How Jewish is the New Testament?

David Rudolph, PhD

Jews and Christians disagree about many things but one area of common agreement is that the New Testament is a Christian book and is far from being Jewish. The average commentary on the New Testament begins with the premise that Jesus or Paul started a new religion called "Christianity" that was separate and distinct from Judaism, and that the New Testament describes the Church as a new Israel that supersedes the Jewish people as the people of God. This is known as supersessionism.

Modern New Testament scholars have begun to question these historical and theological assumptions. As a result, today we are seeing a new school of thought emerging in the field of New Testament studies that some refer to as post-supersessionist interpretation. This approach affirms the Jewishness of the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. 

There are varieties of post-supersessionist interpretation. Messianic Jewish (MJ) post-supersessionist interpretation maintains that the New Testament writers affirmed (1) God's covenant fidelity to the Jewish people, (2) that Jesus is Israel's Messiah and participates in the unique identity of the God of Israel, (3) that Jesus-believing Gentiles are full members of God's people without becoming Jews, and (4) that Jesus-believing Jews should continue to live as Jews in keeping with Israel's calling to be a distinct and enduring nation. 

The purpose of this website is to track post-supersessionist New Testament scholarship of various kinds and to make it freely available when possible.