The Messianic Walk: Episode 2 – Did the early Roman believers really celebrate Passover?

This post first appeared on Kineti and is authored by Judah Gabriel Himango, one of Tabernacle of David’s teachers.

In the 2nd episode of The Messianic Walk, J.K. and I discuss the theological objections to Torah observance from a friend, Jonathan, who recently left the Hebrew Roots movement for the mainstream Church.

We tackle several challenges to Torah observance, including:

  • Does Matthew 5 really say the Torah is still in effect?
  • Has God changed, or have people changed? If people changed, does it means God’s law applies differently?
  • Is the Sabbath merely a cultural commandment, meant only for Bronze Age Israel?
  • Did the Christian community at Rome really celebrate Passover?

That last one was an interesting question. My friend who left Torah, Jonathan, had objected to Torah observance by appealing to the book of Romans, saying that Paul’s rebuke of sinful Rome was only a rebuke of breaking the moral law, which surely doesn’t include laws about Passover:

“Were kosher, feasts and sabbath part of this [moral] law?  Romans 2:14-15 “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,” I doubt that a gentile would accidentally keep kosher.”

My response is that the leaders of the Roman believers, Acquila and Priscilla, were both Jewish believers who were almost certainly keeping Passover. And that they were ousted with other Jews from Rome during Claudius’ reign suggests they were identifiably Jewish. My reasoning, then, is if the leaders of the Roman believers were celebrating Passover, it’s reasonable to conclude the laypeople of the Roman community were following their example.

In the podcast, J.K. shed further light on this: many of the laypeople in the Roman community were the “God fearers” of the 1st century: non-Jews who followed the God of Israel, attended synagogue, but lived as righteous gentiles among the nations. These folks too would be likely to celebrate Passover, all the more given Yeshua’s imbuing the feast with new meaning.

Check out the podcast, friends, I think you’ll enjoy this discussion on Torah, faith, Romans, and the early believers.

One final note, I’m glad to report that we’ve started a new website home for the podcast: messianicwalk.com. Additionally, the Messianic Walk podcast is now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Podcast Addict. 😎