The Gospel of the Memra: Jewish Binitarianism and the Prologue to John

TitleThe Gospel of the Memra: Jewish Binitarianism and the Prologue to John
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsBoyarin, Daniel
JournalHarvard Theological Review
Start Page243
Date Published07/2001

Most Christian and Jewish scholars have been heavily invested in asserting the radical difference and total separation of Christianity from Judaism at a very early period. Thus we find the following view expressed by one of the leading historians of dogma in our time, Basil Studer: From the socio-political point of view Christianity fairly soon broke away from Judaism. Already by about 130 the final break had been effected. This certainly contributed to an even greater openness towards religious and cultural influences from the Greco-Roman environment. Not without reason, then, it is exactly at that time that the rise of antijudaistic and hellenophile gnostic trends is alleged. Christian theology began gradually to draw away from Judaic tendencies. … In the course of separation from the Synagogue and of rapprochement with the pagan world, theology itself became more open towards the thinking of antiquity with its scientific methods. This is particularly evident in the exegesis of Holy Scripture in which the chasm separating it from rabbinic methods broadened and deepened, whereas the ancient art of interpretation as it was exercised especially in Alexandria gained the upper hand.Basil Studer, Trinity and Incarnation: The Faith of the Early Church (ed. Andrew Louth; trans. Matthias Westerhoff; Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1993) 14.