About the Exploring Jewish New Testament Scholarship course
A day course looking at the work of Jewish scholars and the lessons Jewish scholarship offers for how Christians read the New Testament.
A recent development in New Testament studies has been the involvement of Jewish scholars. They bring new insights and overturn longstanding Christian assumptions about Jesus’s life and Paul’s ministry. We will explore the work of four such scholars: Geza Vermes and Amy-Jill Levine – on Jesus the Jew; Paula Fredriksen – on Paul, the pagans’ apostle; and Adele Reinhartz – on a Jewish reading of John’s Gospel. We will read extracts from their work and watch short video clips.
Jewish scholars do not view the New Testament as Scripture, but as ancient literature, to be read within its own social, historical, and religious context. Their careful historical work raises questions for Christians over how to integrate these new insights into our theological frameworks. We will therefore inevitably be drawn into discussions of the paradoxical relationship between the historical Jewish Jesus and the theological Christian Christ.
A fellow at the University of Birmingham and the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Ann Conway-Jones specialises in biblical interpretation, early Jewish–Christian relations, and the development of Christian mysticism, and is actively involved in Jewish–Christian dialogue and serves as the Chair of the Birmingham Council of Christians and Jews. She has published articles in The Expository Times and Theology on the language and imagery used by Christian preachers when talking about Jews and Judaism. Ann is also an Accredited Lay Worker of the Church of England. She is on the ministry team of Old Church, Smethwick, and preaches on an occasional basis.