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Attitudes to Gentiles in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity
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Attitudes to Gentiles in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity

by ,

Bloomsbury 2013

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This volume describes the attitudes towards Gentiles in both ancient Judaism and the early Christian tradition. The Jewish relationship with and views about the Gentiles played an important part in Jewish self-definition, especially in the Diaspora where Jews formed the minority among larger Gentile populations. Jewish attitudes can be found in the writings of prominent Jewish authors (Josephus and Philo), sectarian movements and texts (the Qumran community, apocalyptic literature, Jesus) and in Jewish institutions such as the Jerusalem Temple and the synagogue.

In the Christian tradition—which began as a Jewish movement but developed quickly into a predominantly Gentile tradition—the role and status of Gentile believers in Jesus was always of crucial significance. Did Gentile believers need to convert to Judaism as an essential component of their affiliation with Jesus, or had the appearance of the messiah rendered such distinctions invalid? This volume assesses the viewpoints on attitudes towards Gentiles and the status and expectations of Gentiles in the Christian church.

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Save more when you purchase this book as part of the T&T Clark Studies in Early Christianity collection.

Key Features

  • Presents both Jewish and Gentile attitudes towards Gentiles
  • Examines the role Gentiles played in Jewish self-definition
  • Assesses the status and expectations of Gentiles in the Christian church


  • “Gentiles, God-Fearers and Proselytes” by David C. Sim
  • “Philo and the Gentiles” by David T. Runia
  • “Gentiles in the Dead Sea Scrolls” by John J. Collins
  • “Josephus and the Gentiles” by James S. McLaren
  • “The Portrayal of Gentiles in Jewish Apocalyptic Literature” by Michael P. Theophilos
  • “The Temple and Gentiles” by James S. McLaren
  • “The Synagogue and the Gentiles” by Donald Binder
  • “Q and the Gentiles” by Christopher M. Tuckett
  • “Paul’s Attitude to the Gentiles” by Sean F. Winter
  • “Fishing the Other Side: The Gentile Mission in Mark’s Gospel” by Ian J. Elmer
  • “The Attitude to Gentiles in the Gospel of Matthew” by David C. Sim
  • “‘To the Ends of the Earth’: Attitudes to Gentiles in Luke–Acts” by Elizabeth V. Dowling
  • “Gentiles in the Gospel of John: Narrative Possibilities—John 12:12–43” by Mary L. Coloe
  • “Greeks in Colossae: Shifting Allegiances in the Letter to the Colossians and Its Context” by Alan Cadwallader
  • “‘You Shall Not Give What is Holy to the Dogs’ (Didache 9:5): The Attitude of the Didache to the Gentiles” by Jonathan A. Draper
  • “Jews, Christians and Gentiles: Observations and Some Concluding Remarks” by David C. Sim

Product Details

About the Editors

David C. Sim is associate professor in theology at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia.

James McLaren is senior lecturer in the school of theology at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia.