Nazarene Space

THE IGNATIUS CONSPIRACY

By James Scott Trimm


Many people have been misled into believing that Conatantine was
responsible for the corruption and Gentilization of Christianity.
While Constantine certainly added to the apostasy of early
Christianity, he was not the first. It was in fact Ignatius of
Antioch who rebelled against the Jerusalem Council, usurped their
authority, seceded from Judaism, declared the Torah to have been
abolished, replaced the Seventh Day Sabbath with Sunday worship and
founded a new, non-Jewish religion which he named "Christianity".


PAUL'S WARNING ABOUT THE BISHOPS

Paul said to the Ephesians on his last visit to them:

Watch, therefore, over your nefeshot
and over the flock which the Ruach HaKodesh
has appointed you overseers [bishops]
that you feed the assembly of Messiah,
which he purchased by his blood.
I know that after I am gone
fierce wolves will enter in among you
without mercy upon the flock.
And also from among you there will rise up men speaking
perverse things, so that they might turn away the talmidim
to follow after them.
(Acts 20:28-30)

Paul seems to indicate that after his death leaders would begin to
rise up from the overseers [Bishops] in his stead that would draw
people to follow themselves and draw them away from Torah. In fact
Paul died in 66 C.E. and the first overseer (Bishop) of Antioch to
take office after his death was Ignatius in 98 C.E.. Ignatius
fulfilled Paul's words precisely. After taking the office of Bishop
over Antioch Ignatius sent out a series of epistles to other
assemblies. His letters to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallianns,
Romans, Philadelphians and Smyrnaeans as well as a personal letter
to Polycarp overseer of Smyrnaea have survived to us.


HEGESIPPUS RECOUNTS THE APOSTASY

The Ancient Nazarene Historian and commentator Hegesippus (c. 180
CE) writes of the time immediately following the death of Shim'on,
who succeeded Ya'akov HaTzadik as Nasi of the Nazarene Sanhedrin and
who died in 98 CE:

Up to that period (98 CE) the Assembly had remained like a virgin
pure and uncorrupted: for, if there were any persons who were
disposed to tamper with the wholesome rule of the proclaiming of
salvation, they still lurked in some dark place of concealment or
other. But, when the sacred band of Emissaries had in various ways
closed their lives, and that generation of men to whom it had been
vouchsafed to listen to the inspired Wisdom with their own ears had
passed away, then did the confederacy of godless error take its rise
through the treachery of false teachers, who, seeing that none of
the emissaries any longer survived, at length
attempted with bare and uplifted head to oppose the proclaiming of
the truth by proclaiming "knowledge falsely so called."
(Hegesippus the Nazarene; c. 185 CE; quoted by Eusebius in Eccl.
Hist. 3:32)

Hegisippus indicates the apostasy began the very same year that
Ignatious became bishop of Antioch!


IGNATIUS SECEDES FROM THE JERUSALEM COUNCIL

Up until the time of Ignatius, matters of dispute that arose at
Antioch were ultimately referred to the Jerusalem Council (as in
Acts 14:26-15:2). Ignatius usurped the authority of the Jerusalem
council, declaring himself as the local bishop as the ultimate
authority over the assembly of which he was bishop, and likewise
declaring the same as true of all other bishops and their local
assemblies. Ignatius writes:

…being subject to your bishop…
…run together according to the will of God.
Jesus… is sent by the will of the Father;
As the bishops… are by the will of Jesus Christ.
(Eph. 1:9, 11)

…your bishop…I think you happy who are so joined to him,
as the church is to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is to the Father…
Let us take heed therefore, that we not set ourselves
against the bishop, that we may be subject to God….
We ought to look upon the bishop, even as we would
upon the Lord himself.
(Eph. 2:1-4)

…obey your bishop…
(Mag. 1:7)

Your bishop presiding in the place of God…
…be you united to your bishop…
(Mag. 2:5, 7)

…he… that does anything without the bishop…
is not pure in his conscience…
(Tral. 2:5)

…Do nothing without the bishop.
(Phil. 2:14)

See that you all follow your bishop,
As Jesus Christ, the Father…
(Smy. 3:1)

By exalting the power of the office of bishop (overseer) and
demanding the absolute authority of the bishop over the assembly,
Ignatius was actually making a power grab by thus taking absolute
authority over the assembly at Antioch and encouraging other Gentile
overseers to follow suite.


IGNATIOUS DECLARES THE TORAH ABOLISHED

Moreover Ignatius drew men away from Torah and declared the Torah to
have been abolished, not only at Antioch but at other Gentile
assemblies to which he wrote:

Be not deceived with strange doctrines;
nor with old fables which are unprofitable.
For if we still continue to live according to the Jewish Law,
we do confess ourselves not to have received grace…
(Mag. 3:1)

But if any one shall preach the Jewish law unto you,
hearken not unto him…
(Phil. 2:6)


IGNATIOUS REPLACES THE SABBATH WITH SUNDAY WORSHIP

It is also Ignatius who first replaces the Seventh Day Sabbath with
Sunday worship, writing:

"...no longer observing sabbaths, but keeping the Lord's day
in which also our life is sprung up by him, and through
his death..."
(Magnesians 3:3)



IGNATIUS NAMES HIS NEW RELIGION

Having seceded from the authority of Jerusalem, declared the Torah
abolished and replacing the Sabbath with Sunday, Ignatius had created
a new religion. Ignatius coins a new term, never before used, for
this
new religion which he calls "Christianity" and which he makes clear
is new and distict religion from Judaism. He writes:

let us learn to live according to the rules of Christianity,
for whosoever is called by any other name
besides this, he is not of God….

It is absurd to name Jesus Christ, and to Judaize.
For the Christian religion did not embrace the Jewish.
But the Jewish the Christian…
(Mag. 3:8, 11)


CONCLUSION

By the end of the first century Ignatius of Antioch had fulfilled
Paul's warning. He seceded from Judaism and founded a new religion
which he called "Christianity". A religion which rejected the
Torah, and replaced the Seventh Day Sabbath with Sunday Worship.

James Scott Trimm
Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim
http://www.wnae.org


I truly want to thank each of you for the support that you give to us in order to present the truth of Torah and the goodnews of Messiah to this lost world. As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

I am not going to recount all the work this ministry is doing bringing the message of Torah and Messiah to the lost world, bringing milk to new believers and nice juicy steaks for mature believers.


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James Trimm

Views: 495

Comment by Sheldon on January 22, 2010 at 10:19pm
I have a question. If Ignatius started the Christian movement what about the two quotes in the NT that use the word?
Act 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
Sincerely and shalom,
Sheldon
Comment by James Trimm on January 22, 2010 at 11:11pm
I am not sure what you mean by "Christian movement" (the phrase does not appear in the NT). My statement was that Ignatius coined the word "Christianity" as the name of a new and different religion than Judaism.

The word "Christian(s)" appears three times in the New Testament. It was a derogatory term used by Gentiles to refer to Gentile believers in Yeshua as the Messiah.

Messianic Judaism or Nazarene Judaism: What’s in a Name?

You may be surprised to find out that the original Jewish followers of Yeshua were not
known as “Messianic Jews”. As Daniel Juster admits:

No form of Judaism or Christianity… has used the term
“Messianic Judaism” as its appropriate designation.
(Jewish Roots; 1986 edition, p. viii)

The original followers of Yeshua were a sect of Judaism known as “Nazarenes” (as we read in Acts 24:5 that Paul was a “ringleader of the teaching of the Nazarenes”).

Epiphanius writes of these Nazarenes:

But these... did not call themselves Christians--but "Nazarenes,"
-Epiphanius; Panarion 29

The term “Messianic Judaism” was invented in the late 60’s and it is a human invention.

David Stern writes in his book Messianic Jewish Manifesto:

According to Scripture the word “Christian” does not
denote Jewish believers in Yeshua at all. The New
Testament calls them followers of “this way” (Acts 9:2,
22:4) and “Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5)… the New Testament
does not call Jewish believers “Christians”. According
to New Testament usage the term “Christian” is reserved
for Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.

Acts 11:19-26 tells how in Antioch some Jewish believers…
did not limit their proclamation of Yeshua as the Messiah
to Jews, as had been the norm previously, but broke new
ground… Many of these Gentiles came to believe… the
other Gentiles in Antioch… coined the word christianoi
(Christians),… Thus the term “Christian” was invented
by Gentiles to describe Gentiles in a Gentile environment.
The New Testament tells us explicitly that “the disciples
were first called Christians in Antioch.” [Acts 11:26]
(Messianic Jewish Manifesto; David Stern; p. 32)

Now it is important here to note that David Stern himself in his Jewish New Testament
and Complete Jewish Bible, translates Acts 11:26 this way:

…it was at Antioch that the talmidim for the first time
were called “Messianic”. \
(Acts 11:26 JNT)

In his commentary to this passage (Acts 11:26) in his Jewish New Testament
Commentary Stern writes:

“Messianic,” or “Messianics,” Greek Christianoi, which
could be rendered… as in other translations, “Christians.”
…the name “Christianoi” was applied to Gentile believers
by Gentile nonbelievers. The name nonbelieving Jews gave
to Jewish believers was “Natzaratim”… (“Nazarenes”),…
Again in Messianic Jewish Manifesto Stern writes:
“Messianic” comes from the Hebrew mashiach, which means
“anointed.” “Christian” comes from Greek christos, which is
the [Greek] New Testament’s translation of mashiach and
means the same thing. …in the New Testament
the term “Christian,” which appears only three times,
apparently denotes being a Gentile believer in Yeshua,
so that scripturally “Jewish Christian” is a contradiction in terms.
(brackets added)
(Messianic Jewish Manifesto; David Stern; p. 20)


Now we can see from David Stern’s own words above:

1. The terms “Christian” and “Messianic” are alternate translations of the Greek word
“Christianoi” “and mean the same thing”.

2. The term “Christianoi” or “Christian” is used in the scriptures only to denote a gentile
believer in Yeshua, so that scripturally the term “Jewish Christian” is “a contradiction in
terms”.

Therefore we may conclude that the term “Messianic” is used in the scriptures only to
denote a gentile believer in Yeshua, so that scripturally the term “Messianic Jew” is a
contradiction in terms. The logic is inescapable… the term “Messianic Judaism” is
scripturally invalid, it is a human invention and a contradiction in terms.

So what were the original Jewish followers of Yeshua called if they were not Messianic
Jews? Stern admits:

The New Testament calls them followers of “this way”
(Acts 9:2, 22:4) and “Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5)
(Messianic Jewish Manifesto; David Stern; p. 32)

“Messianic,” or “Messianics,” Greek Christianoi, which
could be rendered… as in other translations, “Christians.”
…the name “Christianoi” was applied to Gentile believers
by Gentile nonbelievers. The name nonbelieving Jews gave
to Jewish believers was “Natzaratim”… (“Nazarenes”),…
(Jewish New Testament Commentary on Acts 11:26; David Stern)

In fact if we quote Stern, but substitute the word “Messianic” for “Christians” (since
Stern admits “they are the same”) we read:

According to Scripture the word “Messianic” does not
denote Jewish believers in Yeshua at all. The New
Testament calls them followers of “this way” (Acts 9:2,
22:4) and “Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5)… the New Testament
does not call Jewish believers “Messianic”. According
to New Testament usage the term “Messianic” is reserved
for Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.
(Messianic Manifesto by David Stern p. 32 modified)

So the biblical term for Jewish believers in Messiah is not “Messianic Jews” but
“Nazarene Jews”. We should be seeking a restoration of “Nazarene Judaism” not creating
“Messianic Judaism” which, being “Christian Judaism” (i.e. “Christianized Judaism”) is
a contradiction in terms.

SHOULD NAZARENES DENY BEING “MESSIANIC JEWS”?

Absolutely not! Although the term is scripturally inaccurate, we are Jews who believe in
Messiah. In fact any Jew who believes in the concept of “Messiah” (even if that
“Messiah” is not Yeshua) might reasonably be termed a “Messianic Jew”. So we need
not deny that we are “Messianic Jews” to those who ask.
Comment by Mikha El on January 23, 2010 at 4:48am
Seems to me it could also have been a derogatory term some unbelievers used to refer to the 1st Nazarenes. It's etymological origins point to this:

The Greeks used both the word Messias (a transliteration) and Christos (a translation) for the Hebrew Mashiach (Anointed). The word Christos was far more acceptable to the pagans who were worshiping Chreston and Chrestos.
According to The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, the word Christos was easily confused with the common Greek proper name Chrestos, meaning "good." According to a French theological dictionary, it is absolutely beyond doubt that Christus and Chrestus, and Christiani and Chrestiani were used indifferently by the profane and Christian authors of the first two centuries A.D. The word Christianos is a Latinism, being contributed neither by the Jews nor by the Christians themselves. The word was introduced from one of three origins: the Roman police, the Roman populace, or an unspecified pagan origin. Its infrequent use in the New Testament suggests a pagan origin.
According to Realencyclopaedie, the inscription Chrestos is to be seen on a Mithras relief in the Vatican. According to Christianity and Mythology, Osiris, the sun-deity of Egypt, was reverenced as Chrestos. In the Synagogue of the Marcionites on Mount Hermon, built in the third century A.D., the Messiah's title is spelled Chrestos. According to Tertullian and Lactantius, the common people usually called Christ Chrestos
Comment by Sheldon on January 23, 2010 at 11:51am
Thank you James for the detailed answer. I appreciate it very much.
Shalom,
Sheldon
Comment by Barz Ganya on January 23, 2010 at 4:58pm
Thought this was going to be about the Confederacy of Dunces....:P
Comment by DanHenrik on January 25, 2010 at 6:45am
Ignatius predecessor Origenes (follower of Shaul), was a gentile and had learned greek philosophy. According to Wikipedia, he tried to synthesize Hellenism to the new faith. So, apparently, there was an immediate development away from the jewish roots, parallell to the taking up of gentile believers in the assembly.
Comment by Brian Forbes on January 25, 2010 at 1:13pm
This is very insightful and interesting. I have one problem that I have with it, though.

The implications are that we ought to implicate all of Christianity and Ignatius because of one flaw. It is indeed true that the teaching that others should break one of the least of the commands ought to be corrected, but it is also true that those who teach that can still be in the Kingdom. (Mt. 5:19 And whoever shall abolish one of these least commandments, and shall teach the sons of men so: the same will be, called least, in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever shall keep one of these least commandments, and shall teach the sons of men so: the same will be, called greatest, in the Kingdom of Heaven.) I think we ought to be careful not to condemn all of a man for a piece of error.
Comment by James Trimm on January 28, 2010 at 12:31am
CHRISTIANISMOS "Christianity" (coined by Ignatius as the name of a new and different religion from Judaism).

CHRISTIANOS "Christian" (appears in the NT originally as a declaratory term for Gentile believers in Messiah, at the time id did NOT imply a new and different religion from Judaism).

You might notice that the CHRISTIANISMOS in Greek has the same ISM suffix ending as Greek IUDAISMOS (Judaism) (a suffix which also appears in English) in fact the Greek might literally be brought into English as "Christianism" but for whatever reason made it into English as "Christianity".
Comment by James Trimm on January 28, 2010 at 12:37am
Good info on this suffix in English and Greek:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-ism
Comment by James Trimm on January 28, 2010 at 12:39am

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