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I removed the line claiming that Christians wanted to separate themselves from Judaism to avoid Roman persecution of the Jews. This is untrue, and the source is one that is known to rewrite history for its own designs. In truth, Jews didn't have to serve in the army and were given a special reprieve from worshipping the Emperor. By Roman standards they were bending over backwards for Judaism. They even removed Pontius Pilate at Jewish request (after the story of Jesus). It was also against the law in the Roman Empire to add any new religions. What helped save Christianity in its formative years was that in the eyes of Romans it was simply a part of Judaism, and as such was treated as Judaism. Under Nero, of course, that changed. Learn together 13:19, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

The source being used looks for temporal reasons to ascribe religious change and plays rather losely with the facts. If there is an ancient Christian source that agrees, then fine. Absent that, it is secular conjecture and I am not aware of any church that takes that position (with the possible exception of Seventh Day Adventist). I am open to being shown otherwise, but we need more than someone's opinion piece. Learn together 18:36, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

Response/evidence/sources/reason for replacing the statement

You state as if a proven fact "This is untrue" - please show evidence for this claim. I can show evidence for the opposite (see below).

Source reliability

"the source is one that is known to rewrite history for its own designs" - This is completely at odds with independent reviews of this source which include comments such as:

  • "Not only covers many topics, but they do it with a level of professionalism and objectivity I find hard to match anywhere on the Internet. Their descriptions are clear, easy to understand, even for someone who knows little about the particular religion. Their essays also tackle the tough topics of religion. They approach these topics with an objective, fact-based attitude, annotating their essays with references to many books, articles, and Web Sites on the topic. They have brought honesty and integrity to the internet, something lacking in many Web sites claiming to represent the "truth" about a subject." (Tammy Todd,
  • "Offers fairly encyclopedic definitions on most of the world's religions, striving for an even-handed treatment of disputes between denominations. The site does an especially good job of delineating and explaining the differing views of Christians, including mainline Protestants, born-again and fundamentalist Christians, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and other sects of Christianity. It also features sound coverage of Neopagan traditions and a useful glossary of terms." (Joy of Sects by Peter Occhiogrosso)
  • "informative about many different religions, religion in the media, and controversial topics. Probably the best site of its kind, and well-worth your visit." (Nielsen's Links to Psychology and Religion Sites)
  • "provide[s] the opportunity for people of all religions to explore faiths other than their own, while promoting the belief that everyone should be able to follow their own religious practices freely, even though others may view them as false." (
  • "Superior Canadian nondenominational society whose stated mission is to promote the understanding and tolerance of minority religions; expose religious hatred and misinformation; and supply information on controversial religious topics to help you reach your own decisions. Includes well-informed profiles of a variety of religious traditions, as well as in-depth considerations of particularly controversial religious topics." (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

The site is known, however, for presenting some people with evidence that they don't like and wish to have suppressed, for whatever reason.

Further supporting material

  1. "By the end of the first century resentment and mistrust of Jews were so widespread in the aftermath of the Jewish revolt against Rome that the young Christian churches in the cities of the empire sought to distance themselves from their Jewish roots. This desire to dissociate explains why hostility toward Judaism and Jews came to be written into the gospels. They told the story of Jesus in such a way that it seemed as if his real enemies were not gentiles, or even the Romans who put him to death, but rather Jews — Pharisees, priests, and the Jewish people in general." (Jewish Virtual Library)
  2. A further source - "As hostility toward all things Jewish pervaded the empire [following the revolt]...Jewish Christians began emphasize their own difficulties with Jewish authorities. The idea that even Jesus himself had been a victim of the Jews began to be enhanced. The role played by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, in the death of Jesus began to be softened, his blame lessened or transferred to the Temple priesthood." (John Shelby Spong, "Liberating the Gospels")
  3. More - "After several years of fighting, the Romans defeated the Jews, and expelled them from Jerusalem (but allowed Christians who would renounce all Jewishness to enter the city), levelled the city and renamed it Aelia Capitalina. Judea was renamed Palestine after the Philistines, the ancient Israelite enemies. The AD 135 revolt was the final breaking point between the traditional Jews and the Messianics who had but one Messiah — Yeshua of Nazareth. .. Later on, as the Romans, continued their persecution of the Jews throughout the Roman Empire Christians found it expedient for self preservation purposes to distance themselves from the Jewish ties, similitude and any beliefs that appeared in any way to smack of Judaism, no matter whether the Jewish beliefs were biblically-based or not. Eventually, as Christianity grew in numbers of converts and influence within the Roman Empire it joined forces with the Romans and became the state religion in the early part of the fourth century. Sunday became the official day of worship and all Jewish observances (such as the Feast Days) and religious practices were banned and were replaced with paganized Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas. By this time, the Christian church had officially cut all ties with its Hebrew roots and had become a very different religious entity from that of the Book of Acts believers." (Ya'acov N'tan Lawrence How the Church Became Divorced from the Hebraic Roots)
  4. There's more - "another Jewish revolt resulted in Jews being uprooted from Judea entirely. As a result of their constant struggle to be free of Roman control and influence, the Jews were hated bitterly by Roman society at large. The emperor Hadrian prohibited, under the threat of death, any Jew from entering the area of Jerusalem. Moreover, he outlawed the Jewish faith and particularly the observance of Sabbath. It was in this environment that Christianity was born. When Constantine decreed in the fourth century that Christianity was to be the state religion of Rome, a blow was struck to Christian heritage. The historical record proves that Constantine's motive was purely political and not spiritual. Due to its extensive influence throughout the empire, Christianity was chosen by Constantine as the method by which he could unite the empire and solidify his power. Furthermore, Christian standards and doctrines were relaxed to accommodate those pagans in the empire unwilling to abandon certain heathen practices. As a result, paganism and Christianity embraced and the Hebraic, Torah-based heritage of the Church went into hibernation. Many Christians distanced themselves from anything that seemed Jewish. Furthermore, the Church now sponsored by Rome, became the instrument of Roman retaliation against the Jews. It was the Roman Church that continued the religious war on Jews and Jewish practices. One of the main battlefields in this war was the Sabbath issue." (Bill Coloud "Torah Teachings: Sabbath: Saturday or Sunday?" Beit Tehila)
  5. More- "The status of Jews throughout the empire plummeted. They were faced with the physical destruction of their religious center and the shame of apparent divine abandonment. The Romans imposed a permanent tax on them, to be devoted to the upkeep of a pagan temple. Other communities, realizing that the Jews were out of favor with the authorities, harried them violently. ... From the start the Christians sought to distance themselves from Jews. Once they attained power, the destruction of the Temple was reinterpreted as the Jews' punishment for killing Jesus. Early Christian accounts describing Jews and Judaism have a mean, vicious quality that is almost entirely lacking from earlier Roman accounts. The political reasons Rome had for making an example of the Jews were replaced by darker, deeper motives." ("Rome & Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations" - Marin Goodman's book discussed in Rome & Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations The Jerusalem Post))
  6. There are many many more but I think that I have provided sufficient to demonstrate the proof. Final one - "After the Romans put down the Jewish revolt so totally it became necessary for the Gentile Christians to distance themselves from the Jew’s." (Jewish Christianity)

Taking issue with removal

  • This all seems to indicate that instead you are actually imposing your individual opinion to override history and to gloss over any uncomfortable truths. We both know you are an educated and scholarly man, and so I also cannot help but feel there is a little bit of playing fast and loose in your request for evidence from "ancient Christian sources"! As if the early Christian church would admit that the main reason for their split from Judaism was purely political to appease their Roman masters!?
  • Blanket removal of the section without prior discussion or even a {{fact}} tag being added was a little harsh, as I'm sure you are aware that I research my writing here thoroughly.

10px שועל (talk|contribs) 12:14, 26 July 2008 (EDT)


I would never question your dedication Fox and your desire and ability to find sources; I certainly enjoyed being on your team during the contests. But it doesn't change what religioustolerance is. I am sure you could also find many sites praising the New York Times for its excellence as well. Your other sources are a Jewish view of Christianity, making statements that match a Jewish view - but without documentation, which is what I would expect because to the best of my knowledge such ancient documentation does not exist. And while we respect all viewpoints, don't you think it's a bit unfair to state what Christians did from a modern Jewish point of view when Christians themselves do not claim the same? In other words we are stating as fact something which has no ancient support (to the best of my knowledge) and is only conjectured from an outside group.

Christianity was illegal and a death sentence in the Roman Empire; one that was carried out many times. The idea that this was somehow preferrable to being considered Jewish is not a position that I think you will find much support for. Learn together 12:31, 28 July 2008 (EDT)

On the contrary, many ancient texts are quite clear that the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, while excecuted with particular gusto and viciousness, particularly during the reign of Nero, was not a constant thread running throughout the history of the Roman Empire, nor was it carried out, for a relatively speaking, sustained period. In fact, as Christianity was adopted as the state religion, and given the vitriol of the Christian authorities and Constantine - both well documented - it is apparent that being considered Christian rather than Jewish was preferrable. 10px שועל (talk|contribs) 12:58, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Fox is quite correct here. While Christianity was hardly well regarded in the Roman Empire, outright persecutions such as under Nero were the exception, not the rule, and those that did occur were mostly on a regional scale. Large-scale empire-spanning persecutions only became normal during the reign of Diocletian in the late 3rd century. --AKjeldsen 13:03, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Yes and no. Martys were made from Nero until Christianity was legalized in the 300s. It was more than Diocletian and Nero. Even Marcus Aurelius, considered one of the more enlightened Emperors, persecuted Christians. The large underground churches weren't built because everything was fine up above. Learn together 17:28, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Once again you making an uninformed decision based on your opinion and removing a historical observation backed by many references. All you keep putting here is your opinion, flying in the face of accepted historical record. See also Wylen, Stephen M. The Jews in the Time of Jesus: An Introduction (Paulist Press; 1995) ISBN 0809136104; Hunt, Emily Jane Christianity in the Second Century: The Case of Tatian (Routledge; 2003) ISBN 0415304059. You ignore that Eusebius records that the Jews were forced to pay the Fiscus Iudaicus, and that Christians began to petition the Emperor to distinguish them as "Christians" for taxation purposes: as the tax only applied to practising Jews, if they could be recognised as a separate religion, they would escape the impost. Domitian further extended the tax to apply to all those who "lived like Jews" - eg the early Christians who observed the Sabbath and other Biblically commanded "Jewish" practices. The emperor Nerva evntually declared that Christians were freed from paying the tax, and coins bearing the head of Nerva are inscribed fisci Iudaici calumnia sublata ("The blackmail of the Jewish tax has been lifted"). Eusebius also records that Vespasian had given orders that "the lineage of David" should be wiped out, and being considered a Jew during this period of persecution would have been extremely dangerous.
You are riding roughshod over history. You are rejecting references on the grounds that they are "Jewish" and yet can provide nothing which counters them. Why? Is there something intrinsically "dishonest" about a Jewish reference..? 10px שועל (talk|contribs) 14:03, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
You should know better Fox. Opinion without reference made towards a different group will not be viewed as fact on Conservapedia. The sources you had shown didn't give a single work from the time period to verify their claims. Please don't deflect from that basic truth. I realize this is a sensitive subject for you, but you're getting yourself worked up in areas where it is unnecessary and inappropriate. As always I applaud you for your hard work in digging up information, and in fact I would like to know your sources above so I can read more -- especially the information from Eusebius and the information on Nerva; I already assume that with the Jews in open rebellion against the Empire that Vespasian would not view them kindly. (You can post here or email me if you wish). Learn together 17:28, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
I have instead opted for a "politically correct" edit. 10px שועל (talk|contribs) 17:42, 28 July 2008 (EDT)