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Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Essays on the Relationship between Christianity and Judaism

ISBN: 9781683594611
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Explore the relationship between Judaism and Christianity

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.

Praise for Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity

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

Top Highlights

“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

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.

  • Introduction
  • “Old Testament: How Did the New Testament Authors Use Tanak?” by Mark S. Gignilliat
  • “Did Jesus Plan to Start a New Religion?” by Matthew Thiessen
  • “Was Paul Championing a New Freedom from—or End to—Jewish Law?” by David Rudolph
  • “Jesus’ Sacrifice and the Mosaic Logic of Hebrews’ New-Covenant Theology” by David M. Moffitt
  • “Missed and Misunderstood Jewish Roots of Christian Worship” by Matthew S. C. Olver
  • “The Parting of the Ways: When and How Did the Ekklēsia Split from the Synagogue?” by Isaac W. Oliver
  • “From Constantine to the Holocaust: The Church and the Jews” by Eugene Korn
  • “Post-Holocaust Jewish-Christian Relations: Challenging Boundaries and Rethinking Theology” by Jennifer M. Rosner
  • “Anglicans and Israel: The (Largely) Untold Story” by Sarah Lebhar Hall
  • “Messianic Judaism: Recovering the Jewish Character of the Ekklēsia” by Mark S. Kinzer
  • “Christian Churches: What Difference Does the Jewishness of Jesus Make?” by Archbishop Foley Beach
  • “Christian Theology: What Difference Does This Make?” by Gerald McDermott
  • Title: Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Essays on the Relationship between Christianity and Judaism
  • Editor: Gerald McDermott
  • Series: Studies in Scripture and Biblical Theology
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Pages: 264
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781683594611

Gerald R. McDermott is Anglican Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He previously taught at Roanoke College and is an Anglican priest. McDermott is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including Israel Matters, Famous Stutterers, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards, God’s Rivals: Why Has God Allowed Different Religions?, Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions?, World Religions: An Indispensable Introduction, and A Trinitarian Theology of Religions. He has written for Christianity Today, the Christian Century, and First Things.


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    Print list price: $29.99
    Save $3.00 (10%)