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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 objective of patristic writers used to be particularly a symbolic Judaism, and their target used to be to outline theologically the younger church's identification. In picking out and categorizing the hypotheses recommend through glossy students to protect 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 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 id.

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

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The supersessionary character of these commentaries on die Holy Scriptures involves a denial of all legitimacy to Judaism after die advent of Christ. This negation of Judaism is seen by the conflict theorists as a manifestation of the rivalry that is said to have characterized the relationship between church and synagogue. Indeed some scholars have concluded that the rivalry between Christians and Jews found its main expression in a dispute over die correct interpretation of die Holy Scripmres.

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.

He is also wdling to concede diat on some level, judaizing and anti-judaizing stemmed from intemal dieological discussions, relating to die church's self-defiiution. The judaizing tendency was derived partly fix)m the "church's cOTimerce with the holy book, and from its own idea of itself as the new Israel" (Simon 1986: 269). Simon attributes this to the "position of Christianity" (Simon 1986: 369) as a movement diat had simultaneously appropriated and rejected selective elements of the Jewish tradition.

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