By Miriam S. Taylor
Opposed to the scholarly consensus that assumes early Christians have been concerned in a competition for converts with modern Jews, this publication indicates that the aim of patristic writers was once relatively a symbolic Judaism, and their goal used to be to outline theologically the younger church's identification. In determining and categorizing the hypotheses recommend by means of glossy students to guard their view of a Jewish-Christian "conflict", this ebook demonstrates how present theories have generated defective notions concerning the perceptions and motivations of historical Christians and Jews. past its relevance to scholars of the early church, this e-book addresses the broader query of Christian accountability for contemporary anti-Semitism. It indicates how the point of interest on a supposedly social competition, obscures the intensity and disquieting nature of the connections among early anti-Judaism and Christian identification.
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Extra resources for Anti-Judaism and Early Christian Identity: A Critique of the Scholarly Consensus (Studia Post-Biblica)
If the phenomenon of judaizing has come to the general attention of scholars, dus is in no small part due to the homilies of John Chrysostom (mentioned above), and die anti-judaizing diat characterizes diem. hrysostom's harsh, d m o s t crazed vimperittions against the Jews have puzzled and troubled Christian scholars. The "violence" of his arguments, and the "coarseness" of the language that he uses are "without parallel" (Simon 1986: 217). His extreme language beccMiies more comprehensible, however, if we see him as fighting against a widespread phenomenon diat was direatening to lure Christians away from the fold, and into die Jewish camp.
It is suggested that diis argiunent must have been intended to dissuade those members of the commuruty who continued to observe tiiese very commandments (Simon 1986: 325). Let us consider each of diese aspects in tum. (I) The Spirit of Christian versus Jewish Feasts First, widi regard to die celebration of die feasts, it is important to note that die Didascalia does not undertake a simple and straightforward rejection of everything Jewish. While die church often changed die dates of ceremonies to distinguish them from die corresponding Jewish feasts, the Didascalia preserves die Jewish calendar for Christian practice.
This is indeed unusual because, as we have seen, die interpretation of the Scriptures seems to have been at die very centre of the anti-Jewish polemic. S a n e suggest that Ignatius knew littie of Old Testament models (Laeuchli 1974: 89), or diat he was simply a bad exegete, but it seems as though his avoidance of scriptural 34 CHAPTER ONE arguments was more deliberate and rooted in principle dian could be attributed to lack of education or ability. " But for me "the archives" are Jesus Christ; the inviolable archives are his cross and deadi and his resurrection and die faith which comes through him (VnL2).