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The God Christ and the Jews

I should probably at some point provide a sketch of how my book How Jesus Became God will be structured and organized (I don’t *think* I’ve done that yet; I need to look).  In any event, in the second to last chapter  I show how by the fourth century there was a broad consensus that Jesus was God in a very concrete sense: he was co-eternal with God the Father (there never was a time before which he did not exist) and was “of the same substance” with the Father, and therefore was actually equal with the Father.  In the final chapter, I go into the ramifications of this view for various polemical relationships Christians were in: with pagans (whose emperor used to be a competitor-divine-man with Jesus), with one another (as more Christological controversies erupted), and with Jews.   Here’s a part of my section on what the effect of the claim that Jesus was God had on the relations of Christians and Jews. ****************************************************************************** To discuss the rise of Christian anti-Judaism in antiquity would [...]

Melito and arly Christian Anti-Judaism

I AM IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING THE PENULTIMATE EDITS ON MY MY BIBLE INTRODUCTION.  TODAY I HAD TO REVIEW AN EXCURSUS ON EARLY JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS IN WHICH I DISCUSS THE RISE OF ANTI-JUDAISM IN THE EARLY CHURCH, IN CLUDING THIS BIT ON MELITO OF SARDIS.  I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE WORTH POSTING HERE. ******************************************************************************************************************** Melito was a bishop of the city of Sardis in Asia Mino in the mid to late second century.  Today he is best known for a sermon he wrote that lambasts the Jews for the role they played in the death of Jesus.   In it we find the first instance of a Christian author claiming that since the Jews killed Jesus, and since Jesus was God, the Jews are guilty of deicide – the murder of God.   This charge was used, of course, to justify all sorts of hateful acts of violence against Jews over the centuries.  In part, the rhetorical eloquence with which the charge was sometimes leveled has contributed ot the emotional reaction that it produced.  Consider Melito’s [...]

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