Mapping the New Testament

Early Christian Writings as a Witness for Jewish Biblical Exegesis


This volume discusses links between the exegetical trends current in various Second Temple Jewish circles and patterns of New Testament conversation with Jewish Scripture. The standard focus on Jewish background of Christianity is complemented here by an alternative direction: the “mapping” of New Testament evidence as the early witness to more general trends attested in their fully developed form only later, in rabbinic literature. The question that dominates much of the discussion is: How can the New Testament be used for creating a fuller picture of Second Temple Jewish exegesis?
The book deals with a representative variety of samples from different layers of the New Testament tradition: Synoptic Gospels, Pauline Epistles and Acts.

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Serge Ruzer (1950) studied at Moscow State University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; obtained a Ph.D. from the latter in 1996 ( Biblical Quotations in the Old Syriac Gospels: Peshitta Influence and Hermeneutical Constraints). He currently teaches in the Department of Comparative Religion of the Hebrew University and is a researcher at that University's Center for the Study of Christianity (the Jerusalem Companion to the New Testament from Jewish Sources project). His publications pertain to the Jewish background to the New Testament and to early Syriac literature. Recently he published a volume on The Sermon on the Mount and Its Jewish Setting (Paris, 2005; edited jointly with H.-J. Becker).
"(The) collection (of articles) here confirms Ruzer's reputation as a perceptive and subtle reader of the New Testament. This book deserves a wide readership: many who are interested in the New Testament's use of the Old will swiftly discover how to broaden their outlook." – George J. Brooke, University of Manchester, in: Journal of Jewish Studies, 2009
"Ruzer’s quest and the examples he provides are persuasive and point New Testament and Early Jewish Studies in a fresh direction." – Christoph Stenschke, in: Religion and Theology 16 (2009)
"Many illuminating insights are stored in this book..[...]. The English is fluent and creative..." – Peter J. Tomson, in: Journal for the Study of Judaism, 2010
"...his analyses contribute important insights to the study of identity formation among both Christ-believers and other Jews in the first century... Mapping the New Testament deserves careful study by students of Early Judaism and the New Testament alike." – Anders Runesson, in: Biblical Theology Bulletin, 2009
The volume may be particularly useful for two groups of readers: students of Early Christianity who wish to consider patterns of biblical interpretation embedded in the New Testament in their appropriate Jewish framework; and, most important, students of Second Temple and rabbinic exegetical traditions who wish to widen their outlook through consideration of relevant New Testament evidence.