In the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, Zachary Dawson discusses “The Books of Acts and Jubilees in Dialogue: A Literary-Intertextual Analysis of the Noahide Laws in Acts 15 and 21.” As Dawson summarizes,
This study has … identified two main elements of the theme that is symbolically articulated by the Noahide laws. First, the purpose of the Noahide laws in Acts is to oppose a contemporary Jewish isolationism that is rationalized by the Noahide laws, and more generally in their contexts of the rewritten, conditional Noahic covenant. Instead, the precepts in Acts ally with the purpose Cohen identifies in the later rabbinic literature, a means to recognize the legitimacy of different cultures and to facilitate their integration. Second, the Noahide laws in Acts carry the message that Gentiles are to honor certain Jewish customs so that Jews will not be forced out of believing communities.
For Dawson’s full essay, see the JGRChJ website.
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