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Jewish Groups in the New Testament

/ 11th December, 2015

Many people used to think of first-century Judaism as a monolithic block, a solidly unified religion, from which Christianity split off as a new religion.  In contrast, we now know that there were many different sub-groups within ancient Judaism, and that the early “Jesus Movement” was just one of many different Jewish groups.  Moreover, the separation of Christianity from Judaism was not sudden, but happened gradually over several generations.

Judaism at the time of Jesus was both unified and divided, much like Christianity is today.  All Jews believed and practiced some core aspects of their religion (Monotheism, the Law of Moses, Circumcision, etc. –)  but different Jewish groups debated and disagreed with each other about many details (expectations of the Messiah, ritual and purity laws, how to live under foreign domination, etc.)

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