Old Christian Play Book is Jewish!
The historic Apostolic Constitutions is a fourth century collection of instructions for the followers of Yeshua. The eight books of the Constitutions deal with behavior among believers and other aspects of ecclesiastical life. For instance, it addresses how to handle disagreements among believers, how to enforce congregational discipline, and how to properly treat widows and orphans.
Through its centuries-old pages, the manual upholds the Torah! It clearly states that Yeshua did not abrogate the Law of Moses, since the Law and the Prophets are both holy and good. It also states that the Law of Moses and the Gospel of Yeshua are complementary – not contradictory. Scholars even recognize that the prayers contained in the Constitutions are based upon the Siddur, the Jewish liturgical prayerbook.
The opening sentence of one of its prayers includes the phrase, “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who is merciful and compassionate…” (Apostolic Constitutions, Book VII, 33). The prayer closes by declaring, “Defender of the offspring of Abraham, blessed are you forever!” The reference to the three Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to the offspring of Abraham, creates a perfect parallel between this “Christian” prayer and the very Jewish Shemoni Esrei in the Siddur.
The Shemoni Esrei, known as the Amidah prayer, is prayed every day among religious Jewish people. The Amidah’s opening berakhah or blessing addresses the Almighty as the “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob,” and goes it on to speak of His beneficial kindnesses.
Early Christian leaders understood the beauty of the Hebrew Bible and Hebrew prayer. Shouldn’t we embrace this Hebrew connection?
Published July 20, 2017