When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation

When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation

by Paula Fredriksen


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A compelling account of Christianity’s Jewish beginnings, from one of the world’s leading scholars of ancient religion

How did a group of charismatic, apocalyptic Jewish missionaries, working to prepare their world for the impending realization of God’s promises to Israel, end up inaugurating a movement that would grow into the gentile church? Committed to Jesus’s prophecy—“The Kingdom of God is at hand!”—they were, in their own eyes, history’s last generation. But in history’s eyes, they became the first Christians.
In this electrifying social and intellectual history, Paula Fredriksen answers this question by reconstructing the life of the earliest Jerusalem community. As her account arcs from this group’s hopeful celebration of Passover with Jesus, through their bitter controversies that fragmented the movement’s midcentury missions, to the city’s fiery end in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, she brings this vibrant apostolic community to life. Fredriksen offers a vivid portrait both of this temple‑centered messianic movement and of the bedrock convictions that animated and sustained it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300248401
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 221,093
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Paula Fredriksen, Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University, is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Table of Contents

Maps ix

Prologue 1

1 Up to Jerusalem 7

The Gospels, Jesus, and Jerusalem 14

Paul and the Temple 23

The Essenes and the Temple 29

Popular Prophets and the Temple 32

2 God's Holy Mountain 43

The Tables of the Moneychangers 43

The Feasts of the Jews 52

The Politics of Prophecy 67

3 From Miracle to Mission 74

Resurrection and Redemption 74

Kingdom and Community 88

The Prousia That Failed 99

4 Beginning from Jerusalem 108

The Meanings of "Messiah" 109

The Whole House of Israel 123

Israel and the Nations 140

5 The Ends of the Ages 144

The Battle of the Gods 147

The Image of God and the Son of Man 162

The Mountain of Fire 171

Epilogue 183

Acknowledgments 193

Timeline 195

Notes 199

Bibliography 229

Indexes 239

Names and Places 239

Ancient Documents and Authors 245

Subjects 256

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