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Re: [HoB/D] There is distinct unhappiness in our context



> It's enough to make me wonder if any Jerusalem Christians, in the aftermath
> of the first Jerusalem Council, which created a kind of "local option" for the
> inclusion of gentiles - as they were - into the Body of Christ, might have
> taken their money and gone home?  Maybe not, but who knows.

Although all the first Christians were Jews, there were very few
Jewish Christians by the end of the first century.  They certainly no
longer promoted circumcision:  it was a painful form of evangelism to
say the least.  It survived only in St. Paul's metaphor 'circumcision
of the heart' (he must have been Anglican to come up with that one!)

I do not know whether the disappearance of Jewish Christians was a
response to losing in the circumcision vote; a response to the
destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD;  assimilation, or ...

Christianity lost much when it lost the Jewish Christians'
perspective: most of Christian Scripture had been shaped in the
context of their Scriptures.  We lost their tradition of midrash
and other interpretive traditions.

Gentile Christians soon manifested a backlash against the Jews.
Anti-semitism is already present in the fourth gospel, and early
Christian art gives only Judas a stereotypical Jewish nose....

How very sad.

Gentile Christians did not choose to have circumcision the center of
attention, any more than lesbian and gay Christians have chosen to
have our plumbing at the center of attention.  In both instances,
these are but the presenting issues, not what really drives the
arguments.  What drives the argument is whether God will be allowed to
say a new thing and if so, how we perceive that God is doing so.

L., L2 Newark, Member of Executive Council





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