Hans Conzelmann examines the roots of anti–Judaism and Jewish–Christian dialogue in their historical contexts from a wide array of Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian sources. This is Conzelmann’s final academic masterpiece. Beginning with the political background Jew-Gentile relations in the first-century world, he discusses the view of Judaism from the perspective of Greco-Roman literature and examines the debate over the nature of Hellenistic Judaism in the Greco-Roman world. The last section of the book describes Jewish-Christian relations from the beginning of Christianity up to the time of Origen.
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Conzelmann’s work is, first and foremost, theological. He seeks to describe each group in light of its self–understanding(s) and devotes particular attention to the question of salvation history. The results are often interesting and will, no doubt, stimulate debate. This sheer wealth of references alone practically guarantees the work’s value.
—Richard I. Pervo, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
Since it is so important to reject an inhumane anti–Semitism and to encourage the formation of a truly human relationship between Christians and Jews, it is indispensable to investigate the history of their mutual relations as precisely as possible. In his historical account, worked out from beginning to end in direct engagement with the primary sources . . . Hans Conzelmann attempts to create the necessary presuppositions for dialogue by urging that the real problem not be masked by explanations made too quickly. He wants to emphasize the theological significance of the basic issues that bear on the discussion.
—Eduard Lohse, former bishop, Hanover Lutheran Church.
Hans Conzelmann (1915–1989) dedicated himself to New Testament studies at the universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Göttingen in Germany. His The Theology of St. Luke introduced a new epoch in the interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels, followed by landmark studies on Jesus and Paul. Among his many influential works are his three Fortress Press Hermeneia Commentaries on 1 Corinthians, Acts, and, with Martin Dibelius, The Pastoral Epistles.