Why the Jews Believed in an Inviolable Jerusalem and What the Prophets Said the Contradicted That Theory
There are gentiles, and there are Jews. There are Greek speaking people and there are Hebrew speaking people. There's Palestinian Judaism, which includes apocalypticism. There's Rabbinic Judaism and there's Hellenistic Judaism, which has derived deeply from the Greek world. Paul seems to fall into several of these categories, therefore confounding our modern divisions. So he's an intriguing and puzzling character in some respects.
Another part of the book, however, comes from a prophet who lived two hundred years later: Isaiah 40-55, famous in the New Testament (early Christians thought the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 was Jesus) and prominent in Handel's Messiah, speaks of the Persian king Cyrus the Great (d. 530 BCE), and so the text must come from that time. Other parts of the book of Isaiah are even later, and the entire book was carefully edited together, perhaps by the fifth or fourth century BCE. The extraordinary poetry of the book offers the reader hope in a God who controls historical events and seeks to return his people Israel to their own land.
Nonetheless, the spread of capitalism did establish a special relation between Jews and capitalism, and between Judaism and capitalism. We only have to follow the path of capitalist development from Holland, to England, France, and Germany, to see that wherever capitalism spread and triumphed, Jews were emancipated. In no instance did Jews gain emancipation before the capitalist transformation of their society. Furthermore, the degree of emancipation of the Jews was directly related to the degree of capitalistic transformation. That society least hampered by pre-capitalist ways, namely the American, was that in which Jews had never to be formally emancipated by federal law (Gustavo Gutierrez, 1973). They were singled out neither for inclusion nor exclusion. It was also in America that the Jews came to enjoy an equality of status and opportunity in practice which no other society in history had extended to them. The relation between Judaism and capitalism, however, is highly complex. Judaism of the Middle Ages was a Judaism which proclaimed that God had revealed His will in the Bible and in the teachings of the rabbis, and that the goal of human endeavour was to believe in God, keep His commandments, and look to salvation in the world to come (J. H. Oldham, 1937).
J. H. Oldham, ed. The Oxford Conference (Official Report), Chicago and New York: Willett, Clark and Co. 1937, pp. 100- 102.
Gustavo Gutierrez. A Theology of Liberation. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1973, p. 238.
"Reinhold Niebuhr's Social Ethics: The Later Years," in Christianity and Crisis, April 12, 1982.