David C. Sim, James S. McLaren, Chris Keith's Attitudes to Gentiles in ancient Judaism and early PDF

By David C. Sim, James S. McLaren, Chris Keith

ISBN-10: 0567035786

ISBN-13: 9780567035783

ISBN-10: 0567637662

ISBN-13: 9780567637666

This quantity describes the attitudes in the direction of Gentiles in either old Judaism and the early Christian culture. The Jewish dating with and perspectives in regards to the Gentiles performed a tremendous half in Jewish self-definition, in particular within the Diaspora the place Jews shaped the minority between better Gentile populations. Jewish attitudes in the direction of the Gentiles are available within the writings of renowned Jewish authors (Josephus and Philo), sectarian activities and texts (the Qumran neighborhood, apocalyptic literature, Jesus) and in Jewish associations reminiscent of the Jerusalem Temple and the synagogue. within the Christian culture, which started as a Jewish flow yet constructed quick right into a predominantly Gentile culture, the position and standing of Gentile believers in Jesus used to be continuously of an important importance. Did Gentile believers have to convert to Judaism as an integral part in their association with Jesus, or had the looks of the messiah rendered such differences invalid? This quantity assesses the big variety of viewpoints by way of attitudes in the direction of Gentiles and the prestige and expectancies of Gentiles within the Christian church.

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Growing up in an immensely wealthy and inÀuential Jewish family, Philo held a leading position in the Jewish community of the city. During the Ptolemaic period the Jewish community had grown in size and inÀuence and been granted the right to run their own affairs. Together with the Greek citizen body and the native Egyptian populace they formed the three main ethnic groups of the city. With the advent of Roman rule in the decade before Philo’s birth, the political situation in the city underwent signi¿cant change.

While there is a late Rabbinic tradition that af¿rms that the God-fearer (ger toshab) had twelve months to decide whether or not to convert, and if no decision had been made he (or she) would be regarded as an unaf¿liated Gentile (b. Abod. Zar. 65), there is no evidence that this view was common in Rabbinic circles or elsewhere in the Jewish world at any time. The large numbers of Godfearers compared to the small number of proselytes, implied in Acts and Josephus and corroborated in the Aphrodisias inscription, testi¿es that most or all Jewish communities were content to accept God-fearers as they were.

24 Attitudes to Gentiles Simeon ben Yohai makes the remarkable claim that converts are more precious to God than native-born Jews. The same text makes the further point that Abraham was circumcised at the age of ninety-nine in order to demonstrate that Gentiles could convert at any age. Other texts af¿rm this positive view of Gentiles by highlighting that certain distinguished Rabbis were descended from converts (b. Git. 56a, 57a; b. Sanh. 96b). The acceptance of proselytes is reÀected in the tradition attributed to Judah the Patriarch that Gentile converts were not to be reminded of his or her origins (m.

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Attitudes to Gentiles in ancient Judaism and early Christianity by David C. Sim, James S. McLaren, Chris Keith


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