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On The Jewish Background Of Christianity

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Chapter Summary

Any discussion of the Jewish background of Christianity may easily be organized around three historical figures, on the one hand, and three ways of defining Jews, on the other. This chapter suggests that Christianity appeared as a result of the confluence of certain processes in poles of the Jewish world represented, respectively, by John, Jesus and Paul. These processes undermined the importance, for the definition of a person as being Jewish, of Jewish place, of Jewish pedigree, and also of the practical side of the Jewish religion, thus allowing for the appearance of a type of Judaism that defines its adherents by common belief alone. John and Jesus were both from Palestine, but from different parts: John seems to have been from the south and also to have been associated with Qumran, Jesus was from the Galilee.

Keywords: Christianity; Galilee; Jesus; Jews; John; Paul; Qumran



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