AllFaith.com: Home page|
AllFaith.com: Content page
Beit Emunah Congregation
See Also: Post-Constantine Nicene Christianity
Scroll down for related studies
Yeshua ben Miriam, better known as Jesus, Son of Mary, may be the most misunderstood Jew in world history! Who was he? There is little documentation from his lifetime outside the Christian New Testament. Yet, his influence on the world and billions of people cannot be overstated, whether of his followers or his detractors. Most everything known about him comes through the Roman Catholic Church, established 300 or so years after his execution (although some of their source materials date from the mid to late first century, around 40-60 years after Yeshua's execution). Despite this lack of objective evidence, millions of people today maintain unshakable emunah (faith) in their understanding of him and his teachings. Some believe him to be a great rabbi or teacher, some believe him to be the Messiah of Israel. Some believe he was God incarnate, and some believe that he was part of a triune godhead.
C.S. Lewis, in a BBC radio talk show and his writings, famously proposes a trilemma concerning him — a choice among three options, each of which is in some way difficult to accept. This trilemma is sometimes described as the "Lunatic, Liar, or Lord" or "Mad, Bad, or God" argument. There is, however, a perfectly viable and even more realistic option: He was what he claimed. A religiously observant first-century Jew who felt his elders were abandoning the religion of their ancestors and replacing it with what he called the teaching of men, Talmudic or Rabbinic Judaism. Based on my studies, this was the essential belief system of Derech Yeshua, the Jewish Way sect, that emerged from those who knew and followed him. In this section of AllFaith.com, we'll seek to rediscover these teachings.
Yeshua likely lived essentially as presented in the Gospel accounts. According to them, the rabbis who knew him regarded him as a heretical rabbi whose reforms challenged their authority. He rejected the overdependence on the Talmud, referring to it as "the teachings of men," not God (Mark 7:7-9). Most Pharisaical (i.e., Rabbinic) authorities rejected him and his reforms from the beginning of his public life. He referred to the Rabbinic hierarchy as whited sepulchers filled with nothing but dead men's bones. In other words, he charged that the Rabbis ordered the Jews to follow laws from men of the past mindlessly rather than develop spiritual understandings themselves.
The First Century was a difficult period. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Judaism had to be fundamentally reformed. Without the Temple, no one could practice Biblical Judaism, which required regular sacrifices. No one could be made ritually clean. Biblical Judaism was Temple Judaism. The Rabbis claimed authority over this vital work; Derech HaShem believed the teachings of Yeshua were the anointed way for Judaism to survive. For the most part, they weren't so far apart. Prayer with intention replaced animal and grain sacrifice in both systems. Derech Yeshua, however, was not dependent on the extra-biblical authority and teachings of the Rabbinate. That was the main difference, and to the Rabbinate, this was unacceptable. In other words, it was largely politics that divided the two movements.
The Way Followers sincerely hoped Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah even though he did not fulfill the essential biblical requirements. The author of the New Testament Book of Hebrew tries at length to convince people of this.
As time passed and Yeshua didn't return to meet the biblical Messianic requirements, his believed Messianic role transformed from a political leader - which is the biblical role of the Messiah - to a spiritual concept out of sync with the biblical prophecies. The sect began teaching, seeking to explain his failure to perform, that one day he would return from the dead and complete the requirements.
Of course, HaShem can do anything, including resurrecting whoever He wishes; however, there are at least two problems here: 1. Nowhere do the prophets of the Tanach (or Jewish Bible) speak of a second advent for the Messiah, and 2, even if correct, Yeshua can not properly be considered HaMashiach until he completes the tasks. Like the rest of the Jews, the Way had to continue waiting for the Messiah. Yeshua was an arguably specially empowered or anointed Torah teacher and reformer, but he was not the Messiah. This situation is similar to Chabad in our days. Many Chabadniks believed Rabbi Sneerson was the Messiah but died without meeting the qualifications. Although some Chabadniks still believe he will return as Mashiach, he was not. Mashiach ben David is yet to come. We continue to wait.
After 70 C.E. Rabbinic Talmudic Judaism prevailed. The Way sect was as successful. During the sect's second and third hundred years, they embraced the Roman Nicolaitan philosophy, and Emperor Constantine's Christendom replaced the Way sect.
As the Church consumed the Way, they deified Yeshua and created a Trinity conception like most Pagan religions. Divinity was something never claimed by Yeshua nor believed by his disciples. The Torah is clear that there is only one true God and that He is echad or indivisibly one. He does not incarnate like the Pagan gods. The claims of his divinity, which neither he nor his followers believed or had even conceived of according to the New Testament, violate the Torah they followed.
There is enough evidence to accept that he lived, that he was a religious Jew and a teacher later in his short thirty-three years of life. In this section, we will seek to unravel this great mystery and determine what Yeshua and his followers believed and taught.
Note that this section of AllFaith.com suffered greatly from the Rabbinic censorship I was subjected to while earning my smicha (Jewish ordination) and the attempt by Network Solution to 'cancel' me and steal the domain (which they unjustly took offline for nearly a year). I am now engaged in a significant update. Please be patient as you read my linked studies. AllFaith.com is Back!
Yeshua ben Miriam was born around 7 BCE to a Jewish teenager named Miriam (translated as Mary in English). When Yeshua was around 22, he began gathering talmidim, or disciples. All of them, except Peter, were teenagers at the time. For three and a half years, Yeshua taught general Jewish reforms to his people, hoping to encourage them in two specific areas:
To make teshuvah (repentance) and return to Torah with sincerity and mutual love.
To warn that the rise of Talmudic Judaism was leading people away from the Written Torah.
Yeshua had no intention of starting a new religion. The idea would have been repugnant to him (John 4: 22, Matthew 15:24, Matthew 23:1-4, etc). After three and a half years of public teaching, Yeshua was arrested for sedition against the occupying Roman rulers and put to death by them on a wooden stake (starous), not a cross.
Followers and elders of the Jewish Way Sect (Derech Yeshua, the Way of Yeshua) spread his teachings throughout the known world. The Way sect proliferated, mostly among non-Jews but with many born Jews as well.
Yeshua's brother, James, led a beit din as recorded in Acts 15, establishing a dual structure for the Way sect: Jewish followers would continue to practice Judaism harmonious with Yeshua's reforms, and non-Jews would observe the Planetary Seven Law Covenant finalized through Noah.
On February 27, 272 CE, Constantine was born in Naissus (today Niš, Serbia), part of the Dardania province of Moesia. He received his formal education at Diocletian's court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. His military career flourished, and he eventually became Rome's leader. To assist in this, he sought the aid of the Way Sect and became their leader. As evidence, circa October 28, 312, Constantine adopted the Greek letters Chi Rho as Yeshua's initials and monogram and claimed himself Yeshua's messenger to the world. Through Nicolaitain Roman philosophy (Revelation 2:6, 14–15), by 320 CE, Constantine had recreated the Way sect in his own image and renamed it Catholism (Universdalism. All other forms of worship were eventually outlawed. Bishop Arius (250 or 256 – 336) was the final leader of the struggling Way sect.
Empereror Constantine "the Great" died May 22, 337. By his death, the religion he founded ruled most of the known world until the coming of Muhammad Mustafa (Born: 17th Rabi' al-Awwal, Year of the Elephant/570 CE in Makkah, Hejaz region of the Arabian Peninsula, Died: 28th Safar, 11 AH/632 CE). Even then, the Catholic Church controlled much of the world. King Henry the Eighth (1509 - 1547) rebelled against the Roman Papacy and led the Anglican revolt. Martin Luther was the first Protestant (i.e., "Protestor") Reformer, sharing his demanded reforms publicly in 1517. Soon followed Andreas Karlstadt and Philip Melanchthon at Wittenberg, Germany, who promptly joined the new movement. In 1519, Huldrych Zwingli became the first Protestant to establish a form of the Reformed tradition.
Today, Nicene Christianity continues as a very diverse assortment of beliefs while holding to Constine's essential beliefs as recorded in the Nicene Creed.
In this section of AllFaith.com, we explore different aspects of Derech Yeshua. For information about Nicene Christianity, visit our Nicene Christianity section.
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל חשם אֱלֹהֵינוּ חשם אֶחָד
Sh'ma Yisra'el HaShem Eloheinu HaShem Eḥad
"Hear Y'israel, HaShem is God, HaShem is O.N.E." (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Various Way-Focused Studies
Go to: Jesus Sins, God does not (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Is Christianity and Judaism the Same (includes video and text versions)
Jesus, Gamaliel and Constantine (includes video and text versions)
Go to Who Called Who From The Womb? Isaiah 49 (includes video and text versions)
Go to: "The Root Bears You": A look at Romans 11 (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Isaiah 53: Who has believed our report? (includes video and text versions)
The Fourth Commandment: Honoring the Day of HaShem as a Non-Jew (Coming back asap)
Go to: Clarifying Tehillim (Psalms) Chapter 22: Is this about Jesus? (includes text and video)
Go to: Are Muhammad and Jesus Mentioned in the Tanach?: A look at Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs) 5:16 and Jonah 2:9, 10 (includes text and video versions)
Go to: Prophecy: Aliyah, Christians, and Jewish Israel (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Unto us a son... Understanding Isaiah 9:5,6 (includes video and text versions)
Go to:Did Jesus Really Live? Was Y'shua an historic person? (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Isaiah 7:14 in Context: Almah and the virgin birth (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Was Peter the First Pope? Biblical support?
Go to: The "Suffering Servant": Is Isaiah 52-54 about Jesus?
Go to: Divisions: Where did the denominations come from and what is the Way to God?
Go to: Christian Fundamentalism: Its Origins and Essentials
Go to: Was Peter the First Pope?
Go to: The Trinity and Deity of Jesus: Liar, Lunatic, Lord or Libeled
Go to: Should You Convert to Judaism?
Go to: HaShem is Echad (One) Not Three (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Two Messiahs? Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Understanding John 5:19-43 A look at the mystical side of Y'shua (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Did Jesus Believe He Was God? A look at every verse in the Four Gospels where he speaks of himself.
Go to: Zechariah 12.html Is this a prophecy about Jesus? No (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Micah 5 Is this a prophecy about Jesus? No (includes video and text versions)
Two Messiahs? Mashiach ben David and Mashiach ben Yosef:
"What Can Wash Away My Sin?" -- Problems with Christian Redemption Theology
- Part 1: Only One Ha-Mashiach (includes text and video versions)
- Part 2: Restoration of the Twelve Houses (includes text and video versions)
- Part 3: Avoiding the Inevitable (includes text and video versions)
Go to: Y'shua's Interesting Omission: He knew he would not fulfill the Messianic prophecies
Go to: The Nicolaitan Heresy: The foundation of all false religion.
What's Wrong With Christmas:
Part 1: The Mother of All Pagan HolidaysGo to: Yetzer Tov and Yetzer Hara: The Impulses of Free Will and the Christian Dogma of Original Sin
Part 2: The Birth of Y'shua ben Yosef
Part 3: The Real Reason for the Season
Part 4: The Dark Truth About Santa Claus
Part 5: A Christmas Song
Go to: Understanding Matthew 21:43 Did Jesus teach that HaShem had taken His blessings from Israel?
Go to: What's Wrong With Two-House Theology? This Replacement Theology exists in various forms and is always anti-Torah.
Go to: Torah verses the God-man Jesus This anti-Torah teaching makes meaningful Jewish-Christian dialogue impossible.
Go to: Whose Prayers Does God Answer? On the exclusionary belief that God only hears Christian prayers.
Go to: What The Messiah Must Accomplish: Did Jesus Meet the Qualifications? (includes video and text versions)
Go to: The Nicean Creed: The Anti-Torah Foundation of Christianity (includes video and text versions)
What Happens When We Die? Part One of Two (includes video and text versions)
What Happens When We Die? Part Two of Two (includes video and text versions)
Go to: Judaism and Christianity Contrasted (includes video and text versions)
Go to: The Nicolaitan Heresy
How Nicene Christianity replaced the Jewish Way Sect
Go to: Should Way Followers be Vegetarian?
What the Bible says about eating animals
Go to: What happens after we die?
Go to: Do We Need The Bible?
If so, which Version?
Go to: How To "Trap" God:
- The Prayer Yeshua Taught
Go to: Baptized by Water and by Fire
- Understanding the Baptism in the Spirit
Go to: Be Human First
- Spirituality requires us to stay "real"
Go to: "I have many things to tell you..."
Revelation Home Page
Contact John of AllFaith
* By John of AllFaith, © 1997, updated October 18, 2023
Be the Blessing you were created to be
Don't let the perfect defeat the good
index sitemap advanced search engine by freefind Also Search Our:
index sitemap advanced search engine by freefind
index sitemap advanced search engine by freefind