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It goes without saying that the works of the Fathers are rife with anti-Jewish polemic. But we must not confuse, as is too often done, theological argument aimed at demonstrating the error of Judaism and the truth of Christianity with antiSemitism proper and training in contempt of the Jews Simon 488-495. Jordan Metro Map Among the themes that nourished this controversy, the main one was Christology, the essential element of Jewish-Christian dialogue. Rabbinic Judaism professed a strict monotheism, while Christian theology, from the apostolic age, affirmed and professed the divine sonship of Jesus. The opposition of the two faiths on this point is decisive, and it would be useless to try to minimize it.

The second theme debated between Jewish scholars and Christians was that of salvation, which for Jews lay in the necessity of the law and of the observances. From the apostolic age, Christians professed that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ had freed humanity from sin and inaugurated a new religious order; this claim was irreconcilable with orthodox Judaism’s scrupulous veneration of the Torah. The disputes concerning the true Israel were no less hard-fought.

While the first Christian generation saw God’s new people born through the aggregation of the gentiles to the Jews, the Apologists considered this increasingly as a substitution, which would eventually oust the one in favor of the other Justin, Dial. 123,7. The writers of the great church expressed ever more strongly that its members were the true Israel, which received the inheritance of the old Judaism, now rejected because of the infidelity of its members and because of the death of the Just One.

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