Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 13:18:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: Yuri Kuchinsky 
Subject: Re: NT anti-semitism? 


On Sat, 23 Sep 1995, Gregory Jordan (ENG) wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Sep 1995, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

> > Yes, many commentators have been very careful while looking at these 
> > aspects of the gospels, and they have found much to substantiate the 
> > idea that a sort of anti-Semitism is identifiable there.
> > 
> > This, of course, can be seen as mostly a product of the internecine
> > struggles within the synagogue between the followers of Jesus and the
> > more traditional Jews. 
> 
> But precisely there we have a "sort of anti-Semitism" that couldn't 
> possibly be the same as medieval European anti-Semitism, in that those in 
> power in the synagogue, and those who were persecuted there, were both 
> Jews.  I think 'factional divisiveness' or something 
> similar would be a much 
> more appropriate term for that "struggle" at that time among those people.

Clearly, in order to consider this subject in a serious manner,
we need to agree on what might constitute "New Testament anti-
semitism". I would suggest that if we find passages in the NT
that contributed to inciting hatred for the Jews as an
identifiable ethnic/racial/religious group, these could be
labelled as anti-semitic.

> > To cite but one relevant passage:
> > 
> > "When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, ... he took water and
> > washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of
> > this man's blood. Look to it yourselves."
> > 
> > And the whole people said in reply, "His blood be upon us and upon our
> > children."" 
> > 	Mt. 27:24-25. (The New American Bible tr.)
> 
> I'm not so sure this passage is relevant.  

Interesting. The passage that, in the opinion of many, is one of
the prime suspects should not be relevant?

> Did Christians cite it in the 
> NT as the pretext for an attitude toward all Jews?  No.  They didn't 
> cite it at all.  

I am not sure about this. 
 
On the other hand, will the number of citations of this passage
be essential to determining its nature? Did the (educated)
Christians read their bibles? Was this passage read in Churches?
If so, Christians must have surely been influenced by it.

> The context for the passage here (as opposed to its 
> significantly different use in the Oberammergau Passion Play) is hardly 
> to establish a perpetual, national guilt for the Jewish people, let alone 
> to provide an excuse for retaliating for the death of Jesus.  

I think the intent of the passage is to get back at religious
opponents. But perhaps determining the intent or "the context
for" the passage is not essential in order to determine whether
or not it helped to incite racial hatred against the Jews
throughout history. 
 
With best wishes.
 
Yuri.

======
Yuri Kuchinsky
Toronto


Date: Tue, 26 Sep 1995 13:12:16 EDT
From: Yuri Kuchinsky 
Subject: Re: NT anti-judaism


On Mon, 25 Sep 1995, Gregory Jordan (ENG) wrote:

> > Interesting. The passage that, in the opinion of many, is one of
> > the prime suspects should not be relevant?
> 
> I am aware of how this and many other Biblical passages came to mean 
> different things in different eras.  My main concern on this list (as 
> opposed to a list devoted to anti-Semitism throughout history) is  
> in reconstructing its contemporary meaning - what it meant at the time.  
> And I don't believe it was "anti-Semitic" (in the strict sense) at the 
> time.  
 
Greg,
 
Reconstructing the contemporary meaning is very important. This
means to identify and to clarify the background, the reductional
history, the intent, and the function of the narrative qua
narrative.
 
Perhaps this passage (about the gospel of John) from Helmut
Koester's, INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT, 1982, pp. 183-184,
will satisfy everybody?
 
      Other features, however, have been added by the Johannine
      redaction: ... [including] the clearly expressed intention to
      put the blame for the death of Jesus on the Jews and to
      exonerate Pilate. An anti-Judaic tendency appears here which
      was already visible in some of the traditions of controversy
      in the earlier Johannine communities. The reason for this
      tendency must be found in experiences of persecution from the
      side of Jews: note the mention of the exclusion from the
      synagogue on the basis of the confession of Christ (John 9:22;
      16:2). 
 
After all, the gospel of John seems perhaps more relevant here than
Matthew, as these anti-Judaic tendencies are more apparent in it. It
is interesting that Luke's gospel, although perhaps being the most
"Gentile", seems remarkably free of "Anti-Judaism". This would
indicate that anti-Judaism was primarily a product of intra-Jewish
conflict.
 
Also, here's some more useful bibliography:
 
Rosemary Ruether, FAITH AND FRATRICIDE, 1974. This book provoked a
lot of discussion in this area at the time.
 
Samuel Sandmel, ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT?, 1978.

With best wishes,

Yuri
-----
Yuri Kuchinsky
Toronto

P.S. The current issue of the NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS features a very
interesting review by Norman Cohn (his excellent COSMOS, CHAOS AND THE
WORLD TO COME has appeared recently) of the new book about Satan by
Elaine Pagels. He is positive about the book, but thinks she didn't go
far enough into the roots of the subject (their two books cover some of
the same territory). In this review Cohn touches on anti-Judaism in the
NT and quotes John 8:44 ("your father, the devil").

I just thought this might be somehow relevant.



Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 17:22:27 EDT
From: Yuri Kuchinsky 
Subject: Re: NT anti-semitism?


On Mon, 25 Sep 1995, David Neumann wrote:

> I don't know that I can offer a great definition at this juncture, but
> anti-semitism in its most potent and well-known forms (i.e. Middle Ages,
> Nazi regime) seems to combine 1) a *dominant* group (i.e. one that has power
> in political, social, religious, etc. forms) 2) *persecuting* Jewish people
> 3) because they are "other" *both* religiously and ethnically 4) usually
> articulated through some ideology of the inferiority of Jewish *people* [Like
> I said, this may not be a perfect definition, but at least it's something
> more specific that we can work from].

Dear David,

Well, it seems the moment has finally arrived when someone will have to 
take the dictionary off the shelf.

OED, 1989 edition:

Anti-semitism: Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews.

This is short and pithy.

NEW SHORTER OED, 1993, is even shorter (as it should be): 

Anti-semitism: hostility or opposition to Jews.

So here we have quite a broad definition, similar to the one I have 
given before. You will agree that the task of proving that NT contains 
anti-semitic passages according to this definition seems less impossible 
than according to the one given by you.

> Now, in the case of the NT authors, most of these features are demonstrably
> absent. 1) Christianity was not a dominant movement in the middle to late
> first century by any stretch of anyone's imagination. 2) Partly because of
> point 1), there is no evidence of "Christians" "persecuting" "Jews" in the
> NT era. 

Nevertheless, if we follow your line of argument, this is one point that 
could be challenged.

Could "Christians" "persecute" "Jews" in the NT era? I can see a number
of situations where this was possible. The years 60-100 C. E. (the
time of gospels composition) were the time of incredible political turmoil
in Israel and nearby. The Jews were the objects of Roman wrath (they were
also commonly persecuted by the Greeks in Alexandria and elsewhere). The
position of the Jews was far from secure in any sense. Is it hard to see
that in these tense conditions (when slightest provocation could be
lethal) Christians could do much to hurt the Jews, either by reporting to
the Roman authorities any real or imagined disloyalty on their part, or
by inciting the pagan masses (whence some Christians derived) to a
pogrom? 

Also, when the strife within the synagogue spilled out into the street,
as, I understand, was not uncommon, the Romans were likely to punish both 
parties severely (expulsion from Rome in the early 40s?).

> 3) Several of the NT authors were most likely Jewish ethnically and
> considered themselves Jewish religiously as well [whether or not the
> "objective" analysis of modern scholarship would consider them to be Jewish
> or not is a matter of debate- as the recent discussion on the list has
> shown]. As for point 4), it is not at all clear that the NT authors
> considered "Jewish" people as a whole to be inferior. In part, this is
> because they may have viewed themselves as Jewish. Also, I am inclined to
> agree with Greg Jordan that their focus is on the Jewish *leaders* and/or
> the current religious practice, rather than on Jewish people. I think it *is*
> clear that there is strong polemic going on in the gospels, as several other
> contributors have mentioned. But polemic was a common feature of Hellenistic
> discourse and did not necessarily entail passionate hatred of the group
> being criticized (please see Luke Johnson's article "The NT's Anti-Jewish
> Slander and the Conventions of Ancient Polemic," JBL (1989), pp419-441). In
> fact, (as Johnson points out) the strongest polemic was usually leveled
> against those who were most like you (just as some of the strongest polemic
> in the Early Church was brought to bear against "heretics" rather than
> "pagans").

I have consulted this work. It is indeed very interesting and relevant. 
Johnson convincingly portrays NT polemic as nothing unusual in the 
context of the philosophical polemic of that time. He quotes some very 
vitriolic statements of such writers as Philo and Plutarch who are 
normally not seen as partial to invective.

But his argument is basically, "everybody did it and it really didn't
mean much". Perhaps. But if one thinks this way then we might as well say
that no statement in the NT can ever be seen as anti-semitic because the
times were different, etc.. Isn't this line of reasoning too
relativistic? 

But to come back to the main point. The proof of NT anti-semitism, it
seems to me, would hinge on proving that the NT text, let's say the
gospel of John, constitutes (to follow OED) a "theory ... directed
against the Jews" (I suppose we can understand the latter as "Jewish
religious leadership"). I don't think this is such an impossible task. 

All the best,

Yuri.

---
Yuri Kuchinsky
Toronto


Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 16:00:00 EDT
From: Yuri Kuchinsky 
Subject: Re: NT anti-judaism


On Tue, 26 Sep 1995, Gregory Jordan (ENG) wrote:

> On Tue, 26 Sep 1995, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

> > Perhaps this passage (about the gospel of John) from Helmut
> > Koester's, INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT, 1982, pp. 183-184,
> > will satisfy everybody?
	...
> >       An anti-Judaic tendency appears here which
> >       was already visible in some of the traditions of controversy
> >       in the earlier Johannine communities. The reason for this
> >       tendency must be found in experiences of persecution from the
> >       side of Jews: note the mention of the exclusion from the
> >       synagogue on the basis of the confession of Christ (John 9:22;
> >       16:2). 
> 
> "Anti-Judaic" isn't defined here and I don't know what it refers to.  To 
> me, the "anti-" implies persecution & ethnic opposition & contempt, 
> etc. as David Newmann suggested in his definition for "anti-Semitism."  If 
> "Judaic" refers to "Judaism" then we beg the question at issue between 
> the two factions - whether or not Christianity was right religiously 
> (Christian Jews: yes; non-Christian Jews: no).

Greg,

I must confess I am relatively new to the specialist (technical) 
literature on this subject. But from my understanding of it, the term 
"anti-Judaism" is preferred by the scholars working in the area:

	In spite of recent (especially Jewish) scholarship's near 
	consensus that the New Testament is generally not anti-Semitic, 
	it remains a part of critical scholarship that Matthew was 
	surely anti-Judaic if not anti-Semitic.
			p. 58, Scot McKnight, A LOYAL CRITIC: MATTHEW'S 
			POLEMIC WITH JUDAISM..., in Craig A. Evans & Donald 
			A. Hagner, eds., ANTI-SEMITISM AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY, 
			Fortress, 1993. 

I can only surmise that this is so because the term "anti-Judaism" is less 
loaded and has fewer negative implications for a modern reader. Do you 
think this term is useful and/or represents some form of terminological  
improvement? 

But in any case, you would probably agree that your statement further on
that anti-Judaism is problematic for the gospel of John goes against the 
majority view among the scholars in the field?

> The slant in the story of Jesus's death in John's gospel is that it is 
> caused by Judas, a diabolical traitor, who betrays Jesus to the high 
> priests and Pharisees (18:3), who then, with a mob referred to as "the 
> Ioudaioi" railroad Jesus through a trial and execution.  They are 
> ironically more Roman than Pilate, since they threaten him with Caesar 
> and announce "we have no king but Caesar" (19.12, 15).  This focus on the 
> "Ioudaioi" as Roman imperial lackeys is at odds with their ethnic title, 
> as well as their victim's title as "King of the Jews" - an irony the 
> author certainly intended.
> 
> "Ioudaioi" in John sometimes refers to all Jews everywhere (1); 
> sometimes it refers to Judeans (2); sometimes it refers to Jesus's opponents 
> (3); sometimes specifically the Pharisees/high priests & their followers 
> (4).  It is not politically correct or revisionist but rather logically 
> necessary to notice the varying uses of the word.

Agreed.

> In the story of the Samaritan Woman at the well, Jesus finds himself 
> representing Jews (Ioudaioi) (1) and says "You [Samaritans] worship what 
> you do not know; we worship what we do know, because salvation is from 
> the Jews" (4.22).  Elsewhere Jesus is a Galilean looked down on by 
> Judeans (Ioudaioi) (2) - as in all of chapter 7.  John's gospel 
> emphasizes that the leadership and the people are both divided over Jesus 
> - neither are the complete bogeymen (as in Matthew, the leadership is).  
> This requires John to make distinctions - Jesus calls his follower 
> Nathanael "a true Israelite in whom there is no deception" (1.47).  In 
> the widely misunderstood chapter 8, Jesus is challenged by the Pharisees 
> (8.13) in open argument.  Some of the Jews believe him (pepisteukotas 
> Ioudaious - 8.31).  But in verse 33 Jesus is questioned again by "them" - 
> who *must* be the Pharisees, since not even everyone in the specific crowd 
> in front of Jesus is hostile to him.  It is these people for whom Jesus 
> proposes a new figurative (8.37) definition of "son of Abraham" - namely, 
> someone who acts like Abraham, righteously.  It is because this group 
> wants to kill him (8.37, 44) and doesn't believe him (8.37, 44-47) that he 
> calls them children of the devil, for acting like the devil rather than 
> Abraham.  Here is obviously a *religious* and a *personal* polemic, with 
> a political edge, but it does not operate off of contempt for Israel; 
 
I don't think we need to prove the contempt for Israel in order to
prove anti-Judaism or anti-Semitism. We are all aware that the
history has seen many enemies of the Jews claiming to represent "the
true Israel". And there are still some of them around.
 
> rather, it uses Jewishness as the contested ideal.  The group calls Jesus 
> a Samaritan (8.48) and Jesus responds by claiming to be greater than 
> Abraham (8.56, 58).  This works in tandem with the group (contextually the 
> Pharisees in the crowd) being called Ioudaioi (sense 4) - in verse 8.48.
 
You have provided here a very competent analysis of some aspects of
the gospel of John. Nevertheless, many other aspects of this gospel
remain to be analyzed. The volume quoted above contains an in-depth
look at this gospel, Robert Kysar, ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE GOSPEL OF
JOHN. Permit me to quote some passages from it.
 
You have looked already at the complexity of the use of the term
_ioudaios_ in the gospel. It is used 71 times here, compared to only
16 occurrences in the Synoptics. Kysar indicates that the use of
this term in John is generally ambiguous.
 
      [And] Out of this ambiguity the reader is led to conceive of
      Jews as those persons in the narrative who are most often
      predisposed to unbelief, rejection, and even hostility toward
      Jesus. The vague name, "Jews", becomes in the reader's mind
      representative of opposition to Jesus and his mission. (p.
      116)
 
Kysar surveys the text of the gospel using a reader-response style
of criticism (how a careful reader will perceive the text). His
summary:
 
      The conclusion is inescapable that the text of the narrative
      nurtures a negative mentality toward Jews and Judaism. (p.
      117)
 
Why is it so? In order to answer this question, Kysar tries to
understand the historical background of the composition of the
gospel. He utilises the theory developed by Martyn and Brown.
 
      Over two decades ago J. Louis Martyn and Raymond E. Brown each
      proposed that the occasion for the writing of the Fourth
      Gospel was an experience of expulsion of a Christian community
      from their synagogue home. (p. 119)
 
      In summary, the posture of the church was that of
      defensiveness amid the self-doubt of uncertain identify. The
      polemical quality of the Gospel of John tells the interpreter
      more about the evangelist and the Johannine community than it
      witnesses to the ontological status of the Jews or Judaism.
      (p. 122)
 
      The vitriolic attack on Judaism is nothing more nor less than
      the desperate attempt of the Johannine Christians to find a
      rationale for their existence in isolation from Judaism. (p.
      122)
      
      Martyn's insight that the Gospel of John presents a two-level
      drama is helpful at this point. It is Martyn's contention
      that, while the evangelist told the story of Jesus, the
      opponents of Jesus in the narrative were only thinly disguised
      opponents of the writer's own contemporary Christian
      community. (p. 123)
 
Finally, in conclusion, Kysar says. 
 
      The historical origin of the Gospel of John makes its anti-
      Semitic tone understandable, perhaps even excusable. But it
      does not alter the basic reality of that tone as the Gospel is
      read and heard. (p. 125)

And he assesses the ecumenical implications of this Gospel and of NT
canon in general, and talks about the need of a new understanding of it: 
 
      Only in a creative and diligent response to this challenge to
      define more sharply and interpret more effectively the
      doctrine of Christian canon is there the possibility of
      overcoming the tragic burden of the anti-Semitic tone
      experienced in the reading of the Gospel of John. (p. 127)

I hope this analysis by Robert Kysar will provide some useful insight on 
the Gospel of John.

With best wishes.

Yuri.
-----

Yuri Kuchinsky
Toronto



Date: Sun, 1 Oct 1995 15:21:22 EDT
From: Yuri Kuchinsky 
Subject: Re: NT anti-semitism?


On Thu, 28 Sep 1995, Gregory Jordan (ENG) wrote:

> On Wed, 27 Sep 1995, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
> 
> > OED, 1989 edition:
> > 
> > Anti-semitism: Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews.
> 
> I can't believe the OED is that clumsy.  If we are to go with that 
> definition, then we are going to have to describe the NT Christians as 
> anti-Semitic.  Of course, we'll also have to label their Jewish opponents 
> anti-Semitic, the Pharisees and Sadducees anti-Semitic, Josephus 
> anti-Semitic, Philo anti-Semitic.  Moses and his God, of course, will 
> also have to be described as anti-Semitic, and the later prophets 
> especially.  What *could* we think of Isaiah, who wrote: "Ah sinful 
> nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given 
> to corruption!" (Isaiah 1.4)

Greg,

I think it is fair to say that both "anti-Semitic" and "anti-Judaic" are 
rather imprecise terms. Can we find a middle ground between our two 
positions? How about saying that NT text nurtured anti-Semitism? Would 
you agree to this?
	...
> 	... we would have to limit the 
> definition to nonreligious prejudices - e.g., racial inferiority, 
> stereotypes, etc.  "Discriminating against" would require us to see that 
> NT authors were treating Jews differently and negatively as a group when 
> in identical contexts.  

This can lead towards a useful definition. How about this passage from 1
Thessalonians (apparently a late interpolation): 

"For you suffer the same things from your compatriots as they did from
the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted
us: they do not please God, and are opposed to everyone, trying to
prevent us from speaking to the Gentiles, that they may be saved, thus
constantly filling up the measure of their sins. But the wrath of God has
finally begun to come upon them. (2:13-16)

This passage conveys false information and treats "the Jews" negatively 
as a group. I don't see how can anyone fail to see this as either 
anti-Semitic or anti-Judaic (take your pick).

	...
> More likely, non-Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles both had too 
> much to lose after the War started to  dare to try to pit the 
> non-Christian Gentiles against the other group.

They don't even have to try to pit outsiders against the other group. 
This can also happen of its own.

If we accept the account about the expulsion of the Jews from Rome under
Claudius as historical, this will provide an example of how both sides
_did_ lose. Greg, when religious conflict occurs, an
originator/participant in a dispute would have to be a clairvoyant to
foresee what will happen in the end. Religious conflicts happen because
people believe that they are right and their opponents are wrong. But
things degenerate pretty quickly, the gloves come off, and, often, both
sides lose. This is nothing new. 

Best regards,

Yuri.
--
Yuri Kuchinsky 
Toronto


Date: Tue, 3 Oct 1995 16:27:07 EDT
From: Yuri Kuchinsky 
Subject: Re: NT anti-judaism


On Mon, 2 Oct 1995, Gregory Jordan (ENG) wrote:

> On Sun, 1 Oct 1995, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
> 
> > I think it is fair to say that both "anti-Semitic" and "anti-Judaic" are 
> > rather imprecise terms. Can we find a middle ground between our two 
> > positions? How about saying that NT text nurtured anti-Semitism? Would 
> > you agree to this?
> 
> My concern has always been mainly with "authorial intention" or Paul of 
> Tarsus's intention or the gospel writers' intentions.  Needless to say, 
> these texts could possibly have been understood in an anti-Semitic way 
> even by contemporaries.  E.g., Paul's letter to the Romans shows him 
> struggling to prevent an anti-Semitic misunderstanding (apparently some 
> Gentile Christians were already thinking of themselves as inherently 
> superior to non-Christian Jews in a national, racial way). But we don't 
> have any of these anti-Semitic Gentile Christians' writings (if they 
> wrote anything) as far as I know.

Greg,

It seems entirely plausible to me that the "authorial intention" of some
of the contributors to the NT was to single out for condemnation the
Jewish religious leadership of the time, and perhaps even all of the
believing Jews as a group. This would constitute anti-Judaism. 

> > This can lead towards a useful definition. How about this passage from 1
> > Thessalonians (apparently a late interpolation): 
> > 
> > "For you suffer the same things from your compatriots as they did from
> > the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted
> > us: they do not please God, and are opposed to everyone, trying to
> > prevent us from speaking to the Gentiles, that they may be saved, thus
> > constantly filling up the measure of their sins. But the wrath of God has
> > finally begun to come upon them. (2:13-16)
> > 
> > This passage conveys false information and treats "the Jews" negatively 
> > as a group. I don't see how can anyone fail to see this as either 
> > anti-Semitic or anti-Judaic (take your pick).
> 
> What false information?  

"...the Jews ... killed ... the Lord Jesus...". If this is not false 
information, what is?

Donald A. Hagner writes about this passage:

"But how could he have written such vitriolic words, and do they 
constitute anti-Semitism (and not simply anti-Judaism)?" (p. 133)

"It is true, finally, that in this passage Paul contemplates no future 
salvation of the Jews as he does in Rom 11:23, 26, 31. This has been 
taken by some to mean that Paul could not have written our passage, and 
thus has been used as important evidence to support the interpolation 
theory." (p. 135)

	PAUL'S QUARREL WITH JUDAISM, in ANTI-SEMITISM AND EARLY 
	CHRISTIANITY, Craig A. Evans & Donald A. Hagner, eds, Fortress, 
	1993.

> The issues are TOO complex to be swept under a 
> misleading term by people who are just in a hurry to categorize the NT as 
> "anti-Semitic" or "enlightened about Jews" or whatever.  I must continue 
> to disagree strenuously with the whole quest to find a quick-and-sloppy 
> label for the subtle and textured NT opinions.

These issues are complex, indeed, and let us set straight all those who
would wish to deal in "quick-and-sloppy labels" here. I am with you on
this. 

Nevertheless, these issues also go to the very roots of western history
and self-identity. These passages of the NT directly affected the
behavior of many generations of Christian believers and contributed to
many historical tragedies. Obviously this is not a purely academic, ivory
tower debate. It has important implications on our understanding of
history and of ourselves. 

After surveying this and other passages in Paul, Donald A. Hagner writes: 

"To summarize and conclude: Anti-Judaism is part and parcel of Paul's 
theological position. Indeed, it is intrinsic to his Christianity. We 
see it in his polemical outbursts against those who oppose and hinder 
his mission, conditioned as they are by the conventions of the day."
	(ibid, p. 149.)

> > If we accept the account about the expulsion of the Jews from Rome under
> > Claudius as historical, this will provide an example of how both sides
> > _did_ lose. Greg, when religious conflict occurs, an
> > originator/participant in a dispute would have to be a clairvoyant to
> > foresee what will happen in the end. Religious conflicts happen because
> > people believe that they are right and their opponents are wrong. But
> > things degenerate pretty quickly, the gloves come off, and, often, both
> > sides lose. This is nothing new. 
> 
> But how do we know Gentile Christians "took their gloves off" in Claudian 
> Rome?  We can't even know Jewish non-Christians "took their gloves off" 
> although one may suspect they tried to discipline Christians as they did 
> in Judea, as Paul of Tarsus admitted to doing, and that the resulting 
> commotions caused the Romans to simply expel everyone who seemed to be 
> causing trouble.  Gentile Christians probably may not have been 
> expelled.  The differential treatment of Jews and Gentiles by the Romans 
> may have been one contributing factor in the gradual estrangement between 
> Jewish and Gentile Christians over time.

This may well be so. But I think sectarian religious conflicts always
build a momentum of their own, and the onus of proof should lie perhaps
on the one who would claim that the gloves _would not_ be taken off by
_both parties_ in such a conflict. 

All the best,

Yuri Kuchinsky
Toronto