A Split Jewish Diaspora

I would like to point your attention to a two-part article of which especially the first part should be very interesting not only for students of Diaspora Judaism, but also for readers of the New Testament:

Arye Edrei and Doron Mendels A Split Jewish Diaspora: Its Dramatic Consequences
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 2007 16: 91-137.

Abstract:  “This article proposes that a language divide and two systems of communication have brought to a serious gap between the western Jewish Diaspora and the eastern one. Thus the western Greek-speaking Jews lost touch with the Halakhah and the Rabbis, a condition that had far-reaching consequences on Jewish history thereafter. The Rabbis paid a high price for keeping their Halakhah in oral form, losing in consequence half of their constituency. An oral law did not develop in the western diaspora, whereas the existing eastern one was not translated into Greek. Hence it is not surprising that western Jews contributed nothing to the development of the oral law in the east. The Jewish communities that were isolated from the Rabbinic network served as a receptive basis for the development of an alternative Christian network by Paul and the apostles, which enabled it to spread throughout the Mediterranean basin. The Jews that remained ‘biblical’ surfaced in Europe in the Middle Ages.”

Arye Edrei and Doron Mendels,  A Split Jewish Diaspora: Its Dramatic Consequences II
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 2008 17: 163-187.

Abstract: “The article deals with the consequences of the split Diaspora that was described in Part I of this study (published in JSP 16.2 [2007]: 91-137). This second part demonstrates that the gap between western Jews and eastern ones continued and even widened in the early Middle Ages. The Jews in the west either converted to Christianity or remained biblical Jews. The latter were more agreeable to the Christian environment in Latin Europe, but at the moment the Rabbinic Law and lore started to arrive in Europe, the friction between Christians and Jews increased dramatically. Also, this study shows that the Jews living in the Byzantine Empire underwent the same processes that were experienced by their brethren in Latin Europe due to lack of communication with Rabbinic Judaism. In both Greek and Latin Europe, the Rabbinic revolution arrived circa the ninth century. This article also discusses various reactions to the earlier part of the study and thus add some useful information, clarify and strengthen some of their arguments in part I.”