Preaching the Gospels Without Blaming the Jews
The four Gospels are steeped in Judaism: one cannot understand any one of them without knowledge of Jewish people, practices, scriptures, and institutions in the first century. At the same time, the gospels reflect tension and even animosity between the...
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The four Gospels are steeped in Judaism: one cannot understand any one of them without knowledge of Jewish people, practices, scriptures, and institutions in the first century. At the same time, the gospels reflect tension and even animosity between the communities of the gospel writers and other Jewish groups, and often caricature some Jewish people, practices, and institutions to justify a separation between traditional Jewish groups and the communities of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. In this commentary on the Gospel readings in the Revised Common Lectionary, Allen and Williamson call attention both to ways in which the lections are continuous with the theology, values, and practices of Judaism, and reflect critically on the caricatures in the readings. They explain the polemics in their first-century setting but criticize them historically and theologically. They also suggest ways that preachers can help their congregations move beyond these contentious themes to a greater sense
Clark M. Williamson is Indiana Professor Emeritus of Christian Thought at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Ronald J. Allen (Ph.D. from Drew University) is Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis. In addition to over 100 articles and chapters in books Allen is the author of almost thirty books.From 2000-2004, he directed one of the first studies of people who listen to sermons to determine the qualities in preaching that encourage people to pay attention to the sermon and qualities that discourage them from doing so. This project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, is generating four books. Listening to Listeners: Homiletic Case Studies (jointly authored with Dale P. Andrews, L. Susan Bond, John S. McClure, Dan P. Moseley, and G. Lee. Ramsey, Jr.) (2004), Hearing the Sermon: Relationship, Content, Feeling, Believing in Preaching: What Laity Think about Sermons(coauthored with Mary Alice Mulligan, Diane Turner-Sharazz and Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm) and, with Mary Alice Mulligan, Make the Word Come Alive: Lessons from Laity. Other recent books are Wholly Scripture: Preaching Themes from the Bible, along with Preaching is Believing: The Sermon as Theological Reflection , as well as Preaching: An Essential Guide.