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How Inter-Christian Approaches to Paul's Rhetoric Can Perpetuate Negative Valuations of Jewishness—Although Proposing to Avoid that Outcome

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An unrecognized problem arises in recent inter-mural Christian constructions of the settings for interpreting Paul's polemic, wherein negative valuations of Jewishness persist in the discourse, regardless of stated intentions to avoid that outcome. This approach has masked the perpetuation of Christianness versus Jewishness, since moving it inside of Christianity does not eliminate the fact that what is negatively valued for non-Pauline (read "non-Gentile") Christianity is the degree to which it remains Jewish (regards Jewish identity and behavior as valuable expressions of faith). The discourse has changed a lot, but not to the degree that would match the stated intentions, and for the Jewish–Christian relations critic, the explicit although often subtle reminders of this persistent prejudice against Jewishness in writings about Paul is painful to continue to discover in (and between) the lines of many contemporary works.


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