Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins: Diversity, Continuity, and Transformation
In the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, Christian scholars portrayed Judaism as the dark religious backdrop to the liberating events of Jesus� life and the rise of the early church. Since the 1950s, however, a dramatic shift has occurred in the study of Judaism, driven by new manuscript and archaeological discoveries and new methods and tools for analyzing sources. George Nickelsburg here provides a broad and synthesizing picture of the results of the past fifty years of scholarship on early Judaism and Christianity. He organizes his discussion around a number of traditional topics: scripture and tradition, Torah and the righteous life, God�s activity on humanity�s behalf, agents of God�s activity, eschatology, historical circumstances, and social settings. Each of the chapters discusses the findings of contemporary research on early Judaism, and then sketches the implications of this research for a possible reinterpretation of Christianity. Still, in the author�s view, there remains a major Jewish�Christian agenda yet to be developed and implemented.