Essays on Halakhah in the New Testament


The texts of the New Testament have long been understood to require interpretation in the light of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran and other postbiblical literary and documentary sources. Conversely, they provide an invaluable source for the reconstruction of halakhah in the late Second Commonwealth period. These essays illustrate the complexity of the inter-relationships, and the methodological issues which arise: the “legal” content of the texts cannot be separated from the intertextualities of Jewish theology. The topics cover letter and spirit, prophecy and law, forgiveness, the accounts of Jesus’ “trial(s)”, the evidence required for legal and theological claims, shepherding images, disinheritance (the prodigal son), marriage and divorce.

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Bernard S. Jackson (D.Phil. 1969 Oxford; D.H.L. (h.c.) 1998 Hebrew Union College), is Alliance Professor of Modern Jewish Studies, University of Manchester. A Jewish law specialist, his most recent book is Wisdom-Laws (OUP, 2006), a study of Exod. 21-22.
Bernard Jackson, a leading voice in the study of Jewish law in comparative context, presents a stimulating study of value to scholars of both Judaism and Christianity. [...] meaningful methodological contributions to the study of ancient law and literature in comparative context. J.'s attempt to understand difficult NT tests thruogh the prims of what he calls interpretation hebraica coupled with his substantive legal analyses make this book a significant contribution

Jonathan S. Milgram, The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73, 2011

' the book is illuminating and helpful where it addresses halakhically relevant questions in the 'real' world like law suits, trials, marriage and divorce. [...] A comprehensive bibliography covering all chapters and several indices allows quick consultaton of specific points of interest.'

Roland Deines, University of Nottingham, Journal of Jewish Studies Volume 61, (2010)
1. Historical Observations on the Relationship between Letter and Spirit
2. The Prophet and the Law in Early Judaism and the New Testament
3. The Trials of Jesus and Jeremiah
4. Testes Singulares in Early Jewish Law and the New Testament
5. Susanna and the Singular History of Singular Witnesses
6. The Jewish Background to the Prodigal Son: An Unresolved Problem
7. Risk-Taking Shepherds
8. “Holier than Thou”? Marriage and Divorce in the Scrolls, the New Testament and Early Rabbinic Sources
Index of Sources
Index of Authors
General Index
Scholars and advanced students in New Testament and in Second Commonwealth and early rabbinic Judaism, as well as clergy and educated laity of both Jewish and Christian faith communities.