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Falk in Jesus the Pharisee

The Shammai followers' concern was on one hand with Jews and strict observance of the details of Mosaic Law, and on the other with anti-Roman Jewish revolutionary activities, notably in their support of the Zealots.

Falk (8) says that Christian thought developed out of Bet Hillel interpretations of the law, which were in dialogue and contention with Bet Shammai interpretations. Bet Hillel thought was meant to cover the moral and civil behavior of both Jews and Gentiles under the so-called Noahide Commandments, the name for seven laws aimed, in general, at achieving social justice given to Adam and Noah, long before the appearance of Moses (4). The 12th-century Jewish scholar Maimonides, as well as the 18th-century rabbi Emden, found no contradiction between Noahide Laws and Christian moral tradition, partly because they were always meant to cover Gentiles and Jews alike, a fact completely consistent with claims by Jesus and Paul that the new religion would not be confined to Jews but would be universal in scope.

Bet Shammai were indeed the Pharisees and priests that Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus had to contend with. We shall in fact seek to demonstrate that Paul the Apostle's insistence that Gentiles be admitted into the early Christian church was based on Bet Hillel's position that righteous Gentiles merit salvation (Falk 8-9).

The inclusiveness of the new religion would explain Jesus's claim that he had come not to destroy the law (for Jews) but to


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Falk in Jesus the Pharisee. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 22:52, October 25, 2014, from
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