Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Diaspora Judaism (AD 1)

In 1451 BC, Joshua led the twelve tribes of Israel into the Promised Land. There they remained until 721 BC, when Yahweh allowed the ten northern tribes to be dragged into exile and oblivion for their faithless devotion to the Olympian gods. Then, in 588 BC, Yahweh allowed Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to exile even the two remaining tribes. While Yahweh later enabled a remnant to return to Jerusalem, from 588 BC until now most descendants of these tribes have lived outside of Jerusalem and its surrounding land.

Diaspora Judaism is the Judaism found outside of Jerusalem and its surrounding land. Diaspora is a Greek word meaning "dispersion" or "scattering."

At the birth of Jesus, Jews of the Diaspora lived in all the major cities under the authority of Rome. Beginning with the persecution of the first church in Jerusalem (AD 33), Christian Jews experienced a scattering of their own to all parts of the Roman world. Like the apostle Paul, they would take the Good News of Jesus Christ with them to synagogues wherever they traveled.

Around 250 BC, in Alexandra, Egypt, Greek-speaking Jews of the Diaspora had their normative writings translated from Hebrew into Koiné Greek: the common language spoken in eastern Olympia at that time. This translation became known as the Septuagint. After AD 33, when Christian Jews preached the Gospel to others, they most frequently quoted the Septuagint.

As time went by, Christian Jews increasingly shared the Gospel with Gentiles: people who were not Jews. Eventually, the Greek Septuagint became scripture for Christians while a Hebrew text became scripture for all Jews regardless of their first language.