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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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16. Expectations of the imminent return of Jesus


As illustrated by the following quotations from the New Testament, Jesus' disci- ples expected him to return imminently. "For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words" (1Thess 4:15-18 NRS). And: "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" (Mat 16:28 NRS). The older saying "Our Lord, come", which was prompted by the certainty of the ex- pected resurrection, was turned into a request to Jesus to come soon. The use of an Aramaic expression for the return of Jesus by Paul in a letter to the Greek speaking disciples of Jesus in Corinth shows that the following saying was influenced by the Jewish-Christian narrative: "Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come!" (1Co 16:22 NRS). In the Greek original and in some translations the...

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