Abel Mordechai Bibliowicz
Updated Jun 5, 2013, 9:09 PM
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Jews and Gentiles in the Early Jesus movement 
by Abel Mordechai Bibliowicz
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Jews and Gentiles in the Early Jesus Movement casts new light on Jewish-Gentile relations and on the evolution of belief in the early Jesus movement. Abel Mordechai Bibliowicz suggests that the New Testament reflects the early stages of a Gentile challenge to the authority and to the legitimacy of the descendants of Jesus' disciples and first followers as the exclusive guardians and interpreters of his legacy.

With the passage of time and loss of context, the tensions and trauma produced by this crisis came to be understood by later believers as reflective of a Jewish-Christian conflict.
Bibliowicz suggests that the New Testament texts do not reflect a struggle between 'Christians' and 'Jews' nor a conflict between 'Judaism' and 'Christianity.' Rather, they reflect a heated dispute about Judaism and about Torah observance among Jesus' early followers.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
"An important work…Sensitive and deeply researched… In the deepest sense, a profound theological work." - Clark M. Williamson, Professor, Christian Theological Seminary, Indiana, Author of Way of Blessing, Way of Life: A Christian Theology

"…An original and plausible claim that goes beyond most of modern scholarship… a solid contribution to the study of anti-Judaism in early Christianity." - Joseph B. Tyson, Professor, Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University, Author of Marcion and Luke-Acts: A Defining Struggle

"In methodical and precise fashion Bibliowicz takes the reader through the relevant ancient Christian texts bearing on the question at hand. In so doing, he proposes an intriguing, compelling thesis. The book should prove to be a major voice in the ongoing debate." - Brooks Schramm, Professor, Biblical Studies, Lutheran Theological Seminary

"Impressive work...With this impassioned study available to us, it will no longer be possible for us to ignore the unintended ways the unthinkable came to be and still say 'we did not know.'" - Didier Pollefeyt, Professor, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, co-author of Anti-Judaism and the Fourth Gospel and Paul and Judaism

"May this book find a wide readership among people devoted to the cause of the healing of memories between Jews and Christians." - Peter C. Phan, Professor, Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University, President of the Catholic Theological Society of America

"A significant contribution to our understanding of the Christian-Jewish relationship in the first centuries of the Common Era." - John T. Pawlikowski, Professor, Director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Author of The Challenge of the Holocaust for Christian Theology

"Well-researched and thorough. Intelligent and thoughtful... accessible, the argumentation compelling." - M. Murray, Professor, Bishop's University, Canada, Author of Playing a Jewish Game: Gentile Christian Judaizing in the First and Second Centuries C.E.

"Mr. Bibliowicz's book will challenge all readers to reexamine their foundational religious narratives as to how they regard 'the other.' And this exercise may be as painful as it is necessary." Revd. Michael McGarry, C.S.P. President, The Paulist Fathers, author of Christology After Auschwitz

"An intrepid excursion into the Christian discourse… The quest of an intellectual, a humanist… Interesting and, in fact overwhelming...A timely and honest engagement of the Christian texts, authors, and scholars by a Jewish intellectual." - Burton L. Mack, Professor of Early Christianity, Claremont School of Theology, California, Author of A Myth of Innocence: Mark and Christian Origins

"A detailed and insightful exploration of the writings of the early Jesus movement… argues convincingly that the origins of Christian anti-Judaism are to be found among early non-Jewish followers of Jesus who were in conflict with Jesus' disciples and first followers … a must read." - Tim Hegedus, Professor of New Testament, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

"The most important and comprehensive reconstruction of the origins of Christian anti-Judaism... Standing on a brilliant and insightful reconstruction of Paul, and on a quite shocking (but perhaps compelling) reading of Mark - the author offers a number of original and in some cases quite compelling theoretical reconstructions of the context and purposes of early Christian texts... a work of sublime moral passion... must be considered by every thoughtful Christian, not just by specialist and scholars." - David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Director, Center for Theology and Public Life, Mercer University, Author of Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context

"Bibliowicz uses solid scholarship to engage large and difficult topics while managing to be balanced and clear... invites Christians to walk a deep journey towards truth ... and suggests a compelling nuance; that the conflicts in the early texts were between Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus, not between Jews and Christians." - David L. Coppola, Professor, Executive Director, Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding, Sacred Heart University

"A meticulous study…a mammoth endeavor… goes beyond others in his interpretation of the evidence, tracing and documenting distinctions and tensions in the early Jesus movement." - N. A. Beck, Professor of Theology and Classical Languages, Texas Lutheran University and author of Mature Christianity in the 21st Century: The Recognition and Repudiation of the Anti-Jewish Polemic of the New Testament.

"The topics Bibliowicz engages are complex. Although some of his interpretations are controversial... Gentile Christians should set aside apologetical agendas and honestly ponder the challenges put forward by the author." - Dale C. Allison, Jr., Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Author of Constructing Jesus: History, Memory, and Imagination