Concerned with the internal organisation of the Christian communities, the Pastoral Letters never speak of the Jews

Concerned with the internal organisation of the Christian communities, the Pastoral Letters never speak of the Jews There is a single allusion to “those of the circumcison” (Ti 1:10), but this refers to Jewish-Christians belonging to the community. They are criticised for being, more so than other members of the community, “rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers”. Besides, the putting on guard against “endless genealogies” found in 1 Ti 1:10 and Ti 3:9, probably refers to Jewish speculations about Old Testament personages, “Jewish myths” (Ti 1;4). Neither does the Letter to the Hebrews mention “the Jews” or even “the Hebrews”! It does mention once “the sons of Israel”, in reference to the Exodus (Heb ), and twice “the people of God”. 341 It speaks of Jewish priests when it recalls “those who officiate in the tent” (), pointing out the distance that separates them from the Christian cult. On the positive side, it recalls Jesus’ connection with “the descendants of Abraham” (2:16) and the tribe of Judah (7:14). The author points out the deficiencies of Old Testament institutions, especially the sacrificial cult, but always basing himself on the Old Testament itself, whose value as divine revelation he always fully recognises. With regard to the Israelites of the past, the author’s appreciation is not one-sided, but corresponds faithfully to that of the Old Testament itself: that is, on the one hand, by quoting and commenting on Ps 95:7-11, he recalls the lack of faith of the generation of the Exodus, 342 but on the other hand, he paints a magnificent fresco of examples of faith given throughout the ages by...