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Christian Biblical Studies
THE DECLINE AND DISAPPEARANCE OF JEWISH CHRISTIANITY
Jack Finegan, Light from the Ancient Past (Princeton University Press; 1954; pp. 252-253).
The fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 marked the end of the Jewish national state and the centralized religious organization of Judaism. It also sealed the fate of Jewish Christianity. The church at Jerusalem had already seen Stephen stoned . . . James the son of Zebedee beheaded . . . and James the brother of the Lord thrown from the pinnacle of the Temple, stoned and beaten to death with a club. Then at the time of the Jewish war a revelation was received by the church to leave Jerusalem and migrate to Pella in Transjordan. This was a Gentile city, hated by the Jews and laid waste by them at the beginning of the war, but it offered refuge to the Christians. Jewish Christianity survived here for a time, as did different kinds of Jewish sects which also, for various reasons, had taken refuge east of the Jordan, and Christian bishops of Pella are mentioned as late as the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. But the land east of the Jordan was apart from the main streams in which the history of the future was to flow. In the isolation of its lonely deserts Jewish Christianity sank quietly into oblivion.
The wider world was to be won by that true and universal Christianity which found no room for distinctions of Jew or Greek but saw all as one man in Christ Jesus . . . . It was Paul who recognized most clearly this universal character of Christianity and labored most effectively to put it into practice by launching a world-wide mission.