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The persecution of Paul

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the question: Why was Paul subjected by some of the Jews he met to judicial punishments? The problem for the historian of Judaism grappling with the persecution of early Christians is the abundant evidence of the pluralism tolerated within Jewish society in this period. Punishment implies inclusion and its recognition both by Paul and by the Jews who punished him, especially if the statement in Acts is accepted that Paul was a Roman citizen who could thus at any time have stopped the beatings by stating the fact. The determination of diaspora Jews to preserve the privileges which protected them in dossiers like those cited by Josephus in books 14 and 16 of his Antiquities is testimony to their concern that their delicate position might be undermined.

Keywords: Christians; diaspora Jews; Josephus; Judaism; Paul



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