When did the Christian and Jewish traditions diverge regarding obeying the 613 laws such as the Laws of Kahrut (dietary laws)?

I’m not sure about the answer to your question (if I understand it correctly) , but I would say that Paul is the key figure in Christians drifting away from the Mizvot in general. As you probably know, Paul got into a huge debate with the Jerusalem Jesus movement about diet and circumcision, and most would say he lost. Though he continued to try to placate the Jerusalem Jews like Peter and James, we see by Romans that he feels teaching the law (usually translated “works”) has no place, because a true follower of Jesus will obey the law in his heart. He says that concentrating on  not breaking laws makes you want to break them (kind of like when  parents tell little kids “don’t put beans up your nose”). In the middle ages, most Christians had only a rudimentary understanding of the gospel and no knowledge of the Hebrew bible at all. Then of course centuries of Anti-Semitic thinking led to the notion that Jews used laws to persecute Christians (see for example, the famous Justice/Mercy speech in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, where Justice refers to Jewish law and Mercy refers to Christian notions of “grace”).

I would like to know when Christians began concentrating on some laws (like who you have sex with) while ignoring others. Maybe this was Calvinist; maybe it is uniquely American. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *