While looking on Facebook, I sometimes I come across some various assertions about the Bible or religion generally. Just thought I may bring some comments about Early Christianity that I have into this article.
"For the past 1800 years, all the discussion about Paul has been around a view formed by Christianity, following 135 CE, which was the end of the 2nd major Roman-Jewish war. Prior to that, everything in the New Testament was understood in accordance with Jewish spiritual concepts brought down since Sinai. At the conclusion of that war, the Romans killed over a half-million Jews, dispersed the rest, plowed Jerusalem under and most importantly - banned all study and practice of anything Torah-related. "
The Romans may have prohibited study of Torah, the NT itself doesn't prohibit the reading of it, as it is called God-Breathed Scriptures in 2 Timothy 3:16, which in principle does encompass the NT but specifically refers to the TANAKH itself. There is discussion as to whether or not early Christians used midrash or not among scholars today, namely the PARDES Midrash. *
"What was left of the "Nazarene community" at that time was a bunch of gentiles with no more synagogue system as the center of learning (acts 15:21), zero Jewish leadership, no Torah teachers (properly explaining messiah and all things Torah-related) and every sort of Roman paganism and anti-Semitism you could name encroaching on the remains of this community. It took of all of one generation to do a '180 degree turn' and change an exclusively Jewish messianic belief into something 100 percent foreign to it. "
"All of Paul's teachings were now cut off from their already difficult to comprehend sources (as Peter called it) in oral Torah, and subject to a very anti-Jewish, anti-"law" gentile perspective. From that time forward the 'debate' over Paul has not been over his actual teachings, but over erroneous interpretations of his words. "
The Early Christians were indeed Jewish, but they also had Gentiles invited into the church but whether or not the Jewish Christians remained in the synagogues or not is another issue. However, Paul wasn't Anti-law as many so often claim, He said that the law was good, but didn't have to power to save people from their sins, but rather expose the individuals sins.
"The good news is in THIS generation the 'interrupted discussion' of pre-135 Judaism is returning. Jews and gentiles who are educated in the oral Torah are not only re-evaluating the words of Yeshua, but some are beginning to look at Paul, no longer as some renegade that taught against Judaism, but an exceptionally learned Jew who taught Torah at its very deepest levels."
It is good that many Christians are coming to realise that Christianity does indeed have it's roots in the Jewish faith and that Paul himself even held to a Jewish Methodology, but this again would not automatically prove Rabbinic Judaism to be the Judaism of Moses. That is indeed important to remember. Some of the major evangelicals that encourage returning to the Jewish roots of the faith would include David Pawson and Jacob Prasch.
Feel free to study these issues.
*17th of March 2015. I haven't read said scholars but I can assume they would debate about this sort of thing.