The ‘New Testament’ as a Polemical Tool
Studies in Ancient Christian Anti-Jewish Rhetoric and Beliefs
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This volume contains papers on the ancient Christian use of potentially anti-Jewish New Testament texts. Martin Albl gives a general introduction to the opinions that ancient Christian authors held on Jews and Judaism. James Carleton Paget focuses on the Epistle of Barnabas and its critical position towards the Jewish religion. Wolfgang Grünstäudl discusses Justin Martyr's non-reception of two apparently anti-Jewish texts: Matt 27:25 (»His blood be on us and on our children«) and John 8:44 (»You are from your father the devil«). Harald Buchinger analyses Melito of Sardes' Paschal homily, in which the Jews are blamed for the death of Christ. Riemer Roukema and Hans van Loon investigate, respectively, Origen's and Cyril of Alexandria's use of NT texts in relation to the Jews and their Scriptures. Hagit Amirav and Cornelis Hoogerwerf focus on the form of polemical discourses in Diodore of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and John Chrysostom. Maya Goldberg studies Theodore of Mopsuestia's ideas on divine paideia in his commentary on Paulös epistle to the Galatians, and his view that the NT was intended to finalize – not replace – the Old Testament. Alban Massie focuses on Augustine's interpretation of John 1:17, »The Law was given through Moses, grace and the truth came through Jesus Christ.« Brian Matz deals with Jesus' warning against the leaven, i.e. teaching, of the Pharisees (Matt 16:6, 12), and Martin Meiser focuses on patristic reception of Matt 27:25. By way of comparison with ecclesiastial authors, Gerard Luttikhuizen deals with the alleged anti-Jewish interpretation of Scripture in Gnostic texts. This volume demonstrates that potentially anti-Jewish texts were indeed used against Jews, but also toward Christians, sometimes without applying them to Jews.