The Church and Jewish Identity

Perspective Paper

The following paper will outline the biblical perspective on Jewish identity and argue that an ongoing distinction between Jewish and Gentile believers is fundamental to Christian theology.

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This is a part of our series of Perspective Papers. These papers are not official statements or positions from Gateway Church, but are our thoughtful perspectives on complex issues related to Israel.


Introduction

Many people today continue to believe that it is impossible to be both Christian and Jewish at the same time. There are others who refuse to consider the issue at all because they believe that there is no such thing as ethnicity or race in the biblical worldview. They think that all followers of Jesus should strive to be known as “Christians” and nothing else. The problem with this line of thinking is that the New Testament does not actually teach this! In fact, it teaches just the opposite. The following paper will outline the biblical perspective on Jewish identity and argue that an ongoing distinction between Jewish and Gentile believers is fundamental to Christian theology.

Ethnic Identity in the New Testament

We have already explained how both the formulation of a “third race” or the elimination of “race” altogether results in supersessionism. But it is important to survey what exactly the Bible teaches about race and ethnicity. Just like in English, there are multiple words that the New Testament uses when describing ethnic groups, such as: people (laos), tribe (phule), tongue (glossa), nation (ethnos), or race (genos). Each of these words can have different nuanced meanings depending on their contexts—just as using the English word “tribe” has a vastly different connotation than using “nation” in modern parlance.

It is readily apparent that the Old Testament teaches the importance of ethnic identity by setting certain boundaries between Israel and other Gentile nations. God called the Israelites to remain distinct and “separate” from all other nations (Lev 20:24-26), and he commanded them not to intermarry with any of the Gentiles in the land (Deut 7:1-4; Ezra 9). However, the looming question is whether or not ethnic identity continues to matter in the New Testament. Jesus seemed to have a universal mission, one that did not discriminate between the rich and the poor, the Jew or the Gentile. The Scribes and Pharisees often criticized him for eating with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 15:1-2; Matt 9:11-12). After witnessing the Roman centurion’s faith, Jesus declared that many Gentiles would one day come into the Kingdom (Matt 8:11-12). He also ministered on at least one occasion to Samaritans, who were the subjects of Jewish prejudice in the first century (John 4:1-45). The Jesus of the Gospels seems to be no respecter of ethnic categories.

However, Jesus’s response to the Gentile woman in Matt 15:22 is often overlooked. While he does marvel at her faith and heal her daughter, he initially rejects her by saying, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew reveals to us that Jesus took note of the woman’s ethnic identity and told her that it would be unfitting for him to minister to her in view of his Jewish mission. He showed similar sentiments when he commanded the disciples not to go “into the way of the Gentiles nor into any city of the Samaritans” (Matt 10:5-6). Certainly, Jesus’s ministry on earth was set within a Jewish context and focused toward fulfilling God’s ancient promises to Israel. Scholars call this “the scandal of particularity,” because it seems scandalous to say that the universal God would choose to enact his eternal work of salvation through a particular ethnic people, a particular moment in history, and a particular geographic location. Jesus’s Jewishness remains an offensive stumbling block to many who would rather his divine identity outstrip his human identity.

As we have already argued in our perspective paper on the Jewish Foundation of Christianity, the redemption of the entire world was always the end goal for Jesus, but his incarnational assumption of Jewish identity was not merely a means to an end or a “Plan B” in God’s eternal purposes. The humanity of Jesus, in all of its Jewish particularity, remains fundamental to the identity of God. Jesus is still Jewish. God is still the God of Israel. We will continue this topic in a section further below, but it is nevertheless important to grasp that the Gospels do not portray Jesus’s universal mission as somehow more fundamental than his Jewish particularity.

A few years after his ascension, Jesus appeared to the Apostle Paul, commissioning him to programmatically expand the Jewish mission to Gentile nations. This was the moment when the entire consideration of ethnic identity started to change rapidly. Paul soon became “the Apostle to the Gentiles” and began writing about the relational tensions between Jews and Gentiles in the first century more than any other New Testament author. Ethnic divisions were very real and significant issues in the time in which Paul was writing. When he speaks of “the dividing wall” in Eph 2:14, Paul most certainly alludes to the literal wall that stood in the Temple which separated the Jewish court from the Gentile court. In fact, one of the reasons Paul was forced to write Ephesians, instead of delivering his message to them in person, was due to his imprisonment for the false accusation that he brought a Gentile into the Jewish side of the Temple (Acts 21:28)! Racism and xenophobia are not just modern phenomena but have existed throughout human history.

As we interpret Paul in the twenty-first century, we must consider whether or not he teaches that ethnic identity is meaningless. Being so intimately familiar with Jewish prejudice against Gentiles, is it possible that he formulated a raceless theology to eliminate any opportunity for racial tension? We understand, of course, that each of our ethnicities, nationalities, and cultural affiliations must exist in the present time. But that does not necessarily mean that they will continue to exist in the future, or even that they should exist in the present. After all, Christians are firstly “citizens of heaven” (Phil 3:20), who ought to set their minds on “things above and not the things of the earth” (Col 3:2). Therefore, it might be argued that Christians should strive for the ideal of “not knowing anyone according to the flesh” (2 Cor 5:16), and to “consider the body dead…and put on the new self…a renewal in which there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile” (Col 3:5-11). These statements might seem to decide the issue. However, it is fairly easy to stitch verses together and get Paul to say whatever you want! That is why it’s important to look back at the whole of his arguments to see if he actually intended to eliminate ethnic distinction.

Two passages that are commonly used in support of the elimination of ethnic identity are Gal 3:28 and Eph 2:14-15. It is essential to understand that Paul was writing specifically to Galatian Gentiles (not Jews) who believed that being circumcised would help them be more righteous before God. Paul adamantly rejects his opponents in Galatia who were falsely teaching that all Gentiles must convert and become Jews in order to be truly righteous and belong to the covenant family of God. He argues in Gal 3:28 that Gentiles have full equality before the throne of God—without needing to be circumcised—just as the social status of being a slave or a free person, or the biological status of being a male or a female also does not affect a person’s standing before God. Gal 3:28 does not mean that Paul taught Christians to be genderless or raceless, or even for slaves to revolt from their masters! He makes plain elsewhere that he knew indentured servitude was an unavoidable reality in his time (Eph 6:5).

Equality before God is an important reoccurring theme in Paul’s epistles, primarily because circumcision (and its corresponding commitment to Torah-observance) had always been a key initiation rite and identity marker for anyone who wanted to be grafted into the covenant God made with the people of Israel. Nevertheless, Paul was a remarkable Jewish theologian. He saw that with the inauguration of the New Covenant with Jesus’s blood (1 Cor 11:25), the Holy Spirit made a way for people to enter the kingdom of God through the faithfulness of Jesus. In regard to salvation, Paul exclaims, “There is no distinction between the Jew and the Gentile; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on him” (Rom 10:12). Indeed, after witnessing the Spirit fall on uncircumcised Gentiles time and time again, Peter concludes before the Jerusalem council that, “God, who knows the heart, testified to them [the Gentiles] giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he also did to us [the Jews]; and he made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:8-9).

But the question naturally arises, if there is “no distinction” between Jews and Gentiles in respect to salvation, then should we abandon ethnic categories altogether? According to Gal 3:28, the same logic would lead us to ask whether we should also abandon gender distinctions between male and female. Paul’s point is that both men and women have equal access to salvation in Jesus; there is no distinction. Paul is not saying that God doesn’t care about gender, for that would be to disregard God’s purposes in creating male and female in Gen 1–2 and to suggest that his creation of gender was a concession rather than the original intention. Equality is not homogeneity. Equality means that every human being—just as they are now, with their particular gender, ethnicity, and social status—has equal access to the New Covenant of Jesus’s blood. Equality does not mean that only once you lose your particularity then you will have access. Equality means freedom to come as you are.

At this point, it is helpful to consider the second key passage in Ephesians. Paul writes, “For he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in his flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that he might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace” (Eph 2:14-15). Paul is here making an assertion about the unity of Jew and Gentile in Christ. But what is the identity of the “one new man?”

A significant issue with believing that Eph 2:14-15 eliminates ethnic distinction and formulates a new “third race” is that Paul immediately goes on to say that Gentile believers are now “joint-citizens” with Jewish believers (Eph 2:19). If he meant to communicate that there is no longer any such thing as Jew or Gentile, then why would he continue to recognize two distinct groups who are joined to one another? In the next chapter, Paul continues to use a series of nouns that begin with the Greek prefix syn-, which follow in line with his “joint-citizens” comment: “The Gentiles are joint-heirs, and a joint-body, and joint-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus” (Eph 3:6). If he was asserting that all distinction was collapsed, why would he now clarify that the Gentiles are together with Israel a “joint-body?” This proves that the “one new man” of Eph 2:15 is a picture of the new unity that now exists between Jew and Gentile, and the “enmity” that Messiah abolished is every ordinance and commandment (probably traditional expansions of the law) that previously prevented unity between Jews and Gentiles from taking place—like the dividing wall in the Temple. Once again, the emphasis is on equality and unity, not upon the erasure of ethnic identity.

In sum, if even the two most “incriminating” verses in Paul’s letters do not support the thesis that ethnic distinction is eliminated (but in fact say the opposite!), then we can confidently conclude that the New Testament supports an ongoing distinction between Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus. However, there is still the nagging question of what exactly it means to have a distinct Jewish identity, as opposed to a Gentile one. Is it merely an issue of genealogy? Not quite.

What Is a Jewish Ethnic Identity?

The word “Judeans” (Ioudaios) once referred to the specific ethnic group located in the southern Kingdom of Judah. By the first century, this word had evolved to refer more generally to “Jews,” who were identifiable based on their shared religious culture and communal history. To a certain extent, ancient Israel always understood that foreigners could be joined together with the people and counted as members of Israel. How else could the Canaanite Rahab and the Moabite Ruth be listed in King David’s ancestry (Matt 1:5)?

There was a time when being one of the physical descendants of Jacob meant you belonged to a specific tribe and would one day inherit a specific plot of land in Israel, according to your tribal affiliation. In fact, the Law required that every sold piece of land would return back to its original tribe every fifty years (year of Jubilee). This made it far simpler to track who were the “true” descendants of the tribes. However, all of this changed after the people of Israel were dispersed and exiled from the land twice over. Intermarriage and cultural assimilation were already an issue for ancient Israel, but the problem has only intensified over time since the tribes first settled and flourished in the land of Canaan.

Historically, Rabbinic Judaism has taught that Jewish identity is passed down through the mother’s side. A child who is born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother is considered to be part of Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament, and within Reform Judaism, but not in Orthodox and Conservative Judaism unless the person becomes a convert. Moreover, being Jewish is not only about belonging to a particular family tree or a genealogy. There is something fundamentally covenantal about Jewish identity; being Jewish is linked with God’s covenant relationship with Israel as described in the Torah. For this reason, some sociologists prefer to call the Jewish people an ethnoreligious group, rather than just an ethnic group. Many aspects of Jewish culture are intrinsically and inseparably connected to Jewish law derived from the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud.

Of great significance is the establishment of the Modern State of Israel just over seventy years ago. All those who desire to make Aliyah (immigrate) and become an Israeli citizen must prove before the Rabbinate either that they are of Jewish descent on their mother’s side or that they have converted to Judaism. There is now a difference between being “Jewish” and being “Israeli.” Furthermore, there is also a difference between being “Jewish Israeli” and “Arab Israeli.” Even in the homeland established by and for the Jewish people, ethnic distinctions remain necessary and important. All of these factors must be added up when we consider the complexity of Jewish identity.

It is important for believers in Jesus to recognize the connection between Jewish ethnic identity and Jewish religious identity. In a Christian context, if we hope to repudiate supersessionism and validate the continuation of the Jewish people as the New Testament teaches, we first have to validate the ethnoreligious nature of Jewish identity. This was a grave error of some early Church Fathers who taught that being Jewish and being Christian were incompatible, eventually leading to the Church’s requirement for all converts to renounce any Jewish religious practices or face the penalty of death. Judaism became a catch-all word to refer to everything that was the opposite of Christianity.

In view of the historic Church’s shortcomings, believers in Jesus must be willing to ask the daring question: How can observing the biblical commandments—like keeping the annual festivals or the Sabbath, for example—be compatible with also believing in Jesus? There is no reason to think that observing a commandment like, “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy,” is at odds with faith in Jesus (Some even argue that Heb 4:9-11 commands it!). There is much in the Law of Moses that remains holy and good because it originated from God who is holy and good (Rom 7:12). All of Paul’s supposed rhetoric against the Law has this “holy and good” view underlying it, and thus his harsh words are only ever targeted toward the Law’s inability to provide justification (Rom 3:20; Gal 3:11).

However, the problem that many pastors and congregations typically face in regard to the Law has more to do with accepting all the Law of Moses wholesale, because few believers will ever try to deny the importance of the ten commandments for Christian ethical instruction. The Law is good, they argue, but only in so far as it is moral and not ritualistic. One common theological approach they employ to get around these inconsistencies is to say that the Law can be divided into three types: ceremonial, civil, and moral. Their argument is that only the moral laws (a.k.a., the ten commandments) remain valid, while all ritual and ceremonial laws have been abolished.

Most New Testament scholars now suggest that relatively few first-century Jews actually believed that they could somehow earn their righteousness before God through their works in the first place. This exaggerated belief has too long served the anti-Jewish agenda of juxtaposing the free “grace” of Christianity against the burdensome “works” of Judaism. Some of Paul’s comments in Rom 2:17-29 have served as ammunition in this respect. Specifically, it is argued that Paul sets aside the value of circumcision and redefines Jewish identity as being more abstract than literal. There is much that could be said here concerning why this is not the case, but it suffices to merely look at what follows in Romans.

After Rom 2:25-29, Paul immediately asks the question, “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?” (Rom 3:1). Surprisingly, he then answers, “Much, in every way (3:2)!” This would have been the perfect opportunity for Paul to simply answer, “Circumcision has no value anymore.” But instead, he continues to argue that circumcision has an enduring value, so long as it is understood properly in the light of salvation by grace through faith (Eph 2:8), God’s irrevocable covenant with Israel (Rom 11:28-29), and Paul’s “rule” for the Church (1 Cor 7:17-20). But the fact that he sees an ongoing place for circumcision is further confirmed at the end of chapter three, “Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith (Rom 3:30).” Once again, two distinct groups emerge in Paul’s theology: the circumcised and the uncircumcised—Jews and Gentiles.

Much of Paul’s rhetoric against circumcision and the Law is directed primarily toward Gentiles and not toward Jewish believers in Jesus. But in recent decades, an increasing number of Jewish Christians have felt called to live out their devotion to Jesus while also maintaining many Jewish practices. David Rudolph, one of the foremost Messianic Jewish scholars, defines Messianic Judaism as, “A religious tradition in which Jews have claimed to follow Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah of Israel while continuing to live within the orbit of Judaism.” Contrary to typical Christian assumptions about the Law, Messianic Jews do not believe that God’s law is a means of salvation. The mainstream Messianic movement affirms that salvation comes only by grace through faith in Jesus. Messianic Jews understand Jewish life to be a matter of covenant responsibility and they are responding to the calling of God to remain Jewish (1 Cor 7:20). In order to remain Jewish, however, there are certain practices that are important and normative. Moreover, Messianic Jews seek to be led by the Spirit in how they live out Jewish life.

Therefore, Gentile Christians should be careful not to mischaracterize Jewish Christians or Messianic Jews who wish to retain their Jewish identity through certain Jewish practices. We cannot continue to propagate the thinking that Jewish believers in Jesus who observe Jewish traditions are falling into the error of the Galatians and are attempting to be justified by the works of the Law (Gal 5:4). This only perpetuates the problem of anti-Judaism, which has haunted the Church for far too long, and it further hinders the continuation of Jewish presence in the Church that we have been arguing for all along. Markus Barth once wrote: “The church is the bride of Christ only when it is the church of Jews and Gentiles.” These two respective groups, Jews and Gentiles, are like the two pillars which make up the constitution of the Church. There can be no other way forward. We must resist any thought of an ideal Christian “third race,” because a Church that is raceless will ultimately be a Church without Jews.

Ironically, early Christianity’s rejection of what it deemed “separatist” or “exclusivist” tendencies of Judaism was replaced by a de-ethnicizing universalism that was all the more exclusivist in its expulsion of Jewishness. In other words, the irony is found in the Church’s denouncement of all ethnicities except its own. All hopes for an idealized, raceless Christianity inevitably lead to a single dominant culture. Who gets to decide what true “Christian” culture is? For many people, being “Christian” is a primary identity, whereas all other labels, whether they be social, cultural, or biological, are merely secondary. This touches on the issue of personal identity in general. For some Jews, the “Jewish” part of their identity is the primary part of their identity. Whereas for others, their national association, whether it be American, French, or Ethiopian is more important. But what should we say about a Jewish Christian? Which identity is primary, and which is secondary? It would seem that it should be a both-and, and not an either-or decision. So also, Gentile Christians, along with Jewish Christians, should view their own identities as multifaceted and recognize that God cares about every individual’s particularity.

Therefore, in our effort to define Jewish identity, we must conclude that Jewish law, tradition, and history still remain central points of contact. In one sense, to be Jewish means to be circumcised, to keep Sabbath, to adhere to the biblical dietary laws, and to pass along these and other practices to one’s children and their children’s children. In another sense, being Jewish simply means that one or both of a person’s parents were Jewish. Rather than focusing on where the boundaries lie, our heart at GCFI is to stand by, love, and support the Jewish people as God’s eternally chosen people, knowing that the Church can never truly be the Church without our Jewish brothers and sisters. This God-ordained being can only take place when Jewish believers in Jesus distinctly remain Jewish (and not try to be Gentile!), and Gentile believers distinctly remain Gentile (and not try to be Jewish!).

The Future of Ethnic Identity

The fact that Jesus lived a thoroughly Jewish life is not disputed today as it once was. Rather, the question is whether or not Jesus’s Jewishness and his adherence to Jewish Law were only temporary and only served a means to an end. The New Testament scholar, F.C. Baur, once famously wrote: “Through his death, Jesus, as the Messiah, had died to Judaism, had been removed beyond his national connexion with it, and placed in a freer, more universal, and purely spiritual sphere, where the absolute importance which Judaism had claimed till then was at once obliterated” (Baur 1876, 2:125-126). Jesus might have lived as a Jewish man for a time, Baur argues, but he must have surely transcended his Jewishness when he resurrected! A similar belief continues to live on in the Church today, and it is necessary now to address.

Some theologians use the phrase “already but not yet” to describe the present age of the Church. As believers in Jesus, we are able to experience the fullness of the power of resurrection life through the finished work of the cross. But at the same time, we also continue to experience the tension of our sinful natures, reminding us that we still await the final resurrection and redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:23). When the trumpet sounds and the “not yet” finally arrives, our perishable bodies will be transformed “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor 15:52), and we will be changed “just like him, for we will see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). If we assume that being “like him” means that our resurrected bodies will be just like Jesus’s, then we must ask the question: What does Jesus’s resurrected body look like? Does he still have a gender? Does he still look like a first century Jewish man from Galilee? If so, then will our resurrected bodies also look similar to our present earthly bodies?

When the Gospels describe the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, there are times in which Jesus was recognized immediately (Matt 28:9; John 20:20), and there are times when he was not recognized (John 20:14; Luke 24:16). The clearest instance in support of the latter is when the two disciples on the road to Emmaus carried on a long conversation with Jesus without realizing it was him until he broke bread with them. However, even in this account, Luke clarifies that their eyes were divinely shut and kept from recognizing Jesus (Luke 24:16). The majority of accounts in the Gospels seem to indicate that Jesus was easily recognized by those who saw him after he rose from the dead. Therefore, if Jesus’s physical appearance after his resurrection continued to resemble his pre-resurrection physical appearance, then that means there very well might be a similar continuity between our own present earthly bodies and our future resurrected bodies. There likely will be a quality both transcendent and particular about our resurrected bodies. The visible wounds in Jesus’s side, hands, and feet (Luke 24:39; John 20:27) also suggest that even the scars we bear in this life might remain in the life to come—albeit in a restored and redeemed way.

The issue of Jesus’s post-resurrection embodiment highlights a problematic teaching about ethnic particularity. Did Jesus only become a human temporarily in order to win our redemption, or does his humanity remain now and forever? The problem is that, if he was only temporarily a human, then his incarnation becomes meaningless, and we do not truly have a covenant mediator (Heb 9:15). Without a doubt, the permanent humanity of Jesus is fundamental to the theology of the New Testament and Christology in general. Therefore, if he does remain human, then what particularities does his humanity have? Does he remain male, Jewish, dark-skinned, and dark-haired? The Gospels seem to affirm this extreme kind of continuity. The fact that Jesus was easily recognizable after his resurrection and that he continued to bear scars from the cross further suggest that the particularity of each human body remains important to God.

Some might question that Jesus only appeared to be human in the time between his resurrection and ascension, and afterward he discarded the particularities of his physical appearance. But this is still the same argument as above, that Jesus was only temporarily human. A further problem is that Acts 1:11 specifically says, “This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched him go into heaven.” This verse and many other parts of Scripture repeatedly affirm that there will be a literal, physical, bodily second coming of Jesus. What body will Jesus have? He will have the same body he first had on earth, just as Acts 1:11 says—”this same Jesus.” Indeed, it is this very same Jesus who Daniel sees in his vision of the “Son of Man” who will rule the nations with an everlasting dominion (Dan 7:13-14), and it is this very same Jesus whom the book of Revelation describes as sitting on the throne in the New Jerusalem (Rev 22:3) and who speaks of himself saying, “I am the root and the descendant of David” (Rev 22:17) in the present tense and not in the past tense. Not only that, but Revelation goes even further in affirming ethnic particularity through its depiction of those gathered around the throne.

In Rev 7:9, John sees a great multitude “from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” John does not say that he sees an indistinguishable group who all resemble one another. Rather, he sees a colorful group made up of many different types of people speaking in their own different languages. What more could one expect from a God who has woven diversity into the very fabric of his creation? But this is not just the situation in heaven. At the end of John’s apocalypse, when he foresees the day that the glory of the Lord will shine forth from Jerusalem, he repeatedly speaks of the plural “nations” who will walk in Messiah’s light (Rev 21:24-26). From everlasting to everlasting, God’s desire is to have diverse nations, people groups, and languages worshipping before his throne. Does ethnic particularity matter to God? Of course, it does.

The Scriptural witness indicates that ethnic particularity is something that has always mattered, presently matters, and will continue to matter for eternity in the new heavens and new earth. There is no ideal vision of humanity stripped of its particularities, as if to believe that one day we will all be identical, androgynous humanoids floating around together in the cosmos. No! God cherishes the diversity of his creation, and he has destined people from every nation, tribe, and tongue to stand before his throne and offer the praise that only each individual can uniquely give to him.

Conclusion

In today’s world where issues of illegal immigration, displaced refugees, and systemic racism are daily featuring in major news headlines, the Church needs to be more confident than ever before about what it believes. The theologian J. Kameron Carter has eloquently argued that, “Modernity’s racial imagination has its genesis in the theological problem of Christianity’s quest to sever itself from its Jewish roots” (Campbell 2013). The way forward is not to daydream about a world without color or without social or ethnic distinctions. Christianity has underwritten this dream for far too long. Rather, it is time to envision a world in which all of our distinctions—the endless diversity of colors, languages, and cultures—are all treasured, hoisted high, and given the value they deserve. The Christian social imagination is one of diversity without discrimination, unity in plurality—Trinitarian theology at its best. But rather than attempting to tackle the issue at every front simultaneously, we at GCFI believe that setting our eye on “to the Jew first” and validating the importance of Jewish identity will cause everything else to align properly. Only when the Church recognizes its debt to Israel and understands its two-fold identity, subsisting of both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus, will we be positioned rightly to begin actually being the Church that God has always intended us to be.

Additional Resources

  • Paul’s ‘Rule in All the Churches’ (1 Cor 7:17-24) and Torah-Defined Ecclesiological Variegation, David J. Rudolph. Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, vol. 5. 2010.
  • A Jew to the Jews: Jewish Contours of Pauline Flexibility in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, David J. Rudolph. Pickwick, 2016.
  • Jew-Gentile Distinction in the One New Man of Ephesians 2:15, David B. Woods. Conspectus, vol. 18. 2014.
  • Paul and the Creation of Christian Identity, William S. Campbell. T&T Clark, 2008.
  • Differentiation and Discrimination in Paul’s Ethnic Discourse, William S. Campbell. Transformation, vol. 30/3. 2013.
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