quickly, Christians began to develop the idea that all Jews are guilty of deicide (killing of a deity) and rather ugilly, Jewish pogroms are often accompanied by cries of 'Christ-killers'.


Quote:
He didn't just intend to, He did, as described in the Gospels. At Pentecost: "And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church."
Umm, not sure if that quotation happened at Pentecost.
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Old May 21, '17, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Confused about Early Church and Judaism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimkhong View Post
To add to patrick457's excellent explanation:




Not really, There were no Christian Churches in the first few decades but not because Christianity was persecuted. Christianity was only proscribed in 64 after the Fire of Rome by Nero. Even after that, Christians were not hounded by police in the streets as is so often dramatically portrayed. For one thing, police didn't exist in those days. Most persecutions were local and not very well carried out. Only the Diocletian persecutions at the end of the 3rd century can be considered competently executed Empire-wide and that dramatic portrayal may be a little bit more accurate, but only a little.

In the early Church, most Christians expected the Second Coming to be imminent. If you expect the world to end soon, why bother to build anything permanent? When the realisation sunk in that the Church had to be around for some time, there was little money from a Church of poor people that had been giving away all its wealth to the destitute and needy. In any case, the life of the early Church revolves around Sunday worship, fellowship and instructions. Not much use for a permanent structure and a home with a dual-use works just as well. Often, an unused dwelling usually from a benefactor, is co-opted. We have only found permanent structures used as churches dating back to second century although there were houses/buildings dating to end first century that could have been permanent churches.




Christian symbols and iconography has been with us from the earliest days. Fish, bread & wine, the tau-rho symbol, alpha & omega and the chi-rho were popular from the first century and has been either found or referred to in Christian first century writings. For Christians who came from a religion which eschew images, symbols and iconography became important and remains so until today, although now it is often in supplementation to more traditional arts.

Depictions of the crucifixion seem to emerge only from early second century and more complex iconography (e.g.., Good Shepherd) later still.




It wasn't so much that there was a realisation that one had to be a Christian to be saved but more a realisation that one need not be a Jew to be saved. This is documented in Acts in the Council of Jerusalem. So, very early on the distinction between Christians and Jews emerged.




This is very simple and does not require a book length discourse. Christians and Jews developed rather bad blood quite early on. Happens due to ego, jealously etc. Note that rivalry tends to be strongest among siblings or related sibling nations with common origins (e.g.., Catholic & Protestants, N & S Korea, Arabs & Jews, etc). Rather quickly, Christians began to develop the idea that all Jews are guilty of deicide (killing of a deity) and rather ugilly, Jewish pogroms are often accompanied by cries of 'Christ-killers'.




Umm, not sure if that quotation happened at Pentecost.
Hi, Jim!

...two thoughts...

...the Church, in her infancy, was basically persecuted by Jews and pagan religious (attested to by the first chapters in the book of Acts) and she was Commissioned to go into the world (which is what Paul, from the previous post, may have been thinking about):
Quote:
15 And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. (St. Mark 16:15-16)

18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (St. Matthew 28:18-20)

22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. (St. John 20:22-23)
I concur with you that initially the Apostles were under the impression that the Parousia would be imminent... hence, permanent structures would not have been in the foreground applications during the Church's earliest Beginnings.

Maran atha!

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