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Conclusion

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Chapter Summary

This conclusion explains Paul's selective missionary strategy that raises acutely the question of the role which Paul envisioned his churches as having in the spread of the gospel. Paul's letters in general offer little light on this question. The letter to the Philippians, however, provides the solution to the puzzle. This book investigates Jewish attitudes regarding conversion of gentiles in antiquity. The phenomenon of conversion of gentiles to Judaism was, indeed, well-known in antiquity, and proselytes and sympathizers may have been drawn to the Jewish community in fair numbers. Jewish understandings of gentiles and their conversion in the second temple period were shaped profoundly by the Scriptures, especially the book of Isaiah. Paul in Philippians reveals a quite extraordinary interest in the spread of the gospel through the Christian community at Philippi. In Paul's thought, the mission of the church is the activity of Christ.

Keywords: Christian community; church; gentiles; God; gospel; Jewish; Paul's letters; Philippians

10.1163/9789047415831_010
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