Well Dr. Moseley stunned me on page one of Chapter One! I’m sharing this in this article because you can read Chapter 1 on Amazon, so I’m not giving away secrets from the book 🙂
Eusebius documents the first “bishops” of the Church in Jerusalem and shares that the first FIFTEEN were Hebrew, believing Jews!! Can you believe it? Further, did you know that in AD 117 Jerusalem was seized (and renamed) and Jews were BANNED from entering Jerusalem for one hundred years? Think that might have prevented them from being the next group of bishops of the Church? So only after the believing Jews were no longer even in the city did Gentiles take that role. The exciled believing Jews that were “led by James and Simeon were still clinging tightly to the Judaic traditions while crouched at Pella.” (Baring Gould, Lost and Hostile History. “Schonfield’s History” 1936 page 35.
Chapter V.—The Bishops of Jerusalem from the Age of our Saviour to the Period under Consideration
1. The chronology of the bishops of Jerusalem I have nowhere found preserved in writing;994 for tradition says that they were all short lived.
2. But I have learned this much from writings,995 that until the siege of the Jews, which took place under Adrian,996 there were fifteen bishops in succession there,997 all of whom are said to have been of Hebrew descent, and to have received the knowledge of Christ in purity, so that they were approved by those who were able to judge of such matters, and were deemed worthy of the episcopate. For their whole church consisted then of believing Hebrews who continued from the days of the apostles until the siege which took place at this time; in which siege the Jews, having again rebelled against the Romans, were conquered after severe battles.
3. But since the bishops of the circumcision ceased at this time, it is proper to give here a list of their names from the beginning. The first, then, was James, the so-called brother of the Lord;998 the second, Symeon;999 the third, Justus;1000 the fourth, Zacchæus;1001 the fifth, Tobias; the sixth, Benjamin; the seventh, John; the eighth, Matthias; the ninth, Philip; the tenth, Seneca;1002 the eleventh, Justus; the twelfth, Levi; the thirteenth, Ephres;1003 the fourteenth, Joseph;1004 and finally, the fifteenth, Judas.
4. These are the bishops of Jerusalem that lived between the age of the apostles and the time referred to, all of them belonging to the circumcision.
5. In the twelfth year of the reign of Adrian, Xystus, having completed the tenth year of
his episcopate,1005 was succeeded by Telesphorus,1006 the seventh in succession from the apostles. In the meantime, after the lapse of a year and some months, Eumenes,1007 the sixth in order, succeeded to the leadership of the Alexandrian church, his predecessor having held office eleven years.1008
So, the first century Church is still absolutely a sect of Judaism, just as Paul said it was in Acts.
Act 28:17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
Act 28:18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
Act 28:19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
Act 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
Act 28:21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.
Act 28:22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
Act 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
There is just absolutely no doubt that Paul was Jewish and a Pharisee and a believer in Yeshua. THIS is exactly what convinced me that somehow the Church had lost its way … WAY back then to divorce its “Jewishness”. If “Messianic” Judaism was good enough for Yeshua and the Apostles… it’s good enough for me (it was not called Messianic back then, of course). I have been walking the path of Messianic Judaism now for almost six years and have never looked back. Scripture finally makes sense. If you think anything in the New Testament contradicts anything in the Old Testament then you are calling God a liar, because He said He doesn’t change His mind… Yeshua said throughout His ministry that He came to do His Father’s will… The Bible was divided by a man… not by God. Even the titles of the Books, the Chapters, the verses… ALL of that was added by man. The only Scriptures the apostles had to teach and preach about Yeshua was the “Old Testament”.
Reading through Yeshua, there is a lot of information to digest… some information I knew some I didn’t know. The parts I didn’t know, I will not take Dr. Moseley’s word for it. Even the historical aspect, I am confirming as I go. The information about Eusebius at the beginning of this article is an example of me confirming what Dr. Moseley said… I had to research it to be sure it was accurate.
Note… I didn’t discuss every aspect of Chapter one. I have the entire chapter highlighted in my book, so I just picked out the pieces that I identified with and was either shocked by or so identified with that I wanted to share it with you! I encourage you to read the Scriptures for yourself… We are told to be Bereans and study the Word and test everything you hear and read.
Next time I’ll cover Chapter Two… until next time, Shalom!
Part one to this series is here.