Thursday, October 25, 2012
Interview with Paula Fredriksen (Part II)
here. I started by asking Prof. Fredriksen about her book Augustine and the Jews.
ACLD: Augustine (like many others) seems to have continued the line of Christian supersessionism that he inherited. Do you think that this line was a misappropriation of Jesus’ apocalyptic urgency? I.e. was Jesus’ message of good news for insiders/bad news for outsiders the root of the problem?
PF: Gentile Christian supersessionism is a product of internal Christian arguments in the late first/early second century. Paul was not a Christian. He was an apocalyptic Jewish visionary who was convinced that he was right about who the messiah was, and about what time it was on God's clock: mostly he argues with or against other Christ-following Jews. Once the ethnic context of the readership of hellenistic Jewish texts (LXX, and the texts that will later make up the NT) shifts, their intra-Jewish arguments become anti-Jewish arguments. Jesus' apocalyptic urgency — again, about what time it was on God's clock — is not a first-order cause of any of this.