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Jew (Jew). The term first appears in the Hebrew Scriptures at in reference to the people of Judah, under Solomon's son Rehoboam, at war with Israel. The ten northern tribes broke away from the United Monarchy under Jeroboam ca. 933 BCE to set up what became known as the Kingdom of Israel. Following the collapse of the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE resulting in a great influx of Israelite refugees into Judea the term Jew came to refer to the Israelite people as whole.

By Jesus' day the word Jew held national, religious, and tribal meaning. As the term evolved it lost its national and hereditary denotation except in historical context, and retained its religious connotation. As translated in the New Testament the word Jew may refer to a Judean, that is, a native of Judea, an adherent to the religion of the Jews, or a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In the theology of the ancient church, "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God" (Romans 2:28-29).

Jewish Christians (ju·DE·o·CHRIS·tians). In the early years all Christians were Jews. The two major divisions of Jewish Christianity were the Nazarenes and the Ebionites but there were small dissident groups as well. Later through gentilization Christianity became a religion in its own right with the emergence of Greco-Roman Christianity. Outwardly, the early Christian community appeared typically Jewish in heritage, membership, leadership, opinions and doctrines. When Jews accepted Jesus of Nazareth (Yeshúa Ha-Notsri) as the Messiah, they did not cease to be Jews. In fact, all of the early members of the Church of God were Jews. More Information.

Judeo-Christians (ju·DE·o·CHRIS·tians). The ancient Church, comprised of Judeo-Christians, were known by the people of Judea as Nazarenes (Ha-Notsrim). Outside the Jewish homeland the early Church was known specifically as the Church of God based upon the Greek rendering of the Hebrew qehal'el (Assembly of God) into its literal Greek equivalent Ekklesia tou Theo (Assembly of God). This distinguishes it from Jewish and Gentile Christian sects not in its fellowship. The term Nazarenes survived as a designation for the Judeo-Christians, who constituted the main body of Jewish Christians.

A heretical sect known as the Ebionites broke with the Nazarenes CE ca. 49/50 over the issue of whether or not Gentile converts to Christianity were held to the strictures of the Mosaic covenant. Later Christian writers tend to confuse the terms Nazarene and Ebionite and often regard them as one and the same which leads, lamentably, to misunderstanding. The congregations established by the apostle Paul were Judeo-Christian although their membership drew heavily from the Gentiles. The critical defining factors are doctrinal and ethnicity.

Julian calendar (JUL·ian CAL·en·dar). The early Roman civil year consisted of ten months beginning with March and ending with December. The lunar month used by the early Romans alternated between 30 and 29 days accounting for a year of 295 days. About 700 BCE two additional months became part of the calendar—January and February. Later the lunar month became obsolete with the adoption of months of 30 and 31 days except for February. In 46 BCE Julius Caesar modified the 365-day calendar by requiring every fourth year to have 366 days and the revised calendar became known as the Julian calendar.

Page last edited: 02/18/07 09:58 PM

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