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  • The Separation of Early Christianity from Judaism


    Marianne Josephine Dacy NDS (M. Phil, Grad Dip Lib-CNAA London, ALIA)

    A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of

    Doctor of Philosophy

    Department of Semitic Studies June 2000 University of Sydney

  • i

    Preface I wish to thank those generations of scholars from whose work I have been able to draw inspiration, as well as my teachers over the years in Jerusalem and Australia. In particular I should like to thank Naomi Cohen from Haifa University, Robert Kraft of Pennsylvania University, Dexter Hoyos and Frances Muecke of Sydney University. Thanks are due to Professor Alan Crown, my thesis director, whose erudition and guidance have both challenged and stimulated me. The topic has always fascinated me, and, as I believe it is important, aspects of it will continue to occupy my research in future years. Countless others have assisted me. Thanks are due to the Sisters of Sion, who have fostered my work, Sr Marnie Kennedy RSCJ who has followed the fortunes of the thesis, the librarians of the Fisher library, John Huff, the long suffering Arts Faculty computer technician, Jennifer Alison, and Lucy Davey who proof read my thesis, and the many friends who have encouraged me to pursue this topic. My brother in law, Jim Scarano and sister, Frances provided assistance with the maps. In addition, my mother, Margaret Dacy has encouraged me from childhood in the pursuit of knowledge and has waited patiently for the day when this thesis would be completed. That day has now arrived.

  • ii

    Abbreviations AUSS Andrew’s University Seminary Studies

    BA Biblical Archaeologist

    BARev Biblical Archaeology Review

    BJRL Bulletin of the John Rylands Library

    DJD Discoveries in the Judaean Desert

    DJDJ Discoveries in the Judaean Desert of Jordan

    IEJ Israel Exploration Journal

    JAAR Journal of the American Academy of Religion

    BL Journal of Biblical Literature

    JJ Jerusalem Jahrbuch

    JJS Journal of Jewish Studies

    JPOS Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society

    JQR Jewish Quarterly Review

    JTS Jewish Theological Review

    NRSV New Revised Standard Version

    NTS New Testament Studies

    PG J. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus. Series Graeca

    PL J. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus, Series Latina

    REJ Revue des Etudes Juives

    RQ Revue de Qumran

    VC Vigiliae Christianae

  • iii

  • Abstract The Separation of Early Christianity from Judaism The moving apart of early Christianity from Judaism was a gradual process of de-

    judaisation, with separation taking place on several levels. Chapter One looks at the

    spread of Christianity and the physical moving apart of Jews and Christians by

    observing the geographical locations of the bishops attending various councils.

    Chapter Two examines the question of the Jewish-Christians who attempted to be

    both Jewish and Christian at the same time. In Chapter Three, statements about Jews

    in the early church councils which reveal judaising practices have been examined.

    Chapter Four studies the process of juridical separation of Jews from Christians as

    shown by an examination of the Theodosian Code. The fifth chapter examines the

    Jewish roots of Christian liturgy and focuses on the element that radically

    differentiated Christian from Jewish liturgy – its christological focus. Chapter Six

    speaks of the separation of Sabbath observance from Sunday observance, outlining

    the struggle to prevent Christians, who were accused of judaising, from celebrating

    the Sabbath as well as Sunday. Chapter Seven concentrates on the separation of

    Passover from Easter. While Chapter Eight investigates the development of a

    distinctly Christian archaeology, the ninth area of separation concerns the subject of

    Christianity in the rabbinic writings.

    In the nine areas studied, two pervasive causes of separation have been identified. The

    first concerns the non–practice of Jewish ritual law, when Christianity became

    predominantly a religion of non-Jews. Christianity, in order to define itself closed its

    ranks to Jewish practices. The second cause leading to separation was the messianic

    movement centred on Jesus, and the growing emphasis on the divinity of Jesus. This

    was reflected in the developing Christian liturgy, in the christianisation of Passover,

    the Eucharist and the practice of Sunday over and above the Jewish Sabbath.

    Marianne Dacy

    June 2000

  • Table of Contents

    Preface i Abbreviations ii Introduction 1 The Problem. 1 Sources 4 1) Greek and Roman. 4 2) New Testament. 4 3) Early Christian Writings–Patrological Literature. 4 4) Early Church Council Documents. 5 5) Roman Legal Sources. 6 6) Jewish Sources. 6 7) Liturgical sources and Commentaries. 6 8) Archaeological and Geographical Material. 7 Secondary Literature. 7 The Challenge. 8 Chapter One The Spread of Christianity. 15 Trade Routes and Geographical Influences. 16 The Book of Acts. 19 The Name ‘Christian’. 23 Impact of Persecution. 24 Christian Organisation Based on Synagogue. 26 From Jerusalem to Rome. 27 The Papacy and Centralisation of the Western Church. 28 Conclusion. 30 Maps Map 1. The Spread of Christianity. 31 Map 2. Trade Routes. 32 Map 3. Jewish Towns and Bishoprics of those who Attended 33 Council of Arles (314) – (partial list). Map 4. Jewish towns and Bishoprics of those who Attended 34 Council of Nicaea.

  • Chapter Two The Jewish/Christian Schism. 35 The Jewish-Christians. 35 Role of James. 36 Blood and Ritual Purity. 39 Four Distinguishing Features of Judaism in Graeco-Roman Authors. 42 Christianity as a Philosophy in the Graeco-Roman World. 43 Fate of the Jewish-Christian Jerusalem Church. 45 Patristic Texts on Jewish-Christianity. 46 Justin Martyr and Jewish-Christians. 50 The Twelfth Benediction. 51 The Nazoraeans. 57 The Ebionites. 58 Conclusion. 60 Chapter Three The Early Church Councils and the Separation of Christians 61 from Jews. Church Councils. 63 Circumcision. 64 Circumcision, Immersion and Baptism. 67 Dietary Regulations. 68 Anti-Jewish Canons. 71 Intermarriage. 74 Eating with Jews. 79 Jewish Sources on the Question of Eating with Gentiles 82 Superstition and Magic. 83 Sabbaths and Feasts. 87 Jewish Feasts. 88 Ban on Attendance at Any Jewish Service. 89 Jewish Catechumens. 90 Jews as Witnesses. 91 Anathemas and Christology. 92 Use of Term ‘Levite’. 92 Role of Emperor in Church Councils 93 Conclusion. 95

  • Chapter Four The Theodosian Code and Laws on Jews. 97 Significance of Code Favouring Church. 99 Laws on Jews. 100 1. Statutes Maintaining Privileges of Jews. 100

    Julian (361–3). 102 Authority of Patriarchs Upheld in Religious Matters. 103 Juridical Powers of Jewish Authorities. 104 Exemptions from Liturgies. 105

    2. Statutes Protective of Jews. 106

    Protection of Synagogues. 106 Sabbath and Holy Days. 110

    3. Statutes Prohibiting Anti-Christian Practices by Jews. 110 Roman Criminal Justice. 111

    4. Statutes Restricting Jewish Cult and Activities. 112

    Jews Forbidden to Possess Christian Slaves. 113 Proselytism and Circumcision Forbidden. 115 Intermarriage. 116

    5. Measures Hostile to Jews. 117 Participation in Jewish Cults Forbidden. 117 Jews in Public Service. 118 Control of Jewish Authorities. 119

    Justinian Code. 122

    Conclusion. 123 Chapter Five The Separation of Christian Liturgy from Jewish Liturgy. 125 Sources on Jewish Prayer. 128 Prayers in the Temple. 130 Daily Prayer. 132

  • New Testament View of Jesus. 134 Development of Christology–Divisions Over the Nature of Christ 137 Arianism. 137 Apollinarianism and Nestorianism. 138 The Question of the Shema for the Early Christians. 141 Shema’s Influence on Early Christological Controversies. 148 The Amidah in Early Christianity. 149 Apostolical Constitutions. 154 Christian Festival Liturgy. 156 The Eucharist. 157 Baptism. 160 Question of the Catechumenate. 161 Conclusion. 164 Chapter Six The Separation of Sunday from Sabbath 166 First Century. 166 Jesus and the Sabbath in the Synoptics. 169 The Epistle to Clement. 171 The Epistle to Barnabas. 174 New Covenant. 175 Ignatius of Antioch. 178 The Didache. 180 Justin Martyr. 182 Graeco-Roman Sources in the Second Century. 184 Graeco-Roman sources