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Biblical Studies Jewish Christianity
by
Annette Yoshiko Reed

Introduction

“Jewish Christianity” is a modern scholarly category. In 19th- and early-20th-century scholarship, this and related terms (e.g., Judenchristentum, Judéo-christianisme, Judaeo-Christianity) were used primarily in discussions of the apostolic Jerusalem Church led by Peter and James, the traditions about them preserved in the Pseudo-Clementine literature, and the Ebionites and Nazoraeans mentioned in Patristic catalogues of “heresies.” Jewish Christianity continues to be studied along these lines. With the flowering of research on Jewish/Christian relations after World War II, the topic has also attracted new interest; special attention has been given to the possible place of Jewish Christians as early agents or targets of anti-Jewish polemics, as well as to the fate of Jewish Christianity and its consequences for the history of Jewish/Christian relations. In addition, the scope of materials brought to bear on Jewish Christianity has been expanded to include a range of archaeological, documentary, and literary data that might attest the combination of “Christian” beliefs with “Jewish” identity and practice—whether in direct continuity with the apostolic Jerusalem Church or in other early expressions of Christianity’s Jewish heritage. At the same time, increased attention to the Jewish cultural matrix of the Jesus Movement and early Christianity has contributed to heated debates about the definition of “Jewish Christianity” and its heurism as a category. More recently, evidence for Jewish Christianity has played an important part in studies of Christianity’s so-called Parting of the Ways with Judaism, and the topic has been richly discussed in relation to hybridity, heresiology, the dynamics of religious self-definition, and the challenges of constructing modern categories for the study of ancient identities.

General Overviews

Scholarship on “Jewish Christianity” is notorious for inspiring confusion, owing to both definitional issues and the complex, fragmented, and indirect character of the relevant ancient data. Clear introductions to the topic are thus invaluable for beginner and specialist alike. Among these, Carleton Paget 1999 and Mimouni 1998 provide the best starting points. Brief, up-to-date introductions to the topic in the wider context of Christian origins and early Jewish/Christian relations include Wilson 1995 and Fonrobert 2005 (both of which are also effective as undergraduate course materials). Important and accessible articles that focus on issues of continuing methodological concern include Gager 1992 and Segal 1992 (see also Debates over Definition). Manns 1977 and Mimouni 1998 cover the broad range of potentially relevant data (see also Collected Volumes).

  • Carleton Paget, James. “Jewish Christianity.” In The Cambridge History of Judaism. Vol. 3, The Early Roman Period. Edited by William Horbury, W. D. Davies, and John Sturdy, 733–742. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

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    A comprehensive, evenhanded, and widely cited survey of scholarship on Jewish Christianity, which includes an unusually lucid treatment of the problem of definition, particularly as debated in the second half of the 20th century.

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  • Fonrobert, Charlotte. “Jewish Christians, Judaizers, and Christian Anti-Judaism.” In A People’s History of Christianity. Vol. 2, Late Ancient Christianity. Edited by Virginia Burrus, 234–254. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.

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    Brief and accessible introduction to the topic, distinguished by methodological caution with regard to assumptions about ethnicity and by sophistication in treating notions of self-representation and communal identities. Here, as elsewhere, Fonrobert situates Jewish Christianity, etc., within the history of Judaism as well as within the history of Christianity.

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  • Gager, John G. “Jews, Christians, and the Dangerous Ones In Between.” In Interpretation in Religion. Edited by S. Biderman and B. Scharfstein, 249–257. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1992.

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    Eloquent essay on “Jewish Christians” as excluded from memory by the “winners of history”—the Jews and Christians who promoted views of their respective traditions as mutually exclusive, who shared their discomfort with those who felt otherwise, and who came to shape the notion of what is “orthodox” and “authentic” in each tradition.

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  • Manns, Frédéric. Essais sur le Judéo-Christianisme. Studium Franciscanum Biblicum, Analecta. 12. Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1977.

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    Collection of Mann’s inquiries into New Testament, Patristic, rabbinic, and archaeological data for Jewish Christianity, representative of the maximalist perspective associated with the Studium Franciscanum Biblicum in Jerusalem (see Archaeological Evidence) and covering a broad range of potentially relevant sources.

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  • Mimouni, Simon Claude. Le judéo-christianisme ancien: Essais historiques. Patrimoines. Paris: Cerf, 1998.

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    This collection provides a representative selection of Mimouni’s wide-ranging and important articles on Jewish Christianity. It also represents the most extensive recent survey of materials relevant to the topic (especially after 135 CE) and is recommended for both its comprehensiveness and its care in treating complex issues of interpretation.

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  • Segal, Alan F. “Jewish Christianity.” In Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism. Edited by Harold Attridge and Gohei Hata, 326–351. Studia Biblica 42. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1992.

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    Chronological survey and assessment of literary and historical evidence for apostolic and post-apostolic Jewish Christianity, distinguished by its focus on primary sources, equal attention to New Testament (especially Pauline) and later (especially rabbinic) sources, and clarity of prose and arrangement.

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  • Wilson, Stephen G. “Jewish Christians and Gentile Judaizers.” In Related Strangers: Jews and Christians 70–170 C.E. By Stephen G. Wilson, 143–168. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995.

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    Brief and accessible introduction to the sources, figures, groups, and issues traditionally studied under the rubric Jewish Christianity, drawing the common distinction from those called “Judaizers” (i.e., individual followers of Jesus from non-Jewish backgrounds with more occasional and selective adoption of Jewish practices).

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Reference Works

The study of “Jewish Christianity” occurs at the intersection of multiple subfields, including New Testament Studies, Patristics, Second Temple Judaism, Rabbinics, Church History, and Late Antiquity. There is no single specialist journal in which studies cluster, and for reference resources, students of the topic must consult the major resources in each subfield, together with broader article databases (e.g., RAMBI for Jewish Studies; ATLA for Religious Studies; JSTOR for Humanities and Social Sciences) and subscription-based text databases (e.g., TLG for works in Greek; Bar-Ilan for works in Hebrew and Aramaic). Listed here are thus a small selection of free resources that might be useful. Note also the “Jewish Christianity/Christian Judaism” section of the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, information about which can be found on the society’s website.

Classic Works

Although interest in “Jewish Christianity” arose already in the 18th century with John Toland, the modern study of the phenomenon is commonly traced to Ferdinand Christian Baur. Baur 1831 largely set the parameters for the study of Peter, James, and the Jerusalem Church in terms of Jewish Christianity (see Early “Jewish Christianity”) as well as popularizing the use of the Pseudo-Clementine literature as later witnesses to this same stream of tradition (see Pseudo-Clementine Literature). With the increased interest in the history of Jewish/Christian relations in the wake of World War II, as inspired and inaugurated by Simon 1948, Jewish Christianity also became a key focus for considering Christianity’s Jewish roots and eventual self-definition as distinct from Judaism. Schoeps 1949 builds on Baur 1831 to try to tell the full history of Jewish Christianity from early apostles to Late Antiquity Ebionites, while Daniélou 1958 seeks to reconstruct its parallel “orthodox” history, particularly in relation to the development of Christian theology; the latter entails expanding the definition of Jewish Christianity to include any expression of early Christianity (i.e., prior to the 2nd century) in Jewish “thought-forms.” Critics of Simon 1948 and Schoeps 1949 raised questions concerning the fate of Jewish Christianity and the continuity between its apostolic and post-apostolic varieties (see Post-Apostolic “Jewish Christianity”), while Daniélou 1958 became a focus for heated debates over the definition of the term and the delineation of the phenomenon and its sources (see Debates over Definition). Schoeps 1949 and Daniélou 1958 sparked scholarly discussion of Jewish Christianity both in the immediate wake of their publication and also, again, with their availability in English in the 1960s (cf. Schoeps 1969), which also saw the publication of the second edition of Simon 1948. For other influential early studies, the reader is directed to the bibliographies in Malina 1972 and Manns 1979.

  • Baur, Ferdinand Christian. “Die Christuspartei in der korinthischen Gemeide, der Gegensatz des petrinischen and paulischen Christentums in der alten Kirche, der Apostel Petrus in Rom.” Tübinger Zeitschrift für Theologie 5 (1831): 61–206.

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    Classic article applying the Hegelian dialectic to apostolic history, arguing that early Christianity was forged in the conflict between the “Jewish-Christian” party of Peter, James, and the Jerusalem Church, and the party of Paul and his Gentile mission. Baur is frequently (although not entirely accurately) credited with inaugurating the study of Jewish Christianity as we now know it.

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  • Daniélou, Jean. Théologie du Judéo-Christianisme. Histoire des Doctrines Chrétiennes avant Nicée 1. Paris: Desclée, 1958.

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    Thoroughgoing attempt to reconstruct Jewish Christianity as a theological system, based on 1st- and 2nd-century materials deemed to stand in continuity with Jewish “thought-forms” (especially apocalyptic). Although widely critiqued, it remains a poignant demonstration of Christianity’s debts to multiple forms of Second Temple Judaism. English translation by J. A. Baker: Theology of Jewish Christianity (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1964).

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  • Malina, Bruce J. “Jewish Christianity: A Select Bibliography.” Australian Journal of Biblical Archaeology 2 (1972): 60–65.

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    Brief bibliography of influential early studies.

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  • Manns, Frédéric. Bibliographie du Judéo-Christanisme. Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Analecta. 13. Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1979.

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    Extensive bibliography including almost 2,000 entries, albeit with somewhat confusing arrangement. The work of scholars of the Studium Franciscanum Biblicum in Jerusalem is particularly well represented (see Archaeological Evidence).

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  • Schoeps, Hans Joachim. Theologie und Geschichte des Judenchristentums. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1949.

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    Attempt to reconstruct a synthetic history of Jewish Christianity, as predicated on the posited connection between the Jerusalem Church and the Ebionites mentioned in Patristic literature. It has been critiqued for its assumption of the singularity of Jewish Christianity and for its lack of sensitivity to the literary complexities of the sources.

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  • Schoeps, Hans Joachim. Jewish Christianity: Factional Disputes in the Early Church. Translated by D. Hare. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1969.

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    Revised English version of Schoeps 1949, which offers a shorter and more accessible account.

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  • Simon, Marcel. Verus Israel: Étude sur les relations entre Chrétiens et Juifs dans l’ empire romain (135–425). Bibliothèque des Écoles Françaises d’Athènes et de Rome 166. Paris: de Boccard, 1948.

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    Work widely credited with marking the beginning of current scholarly discussion of early Jewish–Christian relations and serving as an important catalyst for scholarship on Jewish Christianity. Simon tackles questions concerning its definition, fate, diversity, and secondhand sources for it. The second edition (1964) includes a postscript engaging Schoeps 1949 and Daniélou 1958, and forms the basis for the 1986 English translation.

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Collected Volumes

Research on “Jewish Christianity” crosses multiple subfields (e.g., New Testament Studies, Jewish Studies, Patristics, Rabbinics, Church History, Late Antiquity) as well as national and linguistic boundaries. Accordingly, international colloquia and collected volumes have been especially important for advancing scholarship on the topic. Such volumes are also ideal as entry points into current discussion. Jackson-McCabe 2007 both surveys and advances research on Jewish Christianity, particularly in the context of Christian origins, apostolic history, and New Testament literature, while Mimouni and Jones 2001 and Tomson and Lambers-Petry 2003 are critical to consult for up-to-date and incisive assessments of post-apostolic texts and figures—including Late Antiquity, medieval, and even contemporary movements. Although Skarsaune and Hvalvik 2007 has been critiqued for its lack of engagement with recent theoretical debates and definitional discussions, it has a broad scope and includes some important pieces.

  • Jackson-McCabe, Matt, ed. Jewish Christianity Reconsidered: Rethinking Ancient Groups and Texts. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007.

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    Collected volume distinguished by its methodological sophistication, with the editor’s introduction and subsequent articles pushing questions of definition, interpretation, and methodology in new directions. It focuses mainly on apostolic history (Jerusalem Church, Paul and his opponents) and New Testament materials (“Q,” Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of John, Letter of James), but also includes important articles on later materials.

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  • Mimouni, Simon Claude, ed., in collaboration with F. Stanley Jones. Le Judéo-Christianisme dans tous ses états. Paris: Cerf, 2001.

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    Collection of twenty-two specialist articles in French and English, based on papers delivered at a 1998 conference in Jerusalem. This volume gathers experts in the full range of relevant subfields—including apostolic and post-apostolic Jewish Christianity, as well as New Testament literature, Palestinian archaeology, rabbinic literature, and contemporary messianic Judaism.

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  • Skarsaune, Oskar, and Reidar Hvalvik, eds. Jewish Believers in Jesus: The Early Centuries. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007.

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    Wide-ranging surveys of figures and groups commonly associated with Jewish Christianity, framed in terms of an attempt to recover the history of ethnic Jews with faith commitments to Jesus (Torah-observant and otherwise) in continuity with present-day missionizing concerns. Although it has been critiqued for its unevenness, particularly in relation to methodological problems and lack of engagement with recent scholarship, it includes some important pieces.

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  • Tomson, P. J., and D. Lambers-Petry, eds. The Image of the Judeo-Christians in Ancient Jewish and Christian Literature. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 158. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

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    Collection of sixteen specialist articles in English, German, and French, based on papers delivered at a 2001 colloquium at the Institutum Iudaicum of Belgium. The focus is on post-apostolic Jewish Christianity, including analyses of Patristic, rabbinic, “gnostic,” Pseudo-Clementine, and archaeological materials, as well as articles on contemporary messianic Judaism and Christian missions to Jews.

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Debates over Definition

One’s definition of “Jewish Christianity” will depend on how one defines “Jewish,” “Christian,” and the relationship between them. Accordingly, debates over the scope and delineation of the category have been a particularly fruitful avenue for interrogating broader scholarly assumptions about the historiography of Christian self-definition in relation to Jews and Judaism (e.g., Kraft 1972; Murray 1982; Brown 1983; Colpe 1989). If one places the origins of Christianity within Judaism, how is Jewish Christianity distinct from any other form of Christianity during the early period? When does this period come to a close, and what does it mean for a work or group to be “Jewish-Christian” thereafter? Can the term be used in a manner that reflects the fluidity and subjectivity of Jewish and Christian self-definition, specifically, and religious identity-formation, more generally? Is the category so problematic that it should be abandoned or replaced (cf. Taylor 1990; Boyarin 2009)? And, in light of the diversity of both ancient Judaism and ancient Christianity, is it reasonable to assume only a single Jewish Christianity with a single theology and history (cf. Kraft 1972)? Despite active discussion of such questions, particularly since the 1970s, no consensus has been reached, but the issue of definition continues to be debated in fruitful and illuminating fashion. For the full history of research, the reader is directed to Colpe 1989, Carleton Paget 2007, and references in both works.

  • Boyarin, Daniel. “Rethinking Jewish Christianity: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category (to which is appended a correction of my border lines)].” Jewish Quarterly Review 99.1 (2009): 7–36.

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    Thoughtful and provocative review essay of Jackson-McCabe 2007 and Skarsaune and Hvalvik 2007 (see Collected Volumes), which proposes, among other things, that Jewish Christianity is a heresiological and polemical category not apt for scholarly usage.

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  • Brown, Raymond. “Not Jewish Christianity and Gentile Christianity but Types of Jewish/Gentile Christianity.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 45 (1983): 74–79.

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    Article questioning the adequacy of a simple contrast between Jewish Christianity and “Gentile Christianity” for understanding 1st-century materials, and suggesting instead a continuum of positions promoted by “Jewish Christians” and their Gentile converts.

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  • Carleton Paget, James. “The Definition of the Terms Jewish Christian and Jewish Christianity in the History of Research.” In Jewish Believers in Jesus: The Early Centuries. Edited by Oskar Skasaune and Reidar Hvalvik, 22–52. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007.

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    Judicious survey of the history of research, distinguished by its inclusion of important studies prior to those of Ferdinand Christian Baur (see Classic Works). The piece ends with an important question about the heurism of the term: “Why not simply settle on a term like ‘Torah-observant’ and then introduce categories like Ebionite, Elchasaite, etc.?”

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  • Colpe, Carsten. “Das deutsche Wort ‘Judenchristen’ und die ihm entsprechende historische Sachverhalte.” In Das Siegel der Propheten: Historische Beziehungen zwischen Judentum, Judenchristentum, Heidentum und fruhen Islam. Edited by Carsten Colpe, 38–58. Arbeiten zur Neutestamentlichen Theologie und Zeitgeschichte 3. Berlin: Institut Kirche und Judentum, 1989.

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    Survey of treatments of German Judenchristen and Judenchristentum, which illumines the context and concerns that shaped the emergence of the modern study of Jewish Christianity, as well as raising important methodological points concerning the criteria by which one judges the heurism of modern categorical constructs of this sort.

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  • Kraft, Robert A. “In Search of ‘Jewish Christianity’ and Its ‘Theology’: Problems of Definition and Methodology.” Recherches de Sciences Religieuse 60 (1972): 81–96.

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    Influential discussion of the array of issues involved in isolating and defining Jewish Christianity, drawing out the assumptions behind Jean Daniélou’s delineation of the phenomenon in terms of “thought-forms” and periodization (see Classic Works), as they speak to broader methodological issues involved in the study of Christianity and Judaism.

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  • Murray, Robert. “Jews, Hebrews and Christians: Some Needed Distinctions.” Novum Testamentum 24.3 (1982): 194–208.

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    Article using definitional problems raised by the category of Jewish Christianity to expose terminological and taxonomical issues with respect to common usages of “Jew,” “Christian,” “Judaism,” and “Christianity” in the study of Antiquity.

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  • Simon, Marcel. “Problèmes du judéo-christianisme.” In Aspects du Judéo-Christianisme: Colloque de Strasbourg, 23-25 avril 1964. Edited by Universite de Strasbourg, Centre D’etudes Superieures Specialisés d’Histoire des Religions, 1–18. Paris: Presse Universitaires de France, 1965.

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    Exploration of the problem of definition, extending and tightening earlier comments in his classic monograph Verus Israel (see Classic Works) and stressing the importance of practice as a criterion.

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  • Taylor, Joan. “The Phenomenon of Early Jewish-Christianity: Reality or Scholarly Invention?” Vigiliae Christianae 44.4 (1990): 313–334.

    DOI: 10.1163/157007290X00090Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Critical assessment of scholarship on Jewish Christianity, marked by skepticism both about the heurism of the category for historical description and about common scholarly assumptions of continuity between what has been treated as its apostolic and post-apostolic forms.

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Early “Jewish Christianity”

In the history of research on the New Testament and Christian origins, discussions of early “Jewish Christianity” have focused on the attempt to reconstruct the beliefs, practices, and history of Peter, James, and the Jerusalem Church, primarily by reading the Book of Acts “against the grain” and in concert with the Pauline Epistles (especially Galatians 2 versus Acts 10–15) and early strata of the Pseudo-Clementine tradition. More recently, this and related rubrics (e.g., “Christian Judaism”) have been applied to other New Testament and related materials, particularly in discussions of the Jesus Movement’s place within Judaism and the process by which some Christ-believers came to articulate and promote a self-definition as distinct. For this, the Gospel of Matthew has been central. Inquiries into Jewish identity and practice have been used to shed new light on a range of other New Testament texts, including the Epistle of James, Epistle to the Hebrews, and Revelation.

Peter, James, and the Jerusalem Church

The New Testament Book of Acts preserves references to followers of Jesus who required circumcision of Gentile converts (15:1–6), and it associates James and Peter with the view that Jewish followers of Jesus must maintain ritual purity through separation from Gentiles, particularly at meals, even as it posits Peter’s later change of heart (10–11; 15:6, 20). Particularly since the influential theories about the conflicts between Petrine and Pauline “parties” popularized by Ferdinand Christian Baur (see Classic Works), these references have been commonly read as clues to a conflict that is largely suppressed in Acts, but apparent in Paul’s letters (especially Galatians 2:11–14) and perhaps also in traditions preserved in the Pseudo-Clementine literature (e.g., Epistle of Peter to James): Acts is shaped by attempts to promote a view of apostolic harmony, whereby the authority of the Jerusalem Church is paired with that of Paul and his mission. To reconstruct apostolic history, it is necessary to set aside Acts’s image of apostolic harmony and read its account critically; when one does, it might be possible to glimpse something of the older “Jewish-Christian” perspectives here suppressed in favor of Pauline ideas about Christ devotion and Torah observance. Although few have adopted Baur’s dichotomous view of apostolic history as characterized by the conflict between a singular “Jewish Christianity” and a singular “Gentile Christianity,” Petrine and anti-Pauline traditions have remained a topic of interest (Lüdemann 1983; Smith 1985). On the one hand, many still approach Peter and James as emblematizing a form of apostolic religion close to the Jewish roots of Christianity (Longenecker 1970; Buchanan 1980), and there remains much research focused on these apostles in relation to Jewish tradition (Chilton and Evans 1999; Bauckham 1999; Myllykoski 2006). On the other hand, the critical questioning of the account of apostolic history in Acts has even extended to its depiction of the Jerusalem Church (Cameron and Miller 2004).

  • Bauckham, Richard. James: Wisdom of James, Disciple of Jesus the Sage. London: Routledge, 1999.

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    Monograph exploring the Epistle of James from the perspective of Palestinian Jewish Christianity. E-book.

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  • Buchanan, G. W. “Worship, Feasts, and Ceremonies in the Early Jewish-Christian Church.” New Testament Studies 26 (1980): 279–297.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0028688500022347Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    One of the few focused investigations of early Jewish Christianity in terms of practice, with particular attention to the festal calendar and evidence for observance of Sabbath, Passover, and Pentecost.

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  • Cameron, Ron, and Merrill P. Miller, eds. Redescribing Christian Origins. SBL Symposium series 28. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004.

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    Collection of papers based on the work of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Seminar on Ancient Myths and Modern Theories of Christian Origins, including a number of essays questioning traditional scholarly assumptions about the Jerusalem Church.

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  • Chilton, Bruce, and Craig A. Evans, eds. James the Just and Christian Origins. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 98. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1999.

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    Collection of essays on James, particularly rich in exploring his relationship to the Judaism of his time.

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  • Longenecker, Richard N. The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity. Studies in Biblical Theology 2.17. London: SCM, 1970.

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    Attempt to reconstruct a “Jewish-Christian” Christology from a variety of New Testament traditions posited to stand in a “conceptual frame” of Judaism, to exhibit non-Pauline ideas about Jesus, and to attest perspectives related to the apostolic Jerusalem Church.

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  • Lüdemann, Gerd. Paulus, der Heidenapostel. Vol. 2, Antipaulinismus im frühen Christentum. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 130. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1983.

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    Seminal monograph, surveying New Testament, Patristic, and other traditions relevant to Jewish Christianity through the lens of anti-Paulinism, thus sidestepping some of the problems of scope and definition associated with the study of Jewish Christianity. Revised English edition: Opposition to Paul in Jewish Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress 1989).

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  • Myllykoski, Matti. “James the Just in History and Tradition: Perspectives of Past and Present Scholarship (Part I).” Currents in Biblical Research 5.1 (2006): 73–122.

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    Part I of a detailed two-part survey of the history of research on James the brother of Jesus and the rich traditions surrounding him, including analyses of both New Testament and later evidence. Part II: Myllykoski, Matti, “James the Just in History and Tradition: Perspectives of Past and Present Scholarship (Part II),” Currents in Biblical Research 6.1 (2007): 11–98.

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  • Smith, T. V. Petrine Controversies in Early Christianity: Attitudes towards Peter in Christian Writings of the First Two Centuries. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2.15. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1985.

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    A counterpart to Lüdemann 1983, revisiting Ferdinand Christian Baur’s theories (see Classic Works) in light of more recent evidence and understandings of the New Testament and early Christianity—in this case, with a focus on the texts and traditions surrounding the apostle Peter.

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The Gospel of Matthew and the Didache

Already in Late Antiquity, readers noticed the Gospel of Matthew’s marked connections with the Judaism of its time; Eusebius, for instance, preserves speculations that Matthew’s own native language was Hebrew and that he composed his gospel specifically for Jewish converts (Ecclesiastical History 3.24.5–6; 5.10.3; 6.25.4; see also John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 1.7; Jerome, On Illustrious Men 3). The gospel’s place in “Jewish-Christian” belief and practice, moreover, is suggested by its early and persistent association with the Ebionites (e.g., Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.26.2; 3.11.7, 21.1; 5.1.3) and by the exegetical engagement with Matthean traditions in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and Recognitions. Similarly, in modern research, this gospel has been central for the reassessment of anti-Judaism in the New Testament, particularly after World War II (i.e., as intra muros versus extra muros; see Viviano 2007), and for the exploration of Jewish forms and ideas in the 1st-century writings that would eventually become enshrined as Christian Scripture. A number of recent studies follow critiques of the use of the term “Jewish Christianity” in an early period and, consequently, adopt terms such as “Christian Judaism” or “Matthean Judaism” to describe the gospel and its community (e.g., Saldarini 1994; Sim 1998; cf. Runesson 2008). Some of its traditions are paralleled in the Didache, an early rule-book that has been similarly central for explorations of “Jewish-Christian” or “Christian Jewish” piety, halakha, and community structures (Draper 1996). Investigations of both texts, and their connections, have helped to illumine the sociohistorical contexts for the flourishing of forms of Christ-devotion developed with a continued commitment to the importance of the Torah and against the background of competing claims (Pharisaic and/or rabbinic) to its proper interpretation and practice (van de Sandt 2005; van de Sandt and Zangenberg 2008).

  • Draper, Jonathan A., ed. The Didache in Modern Research. Arbeiten zur Geschichte des Antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums 37. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1996.

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    Invaluable guide to scholarship on the Didache, featuring an extensive survey of recent scholarship by the editor, together with classic articles. The latter include English translations of pieces originally published in French, German, Hebrew, and Italian, and feature a number of discussions relevant to the question of whether and how the Didache might attest early “Jewish-Christian” praxis.

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  • Runesson, Anders. “Rethinking Early Jewish–Christian Relations: Matthean Community History as Pharisaic Intragroup Conflict.” Journal of Biblical Literature 127.1 (2008): 95–132.

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    Recent article on identity in the Gospel of Matthew, useful for its extensive references to relevant studies.

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  • Saldarini, A. J. Matthew’s Christian-Jewish Community. Chicago Studies in the History of Judaism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

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    Seminal study of the Judaism of the Gospel of Matthew, the community in which it was formed, and its relationship to emergent rabbinic Judaism. Emphasis is here placed on the gospel’s points of continuity with the Hebrew Bible and post-biblical Judaism, while anti-Jewish statements are explained in terms of inner-Jewish debates wherein the gospel’s “Pharisees” encode rabbis of the late 1st century.

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  • Sim, David C. The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism: The History and Social Setting of the Matthean Community. Studies of the New Testament and Its World. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998.

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    Another major attempt to situate the Gospel of Matthew’s relationship to Judaism in historical context, albeit with a more critical and cautious use of Jewish parallels, more attuned to current research on the early rabbinic movement.

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  • van de Sandt, Hubertus Maria, ed. Matthew and the Didache: Two Documents from the Same Jewish-Christian Milieu? Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.

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    Collection of twelve essays from a 2004 conference in Tilburg, The Netherlands, exploring the parallels between the Gospel of Matthew and the Didache as a starting point for exploring the texts’ social contexts and relationships to Judaism.

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  • van de Sandt, Hubertus Maria, and Jürgen K. Zangenberg, eds. Matthew, James, and Didache: Three Related Documents in Their Jewish and Christian Setting. SBL Symposium series 45. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.

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    Collection extending van de Sandt 2005, with reference to the Epistle of James and including an impressive array of international scholars. For a thoughtful reflection on whether and how these newer lines of research relate to the older Petrine, Jacobite, Ebionite, etc., foci of research on early Jewish Christianity and the past debates over its definition, Joseph Verheyden’s piece (pp. 123–138) is highly recommended.

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  • Viviano, Benedict T. Matthew and His World: The Gospel of the Open Jewish Christians: Studies in Biblical Theology. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 61. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007.

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    Collection of classic and new essays on the Gospel of Matthew by one of the scholars most involved in exploring its connections to Jews and “Jewish Christians.”

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“Jewish Christianity” in Other New Testament Texts

The move away from monolithic understandings of “Jewish Christianity” has opened the way for the study of multiple early sources as evidence for possible expressions of (or reactions to) devotion to Christ in continuity with Jewish identity and practice. At the same time, the increased scholarly awareness of the diversity of the Second Temple Judaism in the wake of the discovery and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls has enabled the identification of such parallels and continuities in a broad range of New Testament texts—not limited to those traditionally discussed as “Jewish” or “Jewish-Christian.” Scholars continue to study the Epistles of James, Jude, and Hebrews from the perspective of their resonances with Judaism and the early Jerusalem church (e.g., Goulder 2003; Bauckham 2004; Witherington 2007), for instance, and such approaches have also yielded rich results with respect to the Book of Revelation (e.g., Marshall 2001; Frankfurter 2001). Even some works and authors once deemed exemplary of “Gentile Christianity” have been reconsidered from the perspective of the variety of types of Jewish devotion to Jesus that shaped early Christianity (e.g., Paul in Donaldson 2006, Luke-Acts in Jervell 1980).

  • Bauckham, Richard. Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church. London: T & T Clark, 2004.

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    Monograph on the Epistle of Jude, although largely exploring the role of the family of Jesus in leading and shaping “Palestinian Jewish Christianity in the period of the New Testament.”

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  • Donaldson, Terence L. “Jewish Christianity, Israel’s Stumbling and the Sonderweg Reading of Paul.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 29.1 (2006) 27–54.

    DOI: 10.1177/0142064X06068384Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Article exploring the place of “Jewish Christians” within Paul’s thought (especially in the Epistle of Romans), as approached from the perspective of the “two-track” soteriology posited by Lloyd Gaston, John G. Gager, and Stanley Stowers, whereby Jews can be saved as Jews, and the message about Jesus is pointed particularly to Gentiles.

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  • Frankfurter, David. “Jews or Not? Reconstructing the ‘Other’ in Rev 2:9 and 3:9.” Harvard Theological Review 94.4 (2001): 403–427.

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    Important article on Revelation as a work reflecting a Jewish self-definition, particularly in relation to ritual purity.

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  • Goulder, Michael. “Hebrews and the Ebionites.” New Testament Studies 49.3 (2003): 393–406.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0028688503000195Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Interpretation of the aim and audience of the Epistle to the Hebrews in light of Patristic evidence (especially Irenaeus) for the Ebionites.

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  • Jervell, Jacob. “The Mighty Minority.” Studia Theologica 34.1 (1980): 13–38.

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    Provocative essay on the importance of “Jewish Christians” for understanding the Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts, contrary to the traditional view of Luke-Acts as a fundamentally “Gentile-Christian” work.

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  • Marshall, John W. Parables of War: Reading John’s Jewish Apocalypse. Studies in Christianity and Judaism 10. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2001.

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    Ground-breaking analysis of the New Testament Book of Revelation as a Jewish work.

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  • Witherington, Ben. Letters and Homilies for Jewish Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Hebrews, James and Jude. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2007.

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    Recent “socio-rhetorical” commentary on the Epistle of Hebrews, James, and Jude in their Jewish contexts.

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Post-Apostolic “Jewish Christianity”

Early research (see Classic Works) largely assumed the continuity between the apostolic Jerusalem Church and so-called heterodox, post-apostolic “Jewish-Christian” sects such as the Ebionites—the latter of which were seen as “survivals” of the former, rendered “heretical” by the success of “Gentile/Pauline Christianity” and the resultant “Parting of the Ways.” Central to these connections was the assumption of the historicity of the accounts of the flight of members of the Jerusalem Church to Pella during the first Jewish Revolt (66–70 CE) by Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 3.5.3) and Epiphanius (Panarion 1.29.7–30.7; Weights and Measures 15). Some, however, have taken a more skeptical approach, both to the question of continuity (e.g., Munck 1965) and to the Pella tradition (e.g., Lüdemann 1980), concurrent with broader critiques of the treatment of “Jewish Christianity” as a single movement with a single theology (e.g., Klijn 1974) and with more critical approaches to the historical value of the reports of Epiphanius and other heresiologists (e.g., Boyarin 2004). Others have pointed to apparent evidence for the continuation of such traditions into Late Antiquity and beyond, even after the rise of Islam (e.g., Reed 2003; Gager 2003).

  • Boyarin, Daniel. Border Lines: The Partition of Judeo-Christianity. Divinations: Rereading Ancient Religions. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.

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    While considering the role of heresiology in producing Jewish/Christian difference, Boyarin draws attention to the discursive function of “Jewish Christians,” namely, as hybrids constructed to reaffirm the purported purity of the parts imagined to be combined. He thus proposes that “[t]he ascription of existence to the ‘hybrids’ assumes (and thus assures) the existence of nonhybrid ‘pure’ religions (i.e., Judaism and Christianity).”

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  • Gager, John G. “Did Jewish Christians See the Rise of Islam?” In The Ways That Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Edited by Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiko Reed, 361–372. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 95. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

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    Recent survey of the scholarly debate over the possibility that “Jewish-Christian” traditions are preserved in the writings of the late-10th-century Islamic author ʿAbd al-Jabbār.

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  • Klijn, A. F. J. “The Study of Jewish Christianity.” New Testament Studies 20 (1974): 419–431.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0028688500012248Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reflection on the historiography of Jewish Christianity, focusing on its post-apostolic forms. Countering efforts to reconstruct a single “Jewish Christian” theology or history, Klijn stresses diversity; he suggests that it is more apt to discuss the Jewish Christianity of a text or author, and to allow for different forms of Jewish Christianity in interaction with different forms of Judaism, including but not limited to Syro-Palestinian traditions.

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  • Lüdemann, Gerd. “The Successors of Pre-70 Jerusalem Christianity: A Critical Evaluation of the Pella Tradition.” In Jewish and Christian Self-Definition. Vol. 1. Edited by E. P. Sanders, 161–173, 245–254. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980.

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    Perhaps the most influential of a spate of articles in the 1980s and 1990s questioning the historicity of traditions about the Jerusalem Church’s departure from Jerusalem for Pella during the first Jewish Revolt (66–70 CE), by revisiting the relevant passages from Eusebius and Epiphanius.

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  • Munck, Johannes. “Primitive Jewish Christianity and Late Jewish Christianity: Continuation or Rupture?” In Aspects du Judéo-Christianisme: Colloque de Strasbourg, 23–25 avril 1964. Edited by Université de Strasbourg, Centre d’Études Supérieures Specialisés d’Histoire des Religions, 77–94. Paris: Presse Universitaires de France, 1965.

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    Critical assessment of the scholarly assumption, common in research at the time (and today), that Late Antiquity reports about Ebionites and other “Jewish Christians” refer to the direct heirs of the Jerusalem Church of apostolic times.

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  • Reed, Annette Yoshiko. “‘Jewish Christianity’ after the ‘Parting of the Ways’: Approaches to Historiography and Self-Definition in the Pseudo-Clementines.” In The Ways That Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Edited by Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiko Reed, 189–231. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 95. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

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    Consideration of how assumptions about the “Parting of the Ways” have shaped the history of research on post-apostolic Jewish Christianity, in general, and on the Pseudo-Clementine literature, more specifically—arguing for the importance of considering the present form of the Homilies, in particular, as evidence for Late Antiquity Jewish Christianity.

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Pseudo-Clementine Literature

Particularly since the influential work of Ferdinand Christian Baur (see Classic Works), the Pseudo-Clementine literature has been central for attempts to bridge the gap between apostolic and post-apostolic evidence for “Jewish Christianity,” and to recover firsthand accounts of “Jewish-Christian” beliefs and practices, owing to its concern for Peter and James, promotion of Torah observance, and parallels with Patristic accounts of the Ebionites. This literature consists of two parallel 4th-century novels about Clement of Rome and the apostle Peter—the Homilies and the Recognitions—together with the Petrine and Clementine epistles transmitted with them. The two novels are thought to draw on a shared 3rd-century source (commonly called Grundschrift or “Basic Source”) and have been posited as preserving even earlier, lost sources from the 2nd century, such as the Kerygmata Petrou and Anabathmoi Jakobou.

Editions and Translations

Owing to the complex textual situation and source-critical theories surrounding the Pseudo-Clementine literature, reliable critical editions and translations are invaluable. Rehm 1969a and Rehm 1969b remain authoritative for the Greek of the Homilies and the Latin of the Recognitions, respectively, while Frankenberg 1937 can be consulted for the Syriac version; other editions and translations are listed in Jones 1995 (see Studies). There is no adequate English translation. The only full English rendering is the provisional translation in the 19th-century Ante-Nicene Fathers collection (Smith 1886). Some passages from the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and Recognitions are also among the works in the English edition of Schneemelcher’s New Testament Apocrypha (Irmscher and Strecker 1992); although convenient and widely cited, this translation renders only selective passages and should be used with care. Fortunately, however, recent and reliable translations of the full corpus are now available in French (Cirillo and Schneider 2005; Le Boulluec, et al., 2005).

  • Cirillo, Luigi, and André Schneider, trans. “Roman Pseudo-Clémentin: Reconnaissances.” In Écrits apocryphes chrétiens. Vol. 2. Edited by Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, 1593–2003. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade 516. Paris: Gallimard, 2005.

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    Most recent and reliable translation of the whole of the Recognitions into a modern European language.

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  • Frankenberg, W. Die syrischen Clementinen mit griechischen Paralleltext: Eine Vorarbeit zu dem literargeschichtlichen Problem der Sammlung. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs 1937.

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    Edition of the Syriac version of the Pseudo-Clementines, which survives in a manuscript from 411 CE and which includes parts of Recognitions 1–4 and Homilies 10–14. The importance of this version has been shown by Jones 1995 (see Studies).

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  • Irmscher, J., and Georg Strecker, eds. and trans. “The Pseudo-Clementines.” In New Testament Apocrypha. Rev. ed. Vol. 2, Writings Relating to the Apostles, Apocalypses and Related Subjects. Edited by W. Schneemelcher; translated by R. McL. Wilson, 482–541. Cambridge, UK: James Clark, 1992.

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    Translation of selected passages from the Pseudo-Clementines, including some that are presented as possibly having belonged to the Kerygmata Petrou, a hypothetical source for the putative Grundschrift of the two novels. Some care should be exercised in the use of this translation, due to the selectivity of passages chosen and their abstraction from their literary contexts.

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  • Le Boulluec, Alain, Marie-Ange Calvet, Dominique Côté, Pierre Pouderon, and André Schneider, trans. “Roman Pseudo-Clémentin: Homélies.” In Écrits apocryphes chrétiens. Vol. 2. Edited by Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, 1193–1589. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade 516. Paris: Gallimard, 2005.

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    Most recent and reliable translation of the Homilies into a modern European language.

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  • Rehm, Bernard. Die Pseudoklementinen. Vol. 1, Homilien. Rev. ed. Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der Ersten Jahrhunderte 42. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1969a.

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    Critical edition of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, which survives in Greek, is probably earlier than the Recognitions, and is generally viewed as containing more “Jewish-Christian” features.

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  • Rehm, Bernard. Die Pseudoklementinen. Vol. 2, Rekognitionen in Rufins Übersetzung. Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der Ersten Jahrhunderte 51. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1969b.

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    Critical edition of the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, which is preserved in Rufinus’s Latin translation of 406 CE. This version is better attested than the Homilies, surviving in more than one hundred manuscripts.

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  • Smith, Thomas, trans. “The Recognitions of Clement” and “The Clementine Homilies.” In Ante-Nicene Fathers. Vol. 8. Edited by A. Roberts and J. Donaldson, 73–346. London: T & T Clark, 1886.

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    The only full English translation of the Pseudo-Clementine literature is the provisional translation in the late-19th-century Ante-Nicene Fathers collection. This translation is in the public domain and widely available online. Although handy for quick consultation and searching, it should be used with care.

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Studies

For more than a century, source-critical approaches have dominated research on the Pseudo-Clementine literature; scholars have sought, in particular, to reconstruct 2nd-century sources thereof that might stand in continuity with Peter, James, and the Jerusalem Church. In this, much attention has focused on the first book of the Recognitions, which contains traditions that resonate with Epiphanius’s description of the Ebionites in Panarion 30—including anti-Paulinism and polemics against animal sacrifice, as well as an account of the martyrdom of James that echoes elements in the non-extant Ebionite Anabathmoi Jakobou described in Panarion 30.16.6–9. Some studies of the “Jewish Christianity” of the Pseudo-Clementines have focused on reconstructing this and other 2nd-century sources (e.g., Kerygmata Petrou), which might shed light on the Nachleben of the early Jewish Christianity of the Jerusalem Church (e.g., Strecker 1981; Van Voorst 1989; cf. Jones 1995). More recently, the study of the Pseudo-Clementines has also been marked by renewed concern for its Late Antiquity forms and contexts (e.g., Côté 2001), as well as connections with rabbinic Judaism (e.g., Reed 2008; cf. Bergmann 1903). For the full history of research, the reader is directed to Jones 1982, and for a survey of recent developments, Amsler, et al. 2008.

  • Amsler, Frédéric, et al., eds. Nouvelles intrigues pseudo-clémentines—Plots in the Pseudo-Clementine Romance: Actes du deuxième colloque international sur la litterature apocryphe chrétienne, Lausanne-Genève, 30 août–2 septembre 2006. Publications de l’Institut Romand des Sciences Bibliques 6. Prahins, Switzerland: Zèbre, 2008.

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    Multilingual collection featuring thirty-seven essays on the Pseudo-Clementine literature. This rich and varied volume provides a “snapshot” of the present state of international discussion of this important corpus.

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  • Bergmann, J. “Les éléments juifs dans les pseudo-Clémentines.” Revue de Études Juives 46 (1903): 89–98.

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    An early exploration of parallels between the Pseudo-Clementines and a range of post-biblical Jewish traditions; although representative of the “parallelomania” of its time, this article remains useful for its learned collection of potentially relevant materials.

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  • Côté, Dominique. Le thème de l’opposition entre Pierre et Simon dans les Pseudo-Clémentines. Paris: Institut d’Études Augustiniennes, 2001.

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    Study of the depiction of Peter and Simon Magus in the Pseudo-Clementine novels; in contrast to approaches influenced by Ferdinand Christian Baur (see Classic Works), which have read descriptions of conflicts between Peter and Simon as evidence for the conflict between Petrine and Pauline positions, Côté here considers their literary, rhetorical, and discursive functions in their late antique contexts, particularly with reference to Christian attitudes toward philosophy.

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  • Jones, F. Stanley. “The Pseudo-Clementines: A History of Research.” Second Century 2 (1982): 1–33, 63–96.

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    An invaluable guide to the history of scholarship on the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, Recognitions, and related materials by one of the leading authorities on these works. It includes an accessible summary and assessment of source-critical discussions and debates, as well as a survey of assessments of whether these works and/or their sources can be deemed “Jewish-Christian.”

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  • Jones, F. Stanley. An Ancient Jewish Christian Source on the History of Christianity: Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1.27–71. Texts and Translations 37. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995.

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    Major monograph, which seeks to reconstruct the early source embedded in the first book of Recognitions through internal criteria. On this basis, Jones argues that Recognitions 1.27–71 preserves a “Jewish-Christian” source written in Roman Palestine around 200 CE. He provides a helpful parallel translation of Latin, Syriac, and Armenian witnesses, and also demonstrates the importance of the Syriac version for study of the text.

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  • Reed, Annette Yoshiko. “Heresiology and the (Jewish-) Christian Novel: Narrativized Polemics in the Pseudo-Clementines Homilies.” In Heresy and Identity in Late Antiquity. Edited by E. Iricinschi and H. Zelletin, 273–298. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 119. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2008.

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    Article exploring aspects of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies in relation to Patristic heresiology as well as rabbinic tales of disputations with minim, exploring the possibility that the 4th-century authors/redactors of the novel had some awareness of contemporaneous Jewish (especially rabbinic) traditions.

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  • Strecker, Georg. Das Judenchristentum in den Pseudoklementinen. 2d ed. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 70. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1981.

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    The most extensive and detailed treatment of the question of the Jewish Christianity of the Pseudo-Clementine literature as considered from the perspective of source-critical analysis. A brilliant monograph that remains necessary to consult for any inquiry into the Pseudo-Clementine literature, source-critical or otherwise.

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  • Van Voorst, Robert E. The Ascents of James: History and Theology of a Jewish-Christian Community. Society of Biblical Literature dissertation series 112. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989.

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    One recent example of an attempt to use Pseudo-Clementine evidence to reconstruct and situate the Anabathmoi Jakobou, a lost work mentioned by Epiphanius in the context of his description of the Ebionites (Panarion 30.16.6–9).

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Patristic Evidence for “Jewish Christianity”

The study of the post-apostolic fate of “Jewish Christianity” has traditionally revolved around Patristic reports about Ebionites, Nazoraeans, and other sects, noted in catalogues of “heresies” for their Torah observance, low Christologies, and/or closeness to Judaism (especially Epiphanius, Panarion 28–30). Although such reports were often taken at face value in early research, recent studies have become increasingly attuned to their indirect character, polemical aims, and largely heresiological contexts and the challenges thus posed for their use for historical reconstruction.

Editions and Translations

Klijn and Reinink 1973 offers a comprehensive collection of excerpts of relevant passages from the writings of Irenaeus, Origen, Epiphanius, Jerome, and other early and late antique Christian writers concerning the Ebionites, Nazoraeans, and other groups considered “Jewish-Christian” in modern research; this volume is thus an ideal starting point for research. It is also advisable, however, to consider the meaning of these and other excerpts in their original literary and rhetorical settings. Schwartz 1952 and Williamson 1965 provide reliable text and translation of Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, for instance, while Holl and Dummer 1980 and Williams 1987–1994 should be consulted when considering the witness of Epiphanius.

  • Holl, Karl, and Jürgen Dummer, eds. Epiphanius. 4 vols. 2d ed. Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte 10, 13. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1980.

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    Critical edition of the writings of Epiphanius of Salamis, who wrote in Greek in late-4th to early-5th-century Palestine. His Panarion includes the most extensive surviving reports of “Jewish-Christian” sects, as well as lost writings associated with them (see especially Pan. 29–30). Since his comments are often analyzed in isolation from the work as a whole, consideration of the original contexts is crucial.

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  • Klijn, A. F. J., and G. J. Reinink. Patristic Evidence for Jewish-Christian Sects. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 36. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1973.

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    The core of this invaluable resource is a collection of excerpts. The accompanying analysis is incisive, not least due to the authors’ care in weighing the historical value of these indirect reports against their largely polemical literary settings. The authors, for instance, question the overconfidence with which some scholars reconstruct the beliefs and practices of Ebionites and Nazoraeans.

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  • Schwartz, E., ed. Eusebius: Kirchengeschichte, Kleine Ausgabe. 4th ed. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1952.

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    Critical edition of Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, a 4th-century Greek work that has served as an important source for the modern scholarly reconstruction of “Jewish-Christian” history, sects, and writings, particularly in relation to the Jerusalem Church.

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  • Williams, Frank, trans. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis. 2 vols. Nag Hammadi studies 35–36. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1987–1994.

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    Reliable English translation of Epiphanius’s magisterial heresiological work.

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  • Williamson, G. A., trans. Eusebius: The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine. New York: Dorset, 1965.

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    Reliable and widely available English translation of Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History.

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Studies

In early research, the accounts of Jewish Christianity by Patristic authors such as Irenaeus, Origen, Epiphanius, Eusebius, and Jerome were largely read as accurate reports, despite their polemical aims and heresiological contexts. Critical reassessments of this material began in the 1970s, particularly with the publication of Klijn and Reinink 1973 (see Editions and Translations). More recently, a number of studies have attempted to understand references to these and other “Jewish-Christian” sects in their literary and discursive contexts (e.g., Verheyden 2003; Reed 2008), as well as revisiting the full range of evidence (Barthelemy 1974; Testa 1978; Jones 2001).

  • Barthelemy, Dominique. “Qui est Symmaque?” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 36.4 (1974): 451–465.

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    Consideration of Patristic traditions identifying the 2nd-century Greek biblical translator Symmachus as a “Jewish Christian.”

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  • Jones, F. Stanley. “Hegesippus as a Source for the History of Jewish Christianity.” In Le Judéo-Christianisme dans tous ses états: Actes du Colloque de Jérusalem, 6–10 juillet 1998. Edited by Simon Mimouni and F. Stanley Jones, 201–212. Paris: Cerf, 2001.

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    Judicious reassessment of the evidence for the lost Hypomnemata of the 2nd-century Hegesippus (cf. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.23; 4.8; 4.11) as a reliable source for details about the life and death of James and Jesus’ other relatives, the succession of bishops of Jewish ancestry in the Jerusalem Church, and other important elements in the history of Jewish Christianity.

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  • Reed, Annette Yoshiko. “‘Jewish Christianity’ as Counter-History? The Apostolic Past in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History and the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies.” In Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World. Edited by Gregg Gardner and Kevin Osterloh, 173–216. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 123. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2008.

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    Comparison of Eusebius’s representations of Judaism, Peter, Paul, the Jerusalem Church, and “Jewish Christians” with those in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, considering the two as competing 4th-century attempts to articulate true belief and practice, each with appeal to its own selections of received traditions about the apostolic past.

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  • Testa, E. “La Grande Chiesa e le minoranze giudeo-cristiane nell’ultimo scorcio del IV secolo.” Studii Biblici Franciscani Liber Annuus Jérusalem 28 (1978): 24–44.

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    Attempt to map the range of attitudes toward “Jewish Christians” among 4th-century Christians, ranging from the “traditionalist” position of Epiphanius and Jerome, to the views of Antiochenes and Origenists.

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  • Verheyden, Joseph. “Epiphanius on the Ebionites.” In The Image of the Judeo-Christians. Edited by Peter J. Tomson and Doris Lambeers-Petry, 182–208. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 158. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

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    Incisive essay situating Epiphanius’s comments on the Ebionites in Panarion 30 within the heresiologist’s own context and concerns, and discussing methodological issues related to the heavy scholarly dependence on these and other traditions from Epiphanius for reconstructing Jewish Christianity.

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Ebionites, Nazoraeans, and Other “Jewish-Christian” Sects

The Ebionites were a mainstay of Christian heresiological literature since Irenaeus’s Against Heresies in the 2nd century CE (e.g., 1.26.2; 3.11.7; 21.1; 5.1.3), and Patristic references to them form the heart of the secondhand evidence for “Jewish Christianity” after the apostolic age (e.g., Bauckham 2003). The Nazoraeans, although not as well attested, have gained attention owing to accounts of their combination of Torah observance with “orthodox” Christology (e.g., Pritz 1988; Manns 2005). The Elchasaites and other groups have also been studied in relation to post-apostolic Jewish Christianity (e.g., Mimouni 2003, Lichtenberger 1992).

  • Bauckham, Richard. “The Origin of the Ebionites.” In Image of the Judeo-Christians. Edited by Peter J. Tomson and Doris Lambeers-Petry, 162–181. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 158. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

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    Recent positive reassessment of evidence related to the Ebionites, primarily on the basis of Patristic reports about them.

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  • Lichtenberger, Hermann. “Syncretistic Features in Jewish and Jewish-Christian Baptism Movements.” In Jews and Christians: The Parting of the Ways A.D. 70 to 135. The Second Durham-Tübingen Research Symposium on Earliest Christianity and Judaism (Durham, September 1989). Edited by James Dunn, 85–97. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1992.

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    Interesting treatment of some “Jewish-Christian” sects with a focus on practice and in relation to a continuum of practices related to ritual ablution by the Qumran community, John the Baptist, Jesus Movement, and Mandaeans.

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  • Manns, Frédéric. “Le judéo-christianisme nazoréen: Sources et critique des sources: Réalité ou fiction?” Estudios bíblicos 63.4 (2005): 481–525.

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    Recent positive reassessment of evidence for Nazorenes from Patristic reports about them as well as rabbinic references to notzrim.

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  • Mimouni, Simon Claude. “Les elkasaïtes: États des questions et des recherches.” In The Image of the Judeo-Christians. Edited by Peter J. Tomson and Doris Lambeers-Petry, 209–229. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 158. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

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    Helpful, up-to-date guide to research on the Elchasaites—another sect discussed by Patristic heresiologists, sometimes described as “Jewish-Christian,” and particularly significant in relation to the background of Mani. The article includes a survey of the recent debate over the genre of the Book of Elchasai (i.e., as Jewish apocalypse versus early Church order).

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  • Pritz, R. A. Nazarene Jewish Christianity: From the End of the New Testament Period until Its Disappearance in the Fourth Century. Studia Post-Biblica 37. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1988.

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    Attempt to reconstruct the history of the Nazarenes/Nazoraeans, a group discussed in detail by Epiphanius (Panarion 29) as Torah-observant with an “orthodox” Christology. Owing to the dearth of evidence, its reconstruction remains highly speculative, and its utility has been critiqued on these grounds. It remains an interesting effort, however, to disentangle the history of the Nazarenes/Nazoraeans from that of the much-discussed Ebionites.

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“Jewish-Christian” Gospels

Based primarily on the evidence of Patristic quotations, scholars have also adduced the existence of lost gospels associated with “Jewish-Christian” sects. Relevant quotations have been associated with three hypothetical lost works—the Gospel of the Nazoraeans, Gospel of the Ebionites, and Gospel of the Hebrews—which are all commonly dated to the first half of the 2nd century (Vielhauer and Strecker 1992; Klijn 1992). For instance, Klijn 1992 posits that the Gospel of the Ebionites is based on New Testament materials, while Gospel According to the Nazoraeans and Gospel of the Hebrews preserve something of the early fluidity of gospel traditions in the 2nd century. Recently, the heurism of this category has come under question (Gregory 2006).

  • Gregory, Andrew. “Hindrance or Help: Does the Modern Category of ‘Jewish-Christian Gospel’ Distort Our Understanding of the Texts to Which It Refers?” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 28.4 (2006): 387–413.

    DOI: 10.1177/0142064X06065692Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Detailed, critical reassessment of evidence for “Jewish-Christian” gospels, questioning the heurism of the category for the study of the excerpts in question.

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  • Klijn, Albertus Frederik Johannes. Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition. Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 17. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1992.

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    Comprehensive edition of quotations from Patristic and medieval authors relevant for the reconstruction of “Jewish-Christian gospels,” with parallel materials juxtaposed for handy consultation and analysis.

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  • Vielhauer, P., and G. Strecker. “Jewish-Christian Gospels.” In New Testament Apocrypha. Rev. ed. Vol. 1, Gospels and Related Writings. Edited by W. Schneemelcher, 136–151. Translated by R. McL. Wilson. Cambridge, UK: James Clark, 1992.

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    English translation of a German translation and reconstruction of “Jewish-Christian Gospels” in widely used collection of apocryphal literature; although handy for consultation and as an introduction to these materials, it is best used together with Klijn 1992.

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Archaeological Evidence for “Jewish Christianity”

Discussion of possible archaeological evidence for “Jewish Christians” has been highly polarized. Bellarmino Bagatti, Emanuele Testa, and other scholars associated with the Studium Franciscanum Biblicum in Jerusalem have produced a rich body of studies of sites and symbols (e.g., Testa 1962; Bagatti 1971), and they have largely adopted maximalist positions, identifying a broad range of materials from Roman Palestine with Jewish Christians, speculating as to early “Jewish-Christian” iconography and devotional practices, and positing that the Christianization of the Holy Land after Constantine stood in continuity with earlier Jewish-Christian veneration of sites associated with the life of Jesus and his family. Many interpretations and theories of the “Franciscan school” have been criticized as highly speculative—most concertedly, by Joan Taylor (especially Taylor 1993), who has argued for minimalist readings of the archaeological data, as well as questioning literary evidence adduced for continuity between the apostolic Jerusalem Church and later Jewish Christians. Others have attempted to chart some middle ground between these positions (e.g., Pixner 1991; Safrai 2003).

  • Bagatti, Bellarmino. The Church from the Circumcision: History and Archaeology of the Judaeo-Christian. Studium Biblicum Franciscanum 2: Collectio Minor. Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1971.

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    Monograph by the scholar often credited as the founder of the Franciscan school, synthesizing theories about the archaeological remains of Christian sites in Roman Palestine as reflecting “Jewish-Christian” devotion even prior to the beginning of the Christianization of the Holy Land under Constantine.

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  • Pixner, Bargil. Wege des Messias und Stätten der Urkirche: Jesus und das Judenchristentum im Licht neuer archäologischer Erkenntnisse. Studien zur biblischen Archäologie und Zeitgeschichte 2. Giessen, Germany: Brunnen, 1991.

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    Pixner generally advances an approach to the archaeological search for “Jewish-Christian” remains that is less maximalist than the Franciscan school; his bold attempts to read remains on Mount Zion in terms of Josephus’s reference to the “gate of the Essenes” (War 5.145) and evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls to posit connections between Jesus and the Essenes, however, have not been widely accepted.

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  • Safrai, Zeev. “The House of Leontis ‘Kaloubas’—A Judaeo-Christian?” In The Image of the Judeo-Christians. Edited by Peter J. Tomson and Doris Lambeers-Petry, 245–266. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 158. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

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    Article follows Taylor 1993, a critique of the Franciscan school, but makes a cautious attempt to posit a “Jewish-Christian” identification of archaeological finds with the house of Leontis at Beth Shean as a fascinating “test case.”

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  • Taylor, Joan E. Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish Christian Origins. Oxford: Clarendon, 1993.

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    Critical assessment of the identification of Christian sites in Roman Palestine with early “Jewish Christians,” which mounts a sustained attack on the “Bagatti-Testa hypothesis,” synthesizes earlier critiques, and expresses skepticism concerning the “Jewish-Christian” (as opposed to “pagan”) prehistories of sites that became associated with Jesus’ life during the Christianization of the Holy Land beginning in the 4th century.

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  • Testa, Emanuele. Il Simbolismo dei Giudeo-Cristiani. Pubblicazioni dello Studium Biblicum Franciscanum 14. Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1962.

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    Monograph interpreting a series of symbols as markers of Jewish Christianity and speculating as to the ideas that they might encode. Although highly hypothetical, Testa’s theories have shaped the identification of specific sites and form an important part of the Franciscan school’s argument for the survival and thriving of Jewish Christianity up to and beyond the 4th century.

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“Apocryphal” and “Pseudepigraphal” Sources

Questions about “Jewish Christianity” have also been profitably explored in relation to a range of noncanonical sources. Among the so-called Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, for instance, are a number of works that scholars have long debated as either “Jewish” or “Christian” in provenance (especially Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs)—some of which might be better understood as meaningfully both (e.g., Frankfurter 2003); other cases of the Christian reception and transmission of pre-Christian Jewish writings may be best understood in this manner as well (e.g., Winter 2008). A number of so-called New Testament Apocrypha—such as the Apocalypse of Peter, Protevangelium of James, and Ethiopic Book of the Cock—have also been illumined with reference to Jewish identities and traditions (e.g., Bauckham 1994; Bauckham 1998; Piovanelli 2003; Piovanelli 2005; Horner 2004).

  • Bauckham, Richard. “The Apocalypse of Peter: A Jewish Christian Apocalypse from the Time of Bar Kokhba.” Apocrypha 5 (1994): 7–111.

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    Article arguing for a Palestinian “Jewish-Christian” provenance for the Apocalypse of Peter as a “rare example of an extant work deriving from a Palestinian Jewish Christianity” of the 2nd century and suggesting that its imagery preserves reactions to martyrdoms of “Jewish Christians” as well as other Jews during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132–135 CE).

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  • Bauckham, Richard. “Jews and Jewish Christians in the Land of Israel at the Time of the Bar Kochba War, with Special Reference to the Apocalypse of Peter.” In Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Judaism and Christianity. Edited by G. N. Stanton and G. G. Strousma, 228–238. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511659645Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Whereas most treatments of the fate of early Jewish Christianity have rehashed the same limited set of Patristic and other sources, this article builds on Bauckham 1994 to offer a fresh consideration of the fate of “Jewish Christians” in the land of Israel in the period between the two revolts against Rome.

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  • Frankfurter, David. “Beyond ‘Jewish Christianity’: Continuing Religious Sub-Cultures of the Second and Third Centuries and Their Documents.” In The Ways That Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Edited by Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiko Reed, 131–144. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 95. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

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    Article exploring the Ascension of Isaiah, 5 and 6 Ezra, and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs as possibly products of “continuous communities of halakhically observant Jewish groups, perhaps of a sectarian nature, that incorporated Jesus into their cosmologies and liturgies while retaining an essentially Jewish, or even priestly, self-definition.” Frankfurter here argues against the label “Jewish-Christian” as traditionally conceived.

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  • Horner, Timothy. “Jewish Aspects of the Protevangelium of James.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 12.3 (2004): 313–335.

    DOI: 10.1353/earl.2004.0041Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Article considering the oldest apocryphal work on Mary in relation to early rabbinic traditions. Although resisting the label “Jewish-Christian,” Horner places the work’s “initial author and audience within the milieu of Christian Judaism . . . loosely defined as those Christians who maintained that Jesus was the prophetic Messiah but also saw no reason to reinterpret the Torah and its incumbent practices.”

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  • Piovanelli, Pierluigi. “Exploring the Ethiopic Book of the Cock, an Apocryphal Passion Gospel from Late Antiquity.” Harvard Theological Review 96.4 (2003): 427–454.

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    Discussion of the apocryphal Book of the Cock, preserved in Ethiopic and featuring anti-Pauline traditions of possible “Jewish-Christian” origin.

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  • Piovanelli, Pierluigi. “The Book of the Cock and the Rediscovery of Ancient Jewish-Christian Traditions in Fifth-Century Palestine.” In The Changing Face of Judaism, Christianity and Other Greco-Roman Religions in Antiquity. Edited by I. Henderson and G. Oegama, 308–322. Judische Schriften aus Hellenistisch-Romischer Zeit 2. Gütersloh, Germany: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2005.

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    Article exploring the implications of Piovanelli 2003, particularly with reference to 5th-century Ebionites in Roman Palestine.

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  • Winter, Michael M. “Theological Alterations in the Syriac Translation of Ben Sira.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 70.2 (2008): 300–312.

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    Article proposing that the Syriac version of the Wisdom of ben Sira was originally translated by an Ebionite.

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“Jewish Christianity” in Syria and Egypt

Although most research on “Jewish Christianity” has centered on Roman Palestine, some attention has been given to Syria and Egypt, particularly as centers for the flourishing of its postapostolic forms. Syrian Christianity has long been associated with Judaism, not just because of older assumptions about the “Semitic” character of its Syriac expressions, but also because of the association of the Didascalia Apostolorum and Pseudo-Clementines with this region (Strecker 1971; Fonrobert 2001) and the richness of the relevant data for interactions between Jews, “Jewish Christians,” “Judaizers,” and varieties of other Christians—particularly in Antioch (e.g., Grant 1972; Zetterholm 2003) but perhaps also in Edessa and its environs (e.g., Drijvers 1970; Romeny 2005). The discussion of possible Egyptian “Jewish Christianities” has helped to highlight the need to consider Hellenistic Judaism and the diaspora when mapping the range of early Christian continuities with “Jewish” identities, ideas, and practices (e.g., Klijn 1986; Dorival 2000).

  • Dorival, Gilles. “Un groupe judéo-chrétien méconnu: Les Hébreux.” Apocrypha 11 (2000): 7–36.

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    Whereas most studies of “Jewish-Christian” groups have focused on Syro-Palestine, this article considers references to “the Hebrews” by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Didymus in terms of a Jewish-Christian group current in 2nd-century Egypt.

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  • Drijvers, H. J. W. “Edessa und das jüdische Christentum.” Vigiliae Christianae 24.1 (1970): 4–33.

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    Detailed, critical assessment of the association of Edessa and Syriac Christianity with the survival of an older “Jewish/Semitic Christianity” generally supplanted in the Roman Empire by “Gentile/Hellenistic Christianity.”

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  • Fonrobert, Charlotte. “The Didascalia Apostolorum: A Mishnah for the Disciples of Jesus.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 9 (2001): 483–509.

    DOI: 10.1353/earl.2001.0056Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Sophisticated analysis of the 3rd-century Syrian Didascalia Apostolorum in terms of the differing “Jewish-Christian” perspectives of its author(s) and opponents, particularly in relation to deuterosis, exegesis, and menstrual purity. In the process, Fonrobert makes a number of important methodological points with regard to Jewish Christianity in general.

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  • Grant, Robert McQueen. “Jewish Christianity at Antioch in the Second Century.” Recherches de Science Religieuse 60.1 (1972): 97–108.

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    Seminal article on evidence for “Jewish Christians” in Antioch, important for its adoption of a geographical focus for the inquiry into Jewish Christianity and for drawing on sources that help to bridge between the New Testament and Patristic evidence. Grant suggests that “many of the most important aspects of Christian and Gnostic history at Antioch in the 2nd century can be explained in relation to the continued presence of Jewish Christianity there.”

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  • Klijn, A. F. J. “Jewish Christianity in Egypt.” In The Roots of Egyptian Christianity. Edited by B. A. Pearson and J. E. Goehring, 161–175. Studies in Antiquity and Christianity. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986.

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    Survey of evidence for “Jewish-Christian” traditions attested in early Egyptian materials, notable for its expansion of the term with reference to Hellenistic Judaisms.

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  • Romeny, Bas ter Haar. “Hypotheses on the Development of Judaism and Christianity in Syria in the Period after 70 C.E.” In Matthew and the Didache: Two Documents from the Same Jewish-Christian Milieu? Edited by Hubertus Maria van de Sandt, 13–33. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.

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    Recent article reassessing Drijvers 1970, particularly with reference to the possible Jewish or “Jewish-Christian” origins of the Peshitta version of the Old Testament (i.e., the Syriac translation of the Hebrew Bible).

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  • Strecker, Georg. “On the Problem of Jewish Christianity.” In Walter Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity. 2d ed. Translated and edited by R. A. Kraft and G. Kroedel with a team from the Philadelphia Seminar for Christian Origins, 241–285. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971.

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    Essay added as an appendix to the second edition of Walter Bauer’s seminal corrective (first published in German in 1964), considering Jewish Christianity from the perspective of the diversity of early Christianity. Strecker focuses on what he calls “legalistic Jewish Christianity situated in Greek-speaking Syria,” for which he considers the Didascalia Apostolorum and Patristic reports about the Ebionites as indirect evidence, and the Kerygmata Petrou (a hypothetical source of the shared source of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and Recognitions) as firsthand evidence.

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  • Zetterholm, Magnus. The Formation of Christianity in Antioch: A Social-Scientific Approach to the Separation between Judaism and Christianity. London: Routledge, 2003.

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    Recent consideration of the development of “Christian” self-definition in Antioch, focusing on 1st- and 2nd-century sources (e.g., Galatians 2; letters of Ignatius) and positing the importance of a split between “Jesus-believing Jews” and “Jesus-believing Gentiles” in the city. E-book.

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“Jewish Christianity” and Judaism

Traditionally, “Jewish Christianity” was studied primarily by specialists in the New Testament and Christianity, and it is still often treated as a variety of Christianity, rather than as a variety of Judaism. Perhaps partly as a result, scholarship on the topic has suffered from a lack of engagement with research on post-Christian Judaism, in general, and rabbinic Judaism, in particular. One notable example is the older tendency to read all references to minim (“heretics”) in the classical rabbinic literature as referring to Christians; correctives to this tendency include Kimelman 1981 and Kalmin 1994. Nevertheless, the study of possible rabbinic references to “Jewish Christians,” as well as rabbinic parallels to “Jewish-Christian” materials, remains a promising avenue for exploring the transmission of traditions across creedal boundaries (e.g., Marmorstein 1935; Baumgarten 1992; Reed 2005), especially when considered in terms of the methodological caveats in more recent research (especially Visotzky 1989). Less studied, but also suggestive, are parallels with Jewish mystical and esoteric traditions (e.g., Fossum 1983; Wolfson 2007).

  • Baumgarten, Albert. “Literary Evidence for Jewish Christianity in the Galilee.” In The Galilee in Late Antiquity. Edited by L. Levine, 39–50. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1992.

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    Influential article for drawing attention to parallels with rabbinic traditions about the Oral Torah found in the Pseudo-Clementine literature.

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  • Fossum, Jarl. “Jewish-Christian Christology and Jewish Mysticism.” Vigiliae Christianae 37.3 (1983): 260–287.

    DOI: 10.1163/157007283X00106Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Learned reflection on possible evidence for connections between Christology and varieties of “mystical” traditions within Judaism (especially merkavah, Shiur Qomah) via Jewish Christianity, arguing that “the Jewish mysticism which was centered on the man-like figure upon the heavenly throne was influential in shaping the saviour image in the first centuries of our era.”

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  • Kalmin, Richard. “Christians and Heretics in Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity.” Harvard Theological Review 87.2 (April 1994): 155–169.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0017816000032764Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Seminal article on the shifting meanings of minim in rabbinic literature, tracing differences in tannaitic and amoraic materials, and in Palestinian and Babylonian materials, and providing a nuanced perspective on whether and when traditions about min and minut might be relevant for the study of rabbinic encounters with Christians.

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  • Kimelman, Reuven. “Birkat ha-minim and the Lack of Evidence for an Anti-Christian Jewish Prayer in Late Antiquity.” In Jewish and Christian Self-Definition. Vol. 2, Aspects of Judaism in the Graeco-Roman Period. Edited by E. P. Sanders, A. I. Baumgarten, and Alan Mendelson, 226–244. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981.

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    Classic article questioning the common understanding of the historicity of the birkat ha-minim in research on the New Testament and early Christianity, as referring to a systematic early expulsion of “Jewish Christians” from synagogues.

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  • Marmorstein, A. “Judaism and Christianity in the Middle of the Third Century.” Hebrew Union College Annual 10 (1935): 223–263.

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    Another early exploration of possible evidence for awareness of Christianity, and Jewish Christianity in particular, among rabbinic Jews in 3rd-century Roman Palestine, collecting a wealth of intriguing possible parallels with Pseudo-Clementine and other traditions.

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  • Reed, Annette Yoshiko. “Rabbis, Jewish Christians and Other Late Antique Jews: Reflections on the Fate of Judaism(s) after 70 CE.” In The Changing Face of Judaism, Christianity and Other Greco-Roman Religions in Antiquity. Edited by I. Henderson and G. Oegama, 323–346. Gütersloh, Germany: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2005.

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    Brief survey of evidence for the continued diversity of Judaism even after the Second Temple period, reflecting on the possibility that some “Jewish-Christian” sources may provide indirect evidence for the non-Christian Judaisms of their times.

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  • Visotzky, Burton. “Prolegomenon to the Study of Jewish-Christianities in Rabbinic Literature.” Association for Jewish Studies Review 14.1 (1989): 47–70.

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    Programmatic essay outlining methodological guidelines for exploring rabbinic references to “Jewish Christians” without “parallelomania.” The piece makes a number of important points about the topic in general, including the observation that it is best to allow for multiple “Jewish Christianities,” rather than imagining a singular Jewish Christianity occupying the space between a singular “Judaism” and a singular “Christianity.”

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  • Wolfson, Elliot. “Inscribed in the Book of the Living: Gospel of Truth and Jewish Christology.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 38.2 (2007): 234–271.

    DOI: 10.1163/157006307X180200Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Consideration of Christological materials in the Gospel of Truth that may preserve an ancient “Jewish-Christian” tradition which, in turn, sheds light on the relationship between Jewish and Christian esoteric discourses in Late Antiquity.

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LAST MODIFIED: 08/26/2011

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195393361-0032

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