In the intertestamental period, the term “proselyte” acquired the meaning of a pagan-born individual who converted to the Jewish faith. During this era, the prerequisites for conversion were formulated, and the sequence and significance of essential ritual acts were established. The Jewish diaspora was more receptive to proselytes compared to the Palestinian context. However, Roman citizens living in major imperial cities, who held contempt for Jewish communities, viewed proselytism negatively, considering it aggressive encroachment or a political maneuver by Jews.
Many of the parallels between rabbinic and early Christian writings can be explained by their common heritage and their shared opposition to pagan society. Their attitude towards spectacles may be an exception because the Hebrew Bible does not provide any guidance in this regard, yet their arguments against pagan entertainments are often based on the same proof text (Ps 1:1). This may be the result of intensive academic communication, but it could also be traced back to a common oral tradition.
Did the Jews engage in missionary activities in the New Testament era? Since most of the first Christians were of Jewish background, with their centre in Jerusalem, and considering the relevance of missionary activity in early Christianity, this is a highly significant question. Before the ministry of Apostle Paul, Christians of (primarily) Jewish origin were those who defined the circle and practice of potential followers of Christ.
In 1519 Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote in a letter to Jacob Hoogstraeten: “If to be a Christian is to hate Jews, then we are all thoroughly Christian.” Our aim is to examine whether this sentence is in any way relevant – evidently under the changed circumstances – in the Transylvanian (Hungarian) Reformed Church. We show that the main cause of occasional anti-Semitism is the anti-Semitic heritage of Christian Church, particularly the anti-Semitic heritage of Protestantism. After facing this heritage, we shape the theological, moral and psychological risks of anti-Semitism / anti-Judaism.
This article discusses aspects related to the Jewish self-governance in the 1st century A.D. We attempt to inquire into the following questions: What powers did the Sanhedrin who condemned Jesus have during the Roman rule? Did it have any authority to inflict death penalty? What were the rules of procedure in case of the Sanhedrin?