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Mission and ConversionProselytizing in the Religious History of the Roman Empire$
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Martin Goodman

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263876.001.0001

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Judaism before 100 ce Attitudes to Gentile Paganism

Judaism before 100 ce Attitudes to Gentile Paganism

(p.38) 3 Judaism before 100 CE Attitudes to Gentile Paganism
Mission and Conversion


Oxford University Press

A normal prerequisite for a universal proselytizing mission to convert others to a new religion is a belief that their current religious behaviour is unsatisfactory. This chapter deals with the question of Jewish attitudes to gentile paganism as a prelude to the investigation of Jewish attitudes to proselytizing. It concludes that it is unlikely that many Jews in the period before 100 CE perceived any justification for them or their compatriots to object to the pagan idolatry diligently practiced by the non-Jews with whom they came into contact, as long as such practices did not take place in the holy land of Israel or lure Jews into a withdrawal of their special covenant with their God.

Keywords:   Jews, Judaism, gentile paganism, Jewish attitudes, idolatry, Israel

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