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p. 242. Jews, Gentiles, and Christians (200 BCE–200 CE)locked

  • Charles L. Cohen


“Jews, Gentiles, and Christians (200 BCE–200 CE)” describes the period from 200 bce to 200 ce, when Christianity arose within the context of Second Temple Judaism. Jesus of Nazareth may be best understood as an itinerant preacher within Jewish apocalyptic tradition, and Christianity as initially a Jewish sect. But it soon became something else, attracting Gentiles while absorbing influences from the peoples it encountered. This intercultural dynamic is revealed in the writings that became Christians’ holy texts—the New Testament—and in their efforts to simultaneously recruit and differentiate themselves from Jews, who “desire signs,” and “Greeks,” who “desire wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:22).

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