The Gospels in First-Century Judaea

Proceedings of the Inaugural Conference of Nyack College's Graduate Program in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins, August 29th, 2013


In The Gospels in First Century Judaea experts of Greco-Roman Judaism employ their expertise to offer fresh and innovative interpretations of gospel texts. Each study examines closely a passage from one of the four canonical gospels in order to shed light on it from various pertinent subject areas (e.g., linguistics, archaeology, fine art).

The studies presented in this volume follow on the heels of more than forty years of research into the Jewish backgrounds of the New Testament, with one innovative development, namely, reading and interpreting the gospels as accounts that originate in the first century Judaea and play a more integral role in the body of ancient Jewish literature.

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R. Steven Notley is Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins on the New York City campus of Nyack College and director of the graduate programs in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins. Among his list of publications, he co-authored with Flusser the historical biography, The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius (Eerdmans 2007); with Anson Rainey the monumental biblical atlas, The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World (Carta Publishing 2005); with Ze’ev Safrai Eusebius, Onomasticon: A Triglott Edition with Notes and Commentary (Brill 2005). Recently he rejoined Safrai for their second work, The Parables of the Sages (Carta 2011).

Jeffrey Paul García, PhDc., New York University, is Lecturer in Bible at Nyack College’s New York City Campus. His doctoral thesis focuses on conceptions of humanity in Second Temple Jewish texts.
1. Matthew 9:20-22: “And Behold, a Woman Who Had Suffered a Hemorrhage” – The Bleeding Woman in Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Lawrence Schiffman)
2. Matthew 19:20: “What Do I still lack?” – Jesus, Charity, and the Early Rabbis (Jeffrey P. García)
3. Matthew 21:16: “From the Lips of Infants and Babes” – The Interpretation of Psalm 8:2 in Matthew 21:16 (David Emanuel)
4. Matthew 24:28: “Wherever the Body Is, There the Eagles Will Be Gathered Together” – The Death of the Roman Empire (Alexandria Frisch)
5. Mark 1:1: “The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” – In Search of the Jewish Literary Backdrop to Mark 1:1-11: Between The Rule of the Community and Rabbinic Sources (Serge Ruzer)
6. Mark 1:39: “And He Went Throughout All Galilee” – Sepphoris and First-Century Galilee (Eric Meyers)
7. Mark 7:28: "Even the Dogs Under the Table Eat the Children's Crumbs:" Women, Food, and Learning. (Claudia Setzer)
8. Luke 5:35: “When the Bridegroom Is Taken Away” – Anticipation of the Destruction of the Second Temple (R. Steven Notley)
9. Luke 13:10-13: “Woman, You Have Been Set Free From Your Ailment” - Illness, Demon Possession, and Laying on Hands in Light of Second Temple Period Jewish Literature (Daniel A. Machiela)
10. Luke 22:53: “When I Was Daily With You in the Temple” – What Did the Jerusalem Temple Look Like in the Time of Jesus? Some Reflections on the Façade of Herod’s Temple (Peter Schertz and Steven Fine)
11. Luke 24:25: “Then He Opened Their Minds to Understand the Scriptures” – (δι)άνοιγω in Luke 24 and the Rabbinic Use of פתח (Burton L. Vitzosky)
12. John 20:22b-23: “The Forgiveness of Sins and the Power to Overcome Them” – A Lexical and Exegetical Study (Brad H. Young)
All interested in the manner that archaeology, fine art, and Greco-Roman Jewish texts shed new light on specific passages from the gospels.
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