Who Was A Jew?

PDF-file by Lawrence H. Schiffman

Who Was A Jew? PDF ebook download A solid and surprisingly thorough study of the Tannaitic perspectives on Second Temple Jewish and early Christian identities, arguing that the ultimate split between the two came from conflicting understandings of what made someone an Israelite/Jew. One of the most interesting points Schiffman makes is that, while Rabbinic Judaism came to view Christians as heretics and apostates and rejected them, according to halakha and Second Temple traditions Jewish Christians who were born Jewish could not have their Jewishness revoked. This book suffers only from Schiffman's clear fealty to the Rabbinic tradition, as throughout he assumes the historicity of the tannaitic and amoraic sources — though he generally (and refreshingly!) accords Christian texts the same favor.

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