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Anti-Judaism on the Way from Judaism to Christianity

Series:

Peter Landesmann

The differing beliefs that emerged between Christianity and Judaism, especially in the first two centuries AD, were mainly caused by the introduction of heavenly beings in the Jewish religion. This resulted in the predominance of a messiah, who will be sent by God as salvator mundi. Mainly Paul preached and practiced the conversion of pagans to Christianity, without obligating them to practice the Jewish law. In the course of time the baptized pagans represented the mainstream of Christianity which caused a conflict between them and those Jews who practiced the Jewish law but also believed in Jesus as the Messiah. The development of these tendencies is described in this book.

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7. The titles given by God to agents acting on his behalf

Extract

7.1 The angels The books of the Hebrew Bible also contain repeated mentions of angels, who were attributed to the sphere of God's power in Christian scriptures. God's heavenly sphere was seen as a role model for the structures prevailing on earth from a relatively early stage, presumably between the 10th and 7th cen- turies BC. The sanctuary in the desert, for example, was based on what Moses saw on the Mount of Revelation. (Exo 26:30: Exo 27:8; Num 8:4.). Part of this image, whereby similar circumstances prevail on heaven as they do on earth, in- cludes the idea that God has a "royal household", just like a King. Angels are mentioned at fifteen verses of the Hebrew Bible. They are sent by God to earth with the power to perform deeds that should actually be reserved for God. The empowerment of the angels is particularly emphasized in the Sec- ond Book of Moses: "I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Be attentive to him and listen to his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him" (Exo 23:20-21 NRS). During the 1st century BC or at the start of the 1st century AD, deliberations centered around angels embodying intermediate beings who were on God's staff, on the one hand, and the righteous who...

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