The Enigma of Jewish Christianity by Juan Marcos Gutierrez
In recent years the Jewishness of Jesus has become a predominant theme of interest within Jewish and Christian communities seeking to better understand the origins of early Christianity. This book masterfully explains the history of Jewish followers of Jesus and shows that Jewish Christians formed the earliest stratum of the messianic movement centered on Jesus. Using a variety of sources, Juan Marcos Gutierrez examines the history of Jewish Christianity by reviewing its origin as a first century "Judaism," its connection to other "Judaisms," and the increasing hostility it experienced by emerging normative Jewish and Christian communties. He concludes that the identity of Jewish Christians remained thoroughly Jewish. Jesus' Jewish followers continued to lie within the pale of Jewish experience. This book is required reading for the serious student of Judaism and Christianity and those seeking to formulate educated views on the rise of early Christianity in its Jewish context.