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Defining the boundaries of orthodoxy: Eunomius in the anti-Jewish polemic of his Cappadocian opponents.

Scholars have long recognized that the theological arguments of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa against their opponent Eunomius helped to shape the development of Christian orthodoxy, and thus Christian self-definition, in the late fourth-century Roman Empire. The cultural and theological significance of the strong anti-Judaizing rhetoric contained within these Cappadocian authors' anti-Eunomian treatises, however, remains largely unexamined. (1) Recent scholarship has demonstrated the critical role of anti-Judaizing rhetoric in the arguments that early Christian leaders Athanasius of Alexandria and Ephrem of Nisibis used against "Arian" Christian opponents in the middle of the fourth century, and the implications of this rhetoric for understanding early Christian-Jewish and intra-Christian relations. (2) Scholars have yet to recognize, however, that anti-Judaizing rhetoric similarly helped to define the terms and consequences of the anti-Eunomian arguments made by Basil, Gregory, and Gregory in the decades that followed. The anti-Judaizing rhetoric of their texts attests to the continuing advantages that these leaders gained by rhetorically associating their Christian opponents with Jews. By claiming that Eunomius and his followers were too Jewish in their beliefs to be Christian, and too Christian in their behaviors to be Jewish, Basil, Gregory, and Gregory deployed anti-Judaizing rhetoric to argue that Eunomians were significantly inferior to both true Christians and Jews. The Cappadocians' strategic comparisons with Jews and Judaism rhetorically distanced their Eunomian opponents from Christianity and thus strengthened the Cappadocians' own claims to represent Christian orthodoxy. Locating the rhetoric of these authors within the context of vacillating political support and long-standing intra-Christian controversy highlights the significant role that this anti-Judaizing rhetoric played in shaping the political, theological, and cultural boundaries of eastern Christianity in the late fourth century. (3)


The fourth-century Roman Empire was consumed by Christians' struggle to secure imperial authority. In particular, those (pro-Nicene) Christians who supported the outcome of the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. found themselves struggling against opponents with various subordinationist theological views, that is, Christians who preserved a strict monotheism by defining the Son's status as subordinate to that of God the Father. (4) The social and political status of the different Christian factions vacillated radically throughout the fourth century, depending on which Christian leaders had gained the emperor's support at any given time. Although pro-Nicene Christians had imperial support in the West throughout much of the fourth century, this was not the case in the East where emperors routinely exiled bishops who supported the Council of Nicaea and filled their positions with episcopal appointees who supported a subordinationist theology. (5) During the course of the fourth century, Athanasius's "Arian" opponents gave way to the later Cappadocians' struggle against Aetius and Eunomius and their followers. (6) Nevertheless, pro Nicene authors continued to emphasize the similarity among these various "heretical" Christians by repeatedly criticizing the subordinate position that each gave to the Son, opening the door to pro-Nicene accusations of theological Judaizing. (7)

Within these intra-Christian controversies, Judaism played a complex and powerful role. Because in denying the Son's full divinity their opponents subordinated the Son to the Father, pro-Nicene leaders compared their Christian opponents' subordinationist beliefs to those of the Jews who in the Gospel of John expressed concern that Jesus made himself equal to God. (8) Rudolf Lorenz s in-depth study of early Christians' rhetorical connections between "Arians" and Jews concludes that there is no reason to suspect that Arius and his followers were "really" any more likely to follow the Jewish Law than any other Christians were. (9) This did not, however, prevent their pro-Nicene opponents from leveling charges of Judaizing against them in order to condemn the validity of Arian and Eunomian Christianity.

Direct contemporaries Athanasius and Ephrem, in the process of defining and actively reifying "Arians" as a cohesive (and heretical) group, both used sharp anti-Jewish and anti-Judaizing language in order more clearly to define and more easily to denigrate their subordinationist Christian opponents. (10) By conflating their contemporary opponents with Jews, already by the fourth century so clearly unChristian in the rhetoric of pro-Nicene Christian heresiologists, these authors concurrently portrayed them unfavorably and as nonChristians. As subordinationist Christianity and pro-Nicene Christianity became recognizably distinct alternatives in the following decades, the pro-Nicene Cappadocian writers, instead of conflating Judaism and subordinationist Christianity, primarily charged Eunomius and his followers with an inconsistency between behavior and belief that positioned them as an untenable third alternative to both Christians and Jews. Still comparing subordinationist Christian theology with Judaism, but more explicitly acknowledging the Christian identity of their opponents, these Cappadocians emphasized not so much that Eunomians were Jews, but that they were not Christians, and that they should either consistently practice Jewish behaviors along with their "Jewish" beliefs or else accept "right" Christian theology along with their claims to be Christian.

Ephrem's and Athanasius's conflation of "Arians" with "Jews" suggested to their audiences that there were only two possible categories into which their opponents could fall--Christians or Jews--and that their Judaizing theology and behavior, imitating the New Testament Pharisees, made them unable to fit into the category Christian, leaving them to be conflated with un-Christian Jews. Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa likewise rely on anti-Judaizing rhetoric, and particularly the accusations that Eunomians imitate New Testament Jews and thus pose a danger to true Christians. Nonetheless, all three emphasize that rather than being just like Jews, these Eunomians are worse than Jews, because they have located themselves in an untenable third position between Jews and Christians, being fully neither. In contrast to Ephrem and Athanasius, these Cappadocian leaders maintain their opponents' subordinationist Christianity not as conflated with Judaism, but as lying uncomfortably between Christianity and Judaism. (11) Just as Athanasius and Ephrem used comparisons with a clear local Jewish community to turn a more nebulous Christian opposition into a clear "Arian" heresy, these Cappadocian authors use Jews and the "Arian" category that Athanasius helped to define in order to tar their new opponent, Eunomius, as a heretic without any valid claim to Christian orthodoxy. The Cappadocians' rhetoric reveals the continuity of anti-Judaizing arguments in the evolution of these intra-Christian disputes, as the Cappadocians compared their Eunomian opponents to New Testament Jews, argued that as "new Jews" they could not reasonably claim the name Christian, and concluded that not only were these subordinationist Christians not true Christians, but that they were even worse than the divinely rejected Jews whom Christian tradition accused of denouncing and murdering God's messiah.


Far from resolving the intra-Christian quarrels of the early fourth century, the Council of Nicaea merely inaugurated decades of vigorous fighting between pro-Nicene and so-called "Arian" Christians. As the fortunes of the supporters of each side alternately rose and fell around the Empire over the course of the fourth century, pro-Nicene leaders developed complex theological arguments and rhetorical strategies with which to attack their opponents. In the second half of the fourth century, Cappadocian Christian leaders entered the lime-light of this Trinitarian controversy. Basil of Caesarea, his classmate Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil's younger brother Gregory of Nyssa, and Aetius's student Eunomius of Cyzicus, whom pro-Nicene leaders accused of dangerously adapting the (already "heretical") teachings of Arius, all came from Cappadocia and gained ecclesiastical authority in the later fourth century. It is, therefore, not just geographical and chronological differences that distinguish the rhetoric of Basil and the two Gregories from the language of Athanasius; these pro-Nicene Cappadocians also wrote against a different stripe of subordinationist Christian theology, primarily that led by Eunomius, a follower of Aetius who was exiled in 358 and again in 360 for his strongly subordinationist teachings. In this context, these Cappadocian leaders deployed pre-established categories of "Arians" and "Jews" to help their audiences clearly identify their Eunomian opponents as "heretics." (12)

The intellectual connections among Arius, Aetius, and Eunomius have been well examined. (13) Although Aetius and Eunomius do not themselves claim to have adopted (or adapted) the teachings of Arius, their pro-Nicene opponents insistently note connections among their teachings. (14) Arius was most often characterized by his opponents as calling the Son a Creature by declaring that "there was when He was not," (15) preserving above all the uniqueness of God, (16) which led his opponents to accuse him of subordinating the Son to the status of Creature. The pro-Nicene writers who attacked Aetius and Eunomius, on the other hand, charged that these later opponents took the teachings of Arius to an extreme that Arius himself had not articulated. Their opponents characterized their teachings as emphasizing the generation of the Son in contrast to the ungenerate Father, thereby highlighting the Son's dissimilarity from (and subordination to) the Father. (17) This subordinationist theology differs from that of Arius in that it is not governed by the preservation of an unknowable God, but rather by the more detailed descriptions of the differences between the ungenerate Father and the begotten Son. (18) Despite these significant differences among the teachings of Arius, Aetius, and Eunomius, however, the pro-Nicene writers who confronted them insistently connected them with each other, borrowing condemnations of one to accuse another of heresy.

Eunomius became the center of decades of literary and political debate among Basil, Gregory, and Gregory. His political life achieved prominence in the late 350s, and in 358 the bishop Eudoxius, who supported the doctrine that the Son was of a "similar" but not "the same" substance as the Father, ordained Eunomius a deacon. After Aetius and Eunomius were condemned at the Council of Seleucia in 359, Eunomius returned to Cyzicus where he wrote his first Apology against Nicene Christianity and was ordained bishop. It was Eunomius's Apology, a defense of his subordinationist theology, that prompted a heated response from Basil of Caesarea in the form of his Against Eunomius (362/3). Years later in 378/9 Eunomius's second apology, Apology for the Apology, itself a response to Basil's Against Eunomius, likewise sparked active retaliation from Gregory of Nyssa in Against Eunomius, written early in the 380s. With the dissemination of his first Apology and his new status as bishop, Eunomius entered in his own right onto the political and ecclesiastical stage. Gregory of Nazianzus names Eunomius as his staunch enemy, particularly after Gregory temporarily moves to Constantinople in 379. (19) In 383 in a letter to Nectarius, then bishop of Constantinople, Gregory mentions Eunomius as a longtime nemesis: "Our bosom-evil, Eunomius, is no longer content to exist in whatever way; but he judges it a loss unless he can draw everyone with him into his destructive [teachings]." (20) During his time as interim bishop of Constantinople in the early 380s, Gregory wrote as if he represented a small and beleaguered proNicene community that faced a strong and vocal opposition of Eunomian supporters, a plausible situation since Constantinople had been a stronghold of imperially supported subordinationist Christian theology until Valens's recent death in 378. (21)

In comparison to the writings of Ephrem and Athanasius, the Cappadocians' anti-Eunomian writings contain noticeably fewer references to Jews, Judaism, or Judaizing, (22) but in addition to associating their Eunomian opponents with earlier Christian "heresies," Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa also link them with Jews. Even before Basil became bishop of Caesarea in 370, he actively participated in the ongoing theological struggles of his time. In 364 he wrote Against Eunomius, which accuses Eunomius of holding Jewish beliefs and argues that even the Jews' position is more coherent and defensible than that of Eunomius. (23) In his oration Against the Arians and On His Own Position, Gregory of Nazianzus refers to the "new Judaism" of "Arius and those who depend on Arius." (24) In Against Eunomius, Gregory of Nyssa likewise refers to the subordinationist theology of his opponent Eunomius as "a new Judaism," and explains that he writes his treatise "wishing to show to the listeners the relationship of the doctrine of Eunomius to the thoughts of the Jews." (25) He further accuses his Christian opponents of advocating "the Jewish doctrine," (26) and claims that Eunomius "Judaizes in his doctrine." (27) As the Cappadocians describe the theological Judaizing of the Eunomians, they primarily emphasize an alleged inconsistency in their opponents' Christian name and "Jewish" beliefs, rhetorically suggesting that it would be better for them to be either fully Jewish or fully Christian rather than to attempt to maintain their untenable position between the two.

Gregory of Nyssa's anti-Eunomian arguments use such accusations to construct a clear genealogy for Eunomius that is doubly condemning, connecting him with Arius, and through Arius to the New Testament Pharisees. (28) Gregory became bishop of Nyssa in 370 when his brother Basil succeeded to the see of Caesarea and appointed him and Gregory of Nazianzus bishops of smaller Cappadocian sees. (29) Basil, who had responded to Eunomius's initial Apology in the early 360s, died in 379, just as Eunomius finished his second major apologia, his Apology for the Apology, a response to Basil's Against Eunomius. In writing against Eunomius's second work in the early 380s, Gregory of Nyssa, like Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus, positions his Eunomian opponents between Christians and Jews. Acknowledging that Eunomius calls himself a Christian, Gregory of Nyssa observes that Eunomius's alleged theological Judaizing separates him from true Christianity, while also making him worse than Jews. In Against Eunomius, Gregory of Nyssa traces the lineage of Eunomius back through Aetius to Arius. Gregory explains, "Arius, who fights against God, [sowed] these wicked seeds, of which the fruit is the doctrine of the Anomeans." (30) Gregory goes beyond this by concluding that Aetius studied Arius's teachings so well that Aetius "was famous for surpassing Arius, the father of the heresy, in the novelty of [his] inventions." (31) Gregory thus not only connects Aetius with the teachings of Arius, "the father of the heresy," but charges that Aetius went beyond the teachings of Arius, drawing Arius's heretical teachings to their logical conclusions. Continuing his genealogy, Gregory explains that Eunomius, Aetius's "deep admirer," followed Aetius to Alexandria and, giving up everything else, Eunomius "only marveled at Aetius." (32) Through this constructed history, Gregory establishes a strong connection between his contemporary Eunomian opponents and Aetius and Arius, whom he could more easily condemn due to the earlier anti-Judaizing polemic of Athanasius and others. Although Eunomius had become a successful and popular Christian leader, in the Cappadocians' rhetoric Eunomius became an enemy to (proNicene) Christian orthodoxy by association with his heretical intellectual mentors.


Faced with the threat of imperial support favoring their Christian opponents, pro-Nicene leaders Basil, Gregory, and Gregory deployed anti-Judaizing rhetoric in order to strengthen their theological arguments against the validity and authority of Eunomius and his followers. In doing so, these pro-Nicene leaders echoed the rhetoric used by Athanasius and Ephrem that associated their contemporary "Arian" Christian opponents with those Jews who opposed Jesus in the New Testament Gospels, thus implying not only that these Christians fought against Jesus and his followers, but also that they posed a dangerous threat to true Christians. Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa strengthened these accusations by referring to the Eunomians as "new Jews," clearly separating them from the title of Christian orthodoxy that both groups sought to claim. Finally, the anti-Judaizing rhetoric of Basil and both Gregories culminates in the accusation that Eunomius and his followers, by partially imitating Jews while claiming to be Christians, are even worse than Jews, the traditional opponents to Christian truth in most early Christian traditions. (33)

All three pro-Nicene Cappadocian leaders compare their Eunomian opponents to those who opposed Jesus in the New Testament gospel narratives. In Against Eunomius from 362/3, Basil explicitly claims that Eunomius's charges against pro-Nicene Christians are reminiscent of those that Jewish leaders leveled against Jesus in the Gospels. (34) Basil begins by presenting Eunomius's complaints against pro-Nicene Christians, and then compares Eunomius to the prostitute of Jeremiah's prophecy:
 Then [Eunomius] adds, "who, then, is mindless enough," or bold in
 impiety so that he might say that "the Son is equal to the Father"?
 To this we said to him the [word] of the prophet on these
 [matters]: "the appearance of a prostitute came upon you; you
 behaved shamelessly before everyone" [Jer 3:3].... And [Eunomius]
 gets irritated for the same things by which the Jews were provoked
 when they said, "he makes himself equal to God" [John 5:18]. (35)

Having compared Eunomius to the prostitute in Jeremiah, Basil then compares him to the New Testament Jewish leaders who challenged Jesus. By connecting Eunomius's accusations against Basil and his pro-Nicene Christian followers to the charges of the Jewish leaders against Jesus in the Gospel of John, Basil taints Eunomius's claims and valorizes his own beliefs by association with the stereotyped villains and hero, respectively, of Christian scripture.

Gregory of Nazianzus's association of his opponents with scriptural Jews is less explicit but is nonetheless present in his writings. In one passage, Gregory addresses words that Micah attributes to God in a chastisement of Israel to his Christian opponents, placing them in the role of disobedient biblical Jews: "Would you like me to utter to you the things that God [said] to Israel, stiff-necked and hardened? 'My people what have I done to you,' or 'what injustice have I done to you?' [Mic. 6:3].... But these words are better toward you who insult [me]." (36) Later in this same oration, Gregory associates his own endurance of the accusations of these Christian antagonists with Christ's suffering in the crucifixion narratives, thereby equating his Christian opponents with the Jewish leaders that the New Testament portrays as responsible for Christ's suffering. (37) These biblical citations place these non-Nicene Christians in negative scriptural roles.

Like his older brother Basil and their mutual friend Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa also uses Christian scripture to denounce Eunomius by comparing him with the Pharisees of the New Testament Gospels. In presenting an "Arian" intellectual and social history for Eunomius, Gregory also identifies his opponents' spiritual ancestors, who likewise threaten the validity of Eunomius's Christianity. In his first treatise against Eunomius in 382, Gregory refers to the Jewish scribes and Pharisees as the ancestors of Eunomius's teachings: "For on account of the fathers of [Eunomius's] heresy, that is the scribes and Pharisees, he knows exactly how to strain the gnat but freely to swallow the hump-backed camel [Matt. 23:24] that carries a weight of wickedness." (38) Like the other writers discussed above, Gregory of Nyssa detracts here from his opponents' teachings by associating them with the Jewish leaders whom the New Testament Gospels portray as Jesus' opponents. In this case, Gregory does not, as he does elsewhere, argue about the specifics of Eunomius's doctrine that might make Eunomians vulnerable to charges of theological Judaizing. Instead, Gregory bolsters the alleged connection by lumping Eunomians and Jews together more loosely through his passing reference to Matthew 23:24 that places his Eunomian opponents in the role of the Pharisees. In fact, in the following sermon Gregory again accuses Eunomius of being a contemporary Pharisee, conjuring up the negative connotations associated with the portrayal of the Pharisees in the New Testament Gospels. Gregory writes, "Let the Pharisee of our time admonish himself not to behold the twig that is in our eye before insisting that he has thrown the beam out of his own eye [Matt. 7:3-5]." (39) By associating his contemporary opponents with New Testament Pharisees, and in fact by tracing their genealogy back to these ignominious ancestors, Gregory instantly calls into question Eunomius's respectability as well as the validity of his teachings.

Gregory of Nyssa goes further and describes how Eunomius and his followers parallel the inappropriate behavior of those Jews in the New Testament Gospels who antagonized Jesus, highlighting the malevolence as well as the potential physical threat of Eunomius's teachings:
 Those [the Jews] attempted to throw stones at the Lord; these
 [Eunomians] stone the true Word to death with blasphemous voices.
 Those put on display the humbleness and obscurity of the Lord's
 coming in the flesh, not admitting [his] divine generation before
 the ages. Similarly, these, denying the confession of [his]
 magnificent and lofty and ineffable generation from the Father,
 also allege that he has his existence through a creation.... The
 Jews accuse [those who] call the Lord the Son of the God of all.
 These [Eunomians] also are irritated against those who in truth are
 making this confession about him. Those thought to honor the God of
 everything while excluding the Son from the same honor as him.
 These things also these people offer to the one over all things,
 offering glory to the Father through the destruction of the glory
 of the Lord. (40)

Step by step Gregory builds a comparison between Jews and Eunomius, with each phrase rhetorically distancing Eunomius further from the name Christian.

Pro-Nicene Christians, by associating their opponents with New Testament Jewish leaders, leveled charges not only of wrong religious affiliations and teachings, but also accusations of physical danger, accusations that reflect the contested social and political context in which these authors wrote. Gregory of Nyssa follows the comparison of Eunomians with the New Testament villains who stoned "the Lord" by exclaiming explicitly "how much and through what ways they display violence against the only-begotten." (41) Likewise, in Oration 33 the slightly senior Gregory of Nazianzus presents himself as the shepherd of a small group of Nicene Christians in a city still dominated by those who support a subordinationist theology. He rhetorically pleads with these opponents, "Where then are they who reproach our poverty and boast of their own richness, those who define the church as plentiful and who spit upon the small flock? ... Hold back the threats a little so that I might speak." (42) Rhetorically describing a larger and threatening group of Christian opponents in Constantinople in 380, Gregory positions his own community as small, harmless, and endangered: "What rash people have I led against you? ... Whom have I besieged while they were praying, their hands lifted toward God? ... Which churches have I contested with you? ... These people have the houses, but we [have] the one who dwells; they the temples, we the God.... They [have] people, we [have] angels ... Is my flock little? But it is not being carried over a precipice." (43) Taking advantage of this rhetorical portrait, Gregory of Nazianzus describes a physical danger attached to those Arians, Eunomians, and Jews who subordinate the Son to the Father. (44) In describing attacks that Athanasius earlier experienced from the supporters of Arius after the Council of Nicaea, Gregory of Nazianzus observes, "How would they [the supporters of Arius] spare people, they who did not spare divinity?" (45) Gregory here warns his hearers of the physical danger from these Christians who already attack the Son by subordinating him to the Father. (46) Elsewhere he emphasizes this same threat to his congregation by describing Eunomius and his followers as lurking, ready to pounce upon unsuspecting Christians. (47) Gregory uses the alleged danger that his opponents pose in order to demonstrate that they resemble Jews, concluding Oration 33 by saying that his small flock will "flee" from false teachings, including from "the diversity of natures [taught] by Arius and his followers, and their new Judaism." (48) Through such comparisons with biblical Jews, these Cappadocian leaders engage the struggle to define the social and political boundaries of the Christian community by presenting their Eunomian Christian opponents as religiously suspect, and even as dangerous enemies to true Christians.


Strengthening their argument, Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa not only compare Eunomius with biblical Jews, but even call their fourth-century Christian opponents "new Jews," (49) implying that they are Judaizing and thus do not represent Christian orthodoxy or orthopraxy. (50) That Gregory of Nazianzus makes such accusations against his Christian opponents is clear from several passages throughout his writings such as in Oration 33, in which he pleads that his flock should flee from this "new Judaism." (51) As Athanasius did earlier, Gregory condemns the teachings of Arius and his followers as a "new Judaism" because of their subordinationist theology. Gregory emphasizes the connection between the tenets of Judaism and of subordinationist Christianity again when he writes that by these Christians the Son "is dishonored as [only] flesh and severed [from God]," and asks them, "Do you stumble at [his] flesh? This the Jews also do." (52) In this passage Gregory of Nazianzus emphasizes that Christians who highlight the Son's dissimilarity from the Father resemble the Jews. Gregory elsewhere explicitly recognizes the Christian status of his opponents, but this passage slanders them by equating their beliefs with those of the Jews.

Like his elder friend, Gregory of Nyssa's rhetoric also accuses Eunomians of practicing a form of Judaism. In addition to calling Eunomius's teachings "Jewish," Gregory of Nyssa also accuses Eunomius and his followers of teaching a "new circumcision." Gregory refers to "the relationship between the doctrine of Eunomius to the thoughts of the Jews," ,and echoes Gregory of Nazianzus by calling Eunomius's teachings "the new Judaism." (53) Gregory further emphasizes, "But the ones of the new circumcision ... do not deny that the expected one came, and mimic through wantonness and unbelief those who dishonor the coming of the Lord in the flesh." (54) That is,

Gregory of Nyssa accuses the Eunomian Christians of imitating Jews by not adhering to pro-Nicene doctrine. Gregory of Nyssa frequently alleges Eunomius's proximity to Judaism, a charge whose very vocalization serves to help separate Eunomius's teachings from the category of Christian orthodoxy. Gregory makes this argument when he writes of Eunomius's teachings as "Jewish nonsense" and "greatly set apart from the greatness of the Christians." (55) The similarities that Gregory of Nyssa notes between the teachings of Eunomius and the Jews serve to support his claim that Eunomius cannot be a true Christian. Gregory highlights the Jewishness of Eunomius's teachings throughout his writings: "If then he lives by the beloved letter and accordingly Judaizes that far in his thought, and has not yet learned that the Christian is a disciple not of the letter but of the Spirit (for the letter kills, [Paul] says, but the spirit gives life [2 Cor. 3:6]) ... if, then, he thinks this, he also utterly cannot deny the things that follow." (56) These "things that follow" from Gregory's rhetoric are that Eunomius, because he Judaizes, is not a true Christian. Gregory writes of Eunomius's doctrine that "it is absolutely necessary for this doctrine to Judaize," (57) and argues that Eunomius should have been more clear about his message "by openly declaring that it is not necessary to confess the name of the Son, nor to preach the only-begotten God in the churches, but rather confessing that we should judge Jewish worship to be more legitimate than that of Christians." (58) He echoes the connection between Eunomius and Judaism later in Against Eunomius, claiming, "For if someone were examining the fraud of these heresies, he would find that they have much in common with the error of Eunomius. For each of them Judaizes in his doctrine, admitting neither the only-begotten God nor the holy spirit into communion with the divinity of the God whom they call both great and first." (59) Ending with a strikingly strong statement about the proper location for Eunomius's teachings on the Son, namely in the Jewish synagogue, Gregory writes, "But if anyone contradicts this, he is an advocate of the Jewish conception, not connecting the Son with the salvation of the people.... For if, on the other hand, he who is shown by the name of 'the Existent one' is not the only-begotten, as Eunomius would have it, it is nothing other than transferring the doctrines of the synagogue to the church of God." (60) Although the Cappadocians' writings elsewhere differentiate clearly between Jews and followers of Eunomius, texts such as these by Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa connect Eunomius's teachings clearly with Judaism. Engaged in an intra-Christian struggle to define the social, political, and theological parameters of Christian orthodoxy, the accusation that Eunomians were "new Jews" who practiced a "new Judaism" facilitated the pro-Nicene claim that Eunomians were not true Christians.


In addition to associating Eunomius with Judaism, all three of these pro-Nicene writers also denounced what they called the inconsistency of Eunomian theology as even worse than that of the Jews. After Basil connects Eunomius with the Jews because both allegedly oppose the Johannine saying that "the Son is equal to the Father," he then chastises Eunomius and his followers by arguing that their position is even less defensible than that of the Jews. This argument immediately follows the comparison between Eunomius and the New Testament Jewish leaders:
 But nevertheless, and lest what I say seem to anyone a paradox,
 those [Jews] seemed somehow to pay more attention to the
 consequence. For they were irritated that "he was calling God his
 Father" [John 5:18]. They logically conclude the outcome for
 themselves; that through this [claim] "he was making himself equal
 to God" [John 5:18], thus it necessarily follows that having God
 for his Father, he is equal to him. (61)

Basil rhetorically maneuvers the Jews into a position of superiority over Eunomius by explaining the rationality of the Jews' accusation of Jesus in John 5:18, noting that the Jews realized that Jesus' claim to divine Sonship must also necessarily be a claim to equality with God. Basil contrasts this with the apparent illogic of Eunomius's teaching, which accepts the divine Sonship but denies that it necessarily implies the Son's perfect equality with the Father: "But [Eunomius], really agreeing with the first [God as Father], refuses the second [Father and Son are equal]; and he proposes to us the claim of the Lord, saying, 'the Father who sent me is greater than I' [John 14:28]. But he does not hear the saying of the apostle [Paul]: 'he did not want to be considered seizing equality with God' [Phil 2:6]." (62) Basil thus tries to prove that Eunomius is inconsistent in acknowledging the Fatherhood of God but not the Son's equality with the Father. He concludes this section with the comment that "these things might be said to denounce the contradiction that is in their doctrines." (63) The conclusion that Basil encourages is therefore that Eunomius is similar to the Jews but is in fact worse than the Jews, despite the Jews' rejection of God's Son, in that Eunomius does not accept the logical conclusion to the Son's relationship to the Father on which pro-Nicene Christians and Jews agree.

Like Basil before him, Gregory of Nazianzus not only describes subordinationist theology as "Jewish" but also strengthens his accusations by claiming that his Christian opponents are even worse than Jews. After Gregory asks his opponents in On the Theophany, "Do you stumble at [Christ's] flesh? This the Jews also do," (64) he posits a solution to what he argues is their current untenable situation:
 O you who are more faithless than demons and more senseless than
 Jews. Those [latter] perceived that the name of Son was a term that
 implied equality; these [former] knew that it was God who expelled
 them, for they were persuaded by what happened. But you will
 neither accept the equality nor confess the divinity. It would have
 been better for you to have circumcised or to have been possessed
 by demons, if I might say that which is ridiculous, than in
 uncircumcision and in health to be in a state of such wickedness
 and ungodliness. (65)

In this passage Gregory deploys the Jews as a shaming device. Although he again compares these Christians to Jews, he nonetheless concurrently maintains a clear distinction between the groups. Jews behave in Jewish ways and hold Jewish beliefs, by definition, according to Gregory. Gregory expects his Christian opponents, on the other hand, to believe and behave as (pro-Nicene) Christians, thereby implicitly confessing that his opponents, much as they may resemble Jews in Gregory's own rhetoric, are, in fact, Christians. Gregory charges, however, that instead of behaving as Christians, his opponents are Christians who behave as Jews, thereby becoming neither Christians nor Jews, but holding a middle position that makes them "more senseless than the Jews." (66) Concurrently, Gregory refuses to call them Christians, although he acknowledges that they strive to be Christians. In Constantinople he even prays to God that they might become true Christians: "Change these people and make them believers instead of logicians, Christians instead of what they are currently called." (67) For Gregory, those who deny the Son's full equality with the Father are neither Christians, who would have right belief, nor Jews, who would circumcise, but rather, as those who claim to be Christian while theologically Judaizing, they are a "new Judaism" and inferior to Christians and Jews. (68)

Like Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa also was not satisfied with only comparing the teachings of Eunomius to those of Jews. In Against Eunomius, Gregory goes further and argues that rather than be improperly Christian and incompletely Jewish, Eunomius and his followers would be better off actually becoming Jews. Gregory explains that Eunomius's treatment of the Son leaves "no ambiguity that what is declared by these is an advocacy of the Jewish doctrine." (69) As a result, Gregory cries, "Let them run back again from the church to the synagogues of the Jews." (70) Gregory rhetorically calls for Eunomius and his followers to leave the church where, according to Gregory, they do not belong, and to join the synagogue where, Gregory argues, Eunomius's teachings would be at home.

In some cases, Gregory of Nyssa argues that Eunomius and his followers are neither truly Christians nor Jews, either of which would be better than the inconsistency of the Eunomian heresy. In numerous places Gregory explicitly denies that Eunomius can be called "Christian": "But if [Eunomius] is inventing some other god besides the Father, let him argue along with the Jews.... But a Christian, if he does not believe in the Father, is not a Christian." (71) Gregory of Nyssa denies the name "Christian" to Eunomius since Eunomius denies the Nicene doctrine of the relationship between the Father and Son. Gregory then continues this argument, comparing Eunomius to both Jews and to Platonists, further distancing him from the name "Christian." Gregory argues,
 If by the title of Almighty [Eunomius] means the Father, he speaks
 our language and not another. But if he means some other Almighty
 than the Father, let the champion of Jewish doctrine preach
 circumcision too, if he likes. For the faith of Christians looks
 toward the Father.... But if, leaving the Father, he speaks of
 another Almighty, he speaks the things of the Jews or also he
 follows the words of Plato.... Then just as in the doctrines of
 Jews and of Platonists, the one who does not accept the Father is
 not a Christian, even if he worships a certain Almighty in his
 doctrine. (72)

Here Gregory appeals to a particular notion of God the Father to delineate the boundaries of Christianity. Gregory concludes, "Thus Eunomius also falsely pretends to the name [Christian], Judaizing in his mind, or privileging the [doctrines] of the Greeks while going under the name Christian," (73) charging that Eunomius's allegedly "Christian" teachings are not Christian at all.

Stripping the title "Christian" from Eunomius, Gregory argues that Eunomius and his followers falsely masquerade as Christians. He claims that in this guise, Eunomians might deceive would-be Christians from the true Christianity that is manifest in his own pro-Nicene beliefs. Gregory lays out the fine line that true Christians must walk:
 For it lies before us, whether to be Christians, not carried away
 by the destruction of the heresy, or else to be completely dragged
 down by the assumptions of Jews and the Greeks. So, then, that we
 might not suffer either of these things that should not be tried,
 neither agreeing with the doctrine of the Jews by a denial of the
 truly begotten Son, nor falling with the fall of the idolaters
 through the worship of the creature, let us necessarily spend some
 time speaking about these things, and set forth the words of
 Eunomius. (74)

This introduces Gregory's discussion of what he sees as the follies of Eunomius's teachings, and places Eunomius outside the bounds of Christianity and into the realm of "heresy," tainted by both Judaism and also pagan idolatry. (75) In fact, Gregory's critique of Eunomius does not end with this warning, but details what he sees to be some of the most serious dangers in Eunomius's teachings. Gregory argues that true Christians must balance between the Scylla and Charybdis of Christian error: namely, tendencies toward Judaism on the one hand and Greek idolatry on the other. Gregory accuses Eunomius of straying from Christian truth in both of these two dangerous directions:
 Then with the opinion prevailing among all Christians, indeed those
 who are truly worthy of the name, ... there came this deadly blight
 upon the church, making useless the pious seeds of the faith,
 advocating as it does the deceit of Judaism, and having a certain
 godlessness of the Greeks. For with inventing a created God comes
 the advocating of the deceit of the Greeks, and with denying the
 Son it joins together with the error of the Jews. (76)

Again Gregory implicitly accuses Eunomius of not being "truly worthy" of the name Christian and of following too closely both the Jews, "with denying the Son," and also Greek idolaters, in his "inventing of a created God." Either one of these charges alone would be sufficient to call into question Eunomius's claim to the name Christian; used in tandem, the charges present a forceful criticism of Eunomius and his followers.

Gregory's suggestion that Eunomius become a Jew rather than "falsely" claiming to be a Christian serves an important role in Gregory's rhetoric. He argues not just that Eunomius is not a Christian, but also that Eunomius would in fact be better off if he were actually a Jew, rather than a Christian heretic as Gregory currently defines him. Gregory reasons that through Eunomius's teachings he and his followers "separated themselves from the common hope of Christians." (77) Given the Eunomians' views on the Son, Gregory posits for them an alternative to their current claim to Christianity: "Perhaps, even if it is bold to say, it might be more profitable for them, denying the faith, to desert to the Jews' worship, rather than to insult the name of the Christians by this pretense." (78) Unlike the Eunomians, Gregory argues, "Those [the Jews], on the one hand, continuing to reject the Word until now are impious only in this one thing, in that they do not confess that Christ has come, but rather they hope that he will come. On the other hand, no one claims to have heard [from them] any evil and destructive thought of the glory of the one expected by them." (79) He then explains the Eunomians' views about the Son and comments that this is "the very thing that nowhere up to this point have the Jews dared [to say]." (80) Following one more brief description of how Gregory believes that the Eunomians dangerously misunderstand the Son, Gregory adds, "We have not accused [even] the Jews of these things." (81) Not even "the Jews," Gregory argues, as much as early Christians claim that they harassed Jesus during his lifetime and deny the Son's divinity and messiahship after his resurrection, are as dangerous and misled as Eunomius and his followers. (82) In this rhetoric, the Jews emerge as more tolerable to Gregory than Eunomius, so that elsewhere Gregory even exhorts Eunomius, "Let the champion of Jewish doctrines preach circumcision too." (83) According to Gregory's rhetoric, it is better to be a Jew than to follow the heretical teachings of Eunomius.

For Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Basil, the Jews become a rhetorical shaming device. Acknowledging that Eunomius and his followers claim to be Christian, these authors nonetheless mount arguments to prove that Eunomians only falsely claim that name. They compare Eunomians to Jews to demonstrate their distance from Christian orthodoxy and to connect them rhetorically with Jesus' antagonists in the Gospel narratives. Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa shame the self-designated "Christian" Eunomians with the threat of Judaism, but rhetorically define them as neither Christians nor Jews but as even worse than Jews. These pro-Nicene Cappadocians position their opponents between Christians and Jews, being neither, though resembling both. Not accompanied by the same sharp anti-Jewish polemic of Ephrem and Athanasius, the Cappadocian arguments do not aim to prove that their opponents are Jews, but use Judaism to criticize that they are worse than Jews.


The writings of John Chrysostom make a significant postscript to the discussion of the use of anti-Judaizing language in pro-Nicene writings against opponents with a subordinationist theology. In 386-387 John Chrysostom wrote a series of sermons against subordinationist "Anomean" teachings in Antioch, but they do not make such dramatic charges of Judaizing in the ways that either Ephrem and Athanasius or the Cappadocians did. (84) This difference is particularly striking given that Chrysostom interrupted his sermons against the Anomeans in order to present his Discourses against Judaizing Christians, (85) which are replete with vitriolic polemic about the errors and dangers posed by Jews and Judaism, as well as with sharp warnings and rebukes against Judaizing Christians. (86) Nonetheless, the anti-Judaizing accusations rarely carry over into the anti-Anomean sermons that Chrysostom preached interspersed with these anti-Judaizing sermons. While the concurrent timing of these two sets of sermons provides a chronological link between them, Chrysostom does not make much of a rhetorical effort to connect the two, aside from one explicit comment in his Discourses against Judaizing Christians about the relation of the two subjects: (87)
 But the danger from this [Judaizing] sickness is very closely
 related to the danger from the other; since the Anomeans' impiety
 is akin to that of the Jews, my present conflict is akin to my
 former one. And there is a kinship because the Jews and the
 Anomeans make the same accusation. And what charges do the Jews
 make? That He called God his own Father and so made himself equal
 to God [cf. John 5:18]. The Anomeans also make this charge--I
 should not say they make this charge; they even blot out the phrase
 'equal to God' and what it connotes, by their resolve to reject it
 even if they do not physically erase it. (88)

Chrysostom, it seems, primarily chastised as Judaizers not those who followed a subordinationist Christian theology, but rather "Christians" who participated in "Jewish" practices. (89) Chrysostom's writings certainly did not mark the end of Christian writers using Jews and Judaism to construct a "Jewish" enemy out of another Christian group. (90) Nonetheless, specifically within the so-called "Nicene/ Arian" conflict, in all of its forms over the decades of the fourth century, Chrysostom's writings reflect a significant shift from the earlier pro-Nicene writings.


Different authors, literary genres, contexts, and opponents make it impossible to pinpoint with certainty all of the reasons for the different rhetorical strategies in the texts of Athanasius, Ephrem, the Cappadocians, and John Chrysostom. Combining strong anti-Jewish rhetoric with anti-Judaizing charges in an attempt to conflate "Arians" and Jews appears to have been a particularly useful strategy for Ephrem and Athanasius. The Cappadocians, less concerned with a threat of local Judaism and facing strengthened Christian opposition, instead primarily noted an inconsistency in the allegedly Judaizing views of their Eunomian opponents. Arguing that Judaism is at least better than Christian heresy, these Cappadocian writings contain less sharp anti-Jewish rhetoric than those of Ephrem and Athanasius, a separation that appears most starkly in the later writings of John Chrysostom, whose synagogue-attending Christian congregants drew his accusations of Judaizing more pressingly than did the local supporters of Anomean Christianity. (91)

Attending to these Cappadocians' use of anti-Judaizing language against their subordinationist Christian opponents within their theological struggles highlights the social and political implications of using such rhetoric within these theological treatises. As subordinationist teachings at the end of the fourth century became an undeniably viable alternative to pro-Nicene Christianity socially, politically, and religiously, the Cappadocians position Eunomian theology as an untenable mixture of Judaism and Christianity. Comparing Eunomians' Christian and "Jewish" beliefs, these authors emphasized that these "errant" Christians were in fact not Christians, and that they should either consistently practice Jewish behaviors along with their "Jewish" beliefs or else accept pro-Nicene theology along with their claims to be Christian. In the complex context of the fourth-century eastern Mediterranean empire, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa faced a form of Christianity to which they were strongly opposed but which had gained much political support in their region. In such a context, theological truth claims were not sufficient to counter their Eunomian opponents' growing success. Manipulating what was by then a common Christian caricature of Jews as both theologically and socially dangerous to Christians, the Cappadocian leaders carefully deployed anti-Judaizing rhetoric against their Eunomian Christian opponents. In their context of uncertain political support and unsettled Christian controversy, this anti-Judaizing rhetoric strengthened pro-Nicene claims, and thus helped to define not only the theological boundaries, but also the social and political boundaries, of early Christian orthodoxy.

(1.) Rebecca Lyman briefly but astutely noted the significance of Gregory of Nyssa's anti-Jewish and anti-Manichaean rhetoric, but she did not discuss her observation in depth or place it in its larger context ("A Topography of Heresy: Mapping the Rhetorical Creation of Arianism," in Arianism after Arius: Essays on the Development of the FourthCentury Trinitarian Conflicts, ed. Michel Barnes and Daniel Williams [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1993], 58-61).

(2.) See Christine Shepardson, "'Exchanging Reed for Reed': Mapping Contemporary Heretics onto Biblical Jews in Ephrem's Hymns on Faith," Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 5:1 (2002); Shepardson, Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy: Ephrem's Hymns in Fourth-Century Syria (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, forthcoming).

(3.) This essay is a significantly revised version of material that I first examined in my dissertation: Shepardson, "In the Service of Orthodoxy: Anti-Jewish Language and Intra-Christian Conflict in the Writings of Ephrem the Syrian" (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 2003).

(4.) The nuanced vocabulary of Lewis Ayres is particularly useful in defining categories of "subordinationist" and "pro-Nicene" theologies: see Ayres, Nicaea and its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

(5.) R. Malcolm Errington recently critiqued the assumption that the emperors were motivated primarily by personal theological convictions, but the result is in this case the same regardless of motivation (Errington, Roman Imperial Policy from Julian to Theodosius [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006]).

(6.) Ephrem, too, polemicized aggressively against his opponents, and likewise self-consciously participated in an Empire-wide struggle for the triumph of Nicene Christianity, but he was not at the political hub of this fourth-century struggle as Athanasius was. Scholars have slowly begun to recognize Ephrem's participation in these religious and imperial politics, as in Ayres, Nicaea and its Legacy. See also the following works that have proved foundational for these conversations: Sidney Griffith, "Ephraem, the Deacon of Edessa, and the Church of the Empire," in Diakonia: Studies in Honor of Robert T. Meyer, ed. Thomas Halton and Joseph Williman (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press, 1986), 22-52; Griffith, "The Marks of the 'True Church' according to Ephraem's Hymns against Heresies," in After Bardaisan: Studies on Continuity and Change in Syriac Christianity in Honour of Professor Han J. W. Drijvers, ed. G. J. Reinink and A. C. Klugkist, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 89 (Leuven: Peeters, 1999), 125-140; Griffith, "Setting Right the Church of Syria: Saint Ephraem's Hymns against Heresies," in The Limits of Ancient Christianity: Essays on Late Antique Thought and Culture in Honor of R. A. Markus, ed. William Klingshirn and Mark Vessey (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 97-114.

(7.) John 5:18.

(8.) Rudolf Lorenz, Arius judaizans? Untersuchungen zur dogmengeschichtlichen Einordnung des Arius (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979), especially 141-179.

(9.) While Judaizing usually refers to physical behaviors such as circumcision, it can also refer to theological similarities with Judaism.

(10.) For a full discussion, see Shepardson, Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy.

(11.) In Basil's arguments against Eunomius, the "Arian" heresies are heretical precisely because of their inappropriate location too close to Judaism and too far from where Christianity ought to be. This is particularly interesting, given that Basil frequently describes Christianity itself as a third category, balanced halfway between Judaism and Hellenism: see David T. Runia, "'Where, tell me, is the Jew ...?': Basil, Philo, and Isidore of Pelusium," Vigiliae Christianae 46:2 (June 1992): 172-189.

(12.) There is by now an excellent history of scholarship on the construction of "heretics," and this scholarship has shaped my thinking about how the Cappadocians portray Eunomius. See in particular Lyman, "A Topography of Heresy," 45-62; Virginia Burrus, The Making of a Heretic: Gender, Authority, and the Priscillianist Controversy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Lyman, "The Making of a Heretic: The Life of Origen in Epiphanius Panarion 64," in Studia Patristica, v. 31 (Louvain: Peeters, 1997), 445-451; Averil Cameron, "Jews and Heretics--A Category Error?" in The Ways that Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, ed. Adam Becker and Annette Yoshiko Reed (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), 345-360.

(13.) See particularly Richard P. Vaggione, Eunomius of Cyzicus and the Nicene Revolution (New York: Oxford, 2000). See also Thomas Kopecek, A History of Neo-Arianism, 2 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: The Philadelphia Patristic Foundation, 1970); H. M. Gwatkin, Studies of Arianism, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell and Co., 1900; originally 1882; New York: AMS Press, 1978); H. M. Gwatkin, The Arian Controversy (New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1914); Robert C. Gregg and Dennis E. Groh, Early Arianism: A View of Salvation (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981); Charles Kannengiesser, Holy Scripture and Hellenistic Hermeneutics in Alexandrian Christology: The Arian Crisis, The Center for Hermeneutical Studies in Hellenistic and Modern Culture, colloquy 41 (Berkeley, Calif.: Center for Hermeneutical Studies, 1982); Kannengiesser, "Arius and the Arians," Journal of Theological Studies 44:3 (1983): 456-475; R. C. Gregg, Arianism: Historical and Theological Reassessments (Cambridge, Mass.: Philadelphia Patristic Foundation, 1985); R. P. C. Hanson, The Search for the Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy 318-381 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988), 598-636; Rowan Williams, The Making of Orthodoxy: Essays in Honour of Henry Chadwick (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Michel Barnes and Daniel Williams, Arianism after Arius; Timothy D. Barnes, Athanasius and Constantius: Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993); Richard Lim, Public Disputation, Power, and Social Order in Late Antiquity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Maurice Wiles, Archetypal Heresy: Arianism through the Centuries (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996); L. Ayres and G. Jones, eds., Christian Origins: Theology, Rhetoric, and Conzmunity (New York: Routledge, 1998); Rowan Williams, Arius: Heresy and Tradition, 2nd ed. (London: SCM, 2001); Ayres, Nicaea and its Legacy.

(14.) See Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius 1.46; Athanasius, De Synodi Arimini et Seleucidae 6.1-2. I thank an anonymous reader for the reminder that Philostorgius's later history strongly influences later understandings of the connections among Arius, Aetius, and Eunomius. Note also Lewis Ayres's comment to this effect (Ayres, Nicaea and its Legacy, 145). In this case, however, I am relying strictly on Athanasius's and Gregory of Nyssa's own narratives of the associations of these leaders, narratives that I recognize are rhetorically constructed to further the authors' own claims to orthodoxy. Likewise, the same reader helpfully observes that the Cappadocians do not refer to "Arians" as much as Athanasius does, nor do they claim to cite Arius as often. This is consistent with my thesis that the Cappadocians distinguish Eunomius's theology from Arius's but make associations between them when it can further their efforts to define Eunomius's teachings as "heresy."

(15.) See Athanasius's accusation against Arius in Orations Against the Arians 1.10, 11, 22; De decretis Nicaenae synodi 18; Epistula ad Afros 6.

(16.) See, for example, the characterization of Arius's views in Philostorgius, Historia Ecclesiae 2.3.

(17.) Against Aetius and Eunomius, see Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.46 (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers [NPNF] 1.6); Eunomius, Apology 7-11, 13-15, 17-28; Apology for the Apology 1.164, 186, 192-193, 201-202, 216, 271, 332, 334, 337, 362, 364, 367, 373, 382-383, 391,401; II.172, 309. All quotations of Gregory of Nyssa's Against Eunomius are my translations from the Greek text in Gregorii Nysseni Opera, vol. I-II: Contra Eunomium Libri, ed. Vernerus Jaeger (Berlin: Weidman, 1921), which I cite by Jaeger's notations of book (Lib.), volume (Tom.) and paragraph number. I have also included in parentheses the book and chapter references to the NPNF English translation because the Jaeger citations are difficult to match to the English translation (Select Writings and Letters of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, eds. William Moore and Henry Austin Wilson [NPNF, 2nd ser., vol. 5; Eerdmans, 1954]).

(18.) See, for example, Eunomius, Apology for the Apology 1. See also Vaggione, Eunomius, 237-240; Ayres, Nicaea and its Legacy, 144-149.

(19.) For a comparison specifically of Gregory of Nazianzus with Ephrem, see Paul Russell, St. Ephraem the Syrian and St. Gregory the Theologian Confront the Arians (Kerala, India: St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute, 1994).

(20.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Epistle 202.6. All quotations from Gregory's Theological Letters (Epistles 101-102, 202) come from the Greek text in Lettres theologiques (Sources Chretiennes [SC] 208), ed. and trans. Paul Gallay and Maurice Jourjon (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1974).

(21.) Besides Gregory's own comments, see also Jean Bernardi, Saint Gregoire de Nazianze: Le theologien et son temps (330-390) (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1995). Bernardi notes that "Arianism" remained strong within Constantinople when Gregory arrived there (Barnardi, Gregoire, 201). McGuckin likewise echoes that when the Nicene supporter Theodosius became emperor in 379 after the recent death of the Homoian emperor Valens, Theodosius inherited the capital of Constantinople, "which was completely Arian in persuasion, the center of the Homoian movement" (John A. McGuckin, St. Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography [Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary, 2001], 235).

(22.) This is not to say that others of Basil's works, for example, do not contain any anti-Jewish rhetoric. See, for example, Hexameron 9.6, and Runia, "Where, tell me."

(23.) Basil, Against Eunomius 1.24.

(24.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations 33.16. All translations of Orations 32-37 are based on the Greek text published in Discours 32-37 (SC 318), ed. Claudio Moreschini and trans. Paul Gallay (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1985). Norris argues that although Gregory rarely gives an explicit identity to the opponents of his Theological Orations, the charges that Gregory levels against his opponents and the context in which he writes suggests that these "Arians" as Gregory once calls them (Orations 31.30) are followers of Eunomius (Frederick W. Norris, Faith Gives Fullness to Reasoning: Tile Five Theological Orations of Gregory Nazianzen, trans. Lionel Wickham, Frederick Williams [New York: Brill, 1991], 53-56).

(25.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 3.7.8-9 (NPNF 9.1). Compare Lyman, "A Topography of Heresy," 58-61.

(26.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.177 (NPNF 1.15).

(27.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 3.8.23 (NPNF 10.2).

(28.) As Rebecca Lyman notes, this association with Arius is infrequent in Gregory's text, and Gregory also relies on anti-Manichaean rhetoric, along with his references to Judaism, in order to construct Eunomius as a heretic (Lyman, "A Topography of Heresy," 58-61).

(29.) Regarding Gregory's anti-Jewish language, see Jean Reynard, "L'Antijudaisme de Gregoire de Nysse et du pseudo-Gregoire de Nysse," in Studia Patristica XXXVII (Louvain: Peeters, 2001), 257-276.

(30.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.37, 45 (NPNF 1.6). Aetius and Eunomius were sometimes called "Anomeans" because their opponents alleged that they taught the "unlikeness" of the Father and Son. In fact, they taught that they were "unlike" in essence, but not in other ways, such as will.

(31.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.46 (NPNF 1.6).

(32.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.49, 51 (NPNF 1.6).

(33.) Despite the chronological spread of these Cappadocians' writings against Eunomius, the associations that they make between Eunomius and Judaism remain remarkably consistent, particularly in contrast to Athanasius's and Ephrem's earlier writings and John Chrysostom's later writings.

(34.) Athanasius and Ephrem made similar accusations against their opponents. See, for example, Athanasius, Ar. 1.4.; Defense of Dionysius 3-4; Ar. 3.27, 58, 67; Ephrem, Hymns on Faith [HdF] 44.6, 9; 87; Sermons on Faith 6.

(35.) Basil, Eun. 1.23. All quotations from Basil's Against Eunomius are from the Greek text in Contre Eunome, vol. I and II (SC 299 and 305), ed. and trans. Bernard Sesboue, Georges-Matthieu de Durand, and Louis Doutreleau (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1982, 1983).

(36.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 33.2.

(37.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 33.14.

(38.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.107 (NPNF 1.10).

(39.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 2.314 (NPNF, Answer to Eunomius's Second Book).

(40.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.264-266 (NPNF 1.21). Compare Ephrem's point-by-point comparison with the Jews, especially in HdF 87, which also includes a comparison of the words of his Christian opponents to the physical attacks of New Testament Jews. See Shepardson, "Exchanging Reed"; Shepardson, Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy.

(41.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.267 (NPNF 1.21).

(42.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 33.1.

(43.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 33.3, 13, 15.

(44.) See Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 33.16. As noted above, Norris and others accept that although Gregory uses Arius as his reference point for his opponents, he is primarily concerned with the teachings of Eunomius.

(45.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 21.14. All quotations from Gregory's Orations 20-23 come from my translation of the Greek text in Discours 20-23 (SC 270), ed. and trans. Justin Mossay and Guy Lafontaine (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1980).

(46.) In much the same way, Ephrem warns his audience against the Jews (and "Arian" Christians whom he associates with the Jews in this sermon) who threaten God: "Flee from [the Jewish people], weak one! Your death and your blood are nothing to it. It accepted the blood of God; will it be frightened away from your own blood?" (Ephrem, SdF 3.349-352). See Shepardson, Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy.

(47.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 28.2. All quotations from Gregory's Orations 27-31 come from Norris (Reasoning), with an occasional change based on the Greek text in Discours 27-31 (SC 250), ed. and trans. Paul Gallay and Maurice Jourjon (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1978). This warning echoes similar concerns about the safety of his congregation from the snares of "heretical" Christians as Ephrem earlier issues in his warning against Satan's use of false Christians to trap Nicene Christians: "Search and seek and learn his snares, and how and where he hides them. Pay attention and look and see his hidden and subtle net. Incline your ear and look and feel where he puts his pitfalls. Make for yourself a spy and learn when he lays an ambush for you!" (Ephrem, SdF 3.397-404). Compare also Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 27.9, in which he writes, "Why do you try to entangle those who are weaker in your spider's webs?" suggesting again that Gregory fears for the theological well-being of his impressionable flock.

(48.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 33.16. Note that here Gregory connects his (Eunomian) opponents with Arius. Like Gregory, Ephrem also exhorts his flock to flee: "Flee and rescue yourself from their madness. Run and harbor yourself in Christ. So that you may not go as a searcher, draw near as one who worships" (Ephrem, SdF 3.383-384).

(49.) Athanasius occasionally used this language, too. See, for example, Athanasius, Decr. 27 and also History of the Arians 61.

(50.) See also Daniel Boyarin's detailed discussion of this early Christian practice in Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004).

(51.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 33.16.

(52.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 38.15.

(53.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 3.7.8, 9 (NPNF 9.1).

(54.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.264 (NPNF 1.21).

(55.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 2.41 (NPNF, Answer to Eunomius's Second Book).

(56.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 2.199-200 (NPNF, Answer to Eunomius's Second Book). Compare also Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 3.33 (NPNF 3.2).

(57.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.257-258 (NPNF 1.20).

(58.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 3.2.156 (NPNF 4.9).

(59.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 3.8.22 (NPNF 10.2).

(60.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 3.9.36 (NPNF 11.3).

(61.) Basil, Eun. 1.24.

(62.) Basil, Eun. 1.24.

(63.) Basil, Eun. 1.24.

(64.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 38.15.

(65.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 38.15. Compare Basil, Eun. 1.24.

(66.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 38.15.

(67.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 29.21. Note that Gregory here criticizes his opponents as "logicians," a typical criticism of Eunomius and his followers.

(68.) Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 33.16.

(69.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.177 (NPNF 1.15).

(70.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.179 (NPNF 1.15).

(71.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. (2).38 (NPNF 2.5). I use the number 2 in parentheses to refer to the text that is in the back of Jaeger's second volume that he labels in parentheses "(Lib. II P.M.)."

(72.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. (2).48-49 (NPNF 2.6).

(73.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. (2).49 (NPNF 2.6).

(74.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 3.2.72-73 (NPNF 4.4).

(75.) It is worth noting here that Ephrem uses the same two criticisms of "Arians" but attributes both to Judaizing, using Exodus 32 and the story of the golden calf to link idolatry with the Jews.

(76.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 2.14-15 (NPNF, Answer to Eunomius's Second Book). Similarly, Gregory elsewhere exhorts, "Therefore, either let those who declare that he is created confess that he is not God, so that they might appear as Judaizers, or, if they confess that the created one is God, let them not deny being idolaters" (Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. [2].109 [NPNF 2.9]).

(77.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.262 (NPNF 1.21).

(78.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.262-263 (NPNF 1.21).

(79.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.263-264 (NPNF 1.21).

(80.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.267 (NPNF 1.21).

(81.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.267 (NPNF 1.21).

(82.) Compare Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. 1.269 (NPNF 1.22).

(83.) Gregory of Nyssa, Eun. (2).48 (NPNF 2.6).

(84.) John Chrysostom, On the Incomprehensibility of the Nature of God.

(85.) For an updated dating sequence based on a newly published addition to Chrysostom's second homily in this series, see these two articles recently published by Wendy Pradels, Rudolf Brandle, and Martin Heimgartner: "Das bisher vermisste Textstuck in Johannes Chrysostomus, Adversus Judaeos, Oratio 2," Zeitschrift fur antikes Christentum 5 (2001): 23-49; "The Sequence and Dating of the Series of John Chrysostom's Eight Discourses Adversus Iudaeos," ZAC 6 (2002): 90-116. See also Paul Harkins's introduction to his translation of Chrysostom's Discourses against Judaizing Christians for the outline of the dates of these writings (Fathers of the Church [FC] 68).

(86.) See Fred Allen Grissom, "Chrysostom and the Jews: Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations in Fourth-Century Antioch" (Ph.D. diss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1978); Robert Wilken, John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late Fourth Century (BerkeLey: University of California Press, 1983); Klaas A. D. Smelik, "John Chrysostom's homilies against the Jews: Some Comments," Nederlands theologish tijdschrift 39 (1985): 194-200; Adolf Martin Ritter, "John Chrysostom and the Jews: A Reconsideration," in Ancient Christianity in the Caucasus, ed. Tamila Mgaloblishvili (Surrey, U.K.: Curzon, 1998), 141-152, 231-232; J. N. D. Kelly, Golden Mouth: The Story of John Chrysostom, Ascetic, Preacher, Bishop (London: Duckworth, 1995); and Pieter W. van der Horst, "Jews and Christians in Antioch at the End of the Fourth Century," in Christian-Jewish Relations through the Centuries, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Brook W. R. Pearson (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2000), 228-238. Smelik ('John Chrysostom's') counters Wilken (John Chrysostom) and argues that John Chrysostom's primary opponents in these homilies are Jews rather than Judaizing Christians. While I agree with Smelik that Chrysostom's interest was in separating clearly the church and the synagogue, I agree with Wilken that the immediate provocation for these homilies is churchgoing "Christians" attending "Jewish" festivals.

(87.) Of course it is possible that Chrysostom's intended "Judaizing" and "Anomean" audiences, not to mention the people who actually came to hear him rather than his ideal audience, were at least overlapping groups. Nonetheless, the distinction in Chrysostom's rhetoric from the language of Ephrem, Athanasius, and the Cappadocians is that Chrysostom only briefly links the Judaizing Christians with his opponents who have a subordinationist theology, whereas for the other authors, that link itself is one of the focal points of their arguments.

(88) John Chrysostom, Discourses against Judaizing Christians 1.1.6. All quotations from John Chrysostom's Discourses against Judaizing Christians are from the Greek text in Patrologia Graeca [PG] 48; see also the English translation by Paul W. Harkins in FC 68 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1979).

(89.) Similarly, about the same time that Chrysostom was writing these homilies, Theodore of Mopsuestia was writing his Greek Catechetical Homilies. Like Chrysostom, Theodore also mentions a connection between Arius's and Eunomius's (erroneous) treatment of the Son and the Jews' beliefs in Jesus' humanity, but in these homilies Theodore does not elaborate on the connection in the manner of the Cappadocian writers (see, for example, Catech. 1.11, 13.8). Compare also the only extant fragments of Theodore of Mopsuestia's Against Eunomius, published in Richard P. Vaggione, "Some Neglected Fragments of Theodore of Mopsuestia's Contra Eunomium," Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 31 (1980): 403-470.

(90.) Far from it, the connection with Judaism remained a threat that Christians could attach to any opponents who allegedly emphasized, to whatever extent, the humanity over the divinity of the Son, such as Nestorian and Chalcedonian Christians. This charge continues in full force in the later Nestorian controversy, aided by the Nestorian belief that Christ was not born divine (that is, Mary his mother cannot be referred to as "Godbearing"), thus emphasizing his humanity and denying his full (and coterminous) divinity, as Nestorian opponents would argue the Jews also do. Likewise, Chalcedonian Christians also sometimes found themselves accused by Miaphysite Christians as being too much like Jews. For an introduction to this later use, including examples from primary sources, see Lucas Van Rompay, "A Letter of the Jews to the Emperor Marcian Concerning the Council of Chalcedon," Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica 12 (1981): 215-224.

(91.) Kelly also notes that Chrysostom has postponed his sermons against the Anomeans because many Anomeans attended and enjoyed his sermons, and he "did not wish 'to frighten away the quarry'" (Kelly, Golden Mouth, 61). Undoubtedly, this detail of Chrysostom's particular context also affected the language that he used as well as the strength of its vitriol. Nonetheless, Chrysostom writes as if the Judaizing Christians are also in his audience, and this does not here prevent him from using markedly sharp anti-Jewish and anti-Judaizing language about the dangers that they were creating.

Christine Shepardson is an assistant professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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Date:Dec 1, 2007
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