Isaac and Jesus: a Rabbinic Re-appropriation of a “Christian” Motif?

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Abstract

If, as recent scholarly insights suggest, adherence to Jesus was a largely intra-Jewish affair during the first few centuries ce, it increases the likelihood of interaction and exchange of ideas between such Jesus-oriented Jews and Jews of other inclinations. This article argues that the motif of the atoning power of the death of the beloved son - developed within first-century Judaism, as evidenced by Paul and the Gospels, and embraced by Jesus-oriented groups - was later reappropriated by Rabbinic Judaism through interaction with Jesus-oriented groups with a Jewish self-identity, and applied by Rabbinic Jews to Isaac. The presence of the aqedah motif in synagogues from the third to six centuries may testify to the reappropriation by non-Jesus-oriented Jews of the motif of the atoning power of the death of the beloved son, and possibly also to the presence and impact of Jesus-oriented groups or individuals in the synagogue of late antiquity.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102–120
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Volume67
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)