How Ancient Turkey Shaped Judaism and Christianity
Much of the history of early Christianity and Diaspora Judaism unfolded in ancient Asia Minor (modern Turkey). During the first century C.E., the apostle Paul roamed the provinces of Asia Minor, establishing Christian communities in Antioch, Galatia and Ephesus, places to which he would later write or refer in his famous epistles. Often alongside these early Christian communities were incipient Jewish populations that had made their way to various cities throughout Asia Minor as part of the Diaspora. Within a couple of centuries, both groups were flourishing and living relatively peaceably in cities like Aphrodisias, Sardis and Priene.
In the newly updated second edition of our popular textbook Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, you can track the remarkable progress of these two world religions through this region that has all too often been neglected in archaeological and Biblical studies. In the chapter “The Spread of Christianity from Jerusalem to Rome,” for example, you’ll read about Paul’s travels through Asia Minor to convert Gentiles to his distinct brand of the early Christian faith. Likewise, the chapter “The World of the Talmud” provides an intriguing and thought-provoking analysis of not only the progress of the Jewish Diaspora through the Mediterranean world, but also how these communities differed from those remaining in Palestine and Babylon.
Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism presents the first six centuries in the development of both religions in one understandable and engaging volume. This unprecedented book takes readers from the middle of the first century–when a distinction between Judaism and Christianity first became apparent–to the Arab conquest in the seventh century C.E.
For this fully revised and updated second edition, the authors of the book’s already masterfully written chapters have incorporated into their studies the most important finds and insights from the past two decades of archaeological and historical research. In addition, each chapter is accompanied by extensive citations to the most recent scholarly literature.