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Paul and Palestinian Judaism


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Paul and Palestinian Judaism compares Judaism—understood on its own terms, with Paul—understood on his own terms. Sanders aims to:

  • Consider methodologically how to compare two (or more) related but different religions
  • Destroy the view of Rabbinic Judaism which is still prevalent in much, perhaps most, New Testament scholarship
  • Establish a different view of Rabbinic Judaism
  • Argue a case concerning Palestinian Judaism as a whole
  • Argue for a certain understanding of Paul
  • Carry out a comparison of Paul and Palestinian Judaism

This landmark volume makes a contribution not only to the understanding of Paul and his relationship to Judaism, but also to the study of Judaism itself.

Resource Experts
  • Tannaitic Literature
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
  • Palestinian Judaism 200 b.c.e.–200 c.e.
  • Paul
In the past three decades reasons have accumulated for a transformation of our whole picture of Judaism in the first-century Palestine. Sanders has listened to those reasons; he has done his homework; and he undertakes here to shift the question about Paul's relation to that Judaism into a fundamentally different perspective. For New Testament students still trapped in Billerbeck-and-Kittel scholarship, the book will be revolutionary. For everyone who tries to understand early Judaism or the Christian movement that emerged from it, Sanders' work requires a thorough re-thinking of our assumptions.

—Wayne A. Meeks, Yale University

Professor Ed Sanders is dissatisfied with the two prevalent modes of explaining Paul: one, to pit the supposedly essential elements of his preaching against supposedly comparable ones in traditional Judaism; the other, to inspect as many particular motifs as possible with a view to establishing dependence or independence. His method is holistic, i.e., he focuses on the basic functioning of religions, on patterns which, he holds, are revealed chiefly in how you become and continue a member of the community. His profound, novel analysis of a vast material makes this one of the few truly creative, exciting works on the subject.

—David Daube, University of California, Berkeley

  • Title: Paul and Palestinian Judaism
  • Author: E. P. Sanders
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 1977
  • Pages: 500

E.P. Sanders is emeritus arts and sciences professor of religion at Duke University. His Jesus and Judaism was winner of the 1990 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion. His volume Paul and Palestinian Judaism received the 1978 National Religious Book Award, Scholarly Book Category, from the Religious Book Review. He is also the author of Paul, the Law, and the Jewish People.


11 ratings

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  1. Armand M. Rhone

    Armand M. Rhone


  2. Ray Timmermans
  3. Matt Mouzakis
  4. PaulC



    Great exegetical work examining the Pauline corpus; calls into question Luther's interpretations of Paul's works. A must read.

  5. MDD



  6. Ragnheðin Ryggstein
    Why are there restrictions on this resource, for us living outside the US and Canada? Note: Due to licensing restrictions, Paul and Palestinian Judaism can only be sold to customers whose billing address is in the United States or Canada.

  7. Daniel K.A.

    Daniel K.A.


  8. Randy Lane

    Randy Lane


  9. Yehuda Mansell

    Yehuda Mansell


  10. Paul Strickert


Digital list price: $22.99
Save $4.00 (17%)