Latin is not a biblical language, yet it became the language of the new 'faith'
This week we are going to continue with what was going on in the Book of Acts and how to interpret the difficult sayings of Paul. Hopefully this insight will help answer your original question why things were happening as they were in the Book of Acts.
The relationship between Jews and Romans were strained at best in the first century. Israel was being oppressed and the people conquered.
However, the Jews were allowed to practice their religion freely within the empire due to an edict by Julius Caesar that said that the religion of the Jews predated Rome so therefore they were allowed to practice their religion.
But as time went on this freedom was resented by not only the Romans but other conquered peoples.
They said "Why should they be allowed to have this freedom and not us" and the Romans themselves didn’t like the monotheistic ways and practices of the Jews. They had peculiar food laws and Sabbaths and they just didn’t understand their ways, which led to criticism. Paul wrote the Book of Romans with these differences in mind.
The congregations in Rome had some of the above issues as major pproblems. Those congregations were made up of unbelieving Jews, believing Jews and believing Gentiles. The Jews there were looked at by the Gentile Romans with some disgust and animosity developed between the two groups.
The believing Romans didn’t understand much about the Torah and they had built-in prejudices when they became believers and this contention was coming out and Paul was dealing with them on how to get along with the Jewish members of the congregations there.
Well, magnify these problems in an entire nation and you can see why there were so many problems. It became a national issue over the very survival of the nation. You had so many "sects" or denominations at the time and some were very zealous against Rome and some didn’t want to upset the status quo.
Well, in 66 A.D. there was a Jewish revolt against Rome and the results were devastating. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed, along with the Temple, the people were scattered and the center of worship was no more. A few years later another Jewish revolt happened in 116 A.D. and then again another revolt in 135 A.D.
As a result Jews were claimed as enemies of the state, along with their religion and practices. To participate in anything that seemed "Jewish" was seen as "unpatriotic" and as more Gentiles came into the faith, their ways and practices took over and the Jewish voice silenced.
The Roman government did not want anything to do with anything that appeared to be Jewish.
So, the epistles of Paul will be used against the Jews and interpreted through Gentile eyes schooled in the paganistic thought of the time. Do a backround on the "church fathers" and you will see where they were coming from. As a result, confusion erupts in Gentile Christianity.
Heresies and splinter groups emerge because the people aren’t studying the Torah concepts as given by the Lord. They devise new festivals and comprimise is "ok." Latin is not a biblical language and it cannot define or translate the minute concepts found in Hebrew, and yet it became the language of this new "faith."
Until 312 A.D. Gentile Christianity was outlawed and persecutions existed. But, strangely enough, Gentile Christianity was hunting down heretics and killing them at the same time, which meant they were hunting Nazarenes, Ebionites or anyone who was Torah observant.
Then Constantine became emperor and forces everyone his way. He was an opportunist who merged Mithraism, Gentile Christianity, Bacchanalia, Roman idolatry, Saturnalia and various other religions together to solidify his empire around one religious faith because the empire was fractured.
Up to this time there were many groups not knowing anything and arguing about everything but with Constantine there was a voice. If you agreed with him and his "creeds" you were in the church and if not you were a heretic.The "church" became true Israel, the Jewish faith was now obselete.
The Nazarenes were confusing the issue because were Torah observant and believed in Yeshua. This went against the foundational teachings of Gentile Christianity. All of this is documented and can be found in encyclopedias, church histories and in the writings of the church fathers themsleves.
You became a church father because Constantine and the Council of Nicea liked whhat you had to say because it agreed with them. And they were called "church fathers’ because they were the founders of a new "church" otherwise they would not be called "fathers."
From the first century to 312 A.D. you have what is called the "Great Apologetic Movement" that put down Jews and their beliefs left and right. A very famous one is between Justin Martyr and Trypho, who is Rabbi Tarphon. By 325 A.D. and after, Constantine and Gentile Christianity become the state religion. With that as a backround, next week we will pick with the Apostle Paul and how to interpret his writings with a correct biblical perspective.