Judaism and Christianity:
A Dialogue Refused
Christianity regards itself as a religion founded by Jesus Christ in the first century A.D., while Judaism traces its ancestry back to Moses almost a millennium earlier. Yet both of these two religions, in their classical historical form, should be much more properly regarded as parallel streams of religious development, stemming from that parting of the ways between Palestinian and Hellenistic Judaism after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Christianity, inheriting the sectarian, apocalyptic and Greek philosophical aspects of this Jewish development, and founded on the new faith in Jesus as the Christ, became more and more a gentile faith, whereas Judaism repudiated both the apocalyptic and the Hellenistic philosophical developments of the preceding centuries and centered itself on that religion of Torah cultivated by the Pharisees. The classical form of both Judaism and Christianity was shaped by sages and theologians whose systems of thought found their fullest ripening around the fourth century A.D.
The fourth century was the age of the great Christian Fathers of the Church. In the East there were Athanasius, Eusebius, John Chrysostom, Gregory Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzus and Basil the Great. On the Latin side, the Church found equally