Original Research

Joodse religieuse uitbreiding in die Nuwe-Testamentiese tydvak: Was die Judaïsme ’n missionêre godsdiens? (Deel II)

A. B. du Toit
Verbum et Ecclesia | Skrif en Kerk: Vol 18, No 1 | a1124 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v18i1.1124 | © 1997 A. B. du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 1997 | Published: 19 July 1997

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Abstract

Jewish religious expansion in the New Testament era: Was Judaism a missionary religion? (Part II)
In the first part of this article five factors were identified which would have contributed to the significant numerical increase of Jews towards the end of the Second Temple period. Here six others are discussed: Jewish slaves in non-Jewish households, adoption of children, the universalistic tendency in certain circles, the role of the synagogue, the attractiveness of Judaism in spite of a negative cross-current and the influence of apologetic-propagandistic literature. In weighing the evidence for a full-scale centrifugal missionary movement a mostly negative conclusion is reached. In this sense first century Judaism cannot be described as a missionary religion. We could, however, speak of an indirect mission in the sense that non-Jews were attracted to Judaism mainly through the quality’ of Jewish belief and life-style and that they were encouraged to do so.

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