Should we divorce Jesus from Judaism and marry him to the Greeks?

What the Jewish Jesus believed, Joel L. Watts, got him killed by the Jews. “What is this, a new teaching?” they asked. The Church is a “new wineskin for new wine.” We serve under a new covenent. The Law was abolished, is obsolete, and has passed away, according to the NT. Paul told Titus not to heed “Jewish myths and the commandments of men that rejected the truth .” Christianity is a philosphical religion for people of all nations.

In a discussion on a UMC forum, I had mentioned that to better understand Jesus, we shouldn’t remove him from his Jewish surroundings. That was the response.

That… is just awful in my opinion?

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9 Replies to “Should we divorce Jesus from Judaism and marry him to the Greeks?”

  1. Christianity is a philosphical religion for people of all nations. And this precisely is one of the reasons it cannot exclude Jewish thought. Otherwise, it seem not only like a divorce, but like a restraining order.

    I mean, it would seem to me an almost strictly historical, purely non-doctrinal, and entirely uncontroversial matter that New Testament narratives are steeped in Jewish thought, even if Pauline literature might be understood as de-emphasizing the efficacy of orthopraxy. So yes, an understanding of Jewish religious (and broader cultural) context would therefore be essential to the understanding of early Christianity.

  2. Joel, how much mileage do you get by saying Martin Luther was a Catholic? (Some).

    Or that Buddha was a Hindu? (Less, I think)

    I think there’s a downside to insisting on placing someone’s background too much in the foreground.

    1. But, John, Luther was Catholic and as such, relied upon the Catholic understanding of Augustine. We have to understand where they come from to know where they were intending to go!

      1. Right and wrong. We have to understand where they come from to understand what they reject,
        but it doesn’t necessarily tell us where they were intending to go. Luther is maybe a bad example in comparison to Jesus.

        I wasn’t advocating divorce. But I think our ‘understanding’ of Jesus (as you say) has to assume a Jewishness that was judged by Caiaphas of Jerusalem (and Saul of Tarsus, before he heard that voice on the road to Damascus) – as fully worthy of death under the Law.

        1. John, sorry for the brief delays… I was out of town.

          I think it is wrong to separate either culture from Jesus… I mean, Judaism is not a separate culture all to it’s own.

          1. Right. but you have posed the original problem incorrectly in your post title. Maybe that’s why I flew in for a chat.

            We both know it cannot come down to a question of “the revelation” who is also “the incarnation being Jew or Greek. The Word is not even a mixed thing that is both Jew and Greek. The correct formula is Neither Jew nor Greek.

            Chosen people – ethnicities – appear to have been only one of God’s provisional plans.

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