Bible Review 17:6, December 2001

Was the Early Church Jewish?

By Dieter Georgi

In the twenty-third chapter of his gospel, Matthew describes Jesus speaking against the Pharisees and scribes. “Woe to you,” Jesus cries out, labeling these Jews “hypocrites,” “blind fools,” “blind men,” “serpents” and a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 23:13–36).1 In Mark’s account of the cleansing of the Temple, Jesus condemns the Jewish leaders, saying, “My house shall be called a house of prayers for all the nations. But you have made it a den of robbers” (Mark 11:17). Also in Mark, when Jesus speaks about the Temple in Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish religion, he warns: “There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down” (Mark 13:2). Paul says of the Law, the bond of unity of the Jewish people, “Christ is the end of the Law” (Romans 10:4). Revelation calls the Jewish synagogue a “Synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9).

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