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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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29. The Jewish Christian community


Particular attention was paid to the Jewish Christians who observed the laws of Judaism in the Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians (around the middle of the 2nd century AD):48 "It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity did not merge into Judaism, but Judaism into Christianity, that so every tongue which believeth might be gathered together to God" (Epistle to the Magnesians 10:3). Ignatius adds a warning: "Lay aside, therefore, the evil, the old, the corrupt leaven (1 Cor 1,7) and be ye changed into the new leaven of grace. Abide in Christ, that the enemy may not have dominion over you. It is absurd to speak of Jesus Christ with the tongue, and to cherish in the mind a Judaism which has now come to an end. For where there is Christianity there cannot be Judaism. For Christ is one, in whom every nation that believes, and every tongue that confesses, is gathered unto God" (Epistle to the Magnesians 10:8-10). Ignatius also seems to have received news of similar circumstances prevailing in Philadelphia, which is why he wrote to the Christian congregation there: "But if any one preach Judaism unto you, listen not to him. For it is better to hearken to Christian doctrine from a man who has been circumcised, than to Judaism from one uncircumcised" (Epistle to the Ephesians 6,1). The Epistle to Diognetus, 2nd century AD, contains the following relevant sections: In chapters 3 and 4,...

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