In examining the possible origin of Sunday observance among primitive Jewish Christians, we have just concluded that it is futile to seek among them for traces of its origin, because of their basic loyalty to Jewish religious customs such as Sabbath keeping. We shall therefore direct our search for the origin of Sunday to Gentile Christian circles. We would presume that these, having no previous religious ties with Judaism and being now in conflict with the Jews, would more likely substitute for Jewish festivities such as the Sabbath and Passover new dates and meaning.
The adoption of new religious feast days and their enforcement on the rest of Christendom could presumably be accomplished in a Church where the severance from Judaism occurred early and through an ecclesiastical power which enjoyed wide recognition. The Church of the capital of the empire, whose authority was already felt far and wide in the second century, appears to be the most likely birthplace of Sunday observance. (1) To test the validity of this hypothesis, we shall now proceed briefly to survey those significant religious, social and political conditions which prevailed both in the city and in the Church of Rome.
Predominance of Gentile Converts
Paul’s addresses in his Epistle to the Romans, particularly the last chapters, presuppose that the Christian community of Rome was composed primarily of a Gentile—Christian majority (chapters 11, 13) and a Judaeo-Christian minority (14f.). "I am speaking to you Gentiles" (11:13), the Apostle explicitly affirms, and in chapter 16 he greets the majority of believers who carry a Greek or Latin name. (2) The predominance of Gentile members and their conflict with the Jews, inside and outside the Church, may have necessitated a differentiation between the two communities in Rome earlier than in the East.
Leonard Goppelt, in his study on the origin of the Church, supports this view when he writes:
"The Epistle presupposes in Rome, as one would expect, a Church with a Gentile Christian majority (11, 13) and a Judaeo-Christian minority (14f.) This co-existence of the two parties provoked some difficulties comparable to those known at Corinth at the same time....
"The situation of the Church of Rome in relationship to Judaism, as far as the Epistle to the Romans allows us to suspect, is similar to the one presented us by the post-Pauline texts of Western Christianity: a chasm between the Church and Synagogue is found everywhere, one unknown in the Eastern churches which we have described above. Judaism does not play any other role than the one of being the ancestor of Christianity." (3)
The Jewish Christians, though a minority in the Church of Rome, seem to have provoked "disputes" (Romans 14:1) over questions such as the value of the law (2:17), the need for circumcision (2:25-27), salvation by obedience to the law (chapters 3, 4, 5), the need to respect special days and to abstain from unclean food (chapters 14-15). However, the predominance of Gentile members primarily of pagan descent, and their conflict with the Judaeo-Christians inside the Church and with Jews outside, may have indeed contributed to an earlier break from Judaism in Rome than in the Orient. The abandonment of Sabbath keeping and the adoption of Sunday could then represent a significant aspect of this process of differentiation.
Early Differentiation between Jews and Christians
In the year A.D. 49 the Emperor Claudius, according to the Roman historian Suetonius (ca. A.D. 70-122), "expelled the Jews from Rome since they rioted constantly at the instigation of Chrestus" (4) (a probable erroneous transcription of the name of Christ). (5) The fact that on this occasion converted Jews like Aquila and Priscilla were expelled from the city together with the Jews (Acts 18:2) proves, as Pierre Batiffol observes, "that the Roman police had not yet come to distinguish the Christians from the Jews." (6) Fourteen years later, however, Nero identified the Christians as being a separate entity, well distinguished from the Jews. The Emperor, in fact, according to Tacitus (ca. A.D. 55-120), "fastened the guilt [i.e. for arson upon them] and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abomination, called Christians by the populace." (7)
This recognition on the part of the Romans of Christianity as a religious sect distinct from Judaism seems to be the natural result of attempts made on both sides to differentiate themselves in the eyes of the Roman authorities. If initially Christians identified themselves with Jews to benefit from the protection which the Roman law accorded to the Jewish faith and customs, toward the sixties, as F. F. Bruce observes, "it was no longer possible to regard Christianity (outside Palestine) as simply a variety of Judaism." (8) The Jews themselves may have taken the initiative to dissociate from the Christians, whose majority in the empire was now composed of uncircumcised.
The circumstances seem to have been favorable to force such a distinction particularly in Rome. After the year 62, in fact, Jewish influence was present in the imperial court in the person of the Empress Poppea Sabina, a Jewish proselyte and friend of the Jews, whom Nero married that year. (9) A. Harnack thinks in fact that Nero in order to exculpate himself from the people’s accusation of having provoked the fire, at the instigation of the Jews, put the blame on the Christians. (10) It is a fact that though the Jewish residential district of Trastevere was not touched by the fire, as P. Batiffol remarks, "the Jews were not suspected for an instant of having started it; but the accusation fell on the Christians: they were, then, notoriously and personally distinct from the Jews." (11) The Christians did not forget the role played by the Jews in the first imperial and bloody persecution they suffered, and the Fathers did not hesitate to attribute to them the responsibility of having incited Nero to persecute the Christians. (12)
The fact that the Christians "by 64 A.D.," as F. F. Bruce comments ‘‘were clearly differentiated at Rome . . .‘‘ while it "took a little longer in Palestine (where practically all Christians were of Jewish birth)" (13) is a significant datum for our research on the origin of Sunday. This suggests the possibility that the abandonment of the Sabbath and adoption of Sunday as a new day of worship may have occurred first in Rome as part of this process of differentiation from Judaism. Additional significant factors present in the Church of Rome will enable us to verify the validity of this hypothesis.
Anti-Judaic Feelings and Measures
Following the death of Nero the Jews who for a time had experienced a favorable position soon afterwards became unpopular in the empire primarily because of their resurgent nationalistic feelings which exploded in violent uprisings almost everywhere. The period between the first (A.D. 66-70) and second (A.D. 132-135) major Jewish wars is characterized by numerous anti-Jewish riots (as in Alexandria, Caesarea and Antioch) as well as by concerted Jewish revolts which broke out in places such as Mesopotamia, Cyrenaica, Palestine, Egypt and Cyprus. (14) They made their last pitch to regain national independence, but it resulted in the desolation of their holy city, in the loss of their country and consequently in their being no longer strictly a natio but simply a homeless people with a religio.
The description that the Roman historian Dio Cassius (ca. A.D. 150-220) provides of these uprisings reveals the resentment and odium that these provoked in the mind of the Romans against the Jews. For example, of the Cyrenaica revolt he writes:
"Meanwhile the Jews in the region of Cyrene had put a certain Andreas at their head, and were destroying both the Romans and the Greeks. They would eat the flesh of their victims, make belts for themselves of their entrails, anoint themselves with their blood and wear their skins for clothing; many they sawed in two, from the head downwards; others they gave to wild beasts, and still others they forced to fight as gladiators. In all two hundred and twenty thousand persons perished. In Egypt, too, they perpetrated many similar outrages, and in Cyprus...." (15)
Christians often suffered as victims of these outbursts of Jewish violence, seemingly because they were regarded as traitors of the Jewish faith and political aspirations and because they outpaced the Jews in the conversion of the pagans. Justin, for instance, reports: "In the recent Jewish war, Bar Kokhba ordered that only the Christians should be subjected to dreadful torments, unless they renounced and blasphemed Jesus Christ." (16)
Roman measures and attitudes
The Romans who had previously not only recognized Judaism as a religio lecita but who had also to a large extent shown respect (some even admiration) for the religious principles of the Jews, (17) at this time reacted against them militarily, fiscally and literarily. Militarily, the statistic of bloodshed as provided by contemporary historians, even allowing for possible exaggerations, is a most impressive evidence of the Roman’s angry vengeance upon the Jews. Tacitus (ca. A.D. 33-120), for instance, gives an estimate of 600,000 Jewish fatalities for the A.D. 70 war. (18) In the Bar Kokhba war, according to Dio Cassius (ca. A.D. 150-235), 580,000 Jews were killed in action, besides the numberless who died of hunger and disease. "All of Judea," the same historian writes, "became almost a desert." (19)
Besides military measures, Rome at this time adopted new political and fiscal policies against the Jews. Under Vespasian (A.D. 69-79) both the Sanhedrin and the office of the High Priest were abolished and worship at the temple site was forbidden. Hadrian (A.D. 117-138), as we noted earlier, went so far as to prohibit any Jew, under the threat of death, to enter the area of the new city. Moreover he outlawed the practice of the Jewish religion and particularly the observance of the Sabbath. (20)
Also significant was the introduction by Vespasian (A.D. 69-79) of the fiscus judaicus, which was intensified by Domitian (A.D. 81-96) first, and by Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) later. (21) This Jewish "fiscal tax" of a half shekel, which previously had formed part of the upkeep of the temple of Jerusalem, was now excised for the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus even from those, according to Suetonius (ca. A.D. 70-122) "who without publicly acknowledging that faith yet lived as Jews." (22) Christian members could easily have been included among them. E. L. Abel aptly points out that "although the amount was insignificant, the principle was important since no other religious group in the Roman society paid such a tax. It was clearly discriminatory and marked the beginning of the social deterioration of the Jews in society." (23)
The sources do not inform us of any specific action taken by the Christians at this time to avoid the payment of such a discriminatory tax. However we may suspect, as S. W. Baron perspicaciously remarks, that
"in connection with this redefinition of the fiscal obligations as resting only upon professing Jews, the growing Christian community secured from Nerva exemption from the tax and, indirectly, official recognition of the severance of its ties with the Jews’ denomination." (24)
The introduction of Sunday worship in place of "Jewish" Sabbath keeping—the latter being particularly derided by several Roman writers of the time—could well represent a measure taken by the leaders of the Church of Rome to evidence their severance from Judaism and thereby also avoid the payment of a discriminatory tax.
The Roman intelligentsia also resumed at this time their literary attack against the Jews. Cicero, the renowned orator, in his defense of Flaccus—a prefect of Asia who had despoiled the Jewish’ treasure—already a century earlier (59 B.C.) had immortalized his attack against Judaism, labeling it a "barbaric superstition." (25) In the following years literary anti-Semitism was kept scarcely alive by the few sneers and jibes of Horace (65-8 B.C.), Tibullus (d. ca. 19 B.C.), Pompeius Trogus (beginning of first century A.D.) and Ovid (43 B.C.-A.D. 65). (26) With Seneca (ca. 4 B.C.-A.D. 65) however a new wave of literary anti-Semitism surged in the sixties, undoubtedly reflecting the new mood of the time against the Jews. This fervent stoic railed against the customs of this "accursed race—sceleratissime gentis," and especially their Sabbath keeping: "By introducing one day of rest in every seven, they lose in idleness almost a seventh of their life, and by failing to act in times of urgency they often suffer loss." (27)
Persius (A.D. 34-62) in his fifth satire presents the Jewish customs as the first example of superstitious beliefs. The Jewish Sabbath, particularly, is adduced as his first proof that superstition enslaves man. (28) In a fragment attributed to Petronius (ca. A.D. 66), the Jew is characterized as worshiping "his Pig-god" and as cutting "his foreskin with a knife" to avoid "expulsion by his people—exemptus populo" and to be able to observe the Sabbath. (29) The anonymous historians who wrote about the history of the Great War (A.D. 66-70) of the Jews with the Romans,. according to Josephus "misrepresented the facts, either from flattery of the Romans or from hatred of the Jews." (30)
Quintilian (ca. A.D. 35-100) alludes to Moses as the founder "of the Jewish superstition" which is pernicious to other people. (31) Similarly for Martial (ca. A.D. 40-104) the circumcised Jews and their Sabbath are a synonym of degradation. (32) Plutarch (ca. A.D. 46-119) labeled the Jews as a superstitious nation and singled out their Sabbath keeping (which he regarded as a time of drunkenness) as one of the many barbarian customs adopted by the Greeks. (33) Juvenal, in a satire written about A.D. 125, pitied the corrupting influence of a Judaizing father who taught his son to eschew the uncircumcised and to spend "each seventh day in idleness, taking no part in the duties of life." (34) Tacitus (ca. A.D. 55-120), whom Jules Isaac labels as "the most beautiful jewel in the crown of anti-Semitism," (35) surpassed all his predecessors in bitterness. The Jews, according to this historian, descend from lepers expelled from Egypt and abstain from pork in remembrance of their leprosy (a disease which, according to prevailing beliefs, was common among pigs). Their indolence on the Sabbath commemorates the day they left Egypt. "All their customs," Tacitus writes, "are perverse and disgusting" and as a people they are "singularly prone to lust." (36)
After Tacitus, as F. L. Abel points out, "anti-Jewish literature declined." (37) The historian Dio Cassius (ca. A.D. 130-220) is perhaps an exception. In describing the Cyrenaican Jewish uprising (ca. A.D. 115), Dio expresses, as we read earlier, his resentment and hatred against the Jews, presenting them as savages who ate their victims’ flesh and smeared their blood on themselves. (38) The fact that practically all the above mentioned writers lived in the capital city most of their professional lives and wrote from there, suggests that their contemptuous remarks about the Jews—particularly against their Sabbath keeping—reflect the general Roman attitude prevailing toward them, especially in the city. (We should not forget that the Jews were a sizable community estimated by most scholars at about 50,000 already at the time of Augustus.) (39)"The feeling against the Jews was strong enough" for instance, as F. F. Bruce writes, "to make Titus, when crown prince, give up his plan to marry Bernice sister of Herod Agrippa the Younger." (40) The Prince, in fact, because of the mounting hostility of the populace toward the Jews, was forced, though "unwillingly—invitus," to ask her to leave Rome. (41)
That hostility toward Jews was particularly felt at that time in Rome, is indicated also by the works of the Jewish historian Josephus. He was in the city from ca. A.D. 70 to his death (ca. 93) as a pensioner of the imperial family, and he felt the compulsion to take up his pen to defend his race from popular calumnies. In his two works, Against Apion and Jewish Antiquities, he shows how the Jews could be favorably compared to any nation in regard to antiquity, culture and prowess.
Christian Measures and Attitudes
In the light of these repressive policies and hostile attitudes prevailing toward the Jews (particularly felt in the capital city), what measures did the Church of Rome take at this time to clarify to the Roman authorities her severance with Judaism? Any change in the Christians’ attitude, policies or customs needs to be explained not solely on the basis of the Roman-Jewish conflict, but also in the light of the relationship which Christians had both with Rome and with the Jews. To this we shall briefly address our attention before considering specific changes in religious observances which occurred in the Church of Rome.
A survey of the Christian literature of the second century bears out that by the time of Hadrian most Christians assumed an attitude of reconciliation toward the empire, but toward the Jews they adopted a policy of radical differentiation. Quadratus and Aristides, for instance, for the first time addressed treatises (generally called "apologies") to Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) to explain and defend the Christian faith. The early apologists, as J. Lebreton notes, "believed in and worked for the reconciliation of the Church to the Empire." (42) Though they were unable to provide a definite formula of reconciliation with the Empire, as A. Puech brings out, they were confident that the conflict was not incurable. (43) Undoubtedly their positive attitude must have been encouraged by the Roman policy toward Christianity, which particularly under Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) and Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161) may be defined as one of "relative imperial protection." (44) Hadrian, in fact, as Marcel Simon observes, while "he reserved his severity for the Jews, ... he felt himself attracted with sympathy for Christianity." In his Rescriptus the Emperor provided that no Christian was to be accused on the basis of public calumnies.
On the other hand, how different at that time was the attitude of many Christian writers toward the Jews! A whole body of anti-Judaic literature was produced in the second century condemning the Jews socially and theologically. It is beyond the scope of the present study to examine this literature. The following list of significant authors and/or writings which defamed the Jews to a lesser or greater degree may serve to make the reader aware of the existence and intensity of the problem: The Preaching of Peter, The Epistle of Barnabas, Quadratus’ lost Apology, Aristides’ Apology, The Disputation between Jason and Papiscus concerning Christ, Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho, Miltiades’ Against the Jews ‘(unfortunately lost), Apollinarius’ Against the Jews (also perished), Melito’s On the Passover, The Epistle to Diognetus, The Gospel of Peter, Tertullian’s Against the Jews, Origen’s Against Celsus (45)
F. Blanchetiere, in his scholarly survey of the problem of anti-Judaism in the Christian literature of the second century, persuasively concludes:
"From this survey, it results that "the Jewish problem" regained interest by the thirties of the second century, that is, Hadrian’s time. In fact, the writings of the Apostolic Fathers give the impression of almost a total lack of interest of their authors for such a question. Meanwhile at that time the Kerugma Petrou felt the necessity to clarify the relationship between Jews and Christians. With the Epistle of Barnabas [which he dates ca. A.D. 135] appeared a whole group of writings, treatises and dialogues, a whole literature "Against the Jews—Adversos Judaeos" attacking this or that Jewish observance, when it is not a question of the foundation of Judaism itself. Moreover we must notice that the Eastern Roman areas have not been equally involved." (46)
While disparaging remarks about the Jews and Judaism are already present in earlier documents, (47) it is not until the time of Hadrian that there began with the Epistle of Barnabas the development of a "Christian" theology of separation from and contempt for the Jews. The Fathers at this time, as F. Blanchetière aptly states,
"did not feel any longer like Paul ‘a great sorrow and constant pain’ in their hearts, nor did they wish any longer to be ‘anathemas’ for their brethren... Without going to the extreme example of abusive language as used by the author of the Epistle to Diognetus, Justin, in the same manner as Barnabas, only knew that Israel throughout its history had been hard-hearted, stiff-necked and idolatrous ... Israel, murderer of the prophets, is guilty of not having recognized the Son of God ... It is only justice, therefore, that Israel be collectively and indistinctly struck, condemned and cursed." (48)
The adoption of this negative attitude toward the Jews can be explained (but not necessarily justified!) by several circumstances existing particularly at the time of Hadrian. First, the relationship between Rome and the Jews was extremely tense. The latter, as we noted earlier, were subjected to repressive and punitive measures. (49) Secondly, a conflict existed between the Church and the Synagogue. Christians were not only barred from the synagogues, but often denounced to the authorities and, whenever possible, directly persecuted by the Jews (50) Thirdly, a certain degree of imperial protection was granted to the Christians. Possibly Rome recognized that Christians had no nationalistic aspirations and consequently posed no political threat. (51) Fourthly, the influence of Judeo-Christians was felt within the Church. By insisting on the literal observance of certain Mosaic regulations, these encouraged dissociation and resentment. (52)
Such circumstances invited Christians to develop a new identity, not only characterized by a negative attitude toward Jews, but also by the substitution of characteristic Jewish religious customs for new ones. These would serve to make the Roman authorities aware that the Christians, as Marcel Simon emphasizes, "liberated from any tie with the religion of Israel and the land of Palestine, represented for the empire irreproachable subjects." (53) This internal need of the Christian community to develop what may be called an "anti-Judaism of differentiation" found expression particularly in the development of unwarranted criteria of Scriptural hermeneutic through which Jewish history and observances could be made void of meaning and function.
Regarding Jewish history, it is noteworthy that while the Apostolic Fathers do not make explicit or implied references to it, the Apologists reinterpret and interrelate past and present Jewish history (often by using an a posteriori scriptural justification) to prove the historic unfaithfulness of the Jews and consequently the justice of their divine rejection. (54) Barnabas, for instance, attempts to demolish the historical validity of Judaism by voiding its historical events and institutions of their literal meaning and reality. Though the covenant, for example, was given by God to the Jews, "they lost it completely just after Moses received it" (4:7) because of their idolatry and it was never reoffered to them. For Barnabas the ancient Jewish economy has lost its sense or rather makes no sense. Justin similarly by a tour de force establishes a causal connection between the "murdering of Christ and of His prophets" by the Jews, and the two Jewish revolts of A.D. 70 and 135, concluding that the two fundamental institutions of Judaism, namely circumcision and the Sabbath, were a brand of infamy imposed by God on the Jews to single them out for punishment they so well deserved for their wickedness. (55) Melito, whom E. Werner calls "the first poet of deicide," (56) in his Paschal Homily, in highly rhetorical fashion reinterprets the historical Exodus Passover to commemorate the "extraordinary murder" of Christ by the Jews:
"You killed this one at the time of the great feast. (verse 92)
God has been murdered,
the King of Israel has been destroyed
by the right hand of Israel.
O frightful murder!
O unheard of injustice! (verses 96-97) (57)
The history of Israel is viewed therefore as a sequel of infidelities, of idolatries (particularly emphasized are Baal Peor and the golden calf) and of murders (of the righteous, of the prophets and finally of Christ). Consequently the misfortunes of the Jews, especially the destruction of the city, their expulsion and dispersion and their punishment by Rome, represent a just and divine chastisement.
This negative reinterpretation of Judaism, motivated, as we have succinctly described above, by factors present inside and outside the Church, particularly affected the attitude of many Christians toward Jewish religious observances. In view of the fact that Judaism has rightly been defined as an "orthopraxis" (deed rather than creed) and that religious observances such as the circumcision and the Sabbath were not only outlawed by Hadrian’s edict but also consistently attacked and ridiculed by Greek and Latin authors, it should not surprise one that many Christians severed their ties with Judaism by substituting for distinctive Jewish religious observances such as the Sabbath and the Passover, new ones. In this process, as we shall now see, the Church of Rome, where, as we noted above, the break with Judaism occurred earlier and where anti-Judaic hostilities and measures were particularly felt, played a leadership role. This can be best exemplified by a study of her stand on the Sabbath and Passover questions.
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The role of leadership of the Church of Rome in the second century is discussed below pp. 207-211.
(2) This per se is not a decisive argument, since, as Harry J. Leon demonstrates from archeological inscriptions of ancient Rome, many Jews preferred Latin and Greek names. He submits a compilation of 254 examples of Latin names and 175 examples of Greek names used by Jews in ancient Rome (The Jews of Ancient Rome, 1960, pp. 93-121). That the majority of the members in Rome were pagan converts is clearly indicated by Paul’s statement in Romans 1:13-15, where he says: "I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome ... in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles" (emphasis supplied). Apparently this Gentile — Christian community of Rome had limited contacts with the Jews prior to Paul’s arrival. This is suggested, for instance, by the fact that when Paul met with the Jewish leaders three days after his arrival, they told him: "We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brethren coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you" (Acts 28:21). Marta Sordi, Il Cristianesimo e Roma, 1965, pp. 65-72, argues persuasively on the basis of several statements of Paul (Philippians 1:12-14; 4:22; 1:17; Colossians 4:10-11), of the inscription of lucundus Chrestianus (a servant of the daughter-in-law of Tiberius) and of Tacitus’ testimony (Annales 12, 32) regarding Pomponia Graecina (the wife of Aulus Plautius, the conqueror of Britain, and an early convert to Christianity), that a "clear separation" existed between the Church and the synagogue in Rome. Christians apparently gathered in the home of converted nobles "avoiding any conflict with the local Judaism" (p. 69). Apparently Paul came in conflict with Jewish circles, since he could name only three "men of the circumcision among his fellow workers" (Colossians 4:10-11).
(3) Leonard Goppelt, Les Origines de l’Église, 1961, pp. 202-203.
(4) Suetonius, Claudius 25, 4; H. J. Leon (footnote 2), pp. 23f., advocates an earlier date (closer to A.D. 41); some scholars however think that "Chrestus" is simply the name of an agitator and it has therefore no relation to the Christian propaganda; see Marta Sordi (footnote 2), pp. 64f.; see also S. Benko, "The Edict of Claudius of A.D. 49 and the Instigator Chrestus," Theologische Zeitschrift 25 (1969): 406-418. Dio Cassius (A.D. 150-235), Historia 60, 6, does not mention Claudius’ expulsion, but refers to an edict which prohibited the Jews from gathering according to their customs.
(5) Tacitus, Annales 15, 44, in his report of the Neronian persecution, spells the name in such a manner. On the evolution of the name, see A. Labriolle, "Christianus," Bulletin du Cange 5 (1929-1930): 69-88; A. Ferrua, "Christianus sum," La Civiltà Cattolica 2 (1933): 552-556; and 3 (1933): 13-26; Tertullian in his Apology 3 chides the pagans, saying: "[The namel Christian ... is wrongly pronounced by you ‘Chrestianus’ (for you do not even say accurately the name you despise)."
(6) Pierre Batiffol, Primitive Catholicism, 1911, p. 19. This hypothesis is supported, for instance, by the attitude of the proconsul of Achaia, Anneus Novatus Gallio, brother of Seneca, who upon hearing the ruler of the synagogue accusing Paul of being a renegade of the law, said: "since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves" (Acts 18:15; cf., 13:29; 24:5).
(7) Tacitus, Annales 15,44.
(8) F. F. Bruce, The Spreading Flame, 1958, p. 140; Leonard Goppelt (footnote 3), p. 42, similarly remarks: "In the imperial city Christians are distinguished from Jews by A.D. 64, but not as early as A.D. 49. The State’s recognition of their separate status occurred somewhere between these two dates according to the Roman sources.
(9) Flavius Josephus, Life 3, relates that in A.D. 63 while visiting Rome he was introduced to the Empress, who showed a liking for him. In Antiquities 22, 8, 11, he mentions that she was a Jewish proselyte. Cf. Tacitus, Historia 1,22.
(10) A. von Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, 1908, pp. 51, 400. J. Zeiller, The History of the Primitive Church, 1949, I, p. 372, also entertains this possibility. He asks: "Did the protégés of Poppea admitted into the circle immediately surrounding the emperor, think that they would serve Nero as well as themselves ‘by pointing out as the authors of the crime the Christians’ who took pleasure, it was said ... ‘in the ideas of heavenly vengeance, a universal conflagration, and the destruction of the world"
(11) P. Batiffol (footnote 6), p. 20; Ernest Renan, The Antichrist, 1892, p.112 similarly observes: "The Roman usually confounded the Jews and the Christians. Why was the distinction so clearly made on this occasion? Why were the Jews, against whom the Romans had the same moral antipathy and the same religious grievances as against the Christians, not meddled with at this time?" He suggests that the "Jews had a secret interview with Nero and Poppea at the moment when the Emperor conceived such a hateful thought against the disciples of Christ" (bc. cit.).
(12) Cf., Tertullian, Apology 21; Commodian, Carmen apologeticum, PL 5, 865; Justin Martyr, Dialogue 17, 3; a text in Clement’s letter To the Corinthians (5:2) could preserve the remembrance of the hostile Jewish Intervention: "Because of jealousy and envy the greatest and most upright pillars of the church [i.e., Peter and Paul] were persecuted and condemned unto death" (trans. by K Goodspeed, The Apostolic Fathers, An American Translation, 1950, p. 51). J. Zeiller (footnote 10), p. 373, pointedly observes: "In any case, from that day the Christians began to be distinguished by the Roman authorities from the Jews, who remained in possession of their privileges, while Christians were arrested, judged and condemned." Peter Richardson, Israel in the Apostolic Church, 1969, p. 47, underlines the fact that while the Romans took notice of Christianity after its separation from Judaism, it was actually the Jewish persecution, being "an intra muros controversy," which had the more creative role, obliging Christians to become a separate entity and to cause themselves to be recognized as such by the Roman authorities.
(13) F.F. Bruce (footnote 8), p. 157.
(14) For a concise account of the Jewish insurrections and wars, see Giuseppe Ricciotti, The History of Israel, n. d., II, pp. 402-461; Heinrich Graetz, History of the Jews, 1940, II, p. 393; see also the well documented account by A. Fuks, "The Jewish Revolt of 115-117," Journal of Roman Studies 51 (1861):98-104.
(15) Dio Cassius, Historia 69, LCL, p. 421; cf., the similar account given by Eusebius, HE 4, 2 and Chronicon 2, 164.
(16) Justin Martyr, I Apology 31, 6, trans. by Thomas B.. Falls, Writings of Saint Justin Martyr, The Fathers of the Church, 1948, p. 67 (hereafter cited as, Falls, Justin’s Writings); cf. Dialogue 110.
(17) See, above p. 101, footnote 35.
(18) Tacitus, Historiae 5, 13; Josephus, Wars of the Jews 6, 9, 3 specifies that 97,000 Jews were taken captive and 1,000,000 were either killed or perished during the siege.
(19) Dio Cassius, Historia 69, 13; he acknowledges, however, that even the Roman army suffered great losses. Hadrian, in fact, in his letter to the Senate omitted the customary opening expression, "If you and your children are in health, it is well; I and the legions are in health" (loc. cit.).
(20) See above pp. 160-1, footnotes 79-80. Some scholars maintain that sacrifices still continued at the temple after A.D. 70, though in a reduced form; cf. K. W. Clark, "Worship in the Jerusalem Temple after A.D. 70," NTS 6 (1959-1960): 269-280; see also J. R. Brown, The Temple and Sacrifice in Rabbinic Judaism, 1963. On the pathetic attempts of the Jews to visit their ruins, see Jerome, Commentarius in Zephanaiam 1. 15-16, PL 25, 1418f.; other patristic sources are analyzed by R. Harris, "Hadrian’s Decree of Expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem," Harvard Theological Review 19 (1926): 199-206; cf. also W. D. Gray, "Founding of Aelia Capitolina," American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures 39 (1922-1923): 248-256.
(21) J. Zeiller (footnote 10) pp. 384-385, remarks concerning Domitian: "His antipathy toward the Jews was in harmony with his financial necessities, for his Tresaury was exhausted after the excessive expenses he had incurred in the embellishment of Rome. Accordingly, he caused to be levied with great strictness the tax of the didrachma."
(22) Suetonius, Domitianus 12, LCL, p. 365; the historian relates how as a youth he had personally witnessed "a man ninety years old examined before the procurator and a very crowded court, to see whether he was circumcised" (ibid., p. 366); Heinrich Graetz (footnote 13b, p. 389, points out: "Severe, however, as he was toward the Jews, Domitian was doubly hard toward the proselytes and suffered them to feel the full weight of his tyrannical power"; cf. also E. M. Smallwood, "Domitian’s Attitude toward the Jews and Judaism," Classical Philology 51 (1956):1-14. Nerva (A.D. 96-98) as one of the first acts of his administration "removed the shameful [extortion] of the Jewish tax," as it reads on the legend of a coin he struck to commemorate the occasion; see Dio Cassius, Historia 58, 1-2. Under Hadrian (A.D. 117-138), according to Appian, a contemporary his. torian, the Jews were subjected at that time to a "poll-tax... heavier than that imposed upon the surrounding people" (Roman History, The Syrian Wars 50, LCL, p. 199.
(23) Ernest L. Abel, The Roots of Anti-Semitism, 1943, p. 97.
(24) S. W. Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, 1952, II, p. 106. Baron also notes that "unlike the later period, when capitation taxes became universal, a head tax at that time had by itself a discriminatory character" (ibid., p. 373, footnote 20). The author provides bibliographical references of special studies on the Roman capitation tax (loc. cit.).
(25) Cicero, Pro Flacco 28, 67. In his oration he said: "The practice of their sacred rites was at variance with the glory of our empire, the dignity of our name, the custom of our ancestors. But now it is even more so, when that nation by its armed resistance has shown what it thinks of our rule; how dear it was to the immortal gods is shown by the fact that it has been conquered, let out for taxes, made a slave" (ibid., 28, 69; the translation of this and of the subsequent texts of Roman authors, is taken from the convenient collection of Menahem Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, 1974, I, p. 198).
(26) Horace ridicules Jewish superstitions and in one instance he mentions the case of his friend Aristius Fuscus who refused to discuss some private affairs with him, saying: "‘I’ll tell you at a better time. Today is the thirtieth day, a Sabbath. Would you affront the circumcised Jews?’ ‘I have no scruples,’ said I. ‘But I have. I am a somewhat weaker brother, one of many. You will pardon me; I’ll talk another day’" (Sermones 1, 9, 65-70, M. Stern [footnote 24], p. 325; cf. also pp. 323, 324, 326, for other examples). Tibullus in a poem blames himself for leaving in Rome his beloved Delia. He regrets not having sought excuses such as portents against the journey, presaging birds or the day of Saturn: "Either birds or words of evil omen were my pretexts, or there was the accursed day of Saturn to detain me" (Ca rmina 1, 3:16-18, Stern [footnote 24], p. 319). For the identification of Saturn with the Jewish Sabbath, see Tacitus, Historiae 5, 4. Ovid in three references urges not to let the Jewish Sabbath hinder activities: "Persist, and compel your unwilling feet to run. Hope not for rain, nor let foreign sabbath stay you, nor Allia well-known for its ill-luck" (Remedia Amoris 219-220; cf., Ars Amatoria 1, 75.80; 413416, M. Stem [footnote 24], pp. 348-349). Pompeius Trogus in his distorted reconstruction of Jewish history makes the well-known statement that the ancestors of the Jews were lepers and that Moses "from a seven days’ fast in the desert of Arabia, for all time, consecrated the seventh day, which used to be called Sabbath by the custom of the nation, for a fast-day, because that day had ended at once their hunger and their wanderings" (Historiae Philippicae 36 in Justin’s Epitoma 1:9-3:9, M. Stern [footnote 24], pp. 337-338).
(27) Seneca, De Superstitiones, cited by Augustine, The City of God 6, 11. Seneca also says: "Meanwhile the customs of this accursed race have gained such influence that they are now received throughout all the world. The vanquished have given laws to their victors." He then adds what he thought of Jewish sacred institutions: ‘The Jews, however, are aware of the origin and meaning of their rites. The greater part of the people go through a ritual not knowing why they do so" (loc. cit., M. Stem [footnote 24], p. 431).
(28) Persius, Saturae 5, 176-184.
(29) Petronius, Fragmenta 37. The passage reads: "The Jew may worship his pig-god and clamour in the ears of high heaven, but unless he also cuts back his foreskin with the knife, he shall go forth from the people and emigrate to Greek cities, and shall not tremble at the fasts of Sabbath imposed by law" (M. Stern [footnote 24], p. 444; cf. also texts on pp. 442-443). On the misconception of the Sabbath as a fast day, see Pompeius Trogus [footnote 25] and Suetonius, Divus Augustus 76.
(30) Josephus, War of the Jews 1, 2. He further criticizes these historians for representing "the Romans as a great nation, and yet they continually depreciate and disparage the actions of the Jews" (Ibid., 1, 7-8). Minucius Felix in his Octavius 33, 2-4 mentions Antonius Julianus, possibly the procurator of Judea in A.D. 70, who wrote on the Jewish war: "Consult Antonius Julianus on the Jews, and you will see that it was their own wickedness which brought them to misfortune, and that nothing happened to them which was not predicted in advance, if they persisted in rebelliousness" (M. Stern [footnote 24], p. 460).
(31) Quintillian, Institutio oratoria 3, 7, 21, M. Stern (footnote 24), p. 513: "The vices of the children bring hatred on their parents; founders of the cities are detested for concentrating a race which is a curse to others, as for example the founder of the Jewish superstition."
(32) Martial, Epigrammata 4, 4, mentions the odor "of the breath of fasting Sabbatarian women" among the most offensive stenches. For other references of Martial, see M. Stern (footnote 24), pp. 523-529. Damocritus (first century A.D.), another military historian, according to Suda, wrote a work On Jews, in which "he states that they used to worship an asinine golden head and that every seventh year they caught a foreigner and sacrificed him. They used to kill him by carding his flesh into small pieces" (Suda, Damocritus, M. Stern [footnote 24], p. 531).
(33) Plutarch, De superstitione 3, M. Stern (footnote 24)’, p. 549: "‘Greeks from barbarians finding evil ways!’ Euripides, The Trojan Women, 764, because of superstition, such as smearing with mud, wallowing in filth, keeping the Sabbath [sabbatismos —cf. Hebrews 4:9]." Plutarch associates the Sabbath with the Dionysiac feasts: "I believe that even the feast of the Sabbath is not completely unrelated to Dionysius. Many even now call the Bacchants Sabi and utter that cry when celebrating the god.... You would not be far off the track if you attributed the use of this name Sabi to the strange excitement that possesses the celebrants. The Jews themselves testify to a connection with Dionysius when they keep the Sabbath by inviting each other to drink and enjoy wine" (Questiones convivales 4, 6,2, M. Stern [footnote 24], pp. 557-558).
(34) Juvenal, Satirae 14, 96-106. Juvenal not only repeats the common charges against Jewish customs (Sabbath, circumcision, horror for the porcine flesh and worship of the sky) but also denounces the exclusive spirit and solidarity of the Jews (cf. Tacitus, footnote 35). He rues the unfortunate offspring who "accidentally has had as a Father a Sabbathkeeper: he will worship only the clouds and the divinity of the sky and will make no distinction between human flesh and that of pork, which his father does not eat. In the same way he is circumcised. Brought up to despise the Roman laws, he only learns, observes and respects the Jewish law and all that Moses has handed down in a mysterious book: not to show the way to a traveller who does not practice the same ceremonies, not point out a well to the uncircumcised. The cause of all this is that his father spends each seventh day in idleness, taking no part in the duties of life" (bc. cit.; cf. Theodore Reinach, Textes d’auteurs Grecs et Romains relatif s au Judaisme, 1963, pp. 292-293; additional statements of Juvenal [Satirae 3, 5, 10; 3,5,296; 6, 156; 6,542] are given on pp. 290-293).
(35) Jules Isaac, Genése de l’Antisémitisme, 1956, p. 46.
(36) Tacitus, Historiae 55. The passage continues attacking particularly the Jewish apartheid policy: "The most degraded out of other races, scorning their national beliefs, brought to them their contribution and presents. This augmented the wealth of the Jews, as also did the fact, that among themselves they are inflexibly honest and ever ready to shew compassion, though they regard the rest of mankind with all the hatred of enemies. They sit apart at meals, they sleep apart, and though, as a nation, they are singularly prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; among themselves nothing is unlawful." Tacitus adds: "Those who come over to their religion adopt the practice [i. e., circumcision], and have this lesson first instilled into them, to despise gods, to disown their country, and set at nought parents, children and brethren. Still they provide for the increase of their numbers" (trans. by A. J. Church and W. J. Brodribb, The Annals and the Histories by P. C. Tacitus, 1952, p. 295).
(37) Ernest L. Abel (footnote 22), p. 79.
(38) See above footnote 14.
(39) For a discussion of the Jewish population in Rome in the early Empire see Harry J. Leon (footnote 2), p. 135, footnote 1.
(40) F. F. Bruce (footnote 8), p. 267; 5. W. Baron (footnote 23), p. 203, similarly states: "The anti-Jewish feeling in Rome and Italy also rose to a considerable height the moment this group of foreigners [i.e., the Jews] started to proliferate rapidly. With their special way of life, they were a strange element, even in the cosmopolitan capital. The literature of the age reflects the partly contemptuous and partly inimical attitude prevailing among the educated classes in the imperial city."
(41) Suetonius’ expressive invitus invitam (Titus 7, 1, 2) indicates that the separation was difficult for both of them. Titus’ love affair with Berenice is also reported by Dio Cassius, Historia 66, 15, 3-4 and by Tacitus, Historiae 2, 2; cf. E. Mireaux, La Reine Bérénice, 1951; J. A. Crook, American Journal of Archaeology 72 (1951), pp. 162f.
(42) J. Lebreton, La Chiesa Primitiva, l957, p. 540.
(43) A. Puech, Les Apologistes grecs du IIe siécle de notre ère, 1912, p. 5.
(44) Hadrian’s attitude toward Christianity is revealed primarily by his Rescriptus to Minucius Fundanus written probably about 125-126. The Emperor did not prohibit the prosecution of the Christians, but he demanded that the accusation be made before a tribunal in a regular process. Popular protestations against the Christians were not to be accepted and false accusers were to be severely punished (The Rescriptus is quoted by Justin, I Apologia 68 and by Eusebius, HE 4,9). While Hadrian’s Rescriptus is somewhat ambiguous in his formulation, perhaps intentionally, basically however the Emperor manifested a moderate attitude toward Christianity; for some significant studies on Hadrian’s Rescriptus, see C. Callewaert, "Le rescrit d’Hadrien à Minucius Fundanus," Revue d’histoire et de littérature religieuse 8 (1903):152-189; Marta Sordi, "I rescritti di Traiano e Adriano sui cristiani," Rivista di Storia della Chiesa in Italia 14 (1960). 359-370; W. Schmid, "The Christian Reinterpretation of the Rescript of Hadrian," Maya 7 (1953): if. According to Lampridius, an authority not too convincing, Hadrian was disposed to offer Christ a place in the Pantheon (see Vita Alexandri Seven 43, 6).
(45) For an excellent survey of Christian anti-Jewish literature of the second century, see F. Blanchetiére, "Aux sources de l’anti-judaYsme chrdtien," Revue d’Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuse 53 (1973): 353-398. In the Preaching of Peter (Kerygma Petrou), of which we possess only a few fragments dated in the first half of the second century, the Jewish worship of God is rejected as absurd as that of the Greeks: "Neither worship him in the manner of the Jews; for they also, who think that they alone know God, do not understand, worshipping angels and archangels, the months and the moon. And when the moon does not shine, they do not celebrate the so-called first Sabbath.... What has reference to the Greeks and Jews is old. But we are Christians, who as a third race worship him in a new way" (E. Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, 1965, II, p. 100). Regarding Quadratus, our only information is Eusebius’ statement that he addressed to Hadrian "a discourse con. taming an apology for our religion, because certain wicked men had attempted to trouble Christians" (HE 4, 3, 2, NPNF 2nd, I, p. 175). If the "wicked men," as argued by H. Graetz (Geschichte der Juden, 1911, IV, p. 169), are Jews spreading slanderous reports about the Christians, then the apology could have been a refutation of Jewish charges. The Apology of Aristides (dated A.D. 143; cf. J. R. Harris, The Apology of Aristides, 1891, pp. 6-13) though it commends Jewish monotheism and philanthropy, condemns their worship as irrational: "In their imagination they conceive that it is God they serve; whereas by their mode of observance it is to the angels and not to God that their service is rendered:—as when they celebrate sabbaths and the beginning of the months ... which things, however, they do not observe perfectly" (chapter 14, Syriac, ANF X, p. 276). All that we know of The Disputation between Jason and Papiscus is what Origen (ca. A.D. 248) wrote to refute Celsus (ca. A.D. 178), a heathen philosopher of Rome, who affirmed that the treatise "was fitted to excite not laughter, but hatred." Origen confutes the charge saying that "if it be impartially perused, it will be found that there is nothing to excite even laughter in a work in which a Christian [i.e., Jason] is described as conversing with a Jew on the subject of the Jewish Scriptures, and proving that the predictions regarding Christ fitly apply to Jesus" (Against Celsus 4, 52, ANF IV, p. 251). This work, as noted by F. Blancheti&e (art. cit., p. 358) could be "a forerunner of or at least a parallel attempt to the Dialogue of Justin." Miltiades, a contemporary of Justin, according to the account of Eusebius, "composed [treatises] against the Greeks and against the Jews, answering each of them separately in two books" (HE 5,17, 3, NPNF 2nd, I, p. 234). Note that now Judaism and paganism are treated in two distinct apologies, undoubtedly because of their importance. This appears as a new development. About Apollinarius, Eusebius reports that besides the Apology addressed to Marcus Aurelius, he wrote five books: "Against the Greeks, On Truth, a first and second book, and Against the Jews also in two books" (HE 4, 27, 1). It is noteworthy that Apollinarius devotes two treatises Against the Jews and only one Against the Greeks. On Melito see above pp. 82-84, and on Justin Martyr see below pp. 223f. The Epistle to Diognetus (dated by H. I. Marrou ca. A.D. 200) provides us with an exceptional and eloquent testimony of the definite break which had taken place between the Church and the Synagogue and of the prevailing contemptuous attitude of Christians against the Jews. Jewish sacrificial worship is labelled "an act of folly" (chapter 3). "As to their scrupulosity concerning meats, and their superstition as respects the Sabbaths, and their boasting about circumcision and their fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice,—I do not think that you require to learn anything from me" (chapter 4, ANF I, p. 26; cf., H.I., Marrou, A Diognéte, SC 33, pp. 112.114). In the fragments of the Gospel of Peter (ca. A.D. 180) the Jews are portrayed as executing the condemnation and crucifixion of Christ mercilessly (cf. 2:5; 3:6-9; 6:21; 12:50, E. Hennecke, op. cit., I, pp. 184-186). Tertullian’s Adversus Judaeos is the first systematic attempt to refute Judaism which has come down to us. Less versed in Judaism than Justin, Tertullian endeavors to demonstrate the obsoleteness of the Mosaic dispensation. Origen (ca. A.D. 248) formulates explicitly the doctrine of the divine punishment of the Jewish race: "We say with confidence that they will never be restored to their former condition. For they committed a crime of the most unhallowed kind, in conspiring against the Saviour of the human race in that city where they offered up to God a worship containing the symbols of mighty mysteries. It accordingly behooved the city where Jesus underwent these sufferings to perish utterly, and the Jewish nation to be overthrown and the invitation to happiness offered them by God to pass to others,—the Christians" (Against Celsus 4, 12, ANF IV, p. 506). For a convenient survey of later anti-Jewish literature, see A. Lukyn Williams, Adversus Judaeos, A Bird’s-Eye View of Christian Apologiae until the Renaissance, 1935.
(46) F. Blanchetière (footnote 44), p. 361 (emphasis supplied).
(47) The Didache, for instance, warns Christians not to fast "on the same days with the hypocrites, for they fast on Monday and Thursday, but you must fast on Wednesday and Friday. And do not pray like the hypocrites, but pray thus as the Lord commanded in his gospel" (8:1-2, trans. by E. J. Goodspeed, The Apostolic Fathers, 1950, pp. 14, 15). The use of the New Testament designation of the Scribes and Pharisees ("hypocrites"—Matthew 23:13-19), implies that the reference is directed against the Jewish leadership. Ignatius (ca. A.D. 110) also in his letters io several Christian communities of Asia Minor, warns repeatedly against Judaizing (see below, p. 213).
(48) F. Blanchetière (footnote 44), pp. 396-397. The author notes that between the patristic literature of the first and that of the second century, there is more of a break than a continuity. He finds this break in several ways. First in the sources of inspiration. The Apologists do not use the Gospels or the Pauline epistles, but almost exclusively the invectives of the Old Testament prophets against the unfaithfulness of the Israelites. Secondly, there is a break in the theme of the plan of salvation. While in the New Testament salvation is extended to all people, for Barnabas and Justin, for instance, after the apostasy of Israel of the golden calf, the Jewish people are purely and simply rejected: "The law is not any longer a teacher as for Paul, but a medicine to be used only by the Jews." Thirdly, there is a break in attitude and style. Though in the New Testament there are some virulent remarks against certain factions of Judaism, in the Apologists of the second century there is only a uniform and consistent condemnation of the Jewish peonle and Judaism. Finally, there is a break in perspective. There is no more crying over Jerusalem for the rejection of salvation, but condemnation (see Barnabas, Justin, Diognetus, Melito) of Israel as murderer of the prophets and despiser of the Son of God. A valuable discussion of the "Theology of Separation" is provided also by Edward H. Flannery, The Anguish of the Jews, 1965, pp. 35-43; cf., also León Poliakov, The History of Anti-Semitism, pp. 17-25.
(49) See above pp. 171f.
(50) Justin Martyr, Dialogue 17, 1 laments the fact that the Jews falsely represent the Christians, accusing them as traitors and sacrilegious: "The other nations have not treated Christ and us, His followers, as unjustly as have you Jews, who, indeed, are the very instigators of that evil opinion they have of the Just One and of us, His disciples." In chapter 96 of the same work, Justin adds: "In your synagogues you curse all those who through Him have become Christians, and the Gentiles put into effect your curse by killing all those who merely admit that they are Christians" (Falls, Justin’s Writings, pp. 173 and 299). The existence of a general climate of mistrust and hostility is indicated by recurring expressions such as: (1) "You hate us" (I Apology 36: Dialogue 39,1; 82,6; 133,6; 136,2; 134,5); (2) "You curse us" (Dialogue 16,4; 93,4; 95,4; 108, 3; 123, 6; 133, 6); (3) "Jesus... whose name you profane, and labour hard to get it profaned over all the earth" (Dialogue 120, 4); (4) "You accuse Him of having taught those godless, lawless, and unholy doctrines which you mention to the condemnation of those who confess Him to be Christ" (Dialogue 108, 3; cf. 47, 5); (5) "Our teachers [Rabbis] laid down a law that we should have no intercourse with any of you, and that we should not have even any communication with you on these questions" (Dialogue 38, 1; 112,4; 93, 5). The hostility in some instances reached the point of putting the Christians to death, whether directly as during the Barkokeba revolt (Dialogue 16,4; 95,4: 133, 6; I Apology 31) or indirectly by helping the Romans (Dialogue 96,2; 110, 5; 131, 2). Cf. also Tertullian, Scorpiace 10: "The synagogues of the Jews— fountains of persecution"; cf. Ad Nationes 1, 14; Origen, Contra Celsum I, reports at length the accusations which Celsus’ Jews launched against the Christians.
(51) It is noteworthy that, according to Eusebius, Domitian tried for political plotting the relatives of Christ, but after examining them "he let them go, and by a decree put a stop to the persecution of the Church" (HE 3,20,7); see above footnote 43.
(52) Justin reports, for instance, that there were Jewish Christians who "compelled those Gentiles who believe in this Christ to live in all respects according to the law given by Moses" (Dialogue 47, ANE I, p. 218). The extreme anti-Judaic movement of Marcion also contributed to develop an anti-Judaism of differentiation; see below pp. 189f.
(53) M. Simon, Verus Israel: études sur les relations entre chrétiens et juifs dans l’empire romain, 1964, p. 128, Robert M. Grant, Augustus to Constantine, 1970, pp. 104-105, points out that the apologetic movement started under Hadrian, prompted by the Hellenizing efforts of the Emperor and by the effects of the Barkokeba revolt. Leon Poliakov (footnote 47), p. 21, similarly remarks: "At the time of Hadrian’s prohibition of the circumcision and of the bloody Barkokeba rebellion in 135, the first Christian apologists were attempting to prove that the Christians, having no link with Israel and the land of Judea, were irreproachable subjects of the empire."
(54) For a concise and cogent analysis of the apologists’ reinterpretation of Jewish history, see F. Blanchetiere (footnote 44), pp. 373-385.
(55) Cf. Dialogue 16, 1 and 21, 1. These and other passages are quoted and discussed below, pp. 226-7. F. Blanchetiere (footnote 44), p. 377, observes that Justin is the first to establish "an explicit link between the defeat of the rebellions of 70 and 135 and their consequences—ruin of Jerusalem, deportation, implantation of non-Jewish population in Palestine— on the one hand and their direct responsibility for the death of Christ on the other" (cf. p. 382).
(56) E. Werner, Hebrew Union College Annual 37 (1966): 191-210. The formulae used by Melito, according to Werner, are particularly strong, explicit and unique. (57)
Translation by Gerald F. Hawthorne, "A New English Translation of Melito’s Paschal Homily," in Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation,
ed. G. F. Hawthorne, 1972, pp. 171-172. A. T. Kraabel expresses a legitimate surprise when he says: "I am unable to explain how a generation could read the Pen Pascha
without calling attention to the implications of this ... prolonged, bitter, personal attack on Israel" ("Melito the Bishop and the Synagogue at Sardis: Text and Context," Studies Presented to George M. A. Han fmann,
1971, p. 81). Kraabel explains that the bitterness of Melito’s attack was caused "by the size and power of the [Sardis] Jewish community" (ibid., p. 83).
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