The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam


Volume Editor:
The aim of The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is to address the theological issues arising when different ancient religious groups inside three Abrahamic religions attempted to understand or define their opinion on the Mosaic Torah. Twelve articles explore various instances of accepting, modifying, ignoring, criticizing, and vilifying the Mosaic Torah. They demonstrate a range of perspectives of ways in which the Mosaic Torah has formed a challenge. These challenges include Persian religious policy (when the Mosaic Torah was formed), intra-Jewish discussions (e.g. Samaritans), religious practices (the New Testament debates of ritual laws) and interreligious debates on validity of the Torah stipulations (with Christians and Muslims). All the papers were discussed at the international conference, “The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”, organized by Åbo Akademi University and held in Karkku, Finland, 17-18 August, 2017 .

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Antti Laato is Professor in Old Testament exegetics with Judaic studies at Åbo Akademi University, Turku Finland. Since 2006, he has been leader in the international network Study for the Reception History of the Bible. Recently he has edited Understanding the Spiritual Meaning of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions (STCA 6; Leiden: Brill, 2019).

Contributors are Kåre Berge, Jacques van Ruiten, Magnar Kartveit, Lukas Bormann, Guido Baltes, Antti Laato, Erkki Koskenniemi, Anni Maria Laato, Cor de Vos, Günter Stemberger, Martin Tamcke, Serafim Seppälä.
Notes on Contributors

Part 1 Hebrew Bible

1 Deuteronomy and the Beginning of the Mosaic Torah
Kåre Berge

2 The Torah in the Book of the Twelve Prophets
Jacques van Ruiten

3 The Mosaic Torah among the Samaritans: “The Tables That Were Sundered from Divine Essence”
Magnar Kartveit

Part 2 New Testament

4 What Should a Christ-Believer Eat and What Not? Food Laws in the Gospels and Paul
Lukas Bormann

5 ‘Circumcision of the Heart’ in Paul: From a Metaphor of Torah Obedience to a Metaphor of Torah Polemics?
Guido Baltes

Part 3 Patristic Literature before Islam

6 Jewish Believers in Jesus and the Mosaic Law: The Opinion of Justin Martyr
Antti Laato

7 Forgetting an Epic Battle: Did the Early Church Understand the Debate between Paul and His Judaistic Opponents? Preliminary Notes on the Role of the Torah in the Early Church
Erkki Koskenniemi

8 Faustus and Augustine: A Manichaean-Catholic Debate on the Mosaic Torah
Anni Maria Laato

Part 4 Jewish Writings

9 Summarizing the Jewish Law in Antiquity: Examples from Aristeas, Philo, and the New Testament
Cor de Vos

10 Rabbinic Exegetical Debates with Samaritans
Günter Stemberger

Part 5 Encountering Islam

11 “Show Me in the Law”: The Use of the Argument of the Law (Torah) in the Dispute between the Muslim Emir and the Patriarch Yuhannon
Martin Tamcke

12 Torah in the Christian–Islamic Polemics of Theodore Abū Qurrah and ʿAbd al-Jabbār
Serafim Seppälä

All interested in the relations between Abrahamic religions find this study very stimulating because its theme “Mosaic Torah” has been a challenge for all three religions since they were formed and co-existed.
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