Originally Posted by Jokerama
Ok bare with me here. I'm Jewish and Ive always been told 2 things:
If you're mother is Jewish, you are Jewish
Once a Jew, always a Jew
ok here comes my question. During Jesus's time and after, weren't his followers Jews who became Christians? So wouldn't their descendents till this day be Jewish?
Im very confused!
This is actually a great question about Christianity--not really about Judaism, so much. The early Christians considered themselves Jews. At several key points, they began to dissociate themselves from Jews and to consider Christianity a separate religion. For example, when Paul negated the need for conversion (primarily the need for circumcision) among converts to Christianity, and further, the need for following divine commandments (mitzvot) among the new Christian sect.
The pattern of the two groups separating continued with some other decisions, especially the Council of Nicea
that allowed Christians to set the date of Easter independently of Passover.
If they had never separated as religions, then certainly the early Christians would have passed on their identity as Jews. But since they did separate, they aren't.
I think Christianity does have a special status in Jewish thought among the many religions-that-are-not-Judaism, because of this early history of competition for converts and for the right to be the inheritors of Second Temple Judaism.
Originally Posted by ~~Mama2B~~
A Jew who believes that Rabbi Schnerson is the messiah is a Jew.
Ah, but if such a messianist began to insist that Jews who did NOT believe that the rebbe was the messiah were now shut out of the covenant--then it would be really different, huh? i think in some ways this speaks to learning the historical lesson of the separation of Christianity!