The question of how Jesus’ followers relate to Judaism has been a matter of debate since Jesus first sparred with the Pharisees. The controversy has not abated, taking many forms over the centuries. In the decades following the Holocaust, scholars and theologians reconsidered the Jewish origins and character of Christianity, finding points of continuity.
Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity advances this discussion by freshly reassessing the issues. Did Jesus intend to form a new religion? Did Paul abrogate the Jewish law? Does the New Testament condemn Judaism? How and when did Christianity split from Judaism? How should Jewish believers in Jesus relate to a largely gentile church? What meaning do the Jewish origins of Christianity have for theology and practice today?
In this volume, a variety of leading scholars and theologians explore the relationship of Judaism and Christianity through biblical, historical, theological, and ecclesiological angles. Readers will have their understanding of this centuries-old debate enriched with current scholarship.
This remarkable collection adds its own distinctive contribution to the rapidly emerging picture that places early Christians into their full Jewish context. From there, biblical and historical issues begin to look very different. The collection raises profound and difficult questions about the stereotypes Christians have entertained for so long.
–Gavin D'Costa, professor of Catholic theology, University of Bristol
I am so glad that this book exists. It is the best one-volume overview of Christianity's relation to its Jewish roots that I know of, in any language.
–R. Kendall Soulen, professor of systematic theology, Emory University and author of The God of Israel and Christian Theology
“This essay has argued for a third possibility—a Paul who regarded Jewish identity and law observance as a matter of calling and covenant fidelity.” (Pages 49–50)
“Paul’s bottom line, his rule, is that Jews who follow Jesus, like Paul himself, should remain in their calling as Jews and not assimilate.” (Page 37)
“But do these differences indicate a rejection on the part of the author of the Jewish roots of early Christianity” (Page 52)
“‘The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?’ The operative framework is sacrifice, the cultic action that effects communion between the sacrificer and the deity.” (Page 89)
“Mark Gignilliat uses the most recent biblical scholarship to argue that New Testament authors regarded the Hebrew Scriptures as their grammar for thinking about how the God of Israel could have a divine Son and Spirit.” (Pages 3–4)
Studies in Scripture and Biblical Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key topics and issues in biblical studies and biblical theology from an evangelical perspective.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
Gerald R. McDermott is Anglican Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author or editor of over twenty books, including Everyday Glory, Israel Matters, and The New Christian Zionism. His research primarily focuses on Jonathan Edwards, Christian understandings of other religions, and the meaning of Israel.