The temptations of Jesus

Once John baptized Jesus, according to all three synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the Judaean desert. After this fast, the devil, the tempter, or Satan appeared to Jesus trying to test or tempt him. Jesus refused each of the 3 human temptations concerning the hedonism of hunger, the egotism of power, and the materialism of wealth. These temptations were to mislead and pervert the thinking, wishing, and feeling of Jesus. Although Mark‘s account was very brief, Matthew and Luke described the temptations in great detail that may have come from their common Q source. Is this a parable? What was the purpose of these accounts? There is no doubt that Matthew used language from the Old Testament Septuagint with a series of quotations from Deuteronomy. Fasting was a preparation for a great spiritual struggle. Once the temptations were over, Satan departed. Then angels of God began looking after Jesus. These temptations of Jesus have had many portrayals in art, literature, film, and music, since they have captured the imagination of many of the followers of Jesus Christ

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The Early Growth of Christianity

Under the leadership of the apostles Peter and Paul, who both died around the year 64 CE, the early Christian community grew from Jerusalem to Rome, from a Palestinian Jewish sect to a more universal group that included Gentile non-Jewish people, all around the Mediterranean area.  The travels of Paul as found in the Acts of the Apostles and his letters give a glimpse into what was happening back then.  The followers of Jesus Christ began to differentiate themselves from the Rabbinic Judaism that was developing at the same time.

The parting of the ways

The distinction between the Old Testament and the New Testament raises the question of whether the separation of the first century Christian groups and the nascent first century CE Rabbinic Jewish groups was just a continuation of an earlier dispute.  Did the fall of the Temple in 70 CE put the final nail in the coffin?  Was this the fracture of Judaism, as the two groups went in different ways?  Already in the second century BCE, there were differences between the Judean Maccabeus group and the Greek Hellenistic Jews.  None of the inspired Jewish biblical writers who called themselves followers of Jesus Christ in the first century wrote in Hebrew, but all wrote in Greek.  Was Christianity, or the forming of the Christian communities, the final stage of this dispute within Judaism about the role of Greek?