Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith

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Overview

Although the roots of Christianity run deep into Hebrew soil, many Christians are regrettably uninformed about the rich Hebrew heritage of the church. This volume delineates the link between Judaism and Christianity, between the Old and the New Testament, and calls Christians to reexamine their Hebrew roots so as to effect a more authentically biblical lifestyle.

As an introduction to the world of Hebrew thought, Our Father Abraham is biblical, historical, and cultural in nature. At the same time, the writing is personal and passionate, reflecting Marvin Wilson's own spiritual pilgrimage and his extensive dialogue with Jews. The book (1) develops a historical perspective on the Jewish origins of the church, (2) sets forth the importance and nature of Hebrew thought, (3) discusses how the church can become more attuned to the Hebraic mind-set of Scripture, and (4) offers practical suggestions for interaction between Jews and Christians.

The study questions at the end of each chapter enhance the book's usefulness as a text and also make it suitable for Bible-study and discussion groups. All Christians--and Jews too--will profit from Wilson's sensible treatments of biblical texts, his thorough understanding of both the Christian and the Jewish faith, and his honest historical analysis of the general failure of the Christian church to acknowledge and understand its relation to Judaism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Christian Scholars Review
"A magnificent achievement in calling the entire body of Gentile Christianity to reassess the great religion to which it is permanently indebted."
Christian Scholars Review
A magnificent achievement in calling the entire body of Gentile Christianity to reassess the great religion to which it is permanently indebted.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802804235
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/11/1990
  • Pages: 395
  • Sales rank: 420,837
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

  1. I. A New People: Abraham’s Spiritual Children

  2. THE ROOT AND BRANCHES
  3. "Look to Abraham Your Father"
    Athens or Jerusalem?
    The World of the Bible
    The Olive Root and Branches
    Grafted into Israel

  4. GENTILES, JEWS, AND JEWISH HERITAGE
  5. A New Spiritual Family
    A Western World with an Eastern Book
    The Problem of Judaizing
    Paul and the Law
    Jewish Heritage and Today’s Church

    II. Church and Synagogue in the Light of History

  6. THE EARLIEST CHURCH AND JUDAISM
  7. Jesus and His Followers
    Beginnings: A Jewish Church
    The Hebraists and the Hellenists
    Stephen and the Hellenists
    Outreach to Gentiles
    The Special Calling of Paul
    Further Success among the Gentiles
    The Council of Jerusalem

  8. THEOLOGICAL CONFLICT AND PERSECUTION
  9. Theological Differences
    Persecutions
    Summary

  10. "HERETICS" AND THE SYNAGOGUE
  11. The Birkat ha-Minim: Definition
    The Origin of the Benediction
    The Minim and Notzrim
    "Put out of the Synagogue"
    The Nidduy and Herem
    Conclusion

  12. THE JEWISH REVOLTS AND THE PARTING OF THE WAY
  13. The First Jewish Revolt (A.D. 66-73)
    Between Revolts: The Academy at Yavneh
    From Sabbath to Lord’s Day
    The Second Jewish Revolt (A.D. 132-135)
    The Parting of the Way

  14. A HISTORY OF CONTEMPT: ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE CHURCH
  15. The "New" Israel Emerges
    From De-Judaizing to Anti-Judaism
    The Early Fathers: Blaming the Victims
    Allegory: An Attempt to Rescue the Jewish Scriptures
    Anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages
    From Luther to the Present

    III. Understanding Hebrew Thought

  16. THE OLD TESTAMENT: HEBRAIC FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH
  17. The Heresy of Marcion
    Neo-Marcionism
    A Neglected Treasure
    The Bible of the Early Church
    Two Parts, Yet One Book
    The Theological Key
    God-Breathed and Useful
    Discovering the Jewish Jesus
    Other Early Jewish Sources
    The Shema: Core Affirmation of Israel’s Faith
    Christianity Is Jewish
    The Hebrew Bible and American Beginnings
    Foundational, Not Optional

  18. THE CONTOUR OF HEBREW THOUGHT
  19. An Energetic People, a Descriptive Language
    The Power of Poetry
    Painting Verbal Pictures
    Block Logic
    A Time for Meditation
    Everything Is Theological
    Religion as a Way of Life
    A Different View of Time and History

  20. WHERE THE CHURCH WENT WRONG
  21. Dynamic Unity versus Dualism
    Otherworldliness versus This-Worldliness
    The Individual versus the Community

    IV. Jewish Heritage and the Church: Selected Studies

  22. MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY THROUGH HEBREW EYES
  23. Current Attitudes
    Biblical Foundations: Genesis and Marriage
    Marriage and Sinai: Two Covenants Compared
    Jewish Insights into Marriage and the Family
    Values within the Home
    Learning about the Family through Fiddler
    Older and Better: Aging through Hebrew Eyes

  24. PASSOVER AND LAST SUPPER

    The Origin of Passover
    Passover in Old Testament Times
    Passover in New Testament Times
    Jesus’ Last Supper
    Passover Today
    Passover and Contemporary Christianity

  25. JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND THE LAND
  26. Jews and the Land: An Overview
    Christian Approaches to the State of Israel
    Christians and Support of Israel
    Epilogue: Prospects for Peace

  27. A LIFE OF LEARNING: THE HEART OF JEWISH HERITAGE
  28. Education in Old Testament Times
    The Hebrew View of Wisdom
    Young Fools and Old Fools
    The Hebrew View of Knowledge
    Education with a Difference
    The Sweetness of Learning
    Hebraic Insights on the Task of Teaching
    Education in New Testament Times
    Everyone a Student
    Teaching Methods and Priorities
    Study as Worship
    "Guard It Well, for It Is Your Life"

    V. Toward Restoring Jewish Roots

  29. IF NOT NOW…WHEN?
  30. Preliminary Considerations for Christians
    Face-to-face in Dialogue
    Education and Personal Growth
    Social Action
    "The Greatest of These Is Love"

Index of Biblical Texts
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  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Every Christian should read this to understand their Jewish roots!

    Marvin R.Wilson has written a text book for use by scholars, but it is information that every one who considers herself or himself a Christian would benefit from reading this work to come to a better understand of the history of the Synagogue and Church and how their paths diverged yet many rituals and practices have been retained in the present day Christian worship service.
    Very enlightening.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2003

    Essential, comprehensive, readable study.

    This excellent, Scripturally based study is written with compassion and authority and reveals how the roots of Christianity run deep into 'Hebrew soil', showing the Hebrew heritage of the Christian Church to be rich and extensive. The book describes at the outset how this heritage has been largely unexplored/ignored by Christian seminaries, colleges and other educational institutions. Through a Biblical, historical and cultural study, the book examines what our 'predecessors' in the Judeo-Christian faith have delivered to the Church of today. The opening chapters of this work provide a historical perspective on the Jewish origin of the Church with the book going to great lengths to emphasise the fundamental truths that 'Jesus Christ Himself was a Jew' and that the Bible declares 'Salvation is of the Jews' (John 4;24). This work tells us that as far as the Gospel record is concerned, Jesus spoke from 'within Judaism' and never abandoned His 'ancestral faith'. The book also describes how a prime facet of Old Testament/Jewish thought was the promise and fulfilment of Biblical prophecy in relation to the coming Messiah. Something which the earliest Christians, themselves Jews, found resolved in the person of Jesus Christ. The book educates the reader regarding how this Jewishness affects our understanding of the teachings of Christ. The book also proceeds to study the centuries of 'de-Judaization' that followed the early Church, plus a study of the negative consequences resulting from the Church being 'severed' from it's Jewish roots. The correct Scriptural interpretation of the Church being 'grafted in' to it's Jewish roots is explained in some detail. The doctrine of 'Replacement Theology' is also examined, wherein the Church is cited as being the 'new Israel' and usurping the Biblical promises pertaining to the Jewish people and nation. A process that is described as developing from what was initially the de-Judaization of the Church into the concept of anti-Semitism itself. All these issues are commendably discussed in the contents of this book in their appropriate context with Scriptural references readily provided. Other sections of this study include a section devoted to understanding 'Hebrew thought' plus an analysis of the Church & theological conflict. The book also investigates the Judaeo-Christian heritage to the Holy Land and recognises that Judaism is so embedded in it's relationship to the Land that it is utterly inseparable from it. Jerusalem itself is also examined in a similar context and outlines that Jesus was born into a Jewish family near Jerusalem (Bethlehem, Judea), He later taught there, died there, rose from the dead there, ascended to Heaven from there and said that He would physically return there. (Readers should be aware that whilst the book makes some reference to the present day situation in the Holy Land, it does not delve into the complexities and the political quagmire of the current situation. Indeed, that was never the purpose for this study.) This is an extremely comprehensive, readable and informative study on the Jewish roots of Christianity to which the latter is permanently indebted & a 'must read' for anyone wishing to obtain a Hebraic perspective on the New Testament. For those interested in this subject I would also respectfully recommend 'Jewish Roots; A Foundation Of Biblical Theology' by Dan Juster. Thank you for your time

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