By George W. E. Nickelsburg
Within the 19th and primary half the 20th century, Christian students portrayed Judaism because the darkish non secular backdrop to the releasing occasions of Jesus' existence and the increase of the early church. because the Nineteen Fifties, notwithstanding, a dramatic shift has happened within the learn of Judaism, pushed via new manuscript and archaeological discoveries and new equipment and instruments for examining resources. George Nickelsburg the following offers a large and synthesizing photo of the result of the previous fifty years of scholarship on early Judaism and Christianity. He organizes his dialogue round a couple of conventional subject matters: scripture and culture, Torah and the righteous existence, God's job on humanity's behalf, brokers of God's task, eschatology, old situations, and social settings. all of the chapters discusses the findings of up to date learn on early Judaism, after which sketches the results of this examine for a potential reinter-pretation of Christianity. nonetheless, within the author's view, there is still an immense Jewish-Christian time table but to be built and carried out.
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Extra resources for Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins: Diversity, Continuity, and Transformation
Storytellers could elaborate a biblical episode or create a whole new episode on the basis of a nonnarrative element in the text or in another text, or because they thought that their situation called for such an embellishment. Thus they could create long stories about Abraham's conversion from idolatry and they could depict Jacob killing his brother Esau (see above, pp. 13, 15). In other instances they could: (1) take a his- n 5 c p t u r e and T r a d i t i o n ZJ torical kernel (the death of the Maccabean martyrs); (2) read it in the light of Deutero-Isaianic motifs about the suffering and vindication of the Servant, the return of the children of Mother Zion, and the creation and redemption of Israel; and (3) narrativize those motifs into the rich and provocative story of the seven sons and their mother (2 Maccabees 7), and then repeatedly revise it to fit new circumstances (4 Maccabees, the rabbinic writings, and the history of Josippon).
To the extent that Israel was faithful to its obligations, the peo ple would experience God's blessings—long life, health and safety, and fertility in one's family and on the land (Deut 28:1-14). Disobedience, on the other hand, would bring the curses of the covenant upon the peo ple—a shortened life, sickness, drought, famine and barrenness, invasion and captivity (28:15-29). The cause-and-effect relationship of disobedience and curse could be broken, however. If the nation repented and turned to God—that is, if they began rightly to obey the Torah—they would expe rience the covenantal blessings (30:1-10).
It is a matter of dispute, often not to be resolved, whether when a given Christian writer 24 A n c i e n t Judaism and (Christian Origins cites the Greek Bible to advantage, that writer or the tradition he trans mits actually found the variant in a Hebrew text. The fact remains, how ever, that Christian writers built their exposition and apologetic on a lively and varying tradition of Jewish exposition and scribal practice, not on a fixed biblical text. Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church T h e C h u r c h Read Scripture within Its Traditional Interpretations Like their Jewish contemporaries, early Christians read the books they considered to be authoritative within the context of traditional interpre tations.
Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins: Diversity, Continuity, and Transformation by George W. E. Nickelsburg