A Parting of The Way

The sad story of the Church’s treatment of God’s chosen people.

The earliest Israelite Jesus Movement was altogether a part of the Jewish community, the matrix from which it emerged. Neither Jesus nor his apostles had any intention of separating themselves from their extended family, the nation of Israel, nor did they envision the creation of a new religion as a replacement for the Judaism in which they lived and expressed their devotion to God. The first generation of the followers of Jesus, then, were in reality a Judaism, one of the many Judaisms that existed in the first century of the common era.

What differentiated this Jesus Judaism from its sister Judaisms (Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Essenes, and others) was their common belief that the Messianic expectations of the Hebrew Scriptures and of the sages of Israel were fulfilled in Yeshua of Nazareth. They were first called Notzrimfollowers of the Netzer, the branch from the stem of Jesse, whom they understood to be Jesus.

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