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IF JERUSALEM STOOD: THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM AND CHRISTIAN ANTI-JUDAISM

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Asking what would have been the case had the Jewish War of 66-70 CE not ended with the destruction of the Temple demonstrates the momentous consequences of those events for the history of Christianity and of anti-Judaism in Western culture. That the war might not have occurred or might have been nipped in the bud is a consensus view of Jewish, Roman and primitive Christian authors. That its consequences fueled a perception of Jews as abominable or rightly abandoned by their own God can be documented in both Roman and Christian texts. But the most disastrous consequence of the events of 66-70 CE was the anti-Judaism which is embedded in the Christian imagination through the canonical Gospels. Their accounts of the divinely authorized breech between followers of Jesus messiah and fellow Jews would never have been credible had moderate Jewish voices quelled the rebellion. Christianity would have remained a Jewish movement which incorporated Gentiles into God's people and anti-Judaism would not have been inscribed on the Western imagination.

Affiliations: 1: Boston College

10.1163/156851500750119178
/content/journals/10.1163/156851500750119178
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2000-01-01
2016-12-08

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