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Falk in Jesus the Pharisee

The 12th-century Jewish scholar Maimonides, as well as the 18th-century rabbi Emden, found no contradiction between Noahide Laws and Christian moral tradition, partly because they were always meant to cover Gentiles and Jews alike, a fact completely consistent with claims by Jesus and Paul that the new religion would not be confined to Jews but would be universal in scope.

Bet Shammai were indeed the Pharisees and priests that Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus had to contend with. We shall in fact seek to demonstrate that Paul the Apostle's insistence that Gentiles be admitted into the early Christian church was based on Bet Hillel's position that righteous Gentiles merit salvation (Falk 8-9).

The inclusiveness of the new religion would explain Jesus's claim that he had come not to destroy the law (for Jews) but to fulfill it (inviting Gentiles to join Jews in a community of God's favor). Jesus of Nazareth was presenting a method for Jews and Gentiles to adopt a common moral code. The innovation did not mean that Jews would be freed from Jewish law and monotheistic morality, but rather that Gentiles need not be ipso facto excluded from salvation traditionally held to be accessible to the Jews. One is reminded, too, of the Pauline declaration (Gal. 3.2) that there should be a religion neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, but one community in Christ Jesus.

Falk cites Rabbi Emden's analysis of the emerging religion as an expansion of Judaism, such that Christians would be obliged to "search for the true traditions and teachings bequeathed to them by Jesus and the Apostles" (Falk 9). The overriding point is that where anti-Jewish sentiments seem to be articulated in the New Testament, it is important to recognize that the target for New T


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Falk in Jesus the Pharisee. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:38, July 21, 2017, from
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