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The Jewishness of Jesus and Ritual Purity
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Old and New Testament Exegesis, New Testament Exegesis.
2016 (English)In: Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, ISSN 0582-3226, ISSN 0582-3226, Vol. 27, 11-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Today it is commonplace for historical Jesus scholars to emphasize Jesus’ Jewishness. At thesame time most New Testament scholars deny that he cared about the Jewish purity system,which was a central aspect of early Judaism. This article examines how such a reconstruction ofthe historical Jesus would influence his Jewishness, arguing that it indeed would make such a Jesusfigure ‘less Jewish’. The article also investigates questions concerning what Jewish identity in thelate Second Temple period entails and how we may characterize the Judaism of Jesus’ time, especiallyin relation to purity concerns. Finally, I examine key Gospel texts that are commonly used asevidence to prove Jesus’ alleged disinterest in purity laws. On the basis of a proper understandingof how the purity system functioned in Jesus’ time, I conclude that there is no evidence for the viewthat Jesus was disinterested in matters of purity; quite the opposite.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 27, 11-36 p.
Keyword [en]
purity, historical Jesus, Jewish identity
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
New Testament Exegesis
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-291283OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-291283DiVA: diva2:925218
Jesus’ Attitude to Purity LawsBeyond Theology: Ancient Polemics, Identity formation, and Modern Scholarship
Swedish Research Council, 2013-1044Swedish Research Council, 2013-1406
Available from: 2016-04-30 Created: 2016-04-30 Last updated: 2016-09-19Bibliographically approved

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Wassén, Cecilia
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