Bible Review 9:5, October 1993

Bible Books

Divergent Paths

The Partings of the Ways Between Christianity and Judaism and Their Significance for the Character of Christianity

James D. G. Dunn (London: SCM; Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1991) 448 pp., $29.95.

Recent years have Witnessed a resurgence of interest in Jewish-Christian relations, an interest prompted, above all else, by the horrific events of the Holocaust. Many of the most important studies in the field—such as Jules Isaac’s Jésus et Israël (Fesquelle, 1959) and Marcel Simon’s Verus Israel (E. de Boccard 1964)—attempt to show that Christian anti-Semitism is a perverse misconstrual of the intentions of Jesus and his earliest followers. Perhaps the most influential and compelling discussion, however, was initiated by Rose mary Ruether’s Faith and Fratricide (Seabury, 1974), which argues that Christian opposition to the Jews is in fact the dark side of Christology—that any claim that Jesus is the Messiah necessarily leads to anti-Semitism.

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