Anti-Judaism and Early Christian Identity: A Critique of the by Miriam S. Taylor

By Miriam S. Taylor

Opposed to the scholarly consensus that assumes early Christians have been concerned in a contention for converts with modern Jews, this publication indicates that the aim of patristic writers used to be really a symbolic Judaism, and their objective used to be to outline theologically the younger church's identification. In picking and categorizing the hypotheses recommend by means of smooth students to safeguard their view of a Jewish-Christian "conflict", this e-book demonstrates how present theories have generated defective notions concerning the perceptions and motivations of historic Christians and Jews. past its relevance to scholars of the early church, this ebook addresses the broader query of Christian accountability for contemporary anti-Semitism. It exhibits how the focal point on a supposedly social contention, obscures the intensity and disquieting nature of the connections among early anti-Judaism and Christian id.

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Extra info for Anti-Judaism and Early Christian Identity: A Critique of the Scholarly Consensus (Studia Post-Biblica)

Example text

It is partiy on this basis that Hamack concluded that the Jewish opponents in the Christian dialogues were fictitious characters, created by the Christians themselves, fca* their own purposes. Unfortunately, not recognizing anti-Judaism as a problem diat needed addressing, Hamack did not understand the enduring significance of die fathers' "weak and theoretical" refutations. Hjanack failed to see \hat while diey are removed, stricdy speaking, from contemporary reality, these "conventional" representations have a power and magnitude that does not allow us to dismiss them as lighdy as he did.

That COMPETITIVE ANTI-JUDAISM 31 Unfortunately these scholars fail to make any distinction, in then- cmsideration of the judaizing evidence, between the fourth century, when Christianity began to gain ascendancy and enjoy imperial favour, and the earlier centuries when the church subsisted as a minority group in a pagan empire. In fact they assume that if Judaism still managed to exert its influence over Christianity, through the intermediary of judaizers in the fourth century, then the problem must have seemed all the more acute in the earlier period when the church was in a weaker position and the synagogue in a relatively stronger one.

L POLEMICAL AND APOLOGETIC ANTI-JUDAISM The Christian texts on Judaism take the fomi of exegetical dissertations, appealing to the Scripmres, and seeking to demonstrate that: (1) Jesus is die Messiah long-promised and prophesied to the Jews; (2) that the Christians, who recognized and accepted him, are die rightful successors to the Jews as the chosen people of God; (3) and that the Mosaic dispensation has been superseded by a new spiritual covenant. The supersessionary character of these commentaries on die Holy Scriptures involves a denial of all legitimacy to Judaism after die advent of Christ.

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Anti-Judaism and Early Christian Identity: A Critique of the by Miriam S. Taylor
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