Part 1: From History
Early Church Fathers
: "They themselves continued in the ancient observances: the Apostles scrupulously acted in accord with the dispensation of Mosaic law.
" Against Heresies III:12:15
The church leader Jerome (4th century) described the
as "those who accept Messiah in such a way that they do not cease to observe the old law
." (on Is. 8:14)
The next quote is presented in two forms. The first is a list, so that each point can be considered. Then, second, as a paragraph which is how it appears in the original Greek.
The Epiphanius quote
- Now consider "heretics" called
- They are mainly completed Jews and nothing else
- They are approved of by the [orthodox] Jews
- They do not differ in anything from the [orthodox] Jews except...
- They profess all the dogmas pertaining to the prescriptions of the Law and to the customs of the Jews
- Except they believe in Messiah
- They differ from the Jews because they believe in Messiah
- They differ from Christians in that they are to this day bound to the Jewish rites, such as circumcision, the Sabbath, and other ceremonies
- They have the Good News according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew
- They still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written
"We shall now especially consider heretics who... call themselves Netzarim
They are mainly completed Jews and nothing else. They are approved of by the [orthodox] Jews, from whom the Netzarim do not differ in anything
, and they profess all the dogmas pertaining to the prescriptions of the Law and to the customs of the Jews
, except they believe in [Messiah].
They differ from the Jews because they believe in Messiah, and from the Christians in that they are to this day
century) bound to the Jewish rites, such as circumcision, the Sabbath, and other ceremonies. They have the Good News according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written."
From the Jewish Side
To expose and isolate dangerous elements within the Jewish camp, R. Samuel ha-Katan then enlarged and adapted the existing petition, directing it against Nazarenes (Judeo-Christians).
Though tolerated as a minor sect prior to the rebellion against Rome (68-70 CE), the Judeo-Christians had interpreted those calamitous events as Divine retribution, thereby antagonizing even the most liberal rabbinic opinion. Encyclopedia of Judaism: Birkat Ha-Minim
This happened some time after 85 CE and what is interesting to note here is that Netzarim so resembled the non-believing Jews that this had to be created so that they could identify those who they wanted to banish.
In its revised form, the Birkat ha-Minim was a malediction which no sectarians (Minim) could recite aloud in the synagogue and to which they could not possibly respond amen. It thus effectively barred them from public worship and severed their ties with the Jewish people. This would be impossible if they were not continuing to keep the Torah.
Read more here
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations... teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20
James was the head of the church and Yeshua appeared to him according to Paul after his resurrection. If the law was done away with, Yeshua would have known and told James. If sacrifices were not to be performed anymore, he would have told James that too.