THE BLIND SPOT: NEW TESTAMENT SCHOLARSHIP’S IGNORANCE OF RABBINIC JUDAISM
AbstractDespite the older, excellent survey of Judaism by GU Moore (1927-1930) and the outstanding labours of labours of EP Saunders (Paul and Palestinian Judaism), standard New Testament works continue to ignore the Jewish origins of Christianity. Hence the quest for written sources, whilst Jewish tradition was taught and transmitted verbally.The Jews of Jesus’ time are alleged to have been bowed by the burden of ‘works righteousness ‘. Reticence in use of the divine name is taken as evidence that God, the ‘our father ‘of Jewish prayer, had become to the Jews a “deus remotus”. Matters of ritual purity, such as handwashing, are dismissed as typical tokens of pharisaic legalism.The cure for all these misconceptions lies in careful attention, not to Strack Billerbech, still less to Kittel, but to the original sources. As the famous seventeenth century Hebraic Bishop Lightfoot put it: if you would understand the gospels, study rabbinic!This article attempts through a detailed exegetical study of the Lord’s Prayer to demonstrate its essential Jewish nature.
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