Most helpful positive review
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Essential, comprehensive, readable study.
on 2 October 2003
This excellent, Scripturally based study is written with compassion and authority and reveals how the roots of Christianity run deep into "Hebrew soil", showing the Hebrew heritage of the Christian Church to be rich and extensive.
The book describes at the outset how this heritage has been largely unexplored/ignored by Christian seminaries, colleges and other educational institutions.
Through a Biblical, historical and cultural study, the book examines what our "predecessors" in the Judeo-Christian faith have delivered to the Church of today. The opening chapters of this work provide a historical perspective on the Jewish origin of the Church with the book going to great lengths to emphasise the fundamental truths that "Jesus Christ Himself was a Jew" and that the Bible declares "Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4;24).
This work tells us that as far as the Gospel record is concerned, Jesus spoke from "within Judaism" and never abandoned His "ancestral faith". The book also describes how a prime facet of Old Testament/Jewish thought was the promise and fulfilment of Biblical prophecy in relation to the coming Messiah. Something which the earliest Christians, themselves Jews, found resolved in the person of Jesus Christ. The book educates the reader regarding how this Jewishness affects our understanding of the teachings of Christ.
The book also proceeds to study the centuries of "de-Judaization" that followed the early Church, plus a study of the negative consequences resulting from the Church being "severed" from it's Jewish roots. The correct Scriptural interpretation of the Church being "grafted in" to it's Jewish roots is explained in some detail. The doctrine of "Replacement Theology" is also examined, wherein the Church is cited as being the "new Israel" and usurping the Biblical promises pertaining to the Jewish people and nation. A process that is described as developing from what was initially the de-Judaization of the Church into the concept of anti-Semitism itself. All these issues are commendably discussed in the contents of this book in their appropriate context with Scriptural references readily provided.
Other sections of this study include a section devoted to understanding "Hebrew thought" plus an analysis of the Church & theological conflict.
The book also investigates the Judaeo-Christian heritage to the Holy Land and recognises that Judaism is so embedded in it's relationship to the Land that it is utterly inseparable from it. Jerusalem itself is also examined in a similar context and outlines that Jesus was born into a Jewish family near Jerusalem (Bethlehem, Judea), He later taught there, died there, rose from the dead there, ascended to Heaven from there and said that He would physically return there. (Readers should be aware that whilst the book makes some reference to the present day situation in the Holy Land, it does not delve into the complexities and the political quagmire of the current situation. Indeed, that was never the purpose for this study.)
This is an extremely comprehensive, readable and informative study on the Jewish roots of Christianity to which the latter is permanently indebted & a "must read" for anyone wishing to obtain a Hebraic perspective on the New Testament. For those interested in this subject I would also respectfully recommend "Jewish Roots; A Foundation Of Biblical Theology" by Dan Juster. Thank you for your time