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 goal of patristic writers used to be particularly a symbolic Judaism, and their objective was once to outline theologically the younger church's id. In picking and categorizing the hypotheses recommend via sleek students to guard their view of a Jewish-Christian "conflict", this publication demonstrates how present theories have generated defective notions concerning the perceptions and motivations of old Christians and Jews. past its relevance to scholars of the early church, this booklet addresses the broader query of Christian accountability for contemporary anti-Semitism. It exhibits 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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Additional resources for Anti-Judaism and Early Christian Identity: A Critique of the Scholarly Consensus (Studia Post-Biblica)

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Interestingly, the very same scholars who seem so convinced that judaizing was an extension of die Jewish-Christian conflict are also prepared to identify the early judaizers as gentile Christians, in other words as fullfledged members of the church. Again, these same scholars also recc^gnize both the complexity and variety that characterized judaizing. It seems diat the term to "judaize" had no fixed meaning within the early church, but was used rather in a variety of circumstances. It might on occasicm have been used against fellow Christians who were thought to be too attached to some aspect or other of Jewish ritual or tradition (cf.

So much so, diat odier scholars have sought to temper Simon's claim. Wayne Meeks and Robert Wilken, for instance, argue that Simon fails to distinguish here between the real substance of Chrysostom's accusations, and the rhetOTical excesses of the renowned Christian orator, ^fceks and Wilken offer an altemative explanation of die church father's accusations against the Jews. 1) are exceptional in Chrysostom's hcanilies, and they suggest that such outbursts clearly tell us more about Chrysostom's rhetwical fervour, even his overzealousness, than they do about the actions and attitudes of Jews.

32 CHAPTER ONE and when Judaism responded to the "triumph" of Christianity), tiiat members of the two communities entered into real dialogue with one another. This was the "first and last moment in the history of Judaism in die context of Christianity, when both sides asked the same questions, framed the same way, in the response to the same circumstances". This was, according to Neusner, "the point of intersection between the historians of the two reUgions" (Neusner 1987: x). The implications of tiiis for the judaizing evidence and for die conflict model as a whole are major, though Neusner doesn't address these issues specifically.

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