side, according to this view, lay a predominantly Gentile Christianity, shaped by the Hellenistic culture within which it had to articulate its faith, and troubled only by 'the Jew within', the unavoidable companion of the retention of the Jewish scriptures. We have already seen how this has been replaced by the more eirenic model of diverging paths; moreover, since it cannot be shown either that the birkat hamminim was targeted particularly against Christians, nor that it was known beyond the boundaries of the land of Israel, attempts to identify a single date or provocation for 'the parting' have also been abandoned. Now that rabbinic Judaism is no longer taken as the controlling norm for any reconstruction of Jewish thought throughout our period we can also recognise that Christian theology's attempts to address the Hellenistic world continued to owe much to the earlier and perhaps continuing efforts made by Jews to speak of their God in the same context.5i

Some of the material reviewed above would take us a step further: people meeting, associating with each other, even worshipping together in ways that provoked the wrath of their more articulate and literate leaders. Christian writers' rigorous efforts to define the 'otherness' of unbelieving Jews may not betray a confident self-sufficiency so much as a fear of an ever-threatening dissolution of difference, efforts matched also by the rabbis in their own attempt to impose their world-view.52 Here, the relationship between the world constructed by the texts, and that of popular living remains ever fraught.

Yet this new oppositional model, between text and reality, powerful elite and ordinary people, may still be too straightforward. Recent study has emphasised the intersecting worlds of Christian and Jewish exegesis: interpretations of the atoning efficacy of the 'sacrifice' of Isaac, and of the suffering and death of the martyrs, appear to have evolved through a complex pattern of implicit or explicit dialogue, of borrowing and of competition.53 Texts like the Testaments of the twelve patriarchs or the Lives of the prophets, which were preserved by Christian scribes and readers, have often been seen as evidence for Hellenistic Judaism once they were shorn oftheir 'Christian' redactional layers; now many would reject both that enterprise and the utility of the separate categories employed, asking instead how these texts were read and how they would have apostates and, at some stage in its history, notzrim. On this and the debate as to its relationship with the Christians, see Wilson, Related strangers, i79-83; Horbury, Jews and Christians, 67-H0, 240-3; cf. pt 11, chs. 4 and 6, above.

51 Particularly strongly argued by Boyarin, Border lines.

53 See Boyarin, Dying; Levenson, Death and resurrection.

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