The Jews in the Time of Jesus: An Introductionby Stephen M. Wylen
Pub. Date: 01/28/1996
Publisher: Paulist Press
Understanding Jewish life in the first century will help us better understand Jesus mission and how it relates to our own religious concerns today. For anyone who is interested in understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity.
- Paulist Press
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- 8.78(w) x 6.06(h) x 0.55(d)
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Rabbi Wylen does a terrific job at explaining the atmosphere and historical context of 2nd Temple Judaism/1st Century Palestine, the time in which both Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity were born. This book is for the ordinary person: readible, eloquent, and very interesting. Wylen has an unbiased voice that's sure to put the Jewish and Christian reader at ease, as he isn't trying to convert anyone, or challenge anyone's traditions--he is merely putting them into context. I checked the book out at my local library and liked it so well that I went and bought a copy for my personal library.
Ideas have separated Jews and Christians from the first century forward. This is nothing new. The ability to revisit these ideas in the first century frame of reference is, however, refreshing. History - the people and events following the first century, combined to create a perspective which is astonishingly almost the opposite of its origins. The "Church", if you will, not only has forgotten its own birth, but has gone as far as to refuse its own mother. Judaism, also, has forgotten her sucking child. This is spoken in general of course, as there are many who perceive differently. Today there are "Jews for Jesus". In the first century, there were "Gentiles for Jesus". Today it is said "You can't be Jewish if you're a Christian." In the first century it was said "You can't be a Christian, you're not even Jewish!" Today Christian proselytization of the Jews is shunned. In the first century, Jews conducted the most successful proselytizing campaign ever for Christianity. The essential Jewishness of Jesus and his first century followers was forsaken and replaced by a goyish masquerade. The eternal promise to Abraham was revoked by deluded men who deemed themselves replacement inheritors of his blessing. The creation of a militarily enforced universal state religion by Rome severed the cord between mother and child. Gentiles recreated G-d in their own image, as a gentile. Welcome, then, this history lesson. The author holds strongly to devout Jewish beliefs as he non-confrontationally puts the Jew back into the Christian Jesus.
This book was well researched. It separates history from allegory. A lot of the reasons for certain customs and traditions are explained.