This book comprises three successive chapters from Yehezkel
Kaufman's Golah ve-Nekhar
which, though intrinsically related to the central
topic of that work, constitute a distinct unit of its own.
These three chapters represent a
broad attempt by the author to answer the question as to why, having spread to
almost all peoples around the world, Christianity was not was able to anchor
itself among the Jews? Why all those Jews that have become Christians, have also
eventually disappeared from the rolls of the Jewish people?
the Author -- Christianity and Judaism: Two Covenants
Yehezkel Kaufmann ---
The writings of Yehezkel Kaufmann
Professor of Bible at the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem, fall into three main categories: Bible studies, of which the
four-volume History of the Religion of
Israel is the magnum opus;
socio-historical analysis of Jewry's fate and existence as a diaspora-nation
community, with the two-volume Gold
ve-Nekhar (Exile and Estrangement) being
its most outstanding scholarly undertaking in this regard; finally topical
articles dealing with immediate socio-political problems of Zionism and the
emerging State of Israel.
So far as mass conversion to Christianity is concerned, it was much the same; Jewish intellectuals were not drawn to it. Certainly many Egyptian Jews, even as Jews elsewhere, accepted the gospel preached by Jesus' apostles. But Greek rationalism was totally absent in early Christianity; Christianity was, as emphasized above, the defeat of the Greek enlightenment. To the Greeks, Christianity was "foolishness"; to the Jews, "a stumbling block"; and to the Jewish intellectuals, both foolishness and stumbling block. Jews of Egypt, like other Jews, might, insofar as they were prepared to believe in its signs and wonders, accept Christianity as a development of their Judaism. But Hellenistic life styles could not make them, particularly those influenced by Greek philosophy, more receptive to Christianity than their more tradition-oriented brethren.
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