The books listed here each have something to contribute to understanding the roots of the faiths of Christians and Jews. However, the presence of a book in this list does not mean that New Jerusalem endorses everything in it! Those whose titles are in bold are especially worthwhile.
Good introductory books:
Our Father Abraham - Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith. Marvin R. Wilson. Eerdmans, 1989.
Exploring Our Hebraic Heritage - A Christian Theology of Roots and Renewal. Marvin R. Wilson. Eerdmans, 2014.
Many others on the same and related topics (in alphabetical order):
50 Jewish Messiahs: The Untold Life Stories of 50 Jewish Messiahs Since Jesus and How They Changed the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Worlds. Jerry Rabow. Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House, 2002. Examines the significant Jewish “Messiahs” since the time of Jesus. These were often little-known characters who inspired messianic fervor, including the Messiah who killed the Pope; the “Second “Moses”; the Messiah who demanded his head be cut off in order to prove his immortality; and the Messiah who defied the Roman Empire.
A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Acts 1-15. Joseph Shulam with Hilary LeCornu. Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry, 2012.
A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Acts 16-28. Joseph Shulam with Hilary LeCornu. Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry, 2012
A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Galatians. Hilary Le Corner, Joseph Shulam. Swindon, Wiltshire, England: The British and Foreign Bible Society, 2005. Challenges the assumption that the theological argument of Galatians is characteristically Pauline in both method and content.
A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism. Phyllis Goldstein. Facing History and Ourselves, 2012.
A History of Messianic Speculation in Israel: From the First Through the Seventeenth Centuries. Abba Hillel Silver. NY: The Macmillan Company, 1959.
A Jewish Bishop in Jerusalem. Kelvin Crombie. Nicolayson’s Ltd, Christ Church, Jerusalem, 2006. The modern movement of Jewish believers in Jesus and of evangelical Protestants in Israel.
A Lethal Obsession. Robert S. Wistrich. Random House New York, 2010. Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad.
Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volumes 1-5. Michael L. Brown. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000.
Anti-Judaism and the Gospels. Ed. William R. Farmer. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1999. Poses these questions to the readers: “When and under what circumstances did the Gospel texts begin to serve anti-Jewish ends? Can it be said, accurately and fairly, that the evangelists were anti-Jewish?”
As the Rabbis Taught: Studies in the Aggados of the Talmud (in Tractate Megillah). Ed. Chanoch Gebhard. Trans. Dovid Landesman. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1996. A compilation of the teachings on the Talmud. Incorporates teachings from the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds.
Backgrounds of Early Christianity. Everett Ferguson. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdsman Publishing Company, 1993. An analytical and systematic introduction to the Roman, Greek and Jewish political, social, literary and religious backgrounds that are necessary for a historical understanding of the New Testament and the early Church.
Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: A Parallel History of Their Origins and Early Development. Ed. Hershel Shanks. Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeological Society, 1992. Covers six centuries of the parallel histories of Jews and Christians.
Christianity in Talmud and Midrash. R. Travers Herford. London: Williams & Norgate, 1903. This book gives an account of the similarities that exist in Rabbinic teaching and Christianity.
Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans. Joseph Shulam, Hilary LeCorner. Baltimore: Ledener Books, 1997. Supports the idea that the Book of Romans is a classic Jewish text.
Constantine’s Sword (a film). James Carroll. Storyville Films Production, 2008. An exploration of the dark side of Christianity, a detective story.
Critical Documents of Jewish History: A Sourcebook. Ronald H. Isaacs, Kerry M. Olitzky, eds. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1995. Documents the history of their development of the four primary Jewish movements in North America.
Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of a Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity. Jon D. Levenson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993. Explores child sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity emphasizing the biblical texts on Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph and Jesus.
Defending Christian Zionism. David Pawson. Terra Nova Publications 2008. A commentary on Christian Zionism.
Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound. Anthony Buzzard, Charles F. Hunting. New York: International Scholars Publications, 1998. Looks at the relationship of Jesus to the One God of Israel. The author asserts that within the bounds of the canon of Scripture Jesus is confessed as Messiah, Son of God, but not as God Himself.
Encyclopedia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House Jerusalem, Ltd., Israel, 1971-1972. An enormous 17-volume work on the history of the Jewish people and Judaism.
Epistle 185. St. Augustine of Hippo. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 1. Ed. Philip Schaff. Trans. J. R. King. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887. www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102185.htm
Ethics of the Talmud: Pirke Aboth Text, Complete Translation and Commentaries. R. Travers Herford. New York: Schocken Books, 1962. This book is a collection of words of wisdom from the early writers of post-biblical Judaism. The Pirke Aboth gives an introduction to Jewish piety, saintliness, love for God and man, and devotion to learning.
Ethics of the Talmud: Sayings of the Fathers. R. Travers Herford. New York: Schocken Books, 1962.A collection of the ethical words of wisdom of the “fathers” of post-biblical Judaism. This book is a mirror of the spiritual life of Rabbinic Judaism, and a record of the teachings of the 65 sages quoted within it.
Every Man’s Talmud: The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages. Abraham Cohen. New York: Schocken Books, 1995. A classic introduction to the teachings of the Talmud. A summary of the wisdom of the rabbinic sages on the dominant themes of Judaism: the doctrine of God; God and the universe; the soul and its destiny; prophecy and revelation; physical life; and more.
Exploring Our Hebraic Heritage. Marvin R. Wilson. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2014. A Christian theology of roots and renewal.
For the Love of Zion. Kelvin Crombia. Terra Nova Publications, The Jews in the Time of Jesus, Holder and Stoughton, 2008. Christian Witness and the Restoration of Israel.
Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures. Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius. Trans. Samuel P. Tregelles. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1877.
God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism. Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publishers, 1955. Extraordinary scholarship and compassion demonstrates that God reaches out to man.
God’s Appointed Customs. Barney Kasdan. Lederer Books division of Messianic Jewish Publishers, Clarksville, Maryland 1996. A Messianic Jewish Guide to the Biblical Lifecycle and Life Style.
God’s Appointed Times. Barney Kasdan. Lederer Books division of Messianic Jewish Publishers, Clarksville, Maryland 1993. A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays.
Hebrews Through a Hebrew’s Eyes: Hope in the Midst of a Hopeless World. Dr. Stuart Sacks. Baltimore: Ledener Books, 1995. Insights into the Book of Hebrews that only a Jewish-rooted believer in Yeshua (Jesus) can give.
Hillel and Jesus: Comparisons of Two Major Religious Leaders. James Charlesworth, Loren L. Johns, eds. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997. Compares the lives and teachings of the two major religious leaders in the Jewish and Christian traditions.
How Does Jewish Law Work?: A Rabbi Analyzes 95 Contemporary Halachic Questions. J. Simcha Cohen. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1993. Summary of how Jewish Law molds character and sets the guidelines for Jewish life.
How Firm a Foundation: A Gift of Jewish Wisdom for Christians and Jews. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 1997. Answers questions about the Jewish life: beliefs and practices, festivals and holy days and the Jewish life cycle, including rites of passage, worship practices and dietary laws.
How Judaism Became a Religion. Leora Batnitzky. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2011. An introduction to modern Jewish thought.
I Asked For Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology. Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Crossroad, 1987. A wonderful account of and insight into a life with God.
Identity Theft, Ron Cantor, Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, 2013. Basic overview of how Jesus and his disciples began to be portrayed as not Jewish.
If Not Now, When? Joseph Telushkin Hillel. New York: Schocken Books, 2010. Discusses the most famous teaching of Hillel, one of the greatest rabbis just before and at the beginning of the time of Jesus.
In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity. Oskar Skarsaune. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2002. The history of the early Church with an emphasis on the Jewish influence through the pre-Constantinian period.
Jesus and the Judaism of His Time. Irving M. Zeitlin. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1988. Explores how Jesus saw Himself within His time and religious tradition, as well as the varieties of Judaism present: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots and Sicarii.
Jesus and the World of Judaism. Geza Vermes. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983. This book carries on from Vermes’ books Jesus the Jew and The Dead Sea Scrolls and sheds light on different issues from that period.
Jesus in the Talmud. Peter Schafer. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007. Explores how the rabbis of late antiquity understood and utilized the New Testament Jesus narrative to conclude that Judaism was superior to Christianity.
Jesus Was Not a Trinitarian: A Call to Return to the Creed of Jesus. Anthony Buzzard. Morrow, GA: Restoration Fellowship, 2007. Looks at Jesus’ Jewish Creed, and His recitation of the Shema, which proclaims God to be the one single Lord. Buzzard asserts that defining God and God’s Son biblically remains part of the unfinished work of the Reformation.
Jesus Within Judaism: New Light From Exciting Archaeological Discoveries. James H. Charlesworth. New York: Doubleday Publishers, 1988. Looks at Jesus and the time period in which He lived.
Jew in the Pew. Jenny Berg Chandler. www.jennychandler.com. 2014 Excellent story of how a Jewish woman experienced faith and worship in a Protestant church.
Jewish Believers in Jesus: The Early Centuries. Oskar Skarsaune, Reidar Hvalvik, eds. Peabody, MA: Henrickson Publishers, 2007. A detailed account of Jews who believed in Jesus during the first few centuries of Christianity.
Jewish Christianity Reconsidered: Rethinking Ancient Groups and Texts. Ed. Matt Jackson-McCabe. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007. An introduction to the origin of Jewish Christianity and Christian Judaism.
Jewish Messiahs: From the Galilee to Crown Heights. Harris Lenowitz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. Explores the history of Jewish messianic movements. Looks in detail at all the Jewish messiahs, and gives a biographical account of each.
Jewish Roots: A Foundation of Biblical Theology. Daniel Juster. Pacific Palisades, California: Davar Publishers, 1986. Messianic Judaism is a movement among Jewish and non-Jewish followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Messianic Jews recognize and identify with their Jewishness and also proclaim Jesus as Messiah.
Judaism and Christian Beginnings. Samuel Sandmel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Traces the history, institutions and ideas of Judaism from 200 B.C. to A.D. 175. Drawing on many sources ranging from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, it documents the growth of Synagogue Judaism and its influence on the early Christian Church.
Judaism in the Beginning of Christianity. Jacob Neusner. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984. Answers questions about the world of Judaism in which Christianity was born. Gives an overview of the religion and the history of Israel. Analyzes the Judaic legacy as it endured among those who did not convert to Christianity.
Judaism in the New Testament: Practices and Beliefs. Bruce Chiltan, Jacob Neusner. London: Routledge Publishers, 1995. Explains how the books of the early Church came about.
Judaism: Practice and Belief, 63 BCE–66 CE. E. P. Sanders. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1992. A comprehensive view of Judaism as a functioning religion over this period.
Karaite Rabbis: Aaron Ben Elijah, Abraham Firkovich, Anan Ben David, Elijah Bashyazi, Daniel Al-Kumisi, Jacob Qirqisani, Yefet Ben Ali. Books LLC. Memphis: General Books, 2010. A biographical account of these Karaite Rabbis.
Lost in Translation Volume 1. John Klein and Adam Spears with Michael Christopher. Selah Publishing Grou8p LLC, Tennessee. Rediscovering the Hebrew Roots of Our Faith.
Lost In Translation: Rediscovering the Hebrew Roots of Our Faith. John Klein, Adam Spears, Michael Christopher. Bristol, TN: Selah Publishing Group, 2007. Using ancient Hebrew language and culture, clarifies many of the Bible’s so-called “mysteries” and helps the reader uncover foundational truths that have been “lost in translation.”
Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion. Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publishers, 1951. Heschel examines the ingredients of piety: how man senses God’s presence, explores it, accepts it, and builds life upon it.
Meet the Rabbis: Rabbinic Thought and the Teachings of Jesus. Brad H. Young. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007. Shows that despite the common values and Scriptures shared by Judaism and Christianity, many Christians have little knowledge of the great Jewish rabbis who wrote from the time of Jesus and the writing of the New Testament in the first century to the completion of the Talmud in the seventh century.
Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity. Birger Gerhardsson. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1961. Contains two of Gerhardsson’s works on the transmission of tradition in Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity. Examines the way in which Jewish rabbis during the first Christian centuries preserved and passed on their sacred tradition. In addition, shows how early Christianity is better understood in light of how that tradition developed in Rabbinic Judaism.
Messiah Texts: Jewish Legends of Three Thousand Years. Raphael Patai. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1979. Tracks the progress of the messianic legend from its biblical beginnings to contemporary expressions.
Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity. Ed. James H. Charlesworth. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1992. An international group of scholars addresses central issues regarding messianic beliefs in Judaism and Christianity from their origins to the close of the New Testament, as well as the editing of the Mishnah.
Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity. Donald Juel. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1973. An exegesis of how early Christians understood Jesus, the Messiah and how they interpreted Old Testament passages that referred to Messiah.
Messianic Judaism: A Modern Movement With an Ancient Past. David H. Stern. Clarksville, MD: Ledener Books, 1988.
Mitzvot: A Sourcebook for the 613 Commandments. Ronald H. Isaacs. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc, 1996. The conduct of the Jews has been governed by the religious commandments, or mitzvot. These commandments have been interpreted many times from biblical times to the present day. The author explores the ways of classifying and reasons to obey them.
Mystery of Bar Kokhba: An Historical and Theological Investigation of the Last King of the Jews. Leibel Reznick. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1996. A detailed account of the life of Bar Kokhba, who attempted to end Roman domination over the land and people of Israel.
New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus - Insights from His Jewish Context. David Bivin. En-Gedi, 2007
On the Absence and Unknowability of God: Heidegger and the Areopagite. Christos Yannaras. New York: T & T Clark International, 2005.
Paul and the Jewish Law: Halakha in the Letters of the Apostle to the Gentiles. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1990.
Pharisaism: Its Aim and Its Method. R. Travers Herford. London: Williams & Norgate, 1912. Reprinted from the public domain by Nabu Public Domain Reprints. Excellent exposition of the teachings and practices of the Pharisees.
Rabbi Akiba and His Contemporaries. Judah Nadich. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1998. A collection of legends and anecdotes about the great rabbis of the Talmudic period. Includes their moral and ethical teachings as well as their understanding of historical information, biblical stories and biographical info.
Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel. David H. Stern, PhD. Lederer Books, Clarksville, Maryland, 2009. A message for Christians condensed from Messianic Judaism.
Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews. Kevin J. Madigan, Jon D. Levenson. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008. The origins of the belief in resurrection. Why some early Christians and Jews opposed the teaching, and why others felt belief in resurrection was essential to faith.
Sage From Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius. David Flusser, R. Steven Notley. Introduction by James H. Charlesworth. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1968. Looks at historical sources about first-century life, especially through archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Should Christians Be Torah Observant? The Answer Will Astound You! Carmen Welker. Bellingham, WA: Netzari Press, 2007. Asserts that every believer should ask the question: “Am I really worshiping God according to what the Bible says?”
Simple Words: Thinking About What Really Matters in Life. Adin Steinsaltz. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1999. Examines some of the meanings of the words: friends, family, love, God, death and faith.
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible With Greek and Hebrew Dictionary. James Strong. Ventura, CA: Regal Publishers, 1990.
Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. New York: Random House, 1995.
Teachings of Maimonides. Jacob S. Minkin. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1987. An introduction to the writings of Maimonides.
The Bible and Archaeology. Sir Frederic Kenyon. New York: Harper & Row, 1940.
The Disputation at Barcelona. Nachmanides (Ramban). New York: Shilo Publishing House, 1983.
The Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Everett Fox. New York: Schocken Books, 1997. Fox’s translation helps his readers hear the echoes, allusions, alliterations and wordplays of the Hebrew original.
The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus: New Light on the Seat of Moses From Shem-Tov’s Hebrew Matthew. Nehemia Gordon. Mansfield, TX: Hilkiah Press, 2006. Explores the ancient Hebrew text of the Gospel of Matthew and how it differs from the contemporary Greek text of Matthew from which the Western world translations derive.
The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, 175 B.C.–A.D. 135, Volume III. Emil Schürer. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, Ltd., 1987. Jewish history, institutions, and literature from 175 B.C. to A.D. 135.
The Influence of Judaism Upon Jews in the Period From Hillel to Mendelssohn. R. Travers Herford. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2009. Explores the differences and similarities of Jews and non-Jews in this long period from Hillel to Mendelssohn. Incorporates religious and secular influences upon the Judaism practiced during this period.
The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-Greek-English (English, Hebrew and Greek Edition). Ed. Jay P. Green. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2005.
The Jewish Annotated New Testament: New Revised Standard Version. Editors Amy-Jill Levine and Marx Zvi Brettler. Oxford University Press, Inc. 2011.
The Jewish World in the Time of Jesus. Charles Guignebert. New York: University Books, 1959. A detailed account of the history of the time in which Jesus lived from a Jewish perspective.
The Jews in the Time of Jesus. Stephen M. Wylen. Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ 07430. Learn About Jesus and the times he lived in.
The Life and Teachings of Hillel. Yitzhak Buxbaum. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1994. The author carefully separates the teachings of Hillel from Shammai, his contemporary.
The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Alfred Edersheim, Ph.D. McLean, VA: MacDonald Publishing, 2009. Since Jesus was a Jew, asserts importance of the surroundings of location, society, popular life, and intellectual and religious development during Jesus’ time on Earth.
The Malbim Haggadah (Translated, Adapted & Annotated). Jonathan Taub, Yisroel Shaw. Spring Valley, NY: Feldheim Publishers, 1993.
The Pharisees. R. Travers Herford. Boston: Beacon Press, 1924, 1952. An extraordinary history and examination of the teachings and observances of the Pharisees, correcting much of the misreading and misunderstanding of this sect over the ages.
The Puzzle of the 613 Commandments and Why Bother. Philip J. Caplan. London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1996. The significance of the 613 Commandments and why they are still being studied today.
The Real Kosher Jesus. Michael L. Brown. Front Line, Lake Mary, Florida, 2012. Easily one of the best introductions to why Jesus is truly the Jewish Messiah, despite centuries of opposition to this idea. Brown quotes Bible, history, Talmud and Jewish scholars in making his case, and he does it expertly.
The Religious World of Jesus: An Introduction to Second Temple Palestinian Judaism. Frederick J. Murphy. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1991. An introduction to the Second Temple era, 520 B.C.E.–70 C.E.
The Sequence of Events in the Old Testament. Eliezer Shulman. Israel: Investment Co. of Bank Hapoalim: Ministry of Defense Publishing House, 1987. Sets biblical dates chronologically. Excellent.
They Loved the Torah: What Yeshua's First Followers Really Thought About the Law. David Friedman, Ph.D. Clarksville, MD: Lederer Books, 2001. Asserts that Paul did not teach against the Law.
They Never Told Me This in Church! Greg S. Deuble. Atlanta: Restoration Fellowship, 2010. Suggests that much of what the historical Jesus and His Apostles taught has been overrun by an influx of post-biblical tradition.
Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus - New Insights from a Hebraic Perspective. David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, Jr. Destiny Image, 1994.
Until the Mashiach: Rabbi Nachman’s Biography – An Annotated Chronology. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Jerusalem: Breslov Research Institute, 1985. Rabbi Nachman lived during the time of Ukraine’s Industrial Revolution. Gives the chronology of his life and of significant events in the history of the Jews.
Uses of the Old Testament in the New. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Chicago: Moody Press, 1985. Argues that New Testament authors used Old Testament Scriptures properly and with due regard of the intent of their authors.
Ways That Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Adam H. Becker, Annette Yoshiko Reed, eds. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007. The essays in this collection assert that Jews and Christians did not entirely part ways in the early Middle Ages.
What the Rabbis Know About the Messiah: A Study of Genealogy and Prophecy. Rachmiel Frydland. Columbus, OH: Messianic Publishing Company, 1991. The common 21st-century Jewish view of the Messiah is not the traditional Jewish view of the Messiah. Messiah as servant is overlooked by the current view of Messiah as king who will establish peace on Earth.
What the World Owes to the Pharisees. R. Travers Herford. London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1919. Shows the Pharisees were the founders of Talmudic Judaism, and looks at their influence on contemporary Judaism and Christianity.
Yeshua the Messiah. David Chernoff. Havertown, PA: MMI Publishing Co., 1993. In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited under Jewish rule. This event fulfilled a Biblical prophecy. Since that year, the world has been witnessing the growth of the Messianic Movement.
Yeshua: A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church. Dr. Ron Moseley. Clarksville, MD: Messianic Jewish Publishers, 1996. Describes the lifestyle of Jesus as being characteristic of Jews during that day. To fully understand the New Testament, it should be read from this perspective.