Jewish and Roman Persecution in the New Testament
BIBL 2013-Studies in The New Testament
Submitted Workshop# Four
Facilitator Dr. Sabande
Christianity began as a Jewish sect during the period of the Second Temple The New Testament and other Christian texts depict the Early Christians as being persecuted by the Judean establishment, occasionally through the Roman authorities, for their heterodox beliefs. Since historical records are limited and no single authority dictated first century Judean belief and practice, it is difficult to ascertain whether this alleged persecution was local in nature or unified across the residents of Judea. This account of persecution is part of a general theme of a polemic against the Jews that starts with the Pharisee rejection of Jesus's ministry and continues on with his trial before the High Priest, his crucifixion, and the Pharisees' refusal to accept him as the Jewish Messiah. This theme plays an important part in a number of Christian doctrines ranging from the release of Christians from obeying the many strictures of the Old Testament Law to the commandment to preach to all nations (meaning to Gentiles as well as Jews). Although Christian doctrine to this day attests to the veracity of these accounts of persecution as documented in the New Testament and the writings of the Church Fathers, modern scholars have questioned the historical accuracy of these accounts. Historians consider this anti-Jewish polemic in the New Testament and Patristic writings to be the basis of the antisemitism associated with Christianity at different periods in its history.
Throughout the New Testament there are many accounts of persecution and the causes of these stem from various sources, with one of the strongest being Christ’s crucifixion.
Much of Christian hatred toward the Jews was based on the popular misconception, amazingly enough still prevalent, that...
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