Jewish Law in Gentile Churches : Halakhah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics
Why did the early Christian church, with its many Gentile members, keep Old Testament commandments about sex and idolatry but disregard many others, like those about food or ritual purity? Did Christianity inherit its norms of moral reasoning from Judaism or invent them afresh?In Jewish Law in Gentile Churches, Markus Bockmuehl approaches such questions by examining the halakhic (Jewish legal) rationale behind the ethics of Jesus, Paul, and the early Christians. Bockmuehl offers an alternative to the prevailing attitude that "law-free" Christianity arose in response to Jewish "legalism." Drawing heavily upon primary sources, he suggests that early Christian ethics were more solidly based in Jewish legal teaching than has generally been thought.This important study has far-reaching implications not only for the study of the New Testament, but more broadly for the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. First published by T & T Clark, Jewish Law in Gentile Churches is now available to a North American audience in this affordable paperback edition.