By George W. E. Nickelsburg
Within the 19th and primary 1/2 the 20 th century, Christian students portrayed Judaism because the darkish non secular backdrop to the freeing occasions of Jesus' existence and the increase of the early church. because the Nineteen Fifties, even though, a dramatic shift has happened within the examine of Judaism, pushed via new manuscript and archaeological discoveries and new tools and instruments for examining assets. George Nickelsburg right here offers a huge and synthesizing photo of the result of the prior fifty years of scholarship on early Judaism and Christianity. He organizes his dialogue round a few conventional issues: scripture and culture, Torah and the righteous lifestyles, God's task on humanity's behalf, brokers of God's job, eschatology, old situations, and social settings. all the chapters discusses the findings of latest learn on early Judaism, after which sketches the results of this learn for a potential reinter-pretation of Christianity. nonetheless, within the author's view, there is still a big 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
In addition, the sacrificial lan guage that describes his death and his intercessory activity recalls priestly functions (53:10, 12). According to one major line of early Jewish interpretation, the Servant figure is realized in the wise teachers of the Torah in the Hellenistic period. " The opening words of 52:13 provide an additional point of contact: "My Servant will prosper" (yaskil 'abdi). The verb sakal is interpreted in its meaning "to be wise," and the passage is seen to refer to the maskilim or wise teachers of the Torah, 49 who served as religious leaders of the community.
Similarly, the book of Revelation quotes Davidic texts from Isaiah 11 and Psalm 2 (Rev 1:16; 2:27; 10:15, 18; 11:5), but it agrees with 1 Enoch in ascribing them to a transcendent savior identified with the Son o f Man and quite possibly the Servant of the Lord (5:6, 12). 70 The Servant figure, moreover, is more pervasive in the New Testament than some recent iconoclastic interpretations have argued. As we shall see later, the early church read texts of Deutero-Isaiah within the context of Jewish interpretations that identify the Servant with the type of righteous sufferer depicted in the stories of Daniel 3 and 6, Wisdom of Solomon 2 and 5, and the Psalms (see below, pp.
Caution, honest scholarly tentativeness, and careful methodology remain the best approach to the data. J e w i s h Precedents f o r t h e Rjse a n d Development o f t h e J e s u s T r a d i t i o n The lively, variegated nature of Jewish interpretation o f its sacred tradi tions offers some precedents and models for our understanding of the rise and development o f Christian traditions about Jesus o f Nazareth. It should not be surprising if the first Christians—being Jews or heirs of Jew ish tradition—adopted attitudes about the foundational traditions of their newly shaped religion that reflected Jewish attitudes and replicated Jewish practice.