Thursday, 14 January 2016
Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002, page xv
The fourth principle that the CSG give is: Judaism is a living faith, enriched by many centuries of development.
Many Christians mistakenly equate Judaism with biblical Israel. However, Judaism, like Christianity, developed new modes of belief and practice in the centuries after the destruction of the Temple. The rabbinic tradition gave new emphasis and understanding to existing practices, such as communal prayer, study of Torah and deeds of loving-kindness. Thus Jews could live out the covenant in a world without the Temple. Over time they developed an extensive body of interpretive literature that continues to enrich Jewish life, faith and self-understanding. Christians cannot fully understand Judaism apart from its post-biblical development, which can also enrich and enhance Christian faith.
The rabbinic tradition captured much of Second Temple Jewish practice and thought, enabling modern writers such as Daniel Boyarin to show just how non-exceptional Yeshua and his first followers were in their day. Yeshua was totally exceptional in who He was and what He did, but at the same time, within the realm of Jewish and biblical expectation.