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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 Proselytes and Proselytizing

Judaism before 100 ce Proselytes and Proselytizing

(p.60) 4 Judaism before 100 CE Proselytes and Proselytizing
Mission and Conversion


Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the implications of the tolerance for Jewish attitudes towards potential proselytes. Since the work of Schürer and Juster at the beginning of this century, many scholars agreed that Jewish proselytizing in antiquity reached a peak of intensity in the first century of the Christian era at the time of the emergence of Christianity. Despite this, the chapter aims to show the flimsiness of the hypothesis on which the mainstream consensus is based. It first lays out the evidence which has been used in the past to support the view that Jews in the first century sought proselytes. The second section of the chapter attempts to expose the weakness of the evidence. It then offers some general reasons to doubt that Jews of any variety apart from Christianity saw value before 100 CE in a mission to convert outsiders to the faith.

Keywords:   Jewish proselytizing, Christianity, Judaism, Schürer and Juster

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