Bibliographical Record

Reflections on Rutgers's "Attitudes to Judaism in the Greco-Roman Period"
Secondary Title:
Feldman, Louis Harry
Journal Article
Biblical References:
II Reg. 23:22; 24:14-16 II Chr. 35:7-9 Jer. 52:28-30 Esr. 2:64-65 Neh. 7:66-67 Mt. 23:15
"Abstract: Leonard V. Rutger's critique of my Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World mistakenly assumes that my thesis is that the masses disliked Judaism but the intellectuals admired it. He then wonders where all the alleged converts came from. In fact, I cite Jewish success in winning converts, as well as "sympathizers", among the masses, and I note the importance of economic factors in induing poverty-stricken pagans to embrace Judaism. Dr. Rutgers is sceptical as to the number of converts won by the Jews; but I note that the evidence comes from many authors - Philo, Josephus, the New Testament, rabbinic literature, and pagans alike - as well as from the fact that the Jews were expelled from Rome on at least two occasions because of their success in winning converts. Rutgers asserts that I view the interaction between Jews and non-Jews as a one-way phenomenon that was essentially religious in nature, whereas I devote much attention to the influence of non-Jewish culture upon the Jews in the Diaspora, whether in language, thought, education, athletics, the theatre, and/or religion. In the Land of Israel, however, I insist that we must distinguish between outward and inward hellenization. As to the repetition of Laws included in the Codes Theodosianus containing penalties for conversion to Judaism, Rutgers argues that they do not represent a current state of affairs but rather a strictly legal statement and that the repetition serves the purpose of supplying information omitted from earlier laws. But my contention is that such laws reflect answers to request on current practical issues, and the fact hat they are more than a century apart indicates that the original prohibition had not been sufficiently strong to stamp out the problem".
Cultural and Religious History of Ancient Judaism
Josephus References:
Ant. lud. 14.115; Ant. lud. 17.300; Ant. lud. 18.81-84; Ant. lud. 18.159; Ant. lud. 19.280-285; Ant. lud. 20.39; Bell. lud. 2.80; Bell. lud. 2.280; Bell. lud. 2.388; Bell. lud. 2.497; Bell. lud. 2.560; Bell. lud. 6.424-425; Contra Ap. 1.209; Contra Ap. 2.210; Contra Ap. 2.282-283; Vita 1.113