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 fairly a symbolic Judaism, and their objective used to be to outline theologically the younger church's identification. In choosing and categorizing the hypotheses recommend by way of sleek students to guard their view of a Jewish-Christian "conflict", this publication demonstrates how present theories have generated defective notions in regards to the perceptions and motivations of historical Christians and Jews. past its relevance to scholars of the early church, this publication addresses the broader query of Christian accountability for contemporary anti-Semitism. It exhibits how the focal point 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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I3 xhis reading of Chrysostom is questionable, however. 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.

Simon dius permits himself to state categorically in his conclusion diat die persistence of proselytizing among the Jews was die determining factor in the attraction diat Judaism held for die Christians (Simon 1986: 369), and judaizers are simply assumed to be the products of the synagogue's effcxts. The fact that Jewish attempts to convert die Christians produced sympathizers radier dian full converts, die fact diat diese sympathizers were not in any real sense a gain for Israel, is quickly dismissed by Simon.

And these calamities diey have suffered because they were a most wicked nation, which, although guilty of many other sins, yet has been punished so severely for none as for those that were ccxnmitted against our Jesus (Against Celsus (Contra Celsum) IV). 3-6 & 23; IV. 2 & 8; V. 4-8; 30. COMPETITIVE ANTI-JUDAISM 43 The notion of "embittered" or "disillusioned" anti-Judaism raises some interesting points about the nature of Christian anti-Judaism.

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