Crossing Over Sea and Land
book strives to address these questions, representing an update of the discussion while also breaking new ground. What was the extent and nature of Jewish proselytizing activity amongst non-Jews in Palestine and the Greco-Roman diaspora leading up...
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book strives to address these questions, representing an update of the discussion while also breaking new ground.
What was the extent and nature of Jewish proselytizing activity amongst non-Jews in Palestine and the Greco-Roman diaspora leading up to and during the beginnings of the Christian era? Was there a clear missional direction? How did Second-Temple Judaism recruit converts and gain sympathizers?
This A "source book" of key texts is provided at the end.
^^"One of the more fascinating discussions in New Testament scholarship today involves the question as to what pre-Christian Judaism thought about mission, if it did so at all. In this book, Michael Bird not only brings much-needed definitional clarity but also offers a sensible and clear path through the multifaceted thicket of historical evidence. Anyone seeking a deeper understanding of either first-century Judaism or Christian origins can ill afford to neglect taking a study like this along for the journey."
^Nicholas Perrin, Franklin S. Dyrness Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College, Illinois^
Second Temple Judaism was not a typical missionary religion with decisive and intentional plans for converting those outside the faith. However, Jewish attitudes and actions toward the Gentile world were diverse in the scattered communities across Palestine, resulting in differing strategies for recruiting new adherents and useful sympathizers. Bird examines the extent and nature of Jewish proselytizing activity among non-Jews in Palestine and the Greco-Roman Diaspora leading up to and during the beginnings of the Christian era. He enters the debate by interacting with other works on the topic (Scott McKnight, Martin Goodman, John Dickson, Rodney Stark, John Barclay) and offers reasons why some researchers prefer one perspective over another. Based on evidence from forced conversions during the Maccabean period, Qumran, the Gospels, Palestinian inscriptions, and rabbinic literature, Bird asserts that no significant proselytizing activity occurred in Second Temple Palestine. He further examines the New Testament; Josephus and Philo; and Apologetic-Propagandistic, early Christian, Greek, and Latin literature and concludes that Jewish missionary activity during the Diaspora occurred only as isolated incidents. Those teaching and doing research in the area of ancient Judaism and the beginnings of Christianity will appreciate Bird's well-documented study. The inclusion of short extracts of primary sources with English translations makes the material more accessible to college and seminary students.
Michael F. Bird (Ph.D., University of Queensland) is Lecturer in Theology at Ridley College, Melbourne. Previously he has lectured at the Bible College of Queensland, and tutored at Highland Theological Institute in Dingwell, Scotland. He is a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamentum Societas, the Institute for Biblical Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Tyndale Fellowship.
He has written The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective (Paternoster Biblical Monographs); A Bird's Eye View of Paul; Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission (Library of New Testament Studies); Are You the One Who Is to Come?: The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question; Colossians (New Covenant Commentary); Crossing over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period and Romans (Regula Fidei Zondervan Commentary series)
Koorong -Editorial Review.