When the earliest followers of Jesus suggested that their teacher was the anointed one, the Messiah, promised by ancient prophets who would bring redemption to Israel, they applied a broader Jewish messianic belief to Jesus.
- What different kinds of messianic ideas were people nurturing?
- Was a messianic expectation a mainstream or a marginal viewpoint?
- To which Jewish groups first Jesus followers felt close and from whom they were estranged?
The movement that had started in the Land of Israel would reach out at an early stage to the broader Greco-Roman world, to both Jews and non-Jews there.
- How much were the earliest Christian texts, coming from that Greek-speaking phase, influenced by their new cultural environment?
- Do they still reflect faithfully the initial beliefs of Jesus' followers? Do they reinterpret them dramatically? Or do they even turn their back on them?
These are all complicated questions, which are also crucial for understanding the birth of Christianity from within the Jewish matrix, as well as various modern religious movements. And these are only part of the questions to be asked if we truly want to reach such an understanding. Our inquiry may lead us to some unexpected answers.
If you are ready to be part of the ongoing discussion and are willing to discover what may be called a Jerusalem perspective on the topic, you are invited to join our course.