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Jesus, Paul and Judaism

Jesus and His followers were Jewish, and Christianity was born in an overwhelmingly Jewish milieu. Yet after the final break between church and synagogue in the late first century, Christianity largely forgot its Jewish roots. The results of this amnesia were tragic, and contributed greatly to a long and ugly history of Christian anti-Semitism. In this forum, parishioner Bill Tompson looks at the way archaeological and historical scholarship in recent decades has overturned long-held views about the Judaism of Jesus’ day and how this can change our understanding of Christian as well as Jewish traditions today. A better understanding of the Jewish context in which Christianity was born can enrich our reading of the New Testament, as well as enhance our appreciation of the theological heritage that we Christians have received from Judaism.