Archive for April, 2013

Sabbath to Sunday shift on purpose by the Jewish community of the apostle James?

April 11, 2013

I had an interesting conversation with a rabbi who said “that Rabbi Jacob Emden proposed that the founders of Christianity deliberately adopted Sunday as a day of sabbath, to stress that they were not creating a conversion-based Torah religion. His proposal is that the founders of Christianity wanted to create a new religion for Gentiles to institutionalize observance of the seven Noahide laws (which don’t include the Sabbath) and instituted Sunday as a remembrance of the Sabbath.”

emden

He furthermore said that Rabbi Jacob Emden had the opinion that baptism was the denominator to enter the new religion for the gentiles. Instead of circumcision which was meant for Jews.

This was quite new for me, and gave me a lot to think about. And indeed, it is in the letter of Rabbi Jacob Emden what is translated and published by Rabbi Harvey Falk. It is derived from the Hebrew book Seder Olam Rabbah Vezuta, 1757. His Hebrew name is: יעקב בן צבי (Yaacov ben Zvi, 1698-1767)

Rabbi Jacob Emden said:

But for the Gentiles he [Jesus] reserved the Seven Commandments which they have always been obligated to fulfill. It is for that reason that they were forbidden pollutions of idols, fornication, blood, and things strangled (Acts 15). They [the apostles] also forbade them circumcision and the Sabbath. … The Apostles of the Nazarene therefore chose for those Gentiles who do not enter the Jewish faith that instead of circumcision they should practice immersion (for truly immersion is also a condition of full conversion), and a commemoration of the Sabbath was made for them on Sunday.

In the New Testament we can find a difference between Jewish observance of the Torah and Gentile observance of the 7 Noachides. This is laid out in Acts.15. That means that if a new believer did not accept (the yoke of) the Torah, then he might enter the new Christian religion by baptism. In some sense you can call this new religion a part of Judaism, or something that fits into Judaism (7 Noachides), but it is not Judaism itself. That will teach us that there were two deliberate tracks for believers: The Jewish Torah observance and the Gentile 7-Noachides observance (without sabbath and circumcision).

If not the whole Jewish community of believers led by the apostle Jacob was scattered around since the destruction of the temple in 70, then, we probably would find the difference of Jewish and gentile believers also in the scriptures of our church fathers. Unfortunately the church went in its own and Judaism was not only singled out but also forbidden. And they deleted almost everything what remembers Judaism. E.g. highlighting (un-biblical) Christmas, change passover/easter date, etc.

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