Why don't Christians follow Jewish beliefs?

I know it’s easy to say “Well we’re not Jewish because we believe in Christ.” I mean Christ obviously followed Jewish traditions, at least at one time. So when did it change? Why?

Council of Jerusalem: 50 AD:

Removed the requirement for converts to christianity to be circumcised and most other jewish laws.

As to why. The Theological answer is that Jesus coming created a new covenant between man and god and the old rules didn’t apply any more. The cynical answer is that they wanted to appeal to as many people as possible, so they lowered the barriers to become a convert.

Seems to have worked. Compare the total worlds percentage of Jewish vs Christians.

Jesus himself spoke against the petty adherence to rules and regulations of Judaism from time to time. There was an instance when he was accused of allowing his disciples to work on the Sabbath because they had picked some ears of grain and rubbed them between their hands before chewing on them (just as in the modern era observant Jews will not do the work of operating a push button), and he was decried for healing on the Sabbath; there are other instances too.

The Epistles also talk about the irrelevance of circumcision and food laws.

Bear in mind that Judaism itself underwent some major changes in the first few centuries CE, with the destruction of the Temple and the writing of the Talmud. Christianity didn’t so much diverge from Judaism as evolve in a different direction.

There is quite a number of passages in the New Testament that have Jesus override (from a Christian perspective) traditional Jewish Torah interpretations. The Sermon on the Mount is a good example.

Perhaps because Paul changed (from Saul of Tarsus), as Christianity, as a term and a faith came through Paul’s teachings, before that thru Jesus came ‘The Way’.

Saul of Tarsus was a pharisee of pharisees, very much steeped in Jewish traditions and laws. When the risen Christ came to Saul, and renames him Paul, there was a very large change in Paul, and that went into the may churches that Paul started.

Indeed, one of the trickiest moments in every conversion to a new religion is when a cult-leader makes a move to the proselyte’s genital area whilst speaking in soothing tones.

This is amplified when one of the acolytes/goons is sharpening a knife.

Christianity, like all religions, evolves. There were many different varieties in the early days, until the rise of orthodoxy stamped most of them out. Paul (a guy who never met Jesus) created the biggest branch by preaching to the gentiles. The group back in Jerusalem capitulated to Paul as described in Paul’s epistles.

The argument was made that the whole point of Jesus’s teachings was a reliance on grace and redemption rather than law; that simply dumping a bunch of rules on the gentiles was missing the point. Hence the admonition to those who believed in strict rules not to shame or guilt those who didn’t follow them; and for those who were less strict not to flaunt it in the faces of those who were.

Keep in mind that there are dozens of major divisions within Christianity itself, with many instances of a sacrament/necessity in one being ignored or forbidden in another. That early Christianity shed the restrictions and requirements of Judaism, in order to attract that part of the population ready to take a fresh stand on religious views, is explicable in social engineering terms alone.

Actually, it’s not good at all, if you’re a typical conservative Christian who only likes the parts of the Mosaic Law that punish people for their sex lives. Matthew 5:

That is his definitive take on the subject. And the example of him plucking wheat on the Sabbath is something he said it was OK for HIM to do, not us. On the contrary, when he spoke about Mosaic law for the rest of us, he usually made it stricter. Thou shalt not kill? Jesus said even being angry at someone is a sin. Thou shalt not commit adultery? Jesus said that even thinking about it is a sin.

And to anticipate the usual Christian response, “till all be fulfilled” does not mean till Jesus dies. There’s still the little matter of the trials and tribulations and Satan being loosed and the rapture and the Second Coming and the stars falling from the sky and the final judgement. He means exactly what he says, “Till heaven and earth pass.”

Not to mention that if he meant his death, he would be giving a sermon on the importance of strict adherence to the Law for the next couple of months.

Well, at least for once the Council of Jerusalem is addressed in the very first response. Indeed it was the first official statemern that most of the purity and ritual parts of the Old Law became at least optional for converts to the new sect.

BTW notice the parts of the Old Law that remain in force according to Acts 15: Prohibitions on idolatry, “fornication” and “blood”. The second of those is why many modern conservative/fundamentalist Christians still claim OT foundation for their positions vis-a-vis pre/extramarital sex & gays (so the “why don’t you follow the rest of Leviticus” counterarguments gloss over this)

That is true, and many in the Christian mainstream seem quite unaware of that.

It may be confirmation bias, but it seems to me that most conservative Christians readily forgive adultery (especially for leaders like Gingrich and Reagan), and wink at premarital sex, but are pure Leviticus when it comes to gay sex.

There are Christians that do follow Jewish beliefs but I’m not sure if one would actually call it “following Jewish beliefs” or just being “Bible Literalistic”.

The ridiculous cult I was raised in, for example, held that the sabbath was from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, followed the Jewish dietary laws, did not celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc., but did observed the Feasts of Trumpets, Tabernacles, the week of unleavened bread, and other nonsense that made for fucking with what was an otherwise decent childhood.

That’s cool; somewhere Compton Mackenzie observed that British Israelism was the most insane delusion imaginable, and was generally rather sour about it’s believers, but I scarcely imagined it had survived beyond, at a guess, 1970.


  • PLAIN TRUTH, January 1939, Page 4, H. W. Armstrong*
    Hand-to-hand, or with pistols ?

To say nothing of divorce. Jesus himself has absolutely nothing to say about homosexuality, but He does condemn divorce at least three times in the NT.

It survived even past the death of Herbie when the WWCG started to fall apart. One sure sign that a church is a cult is when it disintegrates after the death of it’s key leader. Not all cults do this, though.

Herb consistently preached about the end of times being 1975, and then exclaimed he never did. Bull!

Of which… From your link I decided to read the wiki on the [slash]old loon[/slash] gentleman, Herbert W. Armstrong, and noted thoughtfully that:

Only nine days after naming Tkach as his successor, Armstrong died shortly before 6:00 a.m. on January 16, 1986, at the age of 93
seemed a trifle Ludlumish, and then looking back to your link, I discovered:
Herbert Armstrong dies under suspicious circumstances, January 16th, 1986.
However it might be difficult to persuade the cops to investigate a 93-yr-old’s sudden demise.

This is a really good point. The message of Christianity is more attuned to teaching people what attitudes to hold about life than about defining strict rules of conduct. In Judaism, one might try to find a loophole in the Mosaic Law allowing them to do something that’s not very charitable or is arguably outside of the original intent of the authors as long as it meets the letter of the law. Christianity says you should be nice to other people, work hard, but not too hard, and not steal, murder, or fornicate. Judaism has strict rules on what can and cannot be done on the Sabbath and strict rules on how to determine the start and end times of the Sabbath. Christianity sees the Sabbath as a principle that says, “hey, take a break once in a while!”. The point is that God doesn’t want you to nitpick over whether or not you can come up with a fancy loophole to let you fill out your TPS reports anyway and then later worry about whether putting on your shoes in the morning might be a Sabbath violation. He wants you to really step back once in a while and take a real break from whatever it is you were doing and spend some time with your family, church, etc. and study the bible, etc. What form the break takes doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that you are actually taking a break.

No, he was not renamed by the risen Christ or anyone else. Saul and Paul are the same name - Saul is the Jewish version of it and Paul is the Roman version of it. Sort of like John and Juan. He was called Saul by Jews and Paul by Greeks and Romans and this was true both before and after his conversion.