Contemporary Unified Rabbinic Judaism Begins Only After Jesus Christ’s Messiah Judaism

Historically Rabbinic Judaism begins only after 70 C.E.

If we accept the claims of the rabbis themselves, the rabbinic period begins much earlier than the second century CE. The rabbis believed themselves to have been the bearers of a sacred tradition revealed by God to Moses, and thus the direct heirs of the communal leaders of the Jews throughout the generations. According to this belief (or “myth”), by which the rabbis legitimated themselves and their teachings, the rabbinic period begins with “Moses our rabbi.” Only fundamentalist Jews today accept the historicity of this perspective, but modern scholars, especially Jewish scholars, have been influenced by it as well. Until recently scholars spoke readily of a normative Judaism, as if rabbinic Judaism (and its antecedents) were always the dominant and authentic expression of Judaism. Many scholars still view the Second Temple period through rabbinic spectacles, assuming that all the central institutions of society were under rabbinic aegis, and ascribing enormous influence and power to various protorabbinic figures. But none of these beliefs can be substantiated by historical evidence. For the believer, rabbinic Judaism is normative Judaism, and the rabbis were always at the center of Jewish history. For the historian, however, “the rabbis” and “the rabbinic period” become meaningful entities only after 70 CE. I shall return to this point in chapters 5 and 7….

There were many Israelite “Judaism”s in the Intertestamental Period -yet they saw themselves s one

Second Temple Judaism was a complex phenomenon. Judaism changed dramatically during the Persian, Hellenistic, Maccabean, Roman, and rabbinic periods. Generalizations that may be true for one period may not be true for another. In addition, at any given moment Jews practiced their religion in manifold different ways. The Jewish community of Egypt in the first century CE was far from uniform in practice and belief, and we have no reason to assume that any of the Egyptian interpretations of Judaism would necessarily have found favor in the other communities of Greek-speaking Jews throughout the Roman world (e.g., in Rome, Asia Minor, North Africa, and parts of the land of Israel). The Judaism of the land of Israel was striated not only by numerous sects but also by numerous teachers and holy men, each with a band of supporters. We have no reason to assume that any of the Judean interpretations of Judaism would necessarily have found favor in the other communities of Hebrew- or Aramaic-speaking Jews throughout the East (e.g., in Babylonia and parts of Syria). With such diversity, was there any unity? What links these diverse phenomena together and allows them all to be called Judaism?

{Dual Loyalties]

During the war of 66–70 CE, some Diaspora Jews supported the revolutionaries and sent them aid. The fact is revealed by a Roman historian of the third century CE who wrote that the rebels were assisted by “their coreligionists from across the Euphrates (that is, Babylonia) and indeed, the entire Roman Empire.” After the revolt of 66–70 CE, the Romans imposed a punitive tax (the fiscus Iudaicus) on all the Jews of the Roman Empire, not just the Jews of Judea. In the eyes of the Romans, all the Jews were responsible for what had happened

Questions :
  • Did Rabbinic Judaism arise as a response to Messiah Judaism i.e. Christianity ?
  • The success of Christianity was its Universality- it unified 1st Century Christian Gentiles and Messianic Christians as One God’s People under a New Moral Law, and a New Covenant ?
    • Rabbinic Judaism only achieves unity s a Mirrror Opposition to Messiah Judaism – Unity of Seed and Circumcision against Universality supercedes Messiah ? /li>



From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, Third Edition, by Shaye Cohen (Author)

Posted in theology.