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Anti-Judaism on the Way from Judaism to Christianity


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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15. The resurrection of the dead


The resurrection of the dead forms an integral part of the faith, not only of Christianity but also of Judaism. Judaism originally believed in the unity of a person, i.e. that the soul was not separate from the body. For example: "then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being" (Gen 2:7 NRS). Certain passages in the Hebrew Bible quote the word "soul" independently of the word "heart" which usually meant the body. The "soul" in this case refers to people's emotions or to people as a whole.21 Stoicism, which – as already mentioned – influenced Judaism from the 3rd century BC onwards, only made a relative distinction between matter and soul. They claimed that the soul was just fine-particled matter with a fiery substance.22 This approximates to the Jewish belief that the soul was a material substance. A resurrection of the body with soul can be gleaned from the following pas- sages in the Hebrew Bible: "Come, let us return to the LORD; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him" (Hos 6:1-2 NRS). According to this prophecy, Jesus predicted that he would rise again three days after he had died: "…the Pharisees gathered...

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