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The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity

by Harvard University

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Course Description

In 70CE the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. Second Temple Judaism, whose worship consisted of animal sacrifice permitted by biblical command only at the Temple, would have to reinvent itself as Rabbinic Judaism.  Contemporaneously, the authors of the New Testament Gospels were writing about the Jewish apocalyptic prophet whom they believed was the awaited messiah.  For both the rabbis and the gospel writers, for both ancient Jews and ancient Christians, the central authoritative text was the Torah and the other books we now call the Hebrew Scriptures.  This course surveys how the interpretation (and reinterpretation) of these books spawned two rival cultural systems, Judaism and Christianity.  The issues addressed are: 1) What are the truth claims of Judaism and Christianity?  2) In the first centuries of our era, how did Jewish biblical interpretation differ from Christian?  3) What differences resulted in "the parting of the ways" between Judaism and Christianity?  4) How does each culture deal with the biblical passages concerning: circumcision, the food laws, the Sabbath, Passover, the manifestations of the deity (e.g., Logos), the messiah, atonement/redemption, and the concept of Israel as the chosen of God?

Customer Reviews

Outstanding insight

These lectures offer an outstanding insight into the development of Judaism and Christianity, their convergence and divergence in a manner that is sensitive yet objective.

Marvellous!

Professor Cohen's lectures are outstanding! I'm looking forward to
unravelling the Biblical truths with his guidance...

Excellent course

Very interesting course and extremely well delivered. I am a Christian and enjoyed learning more about Judaism and Christianity. I would love to hear more.

The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings