Mark Nanos argues that the Christ-movement remained within the synagogue community and thus their social identification was formed within the Jewish context, a context that still maintained the vital significance for ethnicity within the Jesus-movement (1996: 31; 2002a: 89; 2005a: 259). Paul then is understood to be correcting approaches to communal life that might have ‘undermined the identity of these Gentiles as equals while remaining Gentiles’ (2002c: 284). This commitment to the ongoing significance of Jewish identity in the context of the gentile mission does not mean that Paul expected gentile Christ-followers to observe Torah but to ‘obey the halakhot incumbent upon gentiles who turn to God and associate with his people’ (1996: 237).
Questions: Do you view the early Christ-movement as part of the synangogue community? When did an identity distinct from Judaism emerge within the Christ-movement? Were the gentiles supposed to follow the so-called Noachide Commandments? See Nanos (1996: 50-56, 226-38).References:
Nanos, M.D. 1996 The Mystery of Romans: The Jewish Context of Paul’s Letter (Minneapolis: Fortress Press).
2002a The Irony of Galatians Paul’s Letter in First-Century Context (Minneapolis: Fortress Press).
2002b ‘The Inter- and Intra-Jewish Political Context of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians’, in M. Nanos (ed.) 2002: 396-407.
2002c ‘What Was at Stake in Peter’s “Eating with Gentiles” at Antioch”’, in M. Nanos (ed.) 2002: 282-318.
2005a ‘How Inter-Christian Approaches to Paul's Rhetoric Can Perpetuate Negative Valuations of Jewishness-Although Proposing to Avoid That Outcome’, BibInt 13.3: 255-269.
2005b ‘Intruding ‘Spies’ and ‘Pseudo-Brethren’, in S.E. Porter (ed.) 2005: 59-97.
Nanos, M. (ed.) 2002 The Galatians Debate (Peabody: Hendrickson).