Christian Origins #6

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There is a great divide between Christianity and Judaism. And it goes back a lot further than most people realize. It goes back way beyond Paul, and way beyond the early days of the church. In fact, it goes back, at least, to Jesus himself. Because, the truth is, he found himself continually in conflict with the leaders of Judaism. And, eventually, of course, the religious establishment in Jerusalem kill him.

This echoes the message of the prophets down through the generations who again and again chastised Israel for their corruption—corruption of the priests, the prophets, the whole system. They were religious people, but their religion had become abhorrent to God—because of their attitudes, because of their hearts, because of the way they were living their lives.

So, consequently, when we find an early Christian evangelist in conflict with the religious establishment, there is nothing particularly new in it. But in chapter 7 of Acts, one of the first seven deacons, a man by the name of Stephen, provides us with a kind of milestone. We have already heard his history lesson to the crowd. Now, the history ends and Stephen speaks directly to his audience about the here and now.


Author
Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart

People around the world have come to appreciate Ron’s easy style, his non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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