Howard Kenneth Wayne - Jewish Christianity in the early Church

Author : Howard Kenneth Wayne
Title : Jewish Christianity in the early Church
Year : 1993

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Abstract. This paper traces the development of Jewish Christianity from its beginnings in the earliest Christian communities through its apparent disappearance in the fourth or fifth century. The author's thesis is that within the diversity which characterized the Jewish Christianity of the Church, there existed at least one Jewish Christian sect whose theology stood within the acceptable boundaries of orthodoxy of the greater Church, that this sect existed through at least the fifth century, at which point it was declared heretical by the Church Fathers and eventually died out despite the fact that it remained within the bounds of orthodoxy and considered itself a part of the greater Church. The thesis also suggests that the increasing antipathy of the Church toward Jewish Christianity was the result of a variety of interrelated influences operating over several centuries. Some of these influences included the changing demographics of the Church and the accompanying clash of cultures; the increasing isolation of Jewish Christianity from the predominantly Gentile Church; power struggles between competing Christian communities in Palestine, as well as Rome‟s interest in asserting its primacy; theological and pastoral concerns, which were wellintentioned but which resulted in increasingly narrow views of orthodoxy and orthopraxis; as well as some outright anti-Jewish feelings. ...

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