Christianity in talmud and midrash: Parallelomania or parallelophobia?

Israel Jacob Yuval

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


One of the best-known statements about identity from ancient times is doubtless that made by Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians 3:28 regarding the equality and cooperation among all those who believe in Jesus. Paul says: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."1 This universal declaration is in striking contrast to an opposite Jewish expression. In the Morning Blessings, it states: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has not made me a Gentile⋯ who has not made me a slave⋯ who has not made me a woman." I would like to begin with these two positions regarding the question of identity as a way of introducing the issue of polemics. Is Jewish self-identity, which seems here to be formulated in a manner diametrically opposed to that of Paul, expressed in deliberate polemics with it, or was the Jewish formula already known to Paul, and was it he who turned it topsy-turvy?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming Relations
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on Jews and Christians throughout History in Honor of Michael A. Signer
PublisherUniversity of Notre Dame Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780268030902
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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