Jewish and Christian Doctrines: The Classics Compared

Jewish and Christian Doctrines: The Classics Compared

Jewish and Christian Doctrines: The Classics Compared

Jewish and Christian Doctrines: The Classics Compared

Synopsis

Jewish and Christian Doctrines presents a concise and lucid introduction to the foundations of Judaism and Christianity. The authors explore key documents ofJudaism and Christianity to elucidate and illuminate the doctrinal issues which the documents raise and to examine the similarities and differences between the two faiths.

Excerpt

A rabbi and an Episcopalian priest, we here carry forward our long-term collaboration in the project of redefining the study of the formation of Christianity and of Rabbinic Judaism in the first six centuries AD/CE. We provide introductions to their comparative history, comparative religions, and comparative theologies during the periods which saw their classic definitions with special reference to the evidence in writing. While our work may contribute to the Judaeo-Christian dialogue of our times, we undertake it on the basis of sound scholarly considerations. First, religions are best studied in a comparative framework, not in isolation from the rest of the world of religious history and culture. Second, religions that are compared and contrasted have to begin with to intersect, and Judaism and Christianity join together from their shared origin in Scripture and never completely part company. Our work of comparison of history, religion, and theology, in a set of systematic studies, is grounded in both considerations.

We maintain that since both religious traditions then took shape in response to the same Scripture—“the Old Testament” of Christianity, “the written Torah” of Rabbinic Judaism—they not only share a common heritage but also take up a joint set of concerns, dictated by scriptural imperative in both cases equally. Accordingly, studying their formative history ought to require a constant encounter of each with the other in a systematic labor of comparison and contrast. We mean to provide academic, descriptive ways of studying the formation of Christianity in the framework of the formation of Rabbinic Judaism, of gaining perspective on that Judaism by constant reference to counterpart issues and events in catholic and orthodox Christianity in a comparable time and place.

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