For the past 30 years I have been engaged in research about the Jewish Yeshua (Jesus) and the evolution of Christianity from a Jewish sect to a universal Gentile religion. The work of Dr. David Flusser had played an important role in my work. David Flusser (b. 09/15/1917 – d. 09/15/2000) was a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he taught Judaism in the Second Temple Period and Early Christianity. He was a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Flusser published over 1,000 articles in Hebrew, German, English, and other languages. His work was rewarded by the State of Israel in 1980 with the Israel Prize.
His famous book, Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (© 1988 Magnes Press, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel), is a valuable resource for anyone studying the Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity. I use it regularly in my work. Today, while working on something, I came across two passages that I believe are very important. I encourage you to read them a couple of times, and then seriously consider the implications of Flusser’s words. I added underlines to stress specific points.
The latter-day Judaism as well as Christianity did not evolve from the religion of Israel in the Old Testament, but from the Jewish religiosity that flourished during the intertestamental period. This type of religiosity is no longer identical with the creed reflected in the Old Testament. The investigation of this type of religiosity can lead us to warranted conclusions only if we pay due attention to the diverse trends and movements within Judaism of the Second Commonwealth. By encompassing all these data we shall realize that in spite of all the respective shades of difference among the groups and sects, we can, on the one hand, formulate ideas and attitudes, trends and approaches common to them all which, on the other hand, distinguish them all clearly from the world of thought and belief that prevails in the Old Testament. (p. 471)
The Jewish origin of Christianity is an historical fact. It is also clear that Christianity constituted a new community, distinct from Judaism. Thus, Christianity is in the peculiar position of being a religion which, because of its Jewish roots, is obligated to be occupied with Judaism, while a Jew can fully live his Jewish religious life without wrestling with the problems of Christianity. (p. 617)
From its very beginnings, Christianity understood itself more or less as the heir of Judaism and its true expression, at the same time that it knew itself to have come into existence through the special grace of Christ. As the vast majority of Jews did not agree with their Christian brethren in this claim, Christianity became a religion of Gentiles to whom, from the second century on, it was forbidden to fulfill the commandments of the Law of Moses –- a book which was, at the same time, a part of their Holy Scriptures. (p. 617)
Already then the majority of Christians thought that the Jewish way of life was forbidden even to those Jews who had embraced Christianity, an attitude which later became the official position of the Church. While anti-Semitism existed before Christianity, Christian anti-Judaism was far more virulent and dangerous. The latter rejected most of the motifs of Greco-Roman anti-Semitism, as these were used also against Christians, but invented new arguments. Most of these existed as early as the first century – some of them have their roots already in the New Testament – and by the second century we can recognize more or less clearly the whole direction of Christian anti-Judaism. (p. 617)
If you found this information useful, please let us know by going to The Real Yeshua Facebook page by CLICKING HERE and “Like it.”