By Paul E. Szarmach
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Additional resources for Aspects of Jewish Culture in the Middle Ages: Papers of the Eight Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State
Previous page page_34 next page > < previous page page_35 next page > Page 35 Fundamental to this method is the attempt to prove that, even in the Old Testament, there existed, not one, but two people: an evil apostate people, the Jews, and a faithful people, represented by the heroes and prophets, whose lineage is fulfilled in the future Church. The casting off of the Jews and the election of the gentile Church as the true Israel was known and foretold by the prophets themselves. Only the denunciations of the prophets apply to the Jews.
But it has now been revoked by God, and the Jews are contumacious to continue to observe it. 35 But even though the Christians do not keep the Law outwardly, they are the true law keepers because they fulfill it inwardly and spiritually. They possess the new Law of inward obedience promised by Jeremiah. 36 They understand that the dietary laws refer not to avoidance of particular animals, for how could animals, who are all a part of God's creation, be unclean ? The real meaning of these laws is an allegory.
The Golden Calf is cited as a chief case for this mania for idols. It is the paradigm of their rejection of God, which must finally lead to God's rejection of them. 6 When in the Promised Land the Jews continued to run after idols. Every prophetic text that rebukes the people for rebelliousness, unfaithfulness, and "whoring after foreign gods" can be ransacked to provide proof of what the Jews were like in those times. Since the gentile Church itself had recently come from paganism, this would seem to be a dubious charge.