Did Jesus call the Jews to abandon Judaism?

by Joel Moreira, nds

Reading an article of Ronald J. Allen about pericopes of Acts of Apostles, I have found some interesting comments regarding the relationship of Jesus’ teaching and the Jewish people and I supposed this excerpt was worth taking a look:

‘Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. ‘(Acts 2:38)

When Peter invites a Jewish audience to repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, the call is not to abandon Judaism, but to become a part of the community of witness to the reign of God. Repentance in Judaism is not turning from one religion to another, but is turning from betraying God to serving God.

There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Salvation refers to participating in the universal restoration. Christians frequently take Acts 4:12 to mean that Jewish people must leave Judaism and become Christian in order to be saved. However, this passage can be interpreted as a statement of the instrument by which the reign of God is becoming manifest: Jesus Christ. If so, the passage does not inherently deny salvation to persons who are not Christian. The Acts identifies Jesus Christ as means whereby the God of Israel completes the cosmic regeneration. Jewish people already acknowledge the universal God. For them, the fundamental call is not to leave the religion of Judaism and join Christianity. Rather their call is to honor the movement toward the reign of God that includes the reunion of Jewish and Gentile communities.

Source: ALLEN, Ronald J. Acts of Apostles.

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