A jewish critique of christianity from second-century alexandria: Revisiting the jew mentioned in contra celsum

Maren Niehoff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article proposes to read all the fragments that Origen identified as belonging to the section of "Celsus's Jew" in The True Doctrine as deriving from a written document composed by an Alexandrian Jew in the mid-second century. The author of these fragments emerges as an educated and highly scholarly writer with an Alexandrian background, who was alarmed by the situation of the Jewish community following a significant spread of Christianity, which was accompanied by separatist theology. The anonymous Jewish author thus produced the first literary critique of the Gospels, which is of significant value for our understanding of the "parting of the ways." Moreover, I suggest that these fragments should be interpreted in light of both earlier forms of Alexandrian Judaism as well as the Letter of Barnabas.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)151-175
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Early Christian Studies
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

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