The Broken Staff, by Frank E. Manuel
For nearly 2,000 years Judaism has been a serious theological problem not only for the Christian churches but also for scholars of Christendom. Even when, in the Middle Ages, there were no Jews in individual Christian countries, there were always fears of “Judaizing” heresies, and Jewish ideas continued to haunt Europe.
The fears went hand in hand with ignorance. Most Christians accepted as a matter of course that the teachings of Jesus had superseded the law of the Hebrew Scriptures. Circumcision, the Jewish Sabbath, the dietary laws, and the ceremonies of Judaism were all rejected as the inferior dross of a carnal faith transcended by the higher spiritual truth of Christianity. But actual knowledge, especially of post-biblical and rabbinic Judaism, was sparse among Christian scholars until around 1480, when the free-floating curiosity encouraged by Renaissance humanism sparked a resurgence of Hebraic studies.
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