Chapter I - THE CHRISTIANS IN CONFLICT WITH ROME
Part I is a short description of the first expansion of Christianity.
Part II relates what pagan authors had to tell about Christianity and Christians; they were neither friendly nor well-informed. Celsus found the Christians silly people and reproached them that they rejected the imperial cult, which meant that they were bad citizens.
Part III describes how and why the empire and the Church became opposed. The Roman government was tolerant with regard to foreign religions as long they did not constitute a threat to the political order. Because the Christians refused to take part in the public cult of Juppiter and the emperor, they were considered enemies of the state. The attitudes of the Christian authors differs. Some thought that the Empire was a product of the devil, but others were milder in their opinion.
Part IV relates how the state waged war on the Christians. Until in the beginning of the fourth century, there were repeatedly persecutions, many of which made a great number of victims. The Emperor Julian the Apostate attempted a revival of paganism. (Length of this chapter, with notes, = 94 pp.)
Chapter II - JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY : A DUALISTIC RELATIONSHIP?
Part I describes the basics of this question. There was no anti-Semitism involved; anti-Semitism in the modern sense existed nowhere in the ancient world. It is explained that the Church lives from her Jewish heritage. Jesus' attitude is described, especially in connection with his conflict with the Pharisees. It is discussed whether and in how far the New Testament is negative on Jews and Judaism.
It is explained in which respects Jews and Christians disagreed. It is asked whether the Jews made converts, the `proselytes'. The Christians were far less anti-Jewish than the pagans and the Gnostics.
Part II relates what Christian authors thought of Jews and Judaism. Some were mild and positive, others more negative. There was no unanimous opinion. Often the fear was expressed that Christians would revert to Judaism.
Part III presents the state legislation regarding Jewry. The state did not love the Jews, but did not find them dangerous, although they too rejected the official cult; they could be easily controlled because they kept very much to themselves, in contrast to the Christians who were everywhere.
Part IV discusses the question of whether or not the Christian-Jewish relationship was dualistic. (Length of this chapter, with notes, = 129 pp.)
Chapter III - JUDAIZING AS A SEED OF DISRUPTION
The hottest issue of the conflict of Jews and Christians was not so much the Jewish religion, but the question of Judaizing. Judaizers were Christians, who had been Jews, but who wanted to remain as Jewish as possible, visiting the synagogue on the Sabbath and celebrating the Jewish Passover. The principal Judaizing sect, that of the Ebionites, is described. The Church saw these Judaizers as a disruptive element; the polemizing by the Church Fathers, especially in the `Jewish sermons' of John Chrysostom, was far more against them than against the Jews proper. (Length of this chapter, with notes, = 25 pp.)
This volume contains a Bibliography and a General Index.
Published in 1997 by J.C. Gieben, Publisher.
ISBN 90 5063 357 9