The Jewish Roots of Christianity: Parts One and Two

Here is a teaching on The Jewish Roots of Christianity: Introduction: Parts One and Two. We discuss what we mean when we say “Jewish Roots of Christianity” and also cover the sects of Judaism at the time of Jesus, the relationship between Jesus and Israel and why it is important to understand Jesus in a Jewish context. These quotes are helpful:

“There is little doubt that the very earliest Christians were, in fact, Jews. They believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the long-awaited Jewish Messiah who would fulfill God’s extensive promises to Israel and usher in the kingdom of God. Thus, Jesus was understood quite naturally within the categories. Sure, something new was happening with Jesus – the inauguration of a new covenant, in fact (Luke 22.20). But the first Christians would not have conceived of this as the beginning of an entirely new religion; on the contrary, they would have seen it as the completion of something very old, namely the story of God’s dealings with Israel (cf. Jer. 31.31). Thus, early Christians were quite content, at least at first, to continue worshipping at the Temple (Acts 2.46) and following the laws of Moses.” –Michael Kruger, Christianity at a Crossroads, How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church

“For years, I have reminded my students that Christianity was not invented out of whole cloth, nor did it originate de novo; instead, it was a development from Judaism. To understand anything of the depth of biblical Christianity and its teachings one must understand Judaism. This is sometimes particularly difficult for Christians living in the Western world to grasp. Throughout our history, we have tended to be influenced more by Greek and Latin expressions of Christianity than by those of the Semitic world of the East”- Marvin Wilson, Exploring Our Hebraic Heritage: A Christian Theology of Roots and Renewal