"Jews started Christianity" ? Religion on the Line

Did anyone hear Radio Program, Religion on the Line yesterday? There has been ongoing discussions lately about the Holocaust, how we have “apologized” to our Jewish friends - and, in particular, about how the changes in the Church brought about the change in Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jewish people, as if that was a horrible thing to pray for. That topic still surfaces on the show lately, as if we have to apologize for it.

Yesterday, a caller claimed the Jews started Christianity.:confused: While I realize that phone calls are not representative of the program’s stand/beliefs, the Catholic Deacon, who co-anchors the show with Rabbi Potasnick, did not say anything in repudiation of that remark. I was stunned.

Why are we so hesitant to defend our Faith - either out of political correctness or whatever the term? While Our Lord was born into the Jewish Faith, He began a New Covenant. I once heard a priest tell us that Catholicism is the perfected Jewish religion - but not that they started Christianity. Anyone have views on this?

Hi, Conservative. I don’t know anything about that radio program, but I think it’s possible the caller didn’t mean anything offensive by it.

The caller might have been trying to talk about Christianity’s connection to the Jewish faith. As you mentioned, Jesus was Jewish, as were all the first Christians & leaders of the Church. All of the first apostles & disciples were Jewish, until they realized that Jesus wanted Gentiles to inherit the Kingdom as well.

Clearly, not all of the Jewish people have chosen to follow Jesus, but I think some of our traditions & forms of worship stem from the Jewish faith. As a cradle Catholic, I was taught that Jewish people are kind of like our “big brothers & sisters” in the faith.

Point well taken. It was a comment made at the end of the caller’s phone call. And, yes, I agree that many of our traditions originated in the Jewish religion - hence, our closeness to it. But the statement made was so definitive - that a guest I had (also Catholic) - pretty much flipped out at hearing it. I realize we can’t take things too literally when only hearing a portion of the conversation but I was sad to not hear any clarification by the Catholic Deacon.

Yes, the Jews did start Christianity.
After Pentecost the apostles and disciples of Jesus and all other Jews having faith in Jesus, returned to their normal lives in full observance of their Jewish faith. But, they also attended meetings where they shared their faith that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jewish faith, that Jesus was the Son of God, that Jesus was God, that Jesus died for the salvation of Man, etc. and they participated in eucharistic meals (agape). What we now call Christianity wasn’t supposed to become a separate, splinter religion. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish faith. But because the bulk of the Jews in Palestine did not believe in Jesus, the Christians became a sect within the Jewish community. This was very disturbing to the Temple priests and the Jewish hierarchy (who had pushed for the death of Jesus) which resulted in much persecution of the “sect of Jesus”. When Peter decided that Gentiles who follow Jesus did not have to be circumcised, this drove an even bigger wedge between the Christian sect and mainstream Judaism because this sect within Judaism now included Gentiles (remember, Gentiles were “unclean”). Eventually, even the Jewish followers of Jesus split off from normal observance of Jewish religious behavior (going to the Temple, sacrificing animals, etc.). I think the definitive split between Judaism and the followers of Jesus occurred when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D.
So yeah, Christianity started as a sect within the Jewish faith and was composed only of Jews. It wasn’t until Paul started preaching to the Gentiles, and Peter accepted them, that the door opened wider. We Christians worship the god of the Jews. We are all Jews in faith. Christians believe that the Messiah has come in the person of Jesus Christ – the Jews are still waiting for the Messiah to come. The Jews still observe the requirements of the Old Testament while Christians have pushed the OT somewhat to the side as we observe the requirements of the New Testament. Why is any of this news to you? or to anyone? The Jews are our brothers in faith.
It is completely incompatible with Christianity to harbor a hatred of the Jews. Blaming them for “murdering our Savior” is absolute nonsense. First of all, it was NECESSARY and PREORDAINED that Jesus would suffer an unjust death as the spotless lamb who dies for our sins. We should be THANKFUL that Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, and the Jews played the roles they did. Are they blameless because they “fulfilled the roles God set for them”? No. They behaved in accordance with their free will, their loves and hates, their blind attitudes, etc. Each of them will pay for their sins at the final Judgment. God’s perfect Justice extends to everyone. Why hate someone for playing their part in allowing Jesus to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament? Would you rather that Jesus wasn’t crucified and that his mission to save Man from sin had failed?
Anyway . . . . . sorry, I didn’t mean to rant like that. Ninety percent of what I wrote doesn’t really apply to your post – it’s just that this is one of my pet peeves.

I am a bit puzzled by your concerns. Jews did found Christianity. They did not repudiate Judaism, and then start a separate faith, they viewed their new-found faith as a perfected form of their old faith. There is really no other way to read the Gospels and Acts. Maybe if we said “Christianity was started by Jews” that would be more palatable?

Wow - I had to reply to some of this - since I am completely in agreement with you. And no problem, as I tend to rant alot, too.:o Your elaboration on the topic makes for an educated discussion. :thumbsup:

Please don’t misunderstand my post. First, it’s true. We worship the same One and True God. Secondly, I don’t harbor hatred towards Jews. As corny as this may sound - I have close friendships/ties with many, as well as the fact that when their religious holidays come, I offer my good wishes for their holiday seasons - particularly, Passover, since it’s so much a part of our own Holy Week/Easter season. I was raised in Catholic school - pre-Vatican II - and contrary to public opinion about pre-Council teachings being anti-Semitic, I was taught that it wasn’t the Jews who killed Jesus - it was our sins. While it sounds contradictory, I don’t “blame” them. They and the Romans were, however, the instruments. The Romans, obviously by reason of being the ruling/judicial class. And, according to the Bible, the Jews being given the Passover Privilege, thereby choosing Barrabbas over Jesus and crying out “Crucify Him! His blood be on us and our children!” Sobering words indeed. If we were seeking to blame Jews, it would be individuals, i.e. Judas, and the High Priests who conspired, Herod, etc. On the Roman side Pilate. We can look to the Bible’s words but it is not for us to have hatred for anyone - except our own sins - not matter whose religion - which put Our Lord on the Cross.

It’s just hard to swallow the expression, “Jews started Christianity” sounding as if taking credit for it but not following it, and then Catholics so often bearing the brunt of feeling they’ve done something wrong either in praying for Jews’ conversion or considered haters of Jews. There’s no hatred. Rather, consider the Popes who authorized Baptismal documents, etc. to save Jews during the war, those who sheltered the Jews or even died with them in concentration camps. - even that often gets diminished, overlooked or disregarded.

We’re just standing up for our Faith. And as Catholics / Christians, we’d be lacking if we didn’t love our Jewish brothers and sisters, whether or not in agreement. And that’s the way I see it.

Well said, thank you. And thank you for not taking offense at my post. As I said, 90% of my post wasn’t directed at your post, but at the topic and several issues tangential to the topic.

And yeah, what is wrong with praying for the conversion of other people? Why is it politically correct to allow everyone to go to hell in their own way? Answer: because when no religion is wrong, none of them is right.

Don’t the Jews pray for atheists to be converted to a belief in YWHW? Don’t the Jews pray for us “misguided” Christians to abandon our mistaken belief that Jesus was the Messiah and to turn our faith back to the Jewish temple and synagogue?

Don’t all the various Protestant denominations believe that their doctrine is correct and that all the rest of us are wrong in some way, and that our salvation is thereby in jeopardy? Don’t they pray for all of us to abandon our “false” beliefs and to join their church so that we can be saved and go to heaven?

And if not, why not? Don’t they care about their fellow man? Don’t they want all of us to join them in heaven?

I will never apologize for my beliefs or my prayers. I will thank my Jewish and Protestant brothers for their prayers for my conversion – I need all the prayers I can get. I will be thankful for any prayer said on my behalf that gets God to give some special attention and let me know what He wants me to do. And I would hope that they would thank me for my prayers. Aren’t all our prayers for conversion the most well-intentioned prayers a person can make?

God Bless!

And as far as that goes, if you don’t learn what it means to be a good Jew, you will not likely be a very good Christian.


Actually we don’t and according to Jewish beliefs such prayers would be unecessary.

Dear Chosen People:

You wrote: “Actually we don’t and according to Jewish beliefs such prayers would be unecessary.”

I would be interested in knowing more about that. In particular, from the viewpoint expressed in my post where I wrote: “And if not, why not? Don’t they care about their fellow man? Don’t they want all of us to join them in heaven?”

Thank you in advance for your reply . . . . I gotta get me a copy of “Judaism 101” or “Judaism for Dummies”!

The Penitent

dont expect anything from the deacon…his job is to just get free ads for his school,I sent him a list of some 40 Times articles on the Vatican speaking out from 1939 to 1945…but he does not have the courage to stand up at all…I also challenged him to speak over the air on the real silence…FDR never NEVER spoke out against the horrible tragedy in Germany…Yesterday this deacon was silent again…a brief discussion on the Cross as a universal description of compassion…this was an easy answer…Clara Barton used the cross for her organization…the American Red Cross…and the Cross symbol was picked by nation precisely for that reason…no we dont have any Catholic rep. on that show…Father Paul is long gone from that spot…Pas

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