Mystery Religions

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An excerpt from my blogpost a year ago…

When the Gentiles came into the church, they were not required to carry out all the rituals of Judaism; however, they were not at liberty to maintain practices adopted from pagan rituals, mystery religions, or Greco-Roman philosophy, and they were not at liberty to ignore the eternal principles of Judaism that were to be applied to their lives in new and living ways. In the earliest times, these Gentiles continued to observe this “Jesus-reformed” Judaism, God’s appointed system of praise, worship, and service in its New Testament order…

Earliest and greatest of these challenges against the church was Gnosticism, a form of which was championed in the early second century by Marcion, who taught that Jesus was the good God who had replaced and cast into hell Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, whom he recognized as the Demiurge of Greek philosophy. Marcion introduced the first canon of Scripture, a truncated and self-edited version that included parts of Luke and some of Paul’s letters. He declared that Jesus was not really a man, and he maintained that Jesus was most certainly not the Jewish Messiah predicted by the Hebrew prophets. While Marcion was branded a heretic and excommunicated from the church, the influence of his teachings has remained to this day, particularly his efforts at de-Judaizing the Scriptures and the church. — John Garr

Source: From “Our Lost Legacy: Christianity’s Hebrew Heritage” by John D. Garr