In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity

Overview

The widespread perception of a decisive "parting of the ways" between Christianity and Judaism after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 has distorted our understanding of the following decades and centuries of Jewish and Christian history. We are left with the impression that hostile polemic or mutual avoidance between Christians and Jews was the order of the day. To be sure, there were points of bitterness and strife between these two groups, but the story of their relationship is better told as the ...
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Overview

The widespread perception of a decisive "parting of the ways" between Christianity and Judaism after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 has distorted our understanding of the following decades and centuries of Jewish and Christian history. We are left with the impression that hostile polemic or mutual avoidance between Christians and Jews was the order of the day. To be sure, there were points of bitterness and strife between these two groups, but the story of their relationship is better told as the relationship between a younger and an older sibling. In and between the lines of our historical data, there is abundant evidence of interaction between the early church and the ancient synagogue. This took place at both the level of leadership and laypeople, and it left its imprint on the emerging shape of the church. But this story has not yet been fully told.

In the Shadow of the Temple offers a new perspective on the development of the early church in its practice (e.g., worship, baptism and Eucharist) and doctrine (e.g., Scripture, Christology, pneumatology). Oskar Skarsaune begins by tracing the story of second temple Judaism from the crisis of the Jewish encounter with Hellenism in the second century B.C. through the diverse Judaisms of the first century A.D. Then, from the time of Jesus and the origins of the church up to the Constantinian revolution of the early fourth century A.D., Skarsaune offers us fascinating snapshots and analyses of the interactions, the arguments and the shaping influences of Judaism on the life, creed and practices of the church. This is a book that will both fascinate and inform its readers. It embraces a historical period that transcends the ordinary divisions of labor between scholars of Christian origins and early church history. And it offers insights into that history that challenge the prevailing notions of the way it was -- and the way it must be between Christians and Jews.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830828449
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 455
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Oskar Skarsaune is professor of church history at Norwegian Lutheran School of Theology in Oslo, Norway. He is the author of Incarnation: Myth or Fact and The Proof from Prophecy: A Study in Justin Martyr's Proof-Text Tradition.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 13
A Note on Abbreviations and References
Pt. 1 The Mother Soil: Judaism from the Maccabees to the Rabbis
1 The Cultural Dimension: Judaism & Hellenism 23
2 The Political Dimension: Jews & the Roman Empire 47
3 The Geographical Dimension: The Land of Israel & the Diaspora 67
4 Jerusalem: The City of the Temple 87
5 How Many "Judaisms"? 103
Pt. 2 Christian Beginnings: From Jewish Party to Gentile Church
6 Jesus Within Judaism 135
7 The Early Jerusalem Community of Believers in Jesus 147
8 The Mission to the Gentiles & the Question of the Torah 165
9 The Land of Israel: The Church of Jewish Believers 179
10 The Diaspora: The Church of Jews & Gentiles 209
11 Encounter with Paganism - & the Jewish Heritage 225
12 Orthodoxy & Heresy: The Challenge from Gnosticism & Marcion 243
13 Elder & Younger Brothers: The Second-Century Debate with Judaism 259
Pt. 3 The Persistence of the Jewish Heritage: Faith & Order in the Early Church
14 Which Books Belong in the Bible? The Question of Canon 279
15 Christology in the Making (I): The Messiah 301
16 Christology in the Making (II): The Incarnate Word 319
17 The Creative Spirit 339
18 Conversion, Baptism & New Life 353
19 Worship & Calendar: The Christian Week and Year 377
20 Passover & Eucharist 399
Pt. 4 Epilogue
21 The Church Facing a New Era 425
Index of Modern Authors 447
Index of Subjects 449
Index of Ancient Writings 451
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    A Excellent Book

    This book reads very well. It flows nicely from one chapter to the other. Those interested in the jewish origins of the early christian church will find this quite insightful and it fills in the gaps during those early years. I recommend this for reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2002

    Incredible for scholar and layman alike

    What can I say? I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the information yet understandable to the average reader. Well worth the money!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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