When First Century Hebrew Christianity Lost The Culture War

The first century Hebrew version of the Christian faith has gone extinct.

By the end of the 3rd century and into the 4th century, a culture war raged in the Christian church. At stake was whether or not Christianity would be defined as having derived from the Hebrew Jesus and Jewish apostles or a non-Hebrew view. The 4th century controversy, which gave the church the Nicaean Creed, was not specifically about the deity of Jesus, contrary to what is taught in Bible college classes nor can be this be found in encyclopedias and not even in Wikipedia. Jesus' deity (or not) was a debating point but the real controversy was far larger. Nearly all information about this 4th century controversy was written by the winning side, and thus misrepresents itself and its opposition.

At stake: The outcome of this conflict would determine the cultural foundation of Christianity for centuries.

The western Gentile view, was spearheaded by bishop Athanasius who believed Jesus preexisted, like Greek demi-gods, and came to be born in human form, making Jesus part human and part divine. In this view, Jesus' atoning work was disconnected from the Hebrew prophets and the Torah but stood on its own as an act of love where a god effectively died for all of mankind. This view was purely philosophical. However, since all advanced education at the time was in the Greek philosophers, Aristotle and Plato, it made perfect sense to the intellectuals of their day.

Defending the Hebrew Roots view was the bishop Arius. He believed Christianity developed from the Worldview and Belief Structure of the Hebrews but was transformed at Pentecost into a more universal faith. In that view, Jesus was man who was conceived by the power and presence of Jehovah and became Israel's last prophet who was their redeemer and messiah by his sinless life and atoning work. Jesus' atoning work was fulfillment of the Torah but was so inclusive that all men, Jew and Gentile alike, were included. This view agrees with the ancient Hebrew prophets.

Historically, Arianism is condemned as a heresy but that view was written by the winning Athanasius crowd. Curiously, today there is a resurgence of the Hebrew Roots view, condemned by the Nicaean Council of 325 CE. But it is not generally recognized as a emergence of the Arian view of Christianity. The modern Hebrew Roots movement also confuses Judaism with the the faith of the first century believers. The two are similar, but not the same. Judaism is in fact, Phariseeism, not the transformed Hebrew faith of the first century believers. It was adherents of Judaism who stoned and killed Christians as well as pagan Romans.

The controversy was lost for the Hebrew version of the faith almost before it started, due to both sides of the issue being argued using the terminology and debate style of the Greek philosophers. The Hebrew view is an eastern oriental way of thinking which is completely foreign and alien to westerners. Hence, the Hebrew view of the faith was largely lost on the western thinking bishops supporting Athanasius.

To make matters even more difficult for the Arian crowd (Hebrew Roots), the council of Nicea was called by a pagan Roman Emperor, who cared nothing for Christian truth but only cared about peace in the empire. In his view, all Jews were problematic and a disruptive force. He hated them. So establishing Christianity as a homogeneous faith and anti-Semitic served his self interest and the Roman agenda. To the end of understanding Christianity and its problems, he had a Spanish bishop as his religious advisor. This advisor, Horius, was a supporter of the anti-Arian contingent and friend of Athanasius.

Also censored in accepted church histories is the fact that Constantine had his advisor Horius prepare a creed, supporting Athanasius, the anti-Semitic view. This creed was not written by the attending bishops. Horius' creed was approved by Constantine and the attending bishops were forced to sign it before they left Nicea. That Roman approved creed is still recited today as a foundation of Christianity enforcing the doctrine of Jesus' deity.

Trinity is also considered a fundamental doctrine of Christianity, stating the Father-Son-Holy Spirit are three co-equal persons. Trinity was adopted due to the clever arguments of philosophical essays of three brilliant young men who became bishops in the mid 4th century. The relationship of the god-father, god-son and god-spirit was their topic of debate. They wrote these essays between 364 CE to 381 CE. Due to their arguments, Trinity was adopted as doctrine for all faithful at the council of Constantinople, 381 CE. Most Protestant denominations today, require a belief in Trinity but then they also frequently say they reject all church councils later than the Nicaean council of 325 CE when Trinity was actually formally adopted as required Christian doctrine.

A Roman Emperor with a political agenda and Roman Empire approved decrees (religious laws), orchestrated a shift in Christianity's culture. Christianity 'officially' lost the culture war for its Hebrew Roots in the 4th century. Christianity became a Roman-Byzantine form, no longer Hebrew like the 1st century. This battle had been brewing since the influx of Gentiles in the faith starting in the 1st century but the final battle was fought in the 4th century.

Today, any group or movement attempting to reconnect Jesus with his Hebrew culture and the ancient prophets is considered a weird fringe movement if not outright heresy. The culture war between the eastern view versus the western view has been resurrected in modern times.

The 4th century Roman-Byzantine form of Christianity has failed to capture the hearts and minds of populations in many countries. This is reflected in moral positions being about the same for Christian and non-Christian alike. The Christian faithful are long past due to throw off this foreign Roman/Greek influence and return to its Hebrew Roots. This is done, not by adopting some form of modern Judaism or cultural habits of ancient Judaism, but by adopting the Worldview and Belief Structure of the 1st century apostles and prophets, a purely Hebrew form.

So, let the battle begin anew to restore the Hebrew Jesus to his rightful place, to honor and love him as he truly was and still is.

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2 Responses to When First Century Hebrew Christianity Lost The Culture War

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