Recently I listened to the teaching of Mark Biltz about the origin of Replacement theology (printout of his notes here). He brought many good points about how my Western worldview has not only shaped and influenced my faith, but how different my faith in Yeshua looks today as compared to the early followers of Yeshua (both Jewish and Gentile).
Most of us in our North American circles of Jesus followers are still heavily influenced by what Constantine set forth as part of the council of Nicaea in 325 CE.
First of all, think of the Passover meal that Jesus celebrated with his disciples, most of us have this picture in mind-
Take a good look at that picture, what are some things you notice? Funny how the early Jewish culture resembles the Renaissance men, they are eating leavened bread (bread with yeast), they are sitting at a table, & the sun is shining in the background.
A better picture of what a first century passover meal might look like is this:
Quite a contrast! The point is this- that our worldview has a way of shaping even how we read into an historical text such as the Bible. We implement our perception of reality on an event that happened almost 2000 years ago.
So what else has been replaced from the days of the early followers of Yeshua- what about the calendar we follow today- is it a God centered calendar?
The Gregorian calendar is today’s internationally accepted civil calendar and is also known as the “Western calendar” or “Christian calendar”. It was named after the man who first introduced it in February 1582: Pope Gregory XIII.
The ‘Christian’ calendar we follow today is strictly solar based. Genesis 1:14-16 says,
14 Then God said, “Let lights in the expanse of the sky be for separating the day from the night. They will be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.15 They will be for lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the land.” And it happened so.16 Then God made the two great lights—the greater light for dominion over the day, and the lesser light as well as the stars for dominion over the night. (TLV)
God’s calendar is both solar and lunar based. A good description of the Jewish calendar can be found here.
Another replacement in our western world view is that of the church and Israel. Biltz writes that replacement theology:
… teaches that when it comes to the promises of God in scripture, the Church has “replaced” Israel. In this doctrine, the church views Israel as the “branch” that was broken off, (Romans 11:20), and the gentile church, now being grafted into the olive tree, has “replaced” the branch of Israel. In replacement theology, the Jewish people have no future in God’s plan. Replacement theology falsely teaches that the Church has taken the place of the Israel.