In what ways did the early disciples of Jesus assume that they were carrying on their own Jewish tradition (as a reform movement), rather than starting a new religious tradition?

In what ways did the early disciples of Jesus assume that they were carrying on their own Jewish tradition (as a reform movement), rather than starting a new religious tradition?


The early disciples of Jesus began a journey that would have a lasting impact on the world. While it is clear that their beliefs and practices differed from traditional Jewish views, it is also important to understand how the early disciples assumed that they were carrying on their own Jewish tradition as a reform movement. This essay will examine the Jewish traditions that influenced early disciples of Jesus, analyze the reform movements of the early disciples, and explore how the early disciples beliefs differed from traditional Jewish views.
According to Robbins (1984), Jewish traditions have had a pervasive influence on early disciples of Jesus. These traditions helped to shape the disciples’ understanding of the world and how they should act within it. As Jews, the disciples were steeped in a culture of oral tradition, scripture study, and synagogue worship. These traditions provided the early church with a framework for understanding the divinity of Jesus, his status as the Messiah, and his role as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of humankind. The Jewish tradition of monotheism, which the early church adopted, is evident in the use of the Shema, a daily declaration of faith in one God, in the Lord’s Prayer. The Jewish tradition of sacrificial worship was also embraced by the early church; the Eucharist is seen as a representation of Jesus’ sacrifice for the sins of humankind. Finally, the Jewish tradition of keeping a set of laws, known as the Torah, was central to the early church’s understanding of how to live a holy life. The early disciples of Jesus were heavily influenced by these Jewish traditions, and this influence can still be seen in the teachings of the church today.
The reform movements of early Disciples had a substantial impact on Christianity. Understanding the impact of these reform movements requires further examination of the Reformers themselves. According to KW Jones (1989) in, the Reformers were a group of educated, religiously minded individuals who sought to promote religious and moral reform within their societies. Their focus was on the establishment of a new order, one which they believed would bring about a more just, equitable, and tolerant religious society. These Reformers sought to challenge the existing church structure and its often oppressive, hierarchical structure. They advocated for a more democratic church structure and the promotion of religious freedom. Additionally, they sought to create a more equitable distribution of wealth and power, and to promote education, particularly for the poor and disenfranchised. Ultimately, the Reformers were successful in their efforts and their impact on Christianity was immense. Their ideas and actions contributed to the development of a more tolerant and inclusive religious society, one which has had a lasting impact on Christianity today.
The early disciples of Jesus had beliefs that differed from traditional Jewish views, as explored in GL Sittser’s book from 2019. One example of this divergence is the idea that Jesus was the messiah, which was a radical concept for Jews at the time. In traditional Judaism, a messiah was seen as a political leader who would restore the kingdom of Israel and bring the people to a state of glory. However, the early disciples held the belief that Jesus was a spiritual messiah who had come to bring salvation and a relationship with God. Additionally, they believed that Jesus’ death and resurrection had fulfilled the messianic prophecies in a spiritual, rather than a political, way. This idea was very different from the traditional Jewish view, which held that the messiah would usher in an earthly kingdom of peace and justice. Furthermore, the early disciples believed that salvation was available to all people, not just the Jews. This challenge to the traditional belief in exclusive salvation for the Jews was met with great resistance, but it eventually became one of the foundational tenets of Christianity. As we can see from Sittser’s book, the early disciples had beliefs that differed significantly from traditional Jewish views.
The early disciples of Jesus assumed that they were continuing their own Jewish tradition since they were merely reforming it. They were correct in maintaining the teachings of the Torah, yet sought to bring the practices of their faith in line with the principles contained in the Gospels. This led to a new era for Judaism, wherein Jesus was seen as the Messiah, and the focus shifted from the rites and rituals to a call for love and faith to be practiced in daily life. Though the Catholic Church and other forms of Christianity have since diverged from these original teachings, the early disciples of Jesus started a movement that has left a lasting impact that is still seen today.
Work Cited
“Socio-religious reform movements in British India.”
“Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian” Third Way” Changed the World.”

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