By Daniel Boyarin

Now not in the past, everybody knew that Judaism got here ahead of Christianity. extra lately, students have started to acknowledge that the ancient photograph is sort of a piece extra complex than that. within the Jewish international of the 1st century, many sects competed for the identify of the genuine Israel and the real interpreter of the Torah—the Talmud itself speaks of seventy—and the shape of Judaism that used to be to be the seedbed of what ultimately turned the Christian Church was once yet the sort of many sects. students have come to achieve that we will and wish to talk of a dual start of Christianity and Judaism, no longer a family tree within which one is mum or dad to the opposite.

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Additional resources for Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism (Figurae: Reading Medieval Culture)

Sample text

Note, of course, the tight association of superstitio and sorcery, both threats to a kind of civic order. " Hence, perhaps, his insinuated association with Christians, Christians who did boast a la Eusebius of "foreknowledge of the future, vi­ sions, and prophetic utterances; laying on of hands," healing the sick, and even raising the dead. 75 c c 76 77 c In contrast to the commonplace characterization of Rabbi Eli ezer as a figure for extreme conservatism, he begins to look like a harbinger within Jewish society of the same cultural changes that were "the making of late antiquity," according to Brown.

Although a Jew could not prove his non-Christian leanings by sacrific­ ing to the emperor, he could curse Jesus. Why, then, did not Rabbi Eli ezer simply say: "Christianus non sum. Iudaeus sum"? " I wish to suggest in all diffidence and respect that the very implausibility of the explanation offered by Lieberman is intended to lead us to a warranted, if highly unsettling, answer: that the text is hinting that Rabbi Eli ezer did not want to curse Jesus. Rabbi Eli ezer, the text im­ plies, had more than some sympathy for Jesus and his followers and their Torah, an implication that is supported as well, of course, by the Rabbi s irenic Torah conversation with this Ya kov/James.

A voice came from heaven and announced: The law is in accordance with the view of Rabbi Eli ezer. " Baba Metsi a 59a c 0 c On a given halakhic question (the question of the purity or impurity of a certain kind of ceramic stove), Rabbi Eli ezer initially tried to support his position using the "normal" rabbinic modes of rational argument, the very modes of argument [11131071] that might be said to define rabbinic ratio­ nality. When that failed, however, he didn't accept defeat, but rather turned to another source of authority entirely, miracles and heavenly ora­ cles.

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