Preaching the Gospels without Blaming the Jews: A Lectionary Commentary Ronald J. Allen  
More Details

The four gospels are steeped in Judaism: one cannot understand any one of them without knowledge of Jewish people, practices, scriptures, and institutions in the first century. At the same time, the gospels reflect tension and even animosity between the communities of the gospel writers and other Jewish groups, and often caricature some Jewish people, practices, and institutions to justify a separation between traditional Jewish groups and the communities of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John.

In this timely commentary on the Gospel readings in the Revised Common Lectionary, Allen and Williamson call attention to ways in which the lections are continuous with the theology, values, and practices of Judaism, and reflect critically on the caricatures in the readings. They explain the polemics in their first-century setting but criticize them historically and theologically. They also suggest ways that preachers can help their congregations move beyond these contentious themes to a greater sense of kinship and shared mission with Judaism.

0664227635
How Did Christianity Begin?: A Believer and Non-Believer Examine the Evidence Michael F. Bird, James G. Crossley  
More Details

• Provides an introduction to Christian origins from two very different points of view
• There is increasing interest in Christian origins at the scholarly and also popular level
• Includes contributions from internationally known scholars Scot McKnight and Maurice Casey

The objective of How Did Christianity Begin? is to present two contrasting perspectives on the history of early Christianity. The contrast is evidently sharp as one co-author comes from a conservative Christian background (Michael Bird), while the other co-author (James Crossley) approaches the matter from a secular standpoint. The volume works sequentially through Christian origins and addresses various topics including the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, the Apostle Paul, the Gospels, and the early church. Each author in turn examines these subjects and lays out his historical arguments concerning their origin and meaning.

The volume also includes short responses from two other scholars (Maurice Casey and Scot McKnight) to the arguments of Bird and Crossley so as to give an even handed and broad evaluation of the arguments and debates that unfold.

0801045657
Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakhah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics Markus Bockmuehl  
More Details

This text examines the halakhic rationale behind the ethics of Jesus, Paul and the early Christians. It asks questions such as: why did the Gentile church keep Old Testament commandments about sex and idolatry, but disregard many others, like those about food or ritual purity?

0567087344
The Jewish Gospels Daniel Boyarin  
More Details

In July 2008 a front-page story in the New York Times reported on the discovery of an ancient Hebrew tablet, dating from before the birth of Jesus, which predicted a Messiah who would rise from the dead after three days. Commenting on this startling discovery at the time, noted Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin argued that “some Christians will find it shocking—a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology.”

Guiding us through a rich tapestry of new discoveries and ancient scriptures, The Jewish Gospels makes the powerful case that our conventional understandings of Jesus and of the origins of Christianity are wrong. In Boyarin’s scrupulously illustrated account, the coming of the Messiah was fully imagined in the ancient Jewish texts. Jesus, moreover, was embraced by many Jews as this person, and his core teachings were not at all a break from Jewish beliefs and teachings. Jesus and his followers, Boyarin shows, were simply Jewish. What came to be known as Christianity came much later, as religious and political leaders sought to impose a new religious orthodoxy that was not present at the time of Jesus’s life.

In the vein of Elaine Pagels’s The Gnostic Gospels, here is a brilliant new work that will break open some of our culture’s most cherished assumptions.

1595584684
Why Christianity Happened: A Sociohistorical Account of Christian Origins James Crossley  
More Details

“This is an important work. It makes the major advance of comparing the approaches of biblical scholars to the history of Christian origins with the approaches of historians in other periods and aspects of history. . . . Crossley’s whole discussion constitutes in its own right a significant advance in knowledge. He is crucially effective in sorting out useful insights in the secondary literature from the ideological concerns that generally dominate conventional scholarship.” —Maurice Casey, Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature, University of Nottingham, UK “The reasons why Christianity included people who were no longer observing major commandments were largely social rather than the result of an individual genius like a Jesus or a Paul finding ‘something wrong’ with Jewish law. But these social reasons for the shift from a law-observant movement to one that included people no longer observing the law require a full explanation. This book is an attempt to do just that.” —from the introduction Looking beyond theological narratives and offering a sociological, economic, and historical examination of the spread of earliest Christianity, James Crossley presents a thoroughly secular and causal explanation for why the once law-observant movement within Judaism became the beginnings of a new religion. First analyzing the historiography of the New Testament and stressing the problematic omission of a social scientific account, Crossley applies a socioeconomic lens to the rise of the Jesus movement and the centrality of sinners to his mission. Using macrosociological approaches, he explains how Jesus’ Jewish teachings sparked the shift toward a gentile religion and an international monotheistic trend. Finally, using approaches from conversion studies, he provides a sociohistorical explanation for the rise of the Pauline mission.

0664230946
New Testament and Jewish Law: A Guide for the Perplexed James G. Crossley  
More Details

Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations is a hugely important piece of philosophical writing, one frequently encountered by students of philosophy. Yet, there is no escaping the extent of the challenge posed by Wittgenstein's work, in which complex ideas are often enigmatically expressed. In Wittgenstein's 'Philosophical Investigations' A Reader's Guide, Arif Ahmed offers a clear and thorough account of this key philosophical work. Geared towards the specific requirements of students who need to reach a sound understanding of the text as a whole, the book offers guidance on: - Philosophical and historical context - Key themes - Reading the text - Reception and influence - Further reading

0567034348
Matthew: A Shorter Commentary W. D. Davies, Dale C., Jr. Allison  
More Details

This work is an abbreviated version of the monumental, three-volume 'Matthew, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary' in the International Critical Commentary series (ICC). Davies and Allison's magisterial work is considered to be the standard work on Matthew and is still a best-selling title. Retaining all the important features of the ICC volumes, this Shorter Commentary includes the new translation of the Gospel as well as a condensed introduction and a summary of the main exegetical points in a non-technical verse-by-verse commentary. For those who lack the linguistic and historical grounding, or the time, to deal with the ICC volume, this shorter volume is an accessible, affordable and practical alternative.

0567082490
Jews and Anti-Judaism in the New Testament: Decision Points and Divergent Interpretations Terence L. Donaldson  
More Details

Jews and Anti-Judaism in the New Testament offers a balanced, sensitive, and erudite guide to the precarious issues of anti-Semitism, anti-Judaism, and supersessionism in the New Testament. Combining adept navigation of the relevant literature—both classics of the field and more recent forays—with a keen exegetical analysis of the Christian canon, Terence L. Donaldson maps the major New Testament writings across three axes: self-definition, degree of separation, and rhetorical intent. In doing so, he successfully brings his readers up to speed on this crucial discussion, even while pushing the conversation forward with intellectual force and exegetical savvy.

1602582637
The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition James R. Edwards  
More Details

This book offers a new explanation of the development of the first three Gospels based on a careful examination of both patristic testimony to the “Hebrew Gospel” and internal evidence in the canonical Gospels themselves. James Edwards breaks new ground and challenges assumptions that have long been held in the New Testament guild but actually lack solid evidence.

0802862349
Anti-Judaism and the Gospels William R. Farmer  
More Details

When and under what circumstances did the Gospel texts begin to serve anti-Jewish ends? Can it be said, accurately and fairly, that the evangelists were anti-Jewish? Are there tendencies in the Gospels that were originally intended by the evangelists to injure the Jewish people or their religion, or to work against the interests of the Jewish people and/or their religion? These and other issues were addressed in a three-year research project that culminated in a fall 1996 convocation, at which five major research papers were presented with two respondents to each paper. The papers and responses are now made available for the first time in this volume. William R. Farmer is Professor of New Testament at the University of Dallas and co-editor of Jesus and the Suffering Servant: Isaiah 53 and Christian Origins (Trinity 1998).

1563382709