THE JEWISH CHRISTIANS OF THE EARLY CENTURIES OF CHRISTIANITY ACCORDING TO A NEW SOURCE
T he s u b j e c t of this lecture is an Arabic manuscript text which is not what it purports to be. Ostensibly, it is a chapter of Moslem anti-Christian polemics which forms a part of a lengthy work first described by Ritter. This work is entitled Tathbit Dald’il Nubuwwat Sayyidina Muhammad, ‘The Establishment of Proofs for the Prophethood of Our Master Mohammed’ and was written by the well-known tenth century Mu'tazilite author ‘Abd al-Jabbar.1 However, in reality, this Moslem theologian adapted for his own purposes—inserting numerous interpolations— writings reflecting the views and traditions of a Jewish Christian community, of which more hereafter. As far as I know this text has never been studied. In the investigation undertaken by me I am indebted to my colleague D. Flusser for various fruitful suggestions.