The Great Divide between Church and Synagogue

 

I am delighted to commend this excellent article by Peter Cohen of  Messianic Good News in Johannesburg.

In his introductory remarks to his scholarly work “The Jewish people and Jesus Christ” Jacob Jocz writes:

“Both Judaism and Christianity are the result of a major controversy which took place during the first century and the first half of the second century. This controversy was of a theological nature and centred round the significance of Jesus of Nazareth. Our study has led us to the conviction that the general view, which holds that Judaism remained unaffected by the Christian episode, is untenable. Judaism had been deeply affected by the rise of Christianity and was pushed in the opposite direction. The opposition between the two creeds is thus an integral part of their separate existence. Only in opposition to each other do they learn the truth about themselves.”

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines “anti-Semitism” as: “hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” Much has been written about Christian anti-Semitism and in the two thousand years since the rise of Christianity there have no doubt been grave injustices perpetrated in the name of Christ, just as the intense persecutions in the early church were instigated by the Synagogue. But the real argument is a theological one. The question of who is Jesus stands at the centre of the great divide between Church and Synagogue. In recent times there have been efforts to bridge the divide from both sides, but the only way to bridge the gap between the Risen Christ whom Christians worship and the Jesus whom Rabbinic Judaism could accept is by reducing him to the stature of another Jewish Rabbi.

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