Judeo-Christianity is a collection of different unorthodox religious denominations that originated among Christian Jews at the junction of the first and second centuries.
In Judeo-Christianity, there are several modern movements, which we will discuss in this article.
The Sacred Name Movement (SNM) is considered a Christian movement originating in the Church of God (Seventh Day). Clarence Orvil Dodd was an active promoter of the movement in the 1930s. He sought to return Christian practice, faith, and worship to Jewish roots.
Followers of the SNM worship the god Yahweh, and Jesus is called Yeshua, Yehoshua or Yahshua. Believers observe the Sabbath (abstainance from work on this day). They also observe Torah holidays and Kashrut (special requirements for food).
The Sacred Name Movement appeared at the beginning of the 20th century through the transformation of the movement of the Church of God (Seventh Day). It was influenced by the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Joseph Franklin Rutherford.
The Yahweh Assembly was the first organisation within the Sacred Name Movement. It was formed in the 1930s in Holt, Michigan. In the Yahweh Assembly, followers observe the Sabbath, all sacred holidays, and worship the Torah. They revere Yahweh’s son Yahshua, and they believe that his life, death, burial and resurrection give them salvation.
This is a movement advocating a return to observance of the Torah.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Messianic Judaism (partially), the Sacred Name Movement, the World Church of God, and later the Jewish Roots Movement have been religious organisations preaching keeping faith in Jesus, living according to the Torah and observing Shabbat and sacred holidays. The World Church of God has had the greater impact of all these organisations. After the death of its founder Herbert Armstrong in 1986, the World Church of God adapted its doctrine and teachings to embrace evangelical Christianity. As a result, many groups broke away from it. They used the term “Church of God” in their names and remained faithful to the Armstrong doctrine.
The Jewish Roots Movement did not adhere to the Church of God, Messianic Judaism, or the Sacred Name Movement. It began to operate actively in the mid-1990s and some followers changed the word “movement” in the title to “awakening”. In recent years, the group has been developing dynamically.
The main principles of the movement can be formulated as follows:
The Yehowist-Ilyinites (Sect of the Right-hand Brotherhood) is a Russian religious movement of a chiliastic and dualistic nature, founded in the 1840s by retired military officer Nikolai Sazontovich Ilyin. Having appeared among Judeo-Christianity, it does not recognise a connection with either modern Judaism or Christianity.
Its followers call themselves Yehowists.
The movement of Yehowists was founded in 1847 by Nikolai Ilyin, after he retired from the military and moved to the village of Barachinsky, Perm Governorate. There he got a job at a metallurgical plant as an inspector. Religious issues worried Ilyin, so he became concerned with combining the Judaism and Christian movements.
Over time, Ilyin withdrew from Orthodoxy. In 1850, he published his religious and philosophical work The Message of Zion, in which the basic principles of his doctrine were described. Ilyin warned of the battle between God and Satan and that people would be divided into those who would be on the right (in Church Slavonic odesnaya) and the left hand (oshuyuya) of the divine throne. Therefore, the adherents of the Yehowists for some time called themselves the Desnoye Brotherhood, that is, standing on the right (odesnaya) hand of God.
The authorities noticed the emergence of a new religion, which was considered heresy, and began to check up on it. Ilyin and some of his supporters were accused of “seducing souls of Orthodoxy.” The leader of the movement was exiled to the Solovetsky Monastery for “spiritual correction”. Ilyin stayed there from 1859 to 1873. From 1873 to 1879, he was confined to the Monastery of Saint Euthymius in Suzdal. Ilyin’s relatives and friends made great efforts to get him released, so he was sent under strict supervision to settle first in Polangen, and then in Mitava. Ilyin, against all odds, refused to abandon his religious principles, so the authorities tried to keep him away from Orthodox believers.
Currently the modern Yehowist -Ilyinites live in Central Asia and near the border of Kazakhstan and Russia. The customs service detains the propaganda literature of this movement. The Kazakh press at times writes that Yehowist-Ilyinites lead an antisocial lifestyle. They actively use the Internet for their propaganda.
Since the activities of the organisation are officially closed, the exact number of followers of the religion is unknown. Their way of life is also hidden from prying eyes.
The modern teaching of this group is particularly focused on the theme of the millennial kingdom, the bodily immortality of man, and the coming decisive battle between Yehowa and Satan. Yehowists believe that outside of our planet and galaxy there are other Gods, but they are unconcerned about the fate of people, so we do not need to honour them.
The group rejects the existence of immaterial entities, including souls and spirits. Both Gods and men exist exclusively in bodily form. In this regard, Yehowa is often called the Human God.
Yehowa and Satan are in an eternal struggle with each other. Yehowists, supporting God, count on eternal life in bodily form. Ilyin calls the decisive battle Armageddon. After his victory, Yehowa will establish the thousand-year-old Jerusalem Republic. People will thrive, but a thousand years will pass, and Satan will break free, and the battle will be repeated, during which he and his followers will be destroyed. Then Yehowa will completely change the Earth.
The worship of this group is hidden from outsiders. It is known however, that it consists of prayers, singing, reading scriptures and burning incense. The service is held from Friday evening or Saturday. Yehowists observe the Sabbath, but not as strictly as the Jews. Yehowists do not recognise Christmas, Easter and other Christian holidays, but they celebrate the New Year, birthdays and other secular and personal holidays.
Food prohibitions coincide with Jewish ones.
Yehowist-Ilyinites do not serve in the army and do not participate in combat operations. They condemn evil, lies, injustice, theft, alcohol, smoking and other vices.
This is a new Japanese religious movement that focuses on Judaism. It was founded in 1948 by businessman Ikuro Teshima, who changed his name to Abraham. He adhered to Protestantism but supplemented the Gospel teaching with the ideas of Rabbis A. Cook, M. Buber and A. Heschel. Followers of Makuya go to Israel for an annual visit (Jerusalem).
Branches of the movement are located in the United States, Brazil and Israel.
This is a religious movement of non-Jews and Jewish Christians. Its followers consider Yeshua (Jesus Christ) to be the Son of God and the Savior of all people. His appearance was predicted by the prophets. The Bible is the only scripture.
The New Testament states that after Yeshua’s baptism, thousands of Jews followed him. The people were prepared for this by John the Baptist. The first Apostles came from the society of Judeo-Christians and they spread the teachings among other nations. At the end of the Apostolic Age, in connection with religious persecution in the Roman Empire and the formation of Judaism, Judeo-Christianity fell into decay. However, there were Jewish communities who revered Yeshua but did not join Christianity.
Messianic Judaism began to grow stronger.
The main principles of Messianic Judaism are described in the work of David Stern. They can be formulated as follows:
Some Messianic Jewish communities read the Old and New Testaments throughout the year, while others, as they did in the first century AD, make a three-year cycle of Torah reading.
Messianic Jews observe the Sabbath, celebrate Easter, Pentecost, Jewish New Year, and other traditional holidays.
To become a member of the community, you need to repent and be baptised. Jews are those who have at least one Jewish parent.
In some communities, children are sometimes circumcised.
These are communities and sects of African Americans in the United States, who, one way or another, observe Judaism and consider themselves Jews.
Before the Civil War of 1861-1865, African Americans who were adherents of Judaism met in the South. Usually they were slaves of Jewish planters. In the West Indies, Sephardim (sub-ethnic Jews) married African-Americans. In the early 1960s, there was a small community of black Jews in the Virgin Islands.
Judeo-Christianity itself left behind almost no cultural monuments, documents, or writings, but it became the basis for the modern movements we’ve covered, which are actively functioning at the present time.