Yeshua not only defined himself as the gateway to salvation, but commanded his Jewish disciples to do something that had never been done before. Yeshua commanded his Jewish disciples to make non-Jewish people disciples in a Jewish sect that followed the Messiah and worshiped the God of Israel. Yeshua identifies his Jewish disciple Peter as the rock upon which he will build the Messianic community (Matthew 16:18). Acts 4 shows us that thousands of Jews came to faith in the Messiah well before the time when Paul began to actively seek non-Jewish disciples. We also see in Acts 15 that the Jewish Jerusalem council exercised authority over the Gentile assembly of the Messiah. With the foundation of the early Messianic community being so thoroughly Jewish, how did a concept like supersessionism even come into being? Actually, the seeds of this rather ugly plant began to sprout early.
Excerpt from the article
“Origins of Supersessionism in the Church”
by James Pyles
Issue 109/Winter 2012
I just received my advance copy of the latest edition of Messiah Journal (MJ) and of course, as it contains my first article published in religious literature, I’m more than thrilled. I showed my wife and she said that she will have to read it, which is even more intriguing (as surprising as it may sound, she doesn’t often read my material). I hate to admit this, but like many authors, I really enjoy seeing my work in print. I suppose it is the same feeling a painter has when he or she sees their work on display in an art gallery.
But I shouldn’t forget everything else this issue of MJ has to offer. I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet (so I can’t review its contents), but I’ve looked through this issue and there are definitely some submissions I’m anxious to dig into.
There’s an article written by Tsvi Sadan called “Halachic Authority in the Life of the Messianic Community”. Apparently, it was delivered as a lecture to Messianic leaders in Israel in September of 2008 as the “final chord of a debate between those Messianic Jews who teach to live according to Jewish tradition and those who view this tradition as ‘the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'” This discussion has taken place in the Messianic blogosphere fairly recently, such as in Judah Himango’s blog post Kosher Jell-O, and whether Messiah’s disciples need our own ruling body, as well as on my own blog in the write up Tradition! (and as always, some of the most interesting parts are in the comments sections).
I must admit, I will probably dive into Sadan’s article first, but I also want to read Russ Resnik’s “Shema: Living the Great Commmandment” (Part 1). I’m also very interested in Toby Janicki’s article “The Gentile Believer’s Obligation to the Torah of Moses”, which is also a topic of great interest among non-Jews who are attracted to Jewish religious lifestyle and worship. I believe MJ has had similar articles in the past and want to find out if this is just a reworking of material with which I’m already familiar or something entirely new. I know I’ve been challenged on this topic by comments made on my own blog very recently, both in Defining Judaism: A Simple Commentary and The Focus and the Lens, so I’m hoping for some “re-enforcement” to augment my own knowledge in this area.
For tomorrow’s “morning meditation,” I’m posting a blog on Gentiles and the Shabbat, and Aaron Eby has an article in the current issue of MJ called “Fire by Night: Lighting the Shabbat Candles” which (you should pardon the pun) should prove illuminating. That’s not all of the contents of issue 109 of MJ but those are the highlights. Of course, if you find all of that tantalizing, don’t forget my own article on the origins of supersessionism in the church, how the seeds were first planted, who the major players were, and how the history points to modern times.
If you don’t already regularly receive issues of Messiah Journal, go to the First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ) website and order issue 109 today. I’m really looking forward to reading it myself.