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The Apostolic Constitutions and the Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines a positive valence given to the idea of the Law in the Apostolic Constitutions and suggests that this positive valence may reflect a less defensive view of Jews and Judaism than is found in much of the writing of other fourth-century Syrian Christian leaders. The fact that the compiler of the Apostolic Constitutions promotes laws that other Christian leaders rejected as "too Jewish", as well as liturgy which has been shown to have originated in the synagogue, points to contact with the Jewish community, contact which led not only to condemnation but also to appropriation and even appreciation of certain Jewish practices. The author examines excerpts from the Apostolic Constitutions which reflect these issues. The chapter begins with a brief summary of the content and provenance of the Apostolic Constitutions.

Keywords: Apostolic Constitutions; fourth-century Syrian Christian leaders; Jewish law



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