What follows is a very general history of true Christianity since our Messiah came. Not many dates are included, but the order of events should be correct. Feel free to correct me if you see my order is incorrect.
The 1st century Church never thought of herself as separate and excluded from Judaism or replacing Judaism, but as a reform within Judaism. A sect, like the Sadducees and Pharisees.
Yeshua, our Messiah, was a Jewish teacher of Torah. He corrected the Jewish errant teachings but did not instate a new religion or cancel the Torah. Quite the opposite, He affirmed it and clarified proper observance of the Torah. He made it even MORE difficult by expounding on the heart of the law (you have heard, but I say…)
After the ascension, many non-Jews began to enter the faith and joined the Jews. They knew they were grafted-in and made citizens of the commonwealth. Their faith was of Israel, in the Messiah of Israel and they practiced the “religion” of Israel. The Jewish leaders didn’t like accepting Jews who didn’t have a “formal conversion”, and they taught that following the Torah was necessary for Salvation. Paul argued against these things, but when he died the separation between the Jews and the Nazarenes began in earnest:
67AD Destruction of Jerusalem
Emperor Vespasian instated heaving taxing of Jewish households (and those who worshiped after Jewish manner)
Believers were expelled from the synagogues
So now those who did not have a “formal conversion” to Judaism had nowhere to worship. They were not accepted by Jews or Gentile pagans.
Still they kept the Torah.
Domtian began persecuting these believers because of their Jewish association. John was exiled to Patmos during this time.
The 2nd century- Church fathers decided they had replaced the Israel of God and taught that the Jews were now cursed
Jerusalem was again destroyed
Emporer Hadrian makes Sabbath and practicing Judaism illegal.
But there continued to be Sabbath keepers
Ignatius refutes the Nazarenes
Epistle of Barnabas is supposedly written, although it has been shown that this document was actually written later and then made to appear as an earlier document. It is extremely anti-semitic, saying the Jews are wretched, deluded by an evil angel (the God of the OT) and abandoned by Him
Still there continue to be Sabbath keepers
Justin Martyr says the Torah was given to Jews as a punishment for their wickedness and because God hated them
144AD – Marcion says Jesus defeated the evil god of the Jews and the OT needed to be expelled. He made an edited NT to be non-Jewish
The Passover is replaced with the Roman pagan festival of Easter, and their pagan symbols of the egg and rabbit.
Sabbath is replaced with the venerable day of the Sun
325 – Constantine says let’s have nothing to do with the detestable Jews
They still had to make laws because Christians were still keeping the Feasts and the Sabbath
4th Century – Chrysostom preached against Jews and Judaizers (his definition is those who behave as Jews, which is not the Biblical definition)
Violence began toward Jews by the Christians, including murder in the name of Christ
The Dark Ages
Scripture is only for clergy until 500 years ago
1517 Luther argued with the Catholic Church (which had by this time made itself appear to be the only valid church) against charging for forgiveness
Gutenburg printed the Bible so the common man could have a copy for the first time in hundreds of years
Slowly as people saw what Scripture says, they began refuting the Catholic Church
But…any attempt at church reformation, any attempt to return to the original NT church falls short as long as it refuses to acknowledge the essential Jewishness of our faith.
Why did we retain the Roman calendar and theologies? Why do we still call Sunday the Sabbath and eat ham on Easter instead of unleavened bread on Passover?
1538 the Protestant Anabaptists read Scripture and began returning to their Jewish roots
Then Paul Fagius did the same, then more began following…
Luther became angry and spoke hatred against the Jews and the Judaizers. He said horrible things which I will not include here.
Wherever the Bible was read without theological manipulation, believers were returning to the Torah
1938 Seven year tribulation for the Jews -Hitler used Luther’s writings to justify his actions
Because of this, Christians saw how far they had gone and anti-Semitism slowly began to improve among Christians
1946 Dead Sea Scrolls discovered
1947 Jews returned to Israel, their homeland
These last 70 years have brought about the Modern Hebrew Roots Movement.
**some of this information is from the book “Restoration” by D Thomas Lancaster