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'The Birkat HaMinim'
#2
You need to read some other ancient references to Birkat HaMinnim to get the full picture. Epiphanius of Salamis, for instance. In his Panarion 29 he states, "Not only do Jewish people have a hatred of [the Nazarenes]; they even stand up at dawn, at midday, and toward evening, and curse and anathemize them. Three times a day they say, ???God curse the Nazoraeans.'"
Rashi also mentions it being changed because of the teaching of "the Notzri."
A final, fascinating mention is in Jerome's letter to Augustine written in 404 C.E. "In our own day there exists a sect among the Jews throughout all the synagogues of the East, which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. The adherents to this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes;"
Miney, of course, is the construct form of Minim. This quote from Jerome is very important because it points out to us that this group that is cursed is not Christian, it is Jewish sectarian. Not only that, but it was still separate from Christianity into the beginning of the 5th century. It was so often referred to only as "minim" or "minei" that this came to be seen almost as the name of the sect, rather than their earlier names such as Yishayim, N'tzarim, and Notzrim.
I don't think this lead to that big of a controversy. The Karaites were also cursed and thought badly of by Rabbanites for a long time before they were completely separated. The final nail in the coffin probably came during the Bar-Kochba revolt, when Akiva declared Bar-Kochba to be the Messiah. I've written a paper on the early history of the Nazarene sect. We know that communication between the P'rushim and N'tzarim continued for a good while after Birkat HaMinim was revised. It was probably revised shortly after 80 C.E. and from Avoda Zarah 16a-17b we know that the two sects were still in contact about 109 C.E. (assuming Pritz is right in dating this incident).
Don't really remember where I was going with all of this...but I don't think that this has anything to do with the origin of the CoE. This is more strictly involved with the history of N'tzari Yehudim.

Shalom,
Dawid
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Messages In This Thread
'The Birkat HaMinim' - by *Albion* - 01-10-2008, 05:43 AM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by Dawid - 01-10-2008, 01:24 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by yaaqub - 01-10-2008, 01:45 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by Dawid - 01-10-2008, 01:48 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by yaaqub - 01-10-2008, 01:51 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by yaaqub - 01-10-2008, 01:54 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by yaaqub - 01-10-2008, 02:01 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by Dawid - 01-10-2008, 02:20 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by yaaqub - 01-10-2008, 02:31 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by *Albion* - 01-10-2008, 09:32 PM
Re: 'The Birkat HaMinim' - by Dawid - 01-10-2008, 09:38 PM

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