That there was more or less severe, but probably intermittent rather than continuous persecution of the Christians by the Jews is probable in itself, and corroborated by the accounts in Acts iv. and v. But there is no suggestion that either the Jews or the Christians felt that the latter were in any way outside the Jewish Church. The Christians held that the crucifixion of their leader had been a crime, and the Jews believed that it was a necessary incident in the development of political life, but the former did not think themselves outside the covenant or the service of the Temple, and the latter were not prepared to drive out those whose only fault was an erroneous belief that they knew who the Messiah was, for it must be remembered that the strong eschatological and Messianic belief of the Christians was- apart from the question of the identity of the Messiah- shared by many of the Jews, and especially by those who were most enthusiastic for the "Hope of Israel".



from page 16, Earlier Epistles of Paul