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Apostolic tradition - Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho (general)

posted by bibleprobe1(R), 04.11.2008
(edited by bibleprobe1 on 04.19.2008)


I resent you and others (like Seventh Day Adventists) who are blindly trying to lead Christians back into bondage to the Old Testament Laws which were given to the Jews, and made for the Jews. This includes Sabbath keeping. SDA makes a good living leading Christians back to bondage.

Look to "apostolic tradition". This is what was passed down to us from all the apostles through those early church fathers -- who walked and talked and were taught by the apostles. The early Church fathers also already "settled" disputes like this very one --during the period of the heresies/Gnostics, around 100 - 300 AD.

The longest surviving second-century work illustrating this Christian-Jewish discussion is Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho around 150 A.D. Trypho, a Jew, was puzzled that Christians "professing to be pious" did not "alter [their] mode of living from that of the Gentiles" or observe "festivals or sabbaths and do not have the rite of circumcision" required by the Law of Moses. Justin distinguished between the Old and the New Covenants. The Old Covenant given to Moses was valid for Jews, but the prophets predicted a "new law" and "eternal covenant" in Christ that is for all peoples. Reference: Christian History & Biography, Fall 2007, page 10

Irenaeus was born sometime between 130 and 140 AD in Smyrna. Irenaeus learned the key components of the Christian faith under Polycarp (a Bishop), who had been taught by the apostle John and others who had seen Christ. Irenaeus believed there was an unbroken line of tradition from the apostles, to those they mentored, and eventually down to himself and other Christian leaders.

This faith, according to Irenaeus, is found in the Scriptures and summarized in the Rule of Faith. The proof that this is the true faith is that the "Great Church" could point to a visible succession of teachers, presbyters, and bishops who taught the same things throughout the world: This is the teaching common to all apostles and the churches founded by them. The leaders of many of these churches had been taught by the apostles themselves, or disciples of the apostles, and they "neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about."
Reference: Christian History & Biography, Fall 2007, page 32

Also consider these statements about Linus, the Pope (Bishop of Rome) who directly followed Peter:

The passage by Irenaeus (Adv. haereses, III, iii, 3) reads:
"After the Holy Apostles (Peter and Paul) had founded and set the Church in order (in Rome) they gave over the exercise of the episcopal office to Linus. The same Linus is mentioned by St. Paul in his Epistle to Timothy. His successor was Anacletus."

Linus was also mentioned in II Timothy 4:21

Acts 20:7 states: And upon the first day of the week (Sunday), when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

The Didache, is also known as "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles". It is an ancient Christian text that was probably a catechism, used by the early Church.

And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. And let no man, having his dispute with his fellow, join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled; for this sacrifice it is that was spoken of by the Lord; Didache, paragraph 14 (probably written between 70-140 A.D.)

The Letter of Barnabas (of Alexandria)
"We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead" (Letter of Barnabas 15:68 [A.D. 74]).

Ignatius of Antioch
"[T]hose who were brought up in the ancient order of things [i.e. Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lords day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death" (Letter to the Magnesians 8 [A.D. 110]).

The Letter to the Colossians instructed its readers that Sabbath observance was not required (See Colossians 2:16-17). If one wants to do it let them make that decision to return to that "bondage".

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.


The Word of God makes it quite clear that Sabbath observance was a special sign between God and Israel: "And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine'" (Exodus 19:35).

We know that the Israelites did not keep Jehovah's Covenant. They erected alters to strange pagan gods in high places (mountains). They even allowed priestesses to preside when bowing down to these pagan gods (little 'g').

Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed (Exodus 31:1617). Note: It says; "the children of Israel).

In Deuteronomy 5, Moses restates the ten commandments to the next generation of Israelites. Here, after commanding Sabbath observance in verses 1214, Moses gives the reason the Sabbath was given to the nation Israel: "And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you (Israelites) to keep the Sabbath day" (Deuteronomy 5:15). (Note: Moses tells us, the Sabbath was given to the nation of Israel).

Notice the word therefore AND "you" (Israel). God's intent for giving the Sabbath to Israel was not that they would remember creation, but that they would remember their Egyptian slavery and the Lord's deliverance. Note the requirements for Sabbath-keeping: A person placed under that Sabbath law could not leave his home on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29), he could not build a fire (Exodus 35:3), and he could not cause anyone else to work (Deuteronomy 5:14). A person breaking the Sabbath law was to be put to death (Exodus 31:15; Numbers 15:3235).

Of note one of the strongest proofs for the 4 Gospels comes from Justin Martyr. Around 150 A.D. Justin called the 4 gospels "memoirs". He says that the church used these gospels regularly in their weekly service --indicating they had already achieved a de facto canonical status. This shows that even as early as 150 A.D. the orthodox Christians already had a great love for the 4 gospels of Jesus which they knew to be authentic.


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