The emergence of formative Judaism has traditionally been examined in light of a theological preoccupation with the two competing religious movements, 'Christianity' and 'Judaism,' in the first centuries of the Common Era. In this book Ariel Schremer attempts to shift the scholarly consensus away from this paradigm. Relying on the late 20th-century scholarly depiction of the slow and measured growth of Christianity in the empire up until and even after Constantine's conversion, Schremer minimizes the extent to which the rabbis paid attention to the Christian presence. He goes on, however, to pinpoint the parting of the ways between the rabbis and the Christians in the first third of the second century, when Christians were finally assigned to the category of heretics.

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