May 19th, 2006

HTOC

(no subject)

I'm reading a book, In the Shadow of the Temple, by a Lutheran professor by the name of Skarsaune.  It is a book dealing with Jewish-Christian relations up through the 4th century.  What I've found so interesting in this book thus far is the diversity of Judaic belief during the times leading up to, during, and immediately after Jesus's life.  Honestly, historians cannot define what was a "normative" Judaism.  Judaism was diverse in its practices and beliefs; and thus when Jesus debated the Pharisees, he was not debating Judaism as a whole, but a certain sect of Judaism.  In fact, the diversity of Judaism reminds me of the diversity of Christian belief today.  The Jews had the Torah in common as well as a common commitment to the importance of the temple, but as to how these things were interpreted and lived, several groups had several ways.  It would seem that this penchant for disagreement has been passed on.