Beth Caplin – The context of history and life in First Century Judea and the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.
In the company of Jewish friends, I went way out into the wilderness where I could see my tradition through their eyes instead of my own. They taught me what messiah means to a Jew, which is quite different from what it means to most Christians. They taught me things about Second Temple Judaism and first-century life under Rome that enriched my understanding of Scripture. They gave me a whole new view of Paul. But they also showed me places where the followers of Jesus twisted the truth about Judaism or at least wrote things in such a way that their interpreters could. Once I understood that the gospel writers had not told me the whole truth about the Pharisees, I wondered what else they had not told me.
— Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church
When I started learning Christian history as a Christian, many source materials painted a simple…
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