What were the political, social and intellectual relations of various religious groups on the Hellenistic and Roman world? David Rokeah suggests that they were marked by ongoing propaganda wars, and that the pagan-Jewish polemic served as the foundation of the subsequent pagan-Christian polemic. He proves that the Jews were not a party to the pagan-Christian polemic, but that the Jews’ very existence and their independent attitude towards Christianity and paganism alike, their holy writings and those of Hellenistic Jewry, all helped to shape the pagan-Christian conflict. Against a historical background, the author examines specific philosophical-theological motifs of the polemic, such as religious myth, divine providence, and the election of Israel. A wealth of material from Greek, Latin and Hebrew sources presented in a fresh English translation, so as to help the reader sense the spirit of this important age in world history.
“Justin Martyr. He was among the first Christian apologists (mid-second century C.E.) to contend with the pagans, and one of the last anti-Jewish polemicists.” (Page 13)
“led me to the conclusion that the Jews were no party to it” (Page 9)
“the pagans were adherents of Plato, and his teachings formed the basis of their contemporary outlook.” (Page 11)
“A.D. Nock’s description of the spiritual-religious climate in the Roman Empire” (Page 12)