appear to be Jewish, and they are important enough to be refuted in numerous passages.48
Bauer's general point about the diversity of pre-Constantinian Christianity, however, also applies to pre-ConstantinianJewish Christianity. We have already seen NT evidence that Christians ofJewish extraction differed from each other on the issue of the Law, and this debate continued into the second century, as is shown by Justin's Dialogus cum Tryphone (ch. 47). Pritz has argued that second- and third-century Torah-observant Jewish Christians also differed over Christology.49 Some ofthem, who came to be known as 'Nazarenes', combined Torah observance with a high Christology, viewingJesus as the Son of God who was born of a virgin. Others, who came to be known as 'Ebionites', combined Torah observance with a view of Jesus as a mere man born of Mary and Joseph. This distinction corresponds to the variation already observed in New Testament Jewish Christian thought - Matthew's Christology, for example, is high and pervasive, whereas James' is incidental.
Despite the widespread presence of Torah-observant Jewish Christianity in the first several centuries of the Christian era, however, it was not to be the wave of the future, and it was weakened by several historical developments in the Jewish and Christian world. Of primary importance were the two Jewish insurrections against the Romans in Palestine (the great revolt of 66-73 ce and the Bar Kochba rebellion of 132-5) and the one in the diaspora (the revolt of 115-17, about which little is known). The first of these wars not only destroyed the temple, a unifying force for all Jews, includingJewish Christians, but it also devastated Jerusalem, the birthplace of Torah-observant Jewish Christianity.50 The Jewish Christian 'mother church' seems to have removed from Jerusalem to Pella in the the Transjordan region before or near the beginning of this war, and this desertion of the spiritual centre of Judaism probably weakened the cause of the movement and was viewed by other Jews as traitorous.51 It is also probable, as Alexander has argued, that the relatively greater success of the
48 For the sources, see Herford, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash; for analysis, see Alexander, 'The parting of the ways'.
49 Pritz, Nazarene Jewish Christianity.
50 See Bauckham, 'The parting of the ways'.
51 On the historicity of the tradition about the flight to Pella, see Koester, 'Origin and significance', and Carleton Paget, 'Jewish Christianity', 746-8; on the Jewish Christians' difficulties in coping with Jewish nationalism, see Alexander, 'The parting ofthe ways', 22-3.
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