On the parting of the ways

Another key question for the history of early Christianity is the break between the followers of Jesus (which was initially called the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts 24.5) with the rabbinic Judaism. When and why did it happen? Indeed, what do you mean by a ‘break’? Zetterholm spent a few words on this issue on the second chapter of his book, and I became interested in pursuing it further.

The definitive book on this issue, I believe, was written by James D. G. Dunn in 1992, The Parting of the Ways, which prompted a some responses which revolved around the title, e.g., Ignatius of Antioch and the Parting of the Ways, or The Ways that Never Parted, clearly referring back to Dunn’s earlier book. Zetterholm himself has written a book on this topic, The Formation of Christianity in Antioch (you can read a few pages of this book here).

Looking in retrospect, this short holiday has been fruiftul in terms of my reading time. I could read for a long time these past few days. If I could choose, I would wish for a life that Calvin also wished for: to study, to read books, and to write. But what I’ve been doing lately is perhaps the exception that proves the rule. As Calvin didn’t get what he wished for, I believe life won’t be that simple, either. But at least the complex one is real.

Well, on the question of ‘the parting of the ways’ itself, I just realized that actually I had a book which dealt with this topic: Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity. I guess it means I will read this book after I finished Zetterholm’s.


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