Early Divisions in the Jesus Movement

๐„๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‰๐ž๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐Œ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar


๐–๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐›๐ฒ ๐๐ซ.๐๐ข๐ฅ๐š๐ฅ ๐‚๐ฅ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐
๐๐ข๐ฅ๐š๐ฅ ๐‚๐ฅ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ค๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐๐ž๐ซ, ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ ๐ฐ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ซ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ง๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐€๐Œ๐”๐’๐“ ๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐Œ๐ž๐ฅ๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ž.

๐€๐ง ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐‚๐ก๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ฒ๐ซ๐๐จ๐ฆ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐‰๐š๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‰๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐‰๐ž๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐š๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐๐๐ž๐ง ๐›๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ

๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐‰๐ž๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐Œ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ก๐ข๐๐๐ž๐ง ๐›๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐œ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ง ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž.

โ€œ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐–๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐‰๐ž๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ, ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ: ๐–๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐†๐จ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐ฅ: ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ข๐ง ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ: ๐š ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐ง ๐š๐๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐†๐จ๐.โ€ ๐’๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ก ๐Œ๐š๐ข๐๐š ๐Ÿ“:๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ—

The Roman Empire was perhaps the most brutal empire in history.  It included the Land of Judaea, where its appointed puppets were the Herodians, a corrupt and evil family.

It was accused by believers, of fornication (niece marriage and incest), riches, and pollution of the Temple.  These three evils were described in the Damascus Scroll as โ€˜The Three Nets of Belialโ€™.

John the Baptist was beheaded for criticizing the niece marriage of Herodโ€™s brother Philip to Herodias. Matthew 14:3-5

There is no doubt that these Herodians were enemies of Jesus.

In Matthewโ€™s Gospel 22:15-16 there is an account of an unsuccessful attempt by certain Pharisees, accompanied by Herodians (supporters of the royal family) to trap Jesus into a subversive statement. It is the oft-quoted separation of the rights of Caesar from those of religion.

Paul of Tarsus differed

Paulโ€™s Letter to the Romans, giving greetings to his friends and allies, says: โ€œGreetings to the household of Aristobulus. Greetings to my kinsman Herodion,..โ€ Romans 16:10-11

Aristobulus may have been a common name, but it was most prominent among the Herodians and there were at least three of that name living at the time.

Eisenman remarks that Aristobulus who was the nephew of Agrippa I also had a son called Herodion, or โ€˜littlest Herodโ€™.  That Herodion is Paulโ€™s relative is particularly significant. [The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians 1996]

Aristobulus was later one of the inner circle around Titus, the conqueror of Jerusalem and destroyer of the temple, along with Tiberius Alexander, Josephus, Bernice and Agrippa II.

He also married Salome, the daughter of Herodias, who demanded the head of John the Baptist.

There is also a reference to another apparently highly placed Herodian in the congregation of Paulโ€™s church in Antioch the first group to be called โ€œChristians.โ€

โ€œIn the church at Antioch were prophets and teachers: Barnabasโ€ฆManaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarchโ€ฆโ€ (Acts of the Apostles 13:1-2)

Paul did receive gentle treatment from the Roman occupiers.

After a riot in the Temple, which was over his recognition as one who preached against the law of Torah, he was placed by the Roman authorities in the fortress for protection then escorted by troops at night to the Procuratorsโ€™s palace in Caesarea.

Here he was lodged in the official residence of the Roman procurator, Felix who was married to Drusilla, the sister of King Agrippa II. Felix himself was the brother of Neroโ€™s favourite freedman, Pallas. [Eisenman The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians]

Here he was interrogated rather gently by a party including King Agrippa, all recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, in which Agrippa declares โ€˜A little more, and your arguments would make a Christian of me.โ€™ Acts 26:27

The treatment of James the Just was very different

Agrippa used the interregnum following the death of the Roman governor Festus by appointing a high priest who would obey him.

He called a meeting of the Sanhedrin brought James the Just and some of his companions before it and โ€œdelivered them to be stoned.โ€ [Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book XX Chapter IX ]

Eusebius of Caesarea, friend of Constantine,  described the martyrdom of James.

โ€œSo they went up and threw down the Righteous one. Then they said to each other โ€œLet us stone James the Righteousโ€, and began to stone him, as in spite of his fall he was still alive. โ€ฆ. Then one of them, a fuller, took the club which he used to beat out the clothes, and brought it down on the head of the Righteous one.โ€ [Eusebius of Caesarea. The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine. Penguin London. 1965 p. 59-60]

That illustrates the great gulf between the attitudes of the Roman authorities to those who followed Jesus and the Law of Torah and those of Paul of Tarsus, who in his Letter to the Galatians, condemned the Law.

Allah knows Best.

๐‘๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐จ๐ฅ๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž: ๐Œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฆ ๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐“๐ก๐ž๐จ๐๐จ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฎ๐ฌ?

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐Œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐ž ๐Ž๐Ÿ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ก๐ž๐ญ๐ฌ ๐€๐ง๐ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐“๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐Ž๐Ÿ ๐๐š๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐Ž๐Ÿ ๐“๐š๐ซ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฌ

๐Ž๐ฅ๐ ๐‚๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ ๐€ ๐‡๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐“๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ก ๐š๐ง๐ ๐†๐จ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐ฅ