Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. —Will Rogers
If the term Jewish is difficult to define, the term Christian is even more fraught
with problems. One stumbling block is that early Christians considered themselves Jews, as acknowledged in the following:
“The Christians did not initially think of themselves as separate from the Jewish people, though Jesus had had severe things to say about Pharisees. (But then, so has the Talmud.)”
Initially, the Jews clashed over acceptance of Jesus Christ as a prophet. Subsequently, a steady flow of doctrinal evolution eroded a giant crevasse between the entrenched Jews and the new sect of ChristianJews. Yet both
groups considered themselves Jewish.
Notably, Jesus never identified himself as a Christian and never claimed to have
established Christianity on earth. In fact, while the word Christian is encountered three times in the Bible (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; Peter 4:16), none of these verses utilize the label Christian in a context which bears the authority of Jesus or of God.
Most significantly, there is no record of the word Christian ever issuing from the
lips of Jesus. We read in Acts 11:26 that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch”—which means the term Christian was first applied to the disciples by non believers around 43 CE.*
It was not a polite term. Contrary to popular belief, the term Christian appears to have been… Read more