ABSTRACT

The early Christians were probably as inconsistent as their twentieth-century brethren. The conviction of the very early Christians was that the departure of Jesus from the earth would only be for quite a short period, and that when he returned there would be some tremendous cataclysm and the twelve apostles would seat themselves on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. A further matter concerning which the early Christians differed widely from the bulk of the Jewish teachers is that of encratism. The Christian concept of the Son of Man goes considerably deeper than what is suggested by Whitman. It is clear however that when pagan ideas and pagan customs began to iniiuence Christianity, many of the Jewish Christians opposed these innovations with that dogged tenacity which has so consistently characterised their race.