This study examines the reasons for the opposition of the Jews of Roman Asia Minor to the Jewish Christian missionaries and their teaching. It will be seen that while theological convictions played a significant role, the opposition in the local synagogues cannot be explained only with reference to the Jews' zeal for the law and for the purity of the Jewish community. The available evidence, particularly of Josephus, suggests that the Jews of Asia Minor were concerned to preserve the social and political rights and privileges that they had enjoyed since Julius Caesar, which had come under pressure in different places at different times and which would be threatened if pagans joined the community without being asked to submit to circumcision and to other Jewish traditions such as the food laws. Concerns about the financial viability of the local Jewish community and about the relationship with the Jewish commonwealth in Judea may have played a role as well.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.