Is the Talmudic section of Avoda Zara really about "idolatry" or is it just a euphemism for gentiles, christians, and jewish apostates and jewish heretics?
For example, if we look near the beginning of the tractate. page 2a. At the Soncino Avoda Zara 2a http://come-and-hear.com/zarah/zarah_2.html#PARTb it says "MISHNAH. ON THE THREE DAYS PRECEDING THE FESTIVITIES OF IDOLATERS, IT IS FORBIDDEN TO TRANSACT BUSINESS WITH THEM"
Looking on Sefaria it says "MISHNA: On the three days before the festivals of gentiles the following actions are prohibited,"
And the Hebrew on Sefaria has Oved Kochavim which we know is probably censored hebrew. I'm not sure if Avodah Zara uncensored has oved kochavim written anywhere.
and according to http://www.talmudology.com/jeremybrownmdgmailcom/2018/1/16/avodah-zarah-2-which-version-do-you-use That page, 2, it says Notzrim/Christians..
Regarding whether Christianity is idolatry - according to many opinions, yes..(and that's widely known), and according to many other opinions (The Rema, Shach, and many other later opinions).. no https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/rabbi-shlomo-riskin-christianity-has-changed-drastically-in-the-20th-century-2/
And sometimes when it says in the censored, oved kochavim, it's not about notzrim/christians, but just gentiles generally. e.g. the censored version has oved kochavim(worshippers of stars), and the uncensored has gentiles. What is the phrase in the Munich talmud, that is used in sanhedrin 59a, for what became oved kochavim?
I was looking at Mishneh Torah Laws of Murder, 4:10 and 4:11. 4:10 is mentioned here How are we supposed to understand Rambam's Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh 4:10? And I have heard that's based on Avodah Zara 26a and 26b, where it says ovdei kochavim(gentiles? notzrim?), should not be raised from a pit and should not be lowered into a pit, and apostates should be lowered and not raised.
Since it seems that every time it says Ovdei Kochavim it seems to be an insertion from censors.. Then it makes me wonder if the tractate is about idolatry at all.. or is it actually about Notzrim and jewish apostates.. Or gentiles and jewish apostates?