19 Hestia/Jan. 13
I would like to recommend an important book for Deanic Christians. https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Jesus-Lost-Teachings-Christianity/dp/1594770433.
The author of this book is a Lutheran Pastor who holds a PhD. This book is specifically written for lay people and quite honestly, I have hardly been able to put it down.
Mainstream Christianity is largely based upon the teachings of Paul. It has also become known as Pauline Christianity and it’s base was Rome. However, many scholars are of the mind that Pauline Christianity is not the Christianity of Jesus and it was not the Christianity of his brother, James.
It is obvious from the gospels that Jesus was Jewish, thoroughly Jewish. And the first Christians were Jewish. They did not cease to practice their religion after the resurrection, nor did Jesus teach them to stop observing Jewish Law.
We have been taught that Jesus came to found a new church based on the verse, as found in Matt. 16: 18, Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my church. However, many biblical scholars and theologians suspect that this was a later interpolation and was not original to the text.
So, the question could very well be asked: did Jesus come to found a new Church? Did he come here to start a new religion? Or was his a Jewish movement?
With time, Christianity would come to separate itself from Judaism.
There is evidence that the first Bishop/Patriarch (Pope) was James the Just, the brother of Jesus and not Peter. (James the Just is not to be confused with the many other James’ of the bible. James is the Western form of Jacob.) He was the Patriarch of Jerusalem and appeared to hold authority even over Paul, who never met Jesus.
I have always wondered what happened to those first Jewish Christians. Now I have the answer. The Jewish Christianity of Jerusalem was largely destroyed due to the sack of city by the Romans in 70 AD during to the first Jewish revolt. It appears that many Jewish Christians did escape and ended up in the diaspora. And here is one clue found by archaeologists as to where they initially escaped: https://www.rt.com/news/worlds-first-christian-church-found-in-jordan/.
I have to wonder how Christianity would have turned out if this had not happened. If Christianity had remained Jewish-Christian rather than having been taken over by Rome. I have to wonder how the last 2,000 years would have turned out.
Though we might not agree with all of the conclusions of the author, The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity is well worth reading for its research into early Christianity.
A. M. Pamela Lanides