When the Jews stopped evangelising

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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
Really interested in what Dennis was saying about why Judaism no longer seems to proseletise (evangelise). He tied it in with New Testament era when the 1/10th of the Roman Empire was Jewish in the time of Paul??? When Rome became Christian they banned conversion to Judaism and that ended the era of Jewish evangelism?? [54minutes 42seconds into discussion, with Alistair Begg]

Another point that Dennis made was that for Jews there is no "salvation" on offer just a lifestyle??
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Many Jewish people are still "evangelizing" for secularism through the media, Hollywood, and the p0rnography business. It's not just religious people who prosyletize.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
I would have to listen again but he may have meant that 1/10th of the empire had Jews
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Really interested in what Dennis was saying about why Judaism no longer seems to proseletise (evangelise). He tied it in with New Testament era when the 1/10th of the Roman Empire was Jewish in the time of Paul??? When Rome became Christian they banned conversion to Judaism and that ended the era of Jewish evangelism?? [54minutes 42seconds into discussion, with Alistair Begg]

Another point that Dennis made was that for Jews there is no "salvation" on offer just a lifestyle??
There's nothing like a simple answer to a complex historical question, is there?

To begin with, the claim that 10 per cent of the Roman empire was Jewish during Paul's lifetime seems unlikely. Jews were expelled from Rome itself in AD 19 and 49, which suggests they were a sufficient minority to make them worth expelling, and they were found in small numbers throughout the cities of the eastern Mediterranean in Paul's time, but they probably wouldn't have been found as often in the countryside, where the overwhelming mass of the population lived.
More specifically, the claim of 10% seems to be based on a 13th century medieval bishop, Bar Hebraeus, who wrote “At the same time Claudius Caesar ordered the Jews to be counted, and their number was 6,944,000 men.” This number (of Jews) exactly matches the total number of Roman citizens counted by Claudius in his census according to Eusebius, who was much closer to the event. This makes the medieval claim rather problematic, especially since a Roman census specifically aimed at identifying Jews seems implausible.

As to why the Jews stopped proselytizing, there are probably many reasons, ranging from lack of internal motivation to persecution by the Romans as well as Christians. But the evidence suggests that at least in some places, Jewish outreach continued well into the middle ages. A notable example is the mass conversion of Khazars in the Caucasus (8th century). It probably ebbed and flowed, much like Christian evangelism.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
"Most scholars hold that for practical purposes, after the massive
defeats of the Jews in the uprisings of 66-74, 115-117, and 132-135,
proselytism by Jews ceased after the last of these uprisings because
of the penalty of death imposed by the Romans for proselytism and
because of the tremendous hatred which the Jews experienced from
Gentiles in reaction to previous Jewish success in winning converts
in the preceding centuries and which drove the Jews into isolation."

PROSELYTISM BY JEWS IN THE THIRD, FOURTH, AND FIFTH CENTURIES
BY L. H. FELDMAN
Yeshiva University, New York, NY
Journal for the Study of Judaism, XXIV, no. 1.
 
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