Summary: Three of the world’s major religions root out the same source: Judaism, Christianity and Muslim-ism; and the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament.
“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” ― Ronald Reagan
“Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.” ― Augustine
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” ― C.S. Lewis
“Nobody's perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him....” ― Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
“The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.” ― William Blake
Three of the world’s major religions root out the same source:
Judaism, Christianity and Muslimism.
All three hail to Abraham.
The Dome of the Rock covers a rock.
This is believed by Jews and Christians to be the rock which Isaac was to be offered upon. The Muslims however, believe it was Ismael instead of Isaac.
Last week we spent some time at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. It is always sobering to say the least.
-The smell of the shoes… All the Hair… the train car… oven door…!
A lot of effort is spent on trying to help people understand how such a horrible thing occurred and how to ensure that it never occurs again.
Approximately 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust in WWII.
History is important. = "Those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it" is actually a miss-quotation of the original text written by George Santayana, who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
One piece that seemed to be missing was the influence of Church Fathers toward the Jews.
Let’s look at the historical progression:
The Church Fathers are those who followed after the original Apostles of Jesus the Christ. They wrote from the late first century to well into the fifth. They were primarily Bishops of larger cities. More often than not their writings were targeted toward non-Christian and/or anti-Christian beliefs and practices. The primary enemies they wrote against included Arians (who rejected the deity of the Messiah), Monotheists (One God), Pagans, Ebionites (who keep Jewish law and rejected Paul’s teachings) and Jews.
Church Fathers are a larger group that can be subdivided as follows:
Apostolic Fathers: Who often were the disciples of the Apostles; they wrote from 80-150 AD.
Theological Fathers: Who wrote at length on Christian doctrine; they wrote from 150-450 AD.
The earliest writings we know of today from the Apostolic Fathers is the Church manual known as the Didache writing between 80-100 AD. Its primary content deals with the proper behavior of a Christian.
The first notable Apostolic Father is Clement, bishop of Rome. He is believed to be a disciple of Peter and Paul. He wrote First Epistle of Clement (the Second Epistle of Clement is not believed to have been written by Clement) around 97 AD. Clement makes no notable reference toward Jews or Israel in his writings.
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna was believed to be a disciple of John. He wrote a lot letters making little reference to Judaism. He does however, make mention and portrays a high regard for a contemporary, Ignatius. Ignatius was the bishop of Antioch (present day Syria) and was martyred in 107 AD and tended to be anti-semitic in his writings. Polycarp was martyred in 107 AD; the book known as Martyrdom of Polycarp (author unknown) states that Jews played a large role in him being burned alive at the stake.
The Epistle of Barnabas, has been universally rejected as being written by the Apostle Barnabas, neither is it accepted as being an authoritative Apostolic Father writing. This Epistle was written in early, 96-98 AD. It, vilifies the Jews.
The last of the Apostolic Father’s writing is known as the Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, written between 150-200 AD. In this letter Mathetes makes it clear that Judaism and Christianity are totally separate. He claims that Jewish acts are folly. He calls Jewish practices ridiculous and unworthy of notice. He also considers Jews as busy-bodies and boastful.
--In this he raises anti-Semitism a new level; by criticizing Jewish people personally.
This is a period of time in which Christianity spreads beyond Roman Empire and it encounters opposition from without and within. It is a period of time in which the Church is wrestling with Paganism, Greek Humanism and Judaism. The Theological Fathers used the pen to fight against these enemies. They range from Justin Martyr in the mid-second century to Augustine and Jerome of the early-fifth century.
Justin Martyr wrote, Conversation with Trypho the Jew in the 140s AD. Justin states (Chapter 16) “Indeed the custom of circumcising the flesh, handed down from Abraham, was given to you as a distinguishing mark, to set you off from other nations and from us Christians. The purpose of this was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours… Your circumcision of the