Religions and groups within religions mutate all the time for different reasons. I skimmed the surface of some of the studies into these sorts of developments at https://vridar.org/2020/06/20/modes-of-religiosity/ and https://vridar.org/2021/03/23/changing- ... societies/mlinssen wrote: ↑Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:28 am
A temple still standing - it is possible, I think. But what would drive this new religion then? What would necessitate abolishing the food laws of Judaism, and replacing Judaic Law by Catholic dogma / ritual?
Mere convenience? Or the going mainstream of an idea?
The destruction of the temple would certainly open up room for more mutations of Judaism of various kinds. (Though we keep in mind that the existence of the Temple did not prevent some Jewish groups rejecting the cultic worship at the temple.) Jewish writings left open the view that the Mosaic laws were not God's original plan but that prior to the Fall the primary law was very simple: love God and love neighbour. One sees the writings making such points coming to the fore in the early Christian writings so it is conceivable that the "new religion" was a revision of Judaism as the Jewish writings themselves explained was originally without the Mosaic laws.
Your experience is a common one but it is not the only one. Sometimes people can find themselves in a place where changing their way of life and embracing rules (that they may well interpret as liberating or adding a new meaningful dimension to their lives, not binding or frustrating at all). Judaism is already pretty "big" and some people continue to find it attractive and convert to it today. Though of course the strict legalists are a minority within Judaism, as we know.mlinssen wrote: ↑Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:28 am I grew up a Roman Catholic, and it's a very relaxed religion really. You say your prayer before dinner, go to church once a week, and you get saved! I'm not being sarcastic, it's a form of religion that allows for billions to practice it. Judaism will never grow big, there just are too many rules - it interferes with regular life, or rather, average life
People did not actually "convert" to Roman/Hellenistic religions though they could be initiated into them. There was no conversion involved in the sense Christianity or Judaism understands it. What they did "convert to", where they did change their ways of thinking and way of living, were popular philosophical ideas led by charismatic or otherwise persuasive teachers. Paul's letters have been understood by some to imitate those philosophical teachings in their explanations of conversion. The main difference is that where, say, Stoics spoke of conversion to Reason (=Logos), Paul spoke of conversion to Christ (also=Logos in Gospel of John).mlinssen wrote: ↑Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:28 am. . . . I can imagine that conversion to Roman religion was not a real option, and perhaps all that needed to happen was "an authentic story of religion", something not only new but also young, to open the ways to the "aurea mediocritas" in between Judaism and Greco-Roman religion
But of course there was also the religious element, obviously. The old stories of the Jewish scriptures were being retold by Christians. So the new stories were also rooted in a venerably old religion, too.