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The Origins of Anti-Semitism: Attitudes…

The Origins of Anti-Semitism: Attitudes toward Judaism in Pagan and…

by John G. Gager

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The author intends to argue that the standard reading of much of the New Testament as expressing anti-Semitism is a misreading. Considering Paul especially (although he strives to be exhaustive in his treatment of the entirety of the corpus) he concludes that Paul's negative statements about the Jewish law do not address the Jewish people, but only the relevance of Judaic law for Gentiles (i.e., none at all). The long Pauline section is largely redundant unless you desire such hammered detail. Parts I-III would suffice for most readers, as these adequately communicate Gager's primary points. For a complementary point of view on the same topic, consider John Allegro's The Chosen People. They differ in what while Allegro argues from the view of the Jerusalem Jew (to not flattering effect), Gager looks from the pagan perspective. ( )
  dono421846 | Mar 23, 2014 |
Please allow me to offer a summary of this book for you, before you waste your time reading the entire thing as I did: First, everything that is said about Judaism in any ancient text, whether Christian, Jewish, or pagan, is actually supposed to be understood differently than the plainest meaning of the text and the way that everyone has always understood the text; this applies especially to the letters of Saint Paul as found in the New Testament. Second, because of our collective white guilt in the wake of the holocaust, we must find a way to completely distort what the New Testament actually says about Jews in order to make them feel better; essentially, because of something that happened in the 20th century, we must mutilate Christianity beyond recognition in order to make it seem nicer to Jews. In short, this book was a complete waste of time and is a better study in what modern white guilt does to a mind than in anything historical at all. ( )
  davidpwithun | Sep 16, 2011 |
NO OF PAGES: 312 SUB CAT I: Anti-Semitism SUB CAT II: SUB CAT III: DESCRIPTION: How deeply is anti-Semitism rooted in Western culture? No 20th-century reader can be indifferent to the question. Seeking answers in the earliest records of Judeo-Christian relationships, this revisionist study concludes that anti-Semitism in the pagan world was rare, usually brought on by political forces. The early Christian response to Judaism was based on religious matters and centered on the question of which of them represented the true Israel. Among the early Christians there were those who thought of themselves as both Jewish and Christian, but the faction that prevailed repudiated Judaism. St. Paul - usually cited as a chief advocate of the latter view - is here given a radical reinterpretation that shows him to be completely outside the mainstream of early Christian anti-Semitism.NOTES: Purchased from Amazon.com. SUBTITLE: Attitudes Toward Judaism in Pagan and Christian Antiquity
  BeitHallel | Feb 18, 2011 |
Attitudes toward Judaism in Pagan and Christian Antiquity
  Folkshul | Jan 15, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195036077, Paperback)

This revisionist reading of early anti-Judaism offers a richer and more varied picture of the Jews and Christians of antiquity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Examines the presence of anti-Semitism among the Greeks, Romans, and early Christians and argues that anti-Semitism was rare in the ancient world.

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