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Connecting GospelsBeyond the Canonical/Non-Canonical Divide$
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Francis Watson and Sarah Parkhouse

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198814801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198814801.001.0001

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Jesus and Judaism

Jesus and Judaism

Inside or Outside? The Gospel of John, the Egerton Gospel, and the Spectrum of Ancient Christian Voices

(p.125) 6 Jesus and Judaism
Connecting Gospels

Tobias Nicklas

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between Jesus and Judaism as described in gospel texts of the late first and second centuries. It addresses two questions: (1) To what extent is Jesus presented as a ‘Jewish’ character, or as related to characters depicted as representatives of ‘Judaism’? (2) To what extent is Jesus described as following, disobeying, or violating Jewish practices? Material is provided by the Gospel of John and the ‘unknown Gospel’ of Papyrus Egerton 2. The two evangelists describe Jesus’ relation to Judaism in different ways: while both remain in a frame shaped by Jewish tradition, John creates a boundary between his community and ‘the Jews’ with ‘their synagogue’, a boundary absent from the Egerton fragments in spite of their polemical tone. These divergent representations of Jesus’ relationship to Jewish characters/practices shed light on the relationship of the Christ-followers behind our texts to what we would call ‘Judaism.’

Keywords:   Gospel of John, Egerton Gospel, Judaism, Jesus the Jew, the law

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