Mitchell Lewis | Jenkins, Gnosticism and the Jewish Wars

Original Posting At https://milewis.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/jenkins-gnosticism-jewish-wars/


Philip Jenkins offers some very interesting thoughts about the emergence of anti-Jewish Gnosticism and the Judean revolts of 1st and 2nd century: The Gnostics and the Interwar Crisis.

That 70-130 period, then, marks not only a crisis within Judaism itself, but among movements that had grown up within the Jewish framework. We might usefully describe this era, in fact, as an interwar period, one that lived with the after-effects of one disaster while grimly awaiting the near-inevitable second phase. Anti-Judaism became more common, as did critical attitudes towards Jewish claims to exclusivism. Thinkers were struggling to build a Jewish-derived world-view without the necessity to accept the exclusive God of the Hebrew Bible, with his burdensome Law. Gnosticism is much more than anti-Judaism, but without that element, it is impossible to sustain.

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