Judaizing Christians

Judaizing Christians a term frequently employed to designate a class of early Christians, of whom traces appear in the N.T. epistles, and still more distinctly in the succeeding century. They are believed to have been converts from Judaism, who still clung to the Mosaic institutions, particularly circumcision. They appear to have been of two classes, some considering the ceremonial law as binding only upon Christians descended from the Jews, while others looked upon it as obligatory also for the heathen. The headquarters of the Judaizing Christians is said to have been first at Antioch. The council held at Jerusalem decided that the heathen should not be subject to circumcision. The more zealous Judaizing Christians, thus opposed by the apostles, abandoned Palestine, and went about trying to convert the heathen to their views, but with little success. They were probably the "false apostles," persons "brought in unawares," etc., so often mentioned by Paul, and are known in history, the more moderate as NAZARENES SEE NAZARENES (q.v.), the others as EBIONITES SEE EBIONITES

(q.v.). See D. van Heyst, De Jud. Christianismo (1828). — Pieter, Universal Lexikon, 9, 159.

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