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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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13. The resurrection of Jesus

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"When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven" (Act 1:9-11 NRS). "While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven" (Luk 24:51 NRS). Jesus' ascension into heaven as narrated in Acts 1:9 et seqq and in Luke can- not be compared with other "ascensions", such as Elijah in the whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11) or the rapture of Paul since Jesus had died and risen again. Paul himself describes the rapture and his return: "I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows – was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is per- mitted to repeat" (2Co 12:2-4 NRS). Justin the Martyr draws on Greek mythology for parallels to Jesus' acceptance into heaven to make...

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